Hecarim Build Guide by DuffTime
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Opening item path
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.
Come one, come all!
Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to the world's first, and only, and greatest ever Diamond level 3v3 Hecarim guide by Dufftime.
In this guide, we will explore the power of building an aggressive Hecarim to deal damage, explore his innate tankiness, and fully take advantage of the fact that you only have to tank the damage of three enemy champions, not 5!
Hecarim supplies your team with a boatload of catch, dive, damage, and some nice CC to boot. In my opinion, Hecarim is one of the top 5 best junglers you can pick in ~The Twisted Treeline~ and here you will learn my secrets and tricks of the trade, straight from the mouth of a player who was Diamond in S2 and is on his way to it again in S3!
Let's take a look at the champion, shall we?
Why not take more defense?
Defense is for the birds when you have a massive dive and CC composition, which is what I prefer to run in junction with Hecarim. I like champions like Jarvan IV, Vi, and Rumble on my with this champion, ensuring that our dive and long ranged catch will be too much for our opponent to get away from.
In 3v3, there are only a few kinds of viable team compositions, and most of them include some form of "dive" or "kite and poke" as it were. Hecarim fits into the "Dive" compositions perfectly, but I wouldn't recommend him as much in the poke and kite comps.
Due to the fact that you will normally be running Hecarim in heavy-damage-dive comps, your enemies will generally tend to die very quickly and/or start building defenses. If they don't build damage, your W will be enough to win your team the fight if they decide to focus you. Dealing more damage is a higher priority than surviving in most instances in TT, which is where a lot of players go wrong. TT is a balance of damage and survivability, which is also what limits the viable champions you can play, and what makes most supports non-viable as well.
Hecarim is a perfect fit for "tanky damage dealer" and his kit is full of mobility, making him an excellent pick for most TT comps.
Is learning Hecarim worth the time and/or RP spent?
I would say that he is, but that's a subjective question. What's worth it to me may not be worth it to you!
I have 20 rune pages to be ready for multiple situations, but a lot of players have made it as far as challenger with only two.
In the same way, Hecarim may be something I enjoy but another player might not find him worth their time. It all depends on you, the player.
If you're interested in why I think learning Hecarim is a good investment of time, it's because he's not a highly sought after champion, but I believe him to be a top tier pick in the 3v3 map. His power and impact as a champion outweigh his popularity, meaning you will get your awesome top tier champion more often than you will think!
Not the case with other top tier champions in TT like Singed, Jarvan IV, and Vi.
He's also flexible, meaning your build paths can vary and still be effective, unlike some of the other popular junglers like Xin Zhao who prefer aggression or perhaps Nautilus who prefers defense. While they are able to open up their path some, Hecarim's build path is much more wide open, ranging from durable melee carry to full tank. This means that mid game you can decide whether or not you want to be a tank, or a main threat/damage dealer.
Viable Hecarim items?
Grez's Spectral Lantern: I literally buy Grez's Spectral Lantern every single game as my first item, and I suggest that you do too. The scouting ability is something that can't be properly expressed in words, but get used to scouting with it because you have no wards and invades are popular in TT and frequent. Also, you'll be using every stat, so enjoy Grez's Spectral Lantern every game, please!
The Black Cleaver: The best armor pen item on Hecarim for a number or reasons. AoE armor shredding from Hecarim's Q Rampage not only benefits your own damage but it benefits your team's damage too! HP and CDR are two of the best stats in the game for Hecarim, and the AD is not wasted. If you want armor pen, this is the item for you, and in fact I heavily recommend this to be a core item in almost every game you play as Hecarim, it's just that good.
Runic Bulwark: One of my staple purchases in TT on Hecarim in TT! This hands down the best counter to a team that has a heavy magic damage threat. If the enemy team has about a 50% magic damage threat of better, you should start to consider this item. When one or more of the enemy champions that deal magic damage get fed, start working into your Runic Bulwark.
Spirit Visage: If you're looking for a great source of a mixture of stats, Spirit Visage is perfect for Hecarim. The passive benefits your W Spirit of Dread hugely! 20% CDR on Hecarim is a HUGE deal, and increases your ability to deal damage, heal, and lowers the CD on your ulti which is MASSIVELY important in TT! Your whole team is waiting to contest things constantly in TT, and the lower the CD on your ulti is the better. The MR and HP are great as well. This is an awesome personal buy for Hecarim.
