Hecarim Build Guide by xTin0x
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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.
Hello Summoners and welcome to my very first guide in which I'll be covering some of the most important aspects of Hecarim, one of the newest additions to the League. All your support and feedback is greatly appreciated, so if you think that something is missing from this guide, or if you have a suggestion to improve it just drop it in the comments section below. Thank you :D.
Pros / Cons
I'm pretty sure that you guys can tell there are a bunch of good reasons to play Hecarim that make up for his (few) cons, but what I think is one of the most important reasons to play him is the fact that he can be VERY fun to play as. So give him a go, and have fun!
Skill Explanation and Skill Sequence
WarpathThis ability allows Hecarim to completely ignore unit collision, allowing him to move freely through minion waves and both allied and enemy champions.
It also gives him a huge advantage: as he increases his movement speed with items such as Boots of Speed, Phantom Dancer or Trinity Force he also gains an attack bonus, which is based on his total movement speed. This bonus can be as big as 25% of his movement speed, and it's not only affected by items or quintessences that affect your movement speed, but also by any ability or summoner spell that would allow you to move faster (AKA Devastating Charge, Ghost, Shurelya's Reverie).
RampageThis is the skill that you'll be using the most for sure. Rampage hits nearby enemies dealing physical damage that scales off your AD, reducing its cooldown by 1 second if it hits at least one enemy (capped at 2 seconds).
Although its efficiency against minions and neutral monsters is lowered by 50%, it is still your best weapon against minion waves alongside Spirit of Dread, since it's capable of hitting multiple enemies.
I would recommend using it BEFORE auto-attacking while Devastating Charge is active, since the latter gives you a movement speed boost, and therefore it also increases your attack damage because of Warpath's effect.
Its use in teamfights is imperative. Try to position yourself in a way in which you would hit as many enemy champions as you can, and use it wisely when chasing any runners, since you might lose an opportunity to get a kill for miscalculating its range.
Spirit of DreadThis skill will most likely keep you alive during most teamfights, and will allow you to stay in lane for longer than the average solo-top.
Spirit of Dread deals magic damage that scales off your AP to nearby enemies standing inside the skill's area of effect, healing you by a percentage of the damage done (capped healing when used on minions).
Use this skill as often as you can if you're missing HP, but make sure to have it available for teamfights, as the damage it does helps your team and heals yourself, allowing you to survive for longer. Also, just like Rampage, make sure to use it from a position in which you would hit the most enemies you can, and consider its use in chasing situations as a last resort.
Devastating ChargeThis skill will definitely save your life more than once, as well as get you and your team solid kills.
Devastating Charge Increases Hecarim's movement speed by 75%, granting him an attack bonus as well thanks to Warpath's effect. Upon activation your next auto-attack deals additional damage which increases based on the distance travelled while the skill was active, and grants a knockback effect.
It's highly recommended that you don't stop moving after activating this skill to deal as much damage as possible in your next auto-attack. This is a great tool to initiate team fights, alongside Onslaught of Shadows it can grant easy kills to your team, and make it easier to target critical enemies (AKA AP/AD Carry).
It's of great importance that you always use this skill to push enemies towards allied champions and/or turrets, if possible. In a chase situation try to position yourself in front of the enemy champion, and don't forget to cast Rampage while doing so, before connecting an auto-attack.
Don't be afraid to use this skill for its movement speed bonus, this can save your life in many situations, or help you make it just in time to save/wreck a turret. Don't abuse it though, keep it available for team fights in which it'll become a crucial advantage for your team.
Onslaught of ShadowsThis is one of your deadliest tools, use it wisely.
Onslaught of Shadows makes Hecarim charge forward, dealing magic damage to his enemies while doing so. Additionally he creates a shockwave where he stops charging, dealing additional damage and causing enemies in range to flee away from Hecarim for 1 second.
I personally save this skill almost exclusively for team fights, since it's by far the best way to initiate. Your team can pick up easy kills if you use this correctly. Targeting the AD/AP carry with this skill is really important, followed by Devastating Charge to push them closer to your team to pick up the kill.
As soon as you land use Spirit of Dread if available to deal extra damage and heal yourself from the damage your enemies will be dealing you, and look for a good position to spam Rampage.
It is NOT recommended to use this skill to pick up single kills, nor in chase situations. On the other hand, it is HIGHLY recommended to use it for stealing neutral monsters such as Baron, Dragon or maybe even Blue Golem/Red Lizard.
It can also be used to get away from a dangerous situation, although it's recommended to hold it for as long as you can, use it only as a last resort.
My reasoning behind this skill sequence is the following. Rampage is maxed first for obvious reasons: it is spammable, it deals great damage, and it hits multiple enemies. I take it first to make farming an easier task and to push squishy champions that might be laning against me.
On the other hand, you can take Devastating Charge first if you think the enemy team is going to invade your jungle (or if you are invading their jungle) to grant your team early kills.
I decided to max Spirit of Dread last for this build because you're taking Regrowth Pendant as your initial item, along with a Health Potion, which should give you enough health regeneration to remain in lane for a long time. Nevertheless I get this skill at level 2, since Devastating Charge isn't as useful during the early laning phase.
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
The runes I recommend using for this champion are fairly standard. In fact, I use this rune set-up with most of my tanks and off-tanks. But Hecarim takes a particular advantage off of this set-up because his passive makes the Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed runes twice as useful, not only giving you a movement speed bonus, but also increasing your attack damage.
