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Hecarim Build Guide by Nusaik

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Nusaik

Hecarim - Cavalry of Death

Nusaik Last updated on December 24, 2012

Jungle - Solotop

Ability Sequence

1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
4
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 12

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 9


Guide Top

Introduction


Hello people! Welcome to my guide for the brand new champion: Hecarim. Now that he's been out for a while, I feel like I've played him enough to make a proper guide. He's an awesome champion in my opinion and a great jungler or solotop. Hecarim is a tanky fighter with very high mobility and great CC. He is very good at ganking and can destroy enemy teams in a fight. Overall, he is definitely a strong champion and fun to play.

In this guide I will discuss both laning and jungling with Hecarim. I will discuss everything you need to know to play Hecarim well: abilities, items, runes, masteries and more.

Tell me what you think so I can improve the guide! All constructive criticism is appreciated.


Note - read before voting please!


If you're going to vote, please comment and make sure you've read the relevant parts of the guide first. Please don't downvote just because you don't like X item, or X rune. I explain every choice in my guide and give many alternatives. If you don't like something, comment and I will reply and consider changing it.


Guide Top

Change log

22-12-2012
This guide is now updated for the preseason 3 patch.

02-11-2012
Made many changes to the item build, masteries and guide layout.

03-10-2012
Number 1 Hecarim guide on MOBAFIRE! Thanks everyone for commenting and voting!

29-09-2012
Just noticed my Hecarim guide is now number 2 on MOBAFIRE! Also added Frozen Heart to the other good items section.

04-08-2012
Removed parts about the Devastating Charge bug. Riot fixed it in the last patch.

29-05-2012
Updated the entire guide layout.

25-05-2012
Added some things to the masteries and jungle section.
Fixed some wrong BBCode.


Guide Top

Pros and cons

If you want to know if Hecarim is the champion for you, consider these pros and cons.


Pros

Great jungler/ganker.
Deals tons of damage and is still very tanky.
Has lots of CC for ganks and teamfights.
Is super-fast.
Has high sustain as a solotop.


Cons

Extremely mana-hungry early.
Vulnerable to counter-jungling.
Weak early-game when playing solotop.


Guide Top

Runes

Here is a short explanation of my rune choices. Together with some other options for runes.


These will give you more damage early-game, making your ganks a lot stronger. They also scale well into late-game.

Other options:
for a stronger early-game, but weaker late-game.


An obvious choice for junglers. They will give you much more sustain in the jungle and they will make your ganks safer. They will also give you a better chance against counter-jungling.

Other options:
only if the enemy team has a lot of true damage.
some of these can help when you don't get blue.


These are very good for bruisers and tanks. They scale well into late game as you will probably take a lot of magic damage in teamfights.

Other options:
can work pretty well.


They are very good on Hecarim. The 4.5% movement speed will become a lot when you have boots, Trinity Force, Devastating Charge and Ghost. This also gives him extra AD through his passive, Warpath. They will make you an even stronger ganker and initiator.

Other options:
to be tankier.
for more damage.


Guide Top

Masteries

There are many options for mastery setups. I mainly use a 9-12-9 setup for jungling and 9-18-3 for laning. Other possible setups include 9-21-0, 0-21-9, 14-16-0, 11-16-3 and 21-9-0. Every setup is situational and depends on your and the enemy's team and your playstyle.


Jungler


Each tree has some important jungle masteries. I feel like 9-12-9 gives you the best balance between offense, defence and utility. You get every jungle-related mastery. You do miss out on some useful points, but these are trade-offs you will have to make, since you only get 30 points.


1
For improved Ghost.
1
Will increase your jungle speed. Sorcery is a good alternative.
2
Important for many junglers.
4
Decent scaling AD. Also needed for Weapon Expertise .
1
Great amount of extra damage, especially later in the game.

4
A nice amount of extra health.
2
So jungle monsters won't crush you.
3
Good against jungle monsters and enemy junglers (usually AD).
1
To increase your speed.
1
If there's anything Hecarim hates, it's slows.
1
More early-game survivability.