Trinity Force: Trinity Force is a great item that I buy rather frequently. It's easy to piece together and you can just build the parts you want and wait till later to finish if you want. The boost to your damage is amazing and should not be underestimated. I win almost every game that I complete a Trinity Force in.
Iceborn Gauntlet: It's tough to say between Iceborn Gauntlet and Trinity Force which is better, so I will just advise that you build this when all 3 enemy champions deal physical damage -OR- you need the AOE slow for some reason. You won't regret buying this over Trinity Force and vice versa.
Randuin's Omen: King item. One of the best items for most champions in TT, Hecarim is no exception.
Locket of the Iron Solari: Great cost efficiency and the active should not be scoffed at early and mid game. It can win your team a close fight. I buy this regularly.
Hexdrinker: Hexdrinker is one of the most cost effective items you can buy against teams with a magic damage threat! Buying a Hexdrinker early is a great option Hecarim has, and later on it can be upgraded if you run out of inventory space.
Maw of Malmortius: Maw of Malmortius is a great mix of offense and defense, and is an item that YOU WILL work towards in long games with enemy teamcomps that have a notable deal of magic damage. In most games leaving this as a Hexdrinker is better, but the option to upgrade is great!
Last Whisper: This is a good option to boost your damage when enemies stack armor, but in almost every instance The Black Cleaver is going to be better. I don't like to devote too many item slots to boosting my damage on Hecarim In TT, so I would suggest not building Last Whisper despite the fact that it is decent.
Sunfire Cape: I don't tend to buy Sunfire Cape simply because there are so many things you want to buy. Sunfire Cape itself is good for Hecarim, every stat and the passive is great, but I don't find myself willing to sacrifice CDR and team auras for it.
Blade of the Ruined King: Blade of the Ruined King is another good item that I do not recommend buying. The one thing I will make a nod to is the nice burst heal of Blade of the Ruined King's activate with your W on. The heal is pretty silly. That being said I do not think this item is worth the cost of gold on the TT map.
Overlord's Bloodmail: Overlord's bloodmail sucks. Don't buy it. Any item with HP and CDR or HP and a defensive stat is going to be better than Overlord's Bloodmail.
Zephyr: I would not buy a Zephyr. You're not going to be doing much auto attacking, although the MS / AD / CDR / Tenacity are all valuable stats. You're not going to lose the game for buying this, but I think better items exist for sure. Every scrap of gold has to count in TT, and it doesn't when you buy a Zephyr.
Spirit of the Elder Lizard: I thibnk with the nerf to AD you should avoid Spirit of the Elder Lizard, and buy other good items for damage and CDR.
Manamune: Don't do it. Pls.
Frozen Mallet: Trinity Force and Iceborn Gauntlet are superior but this item is nice for the HP.
Frozen Heart: When your enemy comp is full of right clickers like Tryndamere and Jax etc, do not be shy to ruin their day with a Frozen Heart. The item has great synergy with Hecarim.
[Mercurial Scimitar]]: I don't buy it often but the MR / AD and great active secure Mercurial Scimitar's niche late game viability.
Ravenous Hydra: Sleeper viable for sure. This item is pretty much a good version of Blade of the Ruined King, because the active is also going to burst heal you with your W Spirit of Dread active, and the stats all around are better. Less auto attack oriented. Not to mention faster pushing is REALLY good in TT. Sometimes the team that can push 10 seconds faster wins the game, there's a lot of crazy base races and short margins after and inbetween deaths that really matter, and Ravenous Hydra can be the deciding factor between an inhibitor and a win straight away.
Youmuu's Ghostblade: Why would you ever buy Youmuu's Ghostblade over The Black Cleaver? Pls don't...
Zeke's Herald: Actually this item is pretty good as a way to support your team members who may utilize lifesteal well, and also nab some nice CDR and HP at the same time! It goes under niche viability, but it's something you should not forget about!
Twin Shadows: Twin Shadows is sleeper viable on Hecarim against kite heavy teams with a magic damage threat. The AP is not "Great" but it's not wasted. Buy this more for the defense and the active than for the AP if you buy it at all.
Hecarim's skill order is a bit of a topic of debate, but I will be brutally honest and tell you that there really is not much debate within the circle of true Hecarim players.
If you want to use this guide and be effective, you must max your Q Rampage first, and that is not optional.