Since this is just a GUIDE, I encourage you to try your own rune set-ups. I consider Greater Quintessence of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of Health quintessences to be a viable option for Hecarim as well, and maybe even Greater Seal of Vitality seals, so if you have these runes you can try them out and let me know how that worked out for you (:
Let's divide this section into two different sub-sections, Recommended Summoner Spells vs Useless Summoner Spells.
Recommended Summoner Spells
Ghost works amazingly well with Hecarim. Warpath allows him not only to get a mobility bonus, but it also increases your attack damage for the duration of the Spell. If used correctly in a combo with Devastating Charge and Rampage it can be a deadly weapon in your arsenal. Use it to catch up with runners or to get out of targeting distance in teamfights.
Flash is by far one of the most versatile Summoner Spells in the League. This summoner spell can be used by a wide variety of champions and it's never a disadvantage to have. Specially good to escape from sticky situations or to catch up to those sneaky runners.
Teleport can be extremely useful if you are solo laning, allowing you to be back in your lane in no time if needed. If wards are rightly placed it can also serve as an ambush tool, or allow you to backdoor enemy turrets.
Exhaust works great with Hecarim. It allows him to catch up to faster champions (those who may have used Ghost, or maybe Shurelya's Reverie's active) and help connect that Devastating Charge knockback. It's also incredibly awesome when engaging the enemy team in a teamfight, as it can be used to disable their AD carry.
Heal is a must-have for aggressive tanks and off-tanks. Its use while tanking the enemy team is a great advantage that can buy your team enough time to pick up some kills. You can also use it to save your team mates if necessary.
Cleanse is also a great Summoner Spell for tanks and off-tanks, it allows you to get away from dangerous situations with ease. It'll come in handy whenever you get pinned down by multiple champions and their CC. It works great paired with Heal.
Ignite is well known for being a deadly spell. It can help you pick up kills on sneaky champions that might try to get away, and it's a great tool to disable enemy champions, specially those with big amounts of lifesteal (and in some occasions spellvamp, AKA Morgana). Use it aggressively, and do not attempt to get last hits with it (AKA Ignite Killsteals), unless it is completely necessary.
Useless Summoner Spells
NOTE: These spells are NOT entirely useless, but I wouldn't use them with Hecarim. Feel free to use them if you want to give them a chance.
Revive is a fairly decent spell on many champions, but there are better options. I'll explain why I don't like this spell for Hecarim later.
Surge is great for DPS champions and AP based casters. Sadly, you won't be needing any of the bonuses that this spell gives you.
Clarity has always been to me a completely useless Summoner Spell. It's good for the first 10 minutes of the game, it helps you push non-stop early game, but once you enter the mid-game stage, when you already have a Philosopher's Stone and enough mana regeneration to stay in lane for as long as you need, it just becomes obsolete. Just use your abilities wisely and DO NOT WASTE YOUR MANA early game.
Promote is fairly decent to keep the pressure on during early game, but just like Clarity it becomes obsolete as soon as you get to mid-game.
Situational Summoner Spells
Smite is the choice you would have to make if you decide to play as a Jungler, it is a MUST for jungling Hecarim since he is a rather slow jungler, and without this spell you would fall behind in both levels and gold.
Clairvoyance is a spell you could choose if you notice you don't have a support champion in your team, and if you feel like you can sacrifice one of your offensive spells for the team. Hopefully you won't have to get this spell in many games, but if you happen to be in ranked solo queue and you have no support, or he decides not to get Clairvoyance you should definitely get it.
Choosing your Summoner Spells
Choosing the correct pair of Summoner Spells is very important, and it can be what defines how helpful you'll be in the battlefield. I personally think that the formula to pick your spells should be:
UTILITY SPELL + OFFENSIVE SPELL
In the particular case of Hecarim I would consider Heal, Cleanse, Teleport, Flash, Smite and Clairvoyance to be Utility Spells, while Exhaust, Ghost and Ignite fall in the Offensive Spells category. There are also a few great Utility+Utility / Offensive+Offensive combos to which I'll refer shortly.
My personal favourite, it's great for teamfights and chase situations. It also gives Hecarim the chance to deal greater damage and increase his survivability during teamfights. It also enables one of the greatest combos for both chasing and escaping from enemies: Ghost + Devastating Charge. There are few champions able to keep up with the movement speed you'd get if you use this combo.
Similar to the first. Heal grants you sustainability, while Exhaust can be used to disable champions in teamfights, pick up running champions with ease, or even use it to get away from sticky situations. Recommended for Ranked games.
Since Teleport can be used aggressively this combo is a great one as well. Use Teleport to position yourself for an ambush or to assist your team quickly in teamfights.
A bit over the top but it's great if the enemy team has powerful disables. Use Cleanse before Heal if you get ignited while engaging, and make sure to activate your Devastating Charge to put yourself away from the danger.
This combo grants great mobility, there's not much to say about it.
Combo used mostly to initiate teamfights if you don't have your Onslaught of Shadows ready. Use Flash to position yourself next to their team, and follow it by using Exhaust / Ignite to disable the deadliest of their champions.
Great combo for ganks, it gives you a way to position yourself for the ambush quickly and a way to keep up to any sneaky runner.
Used for "hit n' run" initiations. Jump in with Onslaught of Shadows, wait for them to use their disables on you, use Cleanse and immediately after activate your Ghost, hit some enemies and proceed to get away from the team to avoid getting destroyed.
I don't have much to say about this one. Just Exhaust the AD carry and Ignite the tank.