1
A little bit of extra movement speed.
3
Hecarim will go OOM even with blue buff.
3
More mana.
1
CDR for summoner spells is always good.
1
Great for junglers. Hecarim is pretty buff-reliant.


Solotop


For solotop, I think 9-18-3 masteries are also best in most situations. You will get many important points in each tree.


1
For improved Ghost.
3
Has a strong impact later in the game.
4
Decent scaling AD. Also needed for Weapon Expertise .
1
Great amount of extra damage, especially later in the game.

4
A nice amount of extra health.
3
Most solotop champions deal mostly physical damage.
1
Good with only 1 point for 2 extra MR.
2
Really good for trading in lane.
2
If there's anything Hecarim hates, it's slows.
1
More early-game survivability.
1
Really good on any solotop.
3
Ignore CC so you can get into the enemy team.
1
Might not seem like much, but it gives you 5 armor and MR in teamfights, which is a lot for only 1 point.

3
Really helpful in lane.


Guide Top

Items

There are a number of things you need to consider when buying items on Hecarim.

First, let's discuss his passive. Warpath gives you AD equal to a percentage of your bonus movement speed. This means that buying items that grant movement speed (like boots, Trinity Force and Phantom Dancer) are more cost-efficient for him. A lot of people tend to overestimate this effect and do stupid things like buying 3 Phantom Dancers on him. The passive should be considered a nice bonus, but should not define your item build ( Devastating Charge and Ghost are pretty much enough).

Now as for balancing between damage and tankiness, I think you should focus on damage at first and then transition into an offtank. This is because you can survive well enough at early stages as long as you don't play too aggressive. But later on, your role should be to initiate teamfights and get in the middle of the enemy team. To make sure you don't die instantly, you have to be tanky. Don't worry though, your AoE damage is still amazing.

Finally, AS isn't very good on Hecarim, because a lot of his damage comes from his Rampage, which doesn't benefit from AS. AD will give you more damage. This doesn't mean you shouldn't buy some AS though. You get the highest damage output by finding a balance between AS and AD.


Jungler


Focusses on jungle sustain and speed early, while becoming a ganking machine and late-game offtank.

Start:

You have pretty much the same starting choices as a tank. There's one extra option though. If you're up against an AD champions you're particularly scared of, you can start with a Cloth Armor and some potions.

Jungling:
philosopher's stone
philosopher's stone and Spirit of the Ancient Golem give you sustain in the jungle. Spirit of the Ancient Golem and Kindlegem will give you some tankiness. Together with Sheen it will also increase you jungle speed. Boots of Mobility will make you move faster (well duh) and give you more ganking power.

Full build:
shurelya's reverie
Great damage and tankiness, while also getting some items to help your team. These items allow you to jump into the enemy team and survive for some time while causing chaos. They will enable you to engage and jump the most dangerous enemies so you can take them out of the fight.


Solotop


Similar to the jungle build, but you aren't forced to buy certain items. Your build path really depends on your lane and the enemy team.

Start 1:

Start 2:

Start 3:

Your main start items are Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. This will give you a little more mobility, sustain and some AD. Other options are Cloth Armor against top-laners and junglers with high physical damage, or Rejuvenation Bead and Faerie Charm for an early philosopher's stone.

Laning:
philosopher's stone
This will give you some sustain, tankiness and damage. Everything you need in lane.

Full build:
shurelya's reverie
Pretty much the same as the jungle full build. You don't need Spirit of the Ancient Golem though, so you get Sunfire Cape instead.


Item explanations



Spirit of the Ancient Golem
A great item on Hecarim. It gives you all the stats you need for jungling and also tenacity. This allows you to not buy Mercury's Treads and get Boots of Mobility to gank more and stronger. The armor, health and regen will keep you in the jungle all day and make you less blue-reliant.


Boots of Mobility
Great for many junglers but especially Hecarim. He benefits a lot from the extra movement speed when ganking. Not only does it give him some extra AD, it also allows him to position himself better for Devastating Charge.