In TT, you need to be dealing damage. Every champion needs to be threat, in my opinion, and I was diamond last season in TT. If you don't deal damage, it's far too easy to ignore you and simply focus and kill your team. Every champion needs to be dealing damage so that your opponents have to choose to remove you from the fight.
Hecarim's W Spirit of Dread no longer scales up the % healing with points either, so it's now the biggest 1 point wonder in your arsenal. The counterpoint is that the healing total still does increase, but it does not merit the loss of damage that you will suffer by not maxing Q Rampage.
When maxing your Q Rampage, You will carry more games, be a more noticed and feared presence, and all around be a better, stronger Hecarim.
Max Q Rampage first, Max W Spirit of Dread second, Max E Devastating Charge last, skill R Onslaught of Shadows whenever possible.
I won't go too far into detail on this, but I prefer a 21/9/0. I like to be a huge damage threat that cannot be ignored and try to elan as much into my W as I can to mimic tankiness.
Keep in mind that the build you use in Summoners Rift is not going to maximize any champions here in the world of TT. Recognize that with only 3 damage sources that will probably have to build some defense, your W Spirit of Dread will do much more than you might think!
Your Q Rampage, with the 6 armor pen in masteries, the 12 in runes, and the 10 from your The Brutalizer, is going to do INSANE amounts of damage mid game when maxed. If you don't believe me, try it a few times and see for yourself before you decide it's not for you.
Take 21 in offense, and you will feel the noticeable difference in your damage that synergizes so well with the item path we use in this guide here for Hecarim!
General advice to jungling Hecarim in TT.
You need to hit level 6 early. Onslaught of Shadows is a game changing ultimate, and you want to get it as quickly as possible. Your team mates will probably ask you to gank for them at some points, and you will need to ignore them sometimes.
Farming up a strong high leveled Hecarim will not betray you. If you want to play a strong ganker 1-6, play Jarvan IV. When using Hecarim, you will chiefly farm and counter-gank.
This style of play has it's own unique sets of strong points and downfalls.
1: Your lanes will not snowball because of jungler presence. The trade off is that your jungler will be powerful and high level. Hecarim is a level reliant champion with a decent clear speed, so jungling in circles is not a bad option. You eventually become high level enough to clear and gank and go clear again, this is the point you are aiming for. Jungling then becomes a machine. It's just a pattern that's easy to follow. Clear in a circle and gank. When your ultimate is up, you invade and try to start a 3v3 fight or catch somebody off guard and win a quick 2v3. Then you return to farming until your ulti is up.
2: The game will feel more on your shoulders. This is because you are sacrificing the help of your laners for the power to be in your hands. Sometimes your laners will die or fall behind, and you need to be aware that this is part of the trade off when choosing a farm oriented jungler. You will have to carry a lot of games and be realistic that it may not be your teams fault if they are weak and got pressured hard early.
3: Because you are an objective oriented mid game jungler who wants to farm, you may have to win games by catching fights over objectives like altars instead of diving towers and whatnot. Hecarim is a great tower diver, but he's even better in the jungle forcing bad positioning out of your opponents and being unexpectedly tanky and damaging. Try to take advantage of your strengths and work up a sizeable level advantage to bully your opponents mid game around their altars.
Early game items vrs Late game items!
Early game Hecarim wants damage.
Late game Hecarim starts building survivability.
I'm not entirely sure how to put this concept into words, but you will feel it once you start to play a lot of games on Hecarim in TT.
The heavy mix of ARP and CDR will crush most early game-mid game teamfights. Mid-Late game, you're going to have to start building tankiness.
The way that you continue to carry with damage is going to be in purchasing the right items.
Try to buy items that accomplish tankiness in some way, and damage.
My example would be a build like Spirit Visage, The Black Cleaver, Trinity Force, And Randuin's Omen. You might even have a Runic Bulwark in there to keep your team alive.
Notice that every item gives you HP. Notice that you get 30% CDR right there, which means you are maxed because you take CDR blues and 4 % more in masteries.
Also notice the great effects which improve your own damage and the damage dealt by your team, the great mix of resistances, and how that build is going to mesh so nicely with the kit of Hecarim.
You can substitue these items of course, but you're going to want to be working through early mid game obstacles and working towards a late game product with every item you buy.
Try to keep that in mind with your purchases!
And ladies and gentlemen...
You are on your way towards becoming a true diamond level Hecarim player in TT!