Mercury's Treads
The best tank boots. They give you magic resist and nice CC reduction so you can stay up in people's faces in teamfights and have easier ganks. Best against magic-heavy and CC-heavy teams for obvious reasons.


Trinity Force
A very strong hybrid item. Gives you a little bit of everything. Health to become more tanky, mana for more sustain, AD and AP for more damage (the AP is great on Spirit of Dread and Onslaught of Shadows), movement speed for ganking, initiating and running away (and for your passive) and a small slow. This is all perfect for Hecarim.


Randuin's Omen
It is great on Hecarim. With Randuin's Omen, you can jump the enemy AD carry and slow his AS, while zoning him out of the fight without taking a lot of damage. Combined with your ult, this gives you a huge amount of AoE CC. The amount of armor and MR you will have will also increase the slow duration significantly.

shurelya's reverie
shurelya's reverie
Very good item in general, but especially good on Hecarim. He can use it to initiate and gain tons of movement speed. The boost this item gives your team will make you so much stronger in teamfights. Nobody will be able to run away.


Mercurial Scimitar
This definatly looks like it was made for Hecarim. Together with shurelya's reverie, this will make you unstoppable. Literally. Enemies will see a pony with 1000 MS charging at them and there will be nothing they can do. With Relentless , tenacity from Mercury's Treads/ Spirit of the Ancient Golem and a cleanse and even more MS from Mercurial Scimitar, you will basically ignore all CC.


Sunfire Cape
It makes you more tanky and allows you to duel with the enemy AD carry. The passive damage will stack nicely with all your other AoE damage.


Enchantment: Captain
Probably the best enchantment for Hecarim in most situations. It allows your team to catch up to you when you're initiating.


Other good items


Enchantment: Alacrity
The most reliable enchantment. The 15 extra MS is nice, but it's basically nothing compared to all the speed you already have, so it won't do that much for you.

Enchantment: Homeguard
Insanely strong if your base is under pressure. You will be able to get to your inhibitor in half a second and get a big AD bonus too. It will catch enemies by surprise, allowing you to initiate a good fight.

Ninja Tabi
Only buy this if you're playing against a team with mainly physical damage and not much CC. Good tank boots but Mercury's Treads are usually the better choice.

Boots of Swiftness
You can buy these if you feel you're tanky enough. They will improve your ganking and initiation capabilities and also increase your damage through Warpath.

Maw of Malmortius
This will give you more MR and AD. It will simply increase your damage and survivability. Also, it's passive basically means you will become stronger as you lose health, which is great in teamfights. The shield isn't huge, but it might just save you.

Frozen Heart
Great against AS-reliant teams. A great buy if noone else on your team has it (the aura doesn't stack) and if you need armor. The CDR and extra mana is definately useful.

Guardian Angel
Really strong on Hecarim. It has MR and armor you need and allows you to initiate more safely. It forces the enemy team to kill you twice, which will be even harder with your healing.

The Bloodthirster
Good damage item on Hecarim. The lifesteal combined with Spirit of Dread will make you even more invincible in longer fights. You'll get every bit of health you lose back instantly.

Wriggle's Lantern
Also works on jungle Hecarim for more speed and jungle control.

Warmog's Armor
If you want to become insanely tanky, or the enemy team has a lot of true damage, take this. It is a pretty expensive item but if you get ahead thanks to some ganks, you'll be able to afford it.

Spirit Visage
Will give Spirit of Dread a huge boost. Great item to get if teamfights are taking a long time. Also good against mages thanks to the MR it gives.

Hextech Gunblade
A great item on Hecarim. With this you will have insane amounts of healing, so you can always stay alive in teamfights.

Atma's Impaler
If you have built a lot of health (around 3000+), this item will be very cost-effective. It will give you a lot of 'free' AD. The armor and crit chance work well too.

Phantom Dancer
A great item for more damage-focussed builds. Though it doesn't make your abilities stronger directly, it does give you MS and thus AD.

Any tank/AD/AP item
Feel free to adjust your build to your current situation. This build is just a reference point. Most games I don't even use it entirely. I buy different items every game. A good Hecarim player (or any good LoL player) can choose his own items and adapt his build during the game. You can build pretty much anything on him, depending on the role you take and the needs of your team.


Guide Top

Abilities

Hecarim has some very unique and cool abilities that define who he is. They are pretty easy to use but can be hard to master. All abilities can be used in different ways and I will describe some of the uses.

To master Hecarim, you have to master his abilities. Here is an explaination for each ability and it's uses.


Ability explanations



Warpath
Hecarim ignores unit collisions and AD equal to 10%/12.5%/15%/17.5%/20%/22.5% of his bonus (!) movement speed. This passive is helpful when ganking and synergizes well with Devastating Charge, Ghost and other speed boosts. It isn't the best passive but still very useful.



Rampage
An AoE ability dealing physical damage. Each time you hit an enemy unit with this, you get a stack of Rampage (up to 2) which reduces it's cooldown by one second. These stacks will be lost when no enemy is hit with Rampage within a few seconds (around 4-5 seconds). At 2 stacks, this ability is pretty much as fast as auto-attacks. In the jungle, always finish your camp with this ability and quickly move on to the next camp, so you don't lose your stacks. This can't be done when moving between sides of the jungle though, because the distance is too great. This is your main damage ability so I max it first and spam it when jungling.



Spirit of Dread
An AoE ability that will stay around Hecarim while dealing magic damage every second. Additionally (the best part) it heals Hecarim for a percentage of all damage dealt to enemies inside the AoE. This ability is good for more sustain in the jungle and amazing in teamfights. When maxed, it heals you for 30% of the damage dealt. This means you can stay in the middle of the enemy team while healing from the damage your team does. For these purposes, I max it second.



Devastating Charge
Hecarim gains a MS buff increasing to 75% over 3 seconds. Hecarim's next attack will deal bonus damage and will knock the target away from Hecarim. This is Hecarim's main ganking ability (besides his ultimate). It's a very stong CC and great for initiating and pushing an enemy into the middle of your team (just make sure it isn't Fiddlesticks or Karthus). This ability is mainly useful for the utility so I take one point at level 4 for ganking but max it last (the MS buff or knockback doesn't increase with ranks).



Onslaught of Shadows
Hecarim charges to a target area while dealing magic damage to enemies along his path. At the end, enemies near Hecarim are dealt additional magic damage and will run away from Hecarim (terrified) for 1 second. This is probably one of the best ultimates in-game. It's a great engage in teamfights by CCing the enemy team for 1 second and seperating them. Try to get behind your enemies so they are pushed towards your teammates. The damage is pretty good, even if you have no AP. This ability is also great for ganking and pretty much means a free kill if used correctly. When ganking someone, don't use it instantly, but wait until you have used all your other abilities. Then, when they run away, use this to force them back.


Ability sequence


> > >
Because Rampage is Hecarim's main damage ability, I max it first for the maximum damage output. I take a point in Devastating Charge at level 4 for ganking, but max it last because it's mainly a utility ability. I max Spirit of Dread second to increase it's damage and healing.

You can also choose to rank Spirit of Dread over Rampage for possibly more sustain. I'm not sure which is better, just try it out.


Guide Top

Summoner Spells

My choice



Ghost
The best choice for Hecarim. This will help you when chasing or running. It's better than Flash for Hecarim because with Ghost and Devastating Charge, Hecarim will basically move faster than a constantly flashing enemy. It also gives great AD through Warpath. The fact that you already ignore unit collisions is really insignificant. It will make you a deadly initiator.


Smite
A must-have as a jungler. Without it, you can't call yourself a jungler. You need this for better jungle speed. More importantly though, use it to secure important objectives like buffs, Dragon or Baron.


Other viable choices



Ignite
Good to take instead of Smite if you're going solotop. Solotop champions usually have some form of healing like lifesteal or health regen. Use this as an unexpected finisher to get kills. In teamfights or skirmishes, try to use it on a champion with a lot of heals like Dr. Mundo or Warwick.


Flash
Not as good as Ghost in my opinion, but still a good escape/engage ability. It is more sudden and unexpected than Ghost and might be better when initiating in some situations, though Ghost is generally better for Hecarim.


Teleport
Always a good spell. Good to take if you're going solotop or if noone else in your team has it. Otherwise, don't take it.


Guide Top

Jungling

Hecarim is best played as a jungler. His speed and sustain are decent while his ganking is incredibly strong. Below I will discuss the route you should take and some other things about jungling with Hecarim.


Route



Wolves
If your team cooperates, do wolves before blue and ask them to do some damage. This will help you clear faster. Spam Q while taking them down. Your teammates should stop attacking move away as the big wolve dies so they don't take away your gold or exp.


Blue buff
Your teammates should help you with this. In the season 3 jungle it has become standard to do damage until your jungler can smite or let him to save his smite. Take it down by spamming Q. If you're scared of invades, you should always use Smite to finish it.


Wraiths
Take them out in no-time.


Golems
Slay them.



Red buff
Spam all your abilities and finish it with Smite.


Wraiths
Slaughter them.


Now that you're level 4, you're free to do whatever you want. You can gank with Devastating Charge if you have enough health, jungle some more or go recall and buy some items. It mainly depends on how well your teammates pulled your blue.


Tips

  • No matter what you're doing, helping your team is ALWAYS more important than clearing the jungle. Keep that in mind. If a lane is losing, you need to gank there quickly. If someone's getting attacked near you, help them.
  • Always focus the largest jungle monster in a camp, the others will be killed by your AoE abilities quickly.
  • Don't waste attacks on monsters that are low on health. Just attack different ones so they will be killed by your AoE abilities. This will increase your speed.
  • Get your team to give you cover. The worst thing that could happen to you is losing your blue buff. It will hurt your speed and sustain a lot.
  • If you get a smiteless leash, you can go straight to red and then gank a lane.
  • Decide whether or not to donate your second blue buff to your AP mid. Maybe ask them if they need it and check their mana usage. Getting your second blue will help you a lot but donating it might be more beneficial to the team. By the way, Hecarim is a better pick if you have noone else on your team who needs blue (good: Kennen, Vladimir | bad: Anivia, Swain).
  • In the jungle, always finish your camp with Rampage and quickly move on to the next camp, so you don't lose your stacks. This can't be done when moving between sides of the jungle though, because the distance is too great.
  • You can use Devastating Charge to move around the jungle, as long as you have enough mana. Once you reach your top speed, attack your next jungle camp.
  • I would recommend that you take blue buff ASAP, because you will need it very much. Starting at red buff is possible but not optimal in most situations.

Ganking


From level 4, you can start ganking, because you have learned Devastating Charge. Always watch the lanes to see if they are pushed. If you see enemies overextended, go gank! Map awareness is a must-have as a jungler. Hecarim's main strength is ganking. This means that it would be a waste not to gank. So tell your team-mates not to push and to ward their lanes. If you notice that a lane is warded at a certain point, try ganking from a different direction if possible. If not, you could take a Vision Ward with you, or even an Oracle's Elixir if you feel safe enough.

When ganking, first of all make sure your team-mates are aware of it by pinging or typing in chat. Now try to get behind your target, taking advantage of your awesome movement speed. It's very important that you don't use Devastating Charge before you're sure you can get to your target in time to knock them back. Once you've pushed him back, move alongside him while auto-attacking and pressing Q/W. If you have your ultimate, you can use it after this if your target if escaping. This should be enough for a kill in most cases. Otherwise you will probably force them to use summoner spells or to recall.


Guide Top

Conclusion

So I hope you liked my guide. I think Hecarim is a very fun champion to play and he can be great when played well. He has some unique abilities that will be interesting to experiment with. Of course, he also looks awesome! So try him out, try my build (or your own), and have fun!

Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope you like my guide and that it was helpful. Please remember to vote and leave a comment so I know what you think. I would like to improve my guide wherever possible so start the criticism!


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