Hecarim Build Guide by JAYZORZ
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Hey guys and welcome to my Hecarim guide. I noticed that Hecarim isn't played that often, and I personally think that this is unjust as he is legit and actually very strong, just serially underrated.
This guide, as all my guides, are aimed towards ranked play, though that said they are of course fine to use in normal or custom games too.
The thing that makes Hecarim good is his gameplay mechanics. All of his abilities have 0 cast time, meaning NONE of his abilities interrupt movement! Being such a mobile fighter means that he excels within moving teamfights but more to the point, in ganks.
Thusly he is a great choice to jungle and solotop, but these will be explained in more detail further.
On a final note, a quote from my brother:
"When it comes to Hecarim, it isn't the speed that kills me, its the fact that his ult splits up my team and he regains so much health and deals so much damage from his AoE."
This shows you that building purely based on Warpath isn't the best strategy, and that the movespeed from trinity, quints and masteries are plenty, especially when you use Devastating Charge.
Pros / Cons
+Strong escape mechanics
+Great at ganking
+Very quick at gap closing
-Quite suseptible to slows, particularly in top
-Bad use of Onslaught of Shadows can kill you
- is my favourite summoner spell. It can help you to catch people and escape from bad situations.
- An absolute neccessity for a jungler. Don't get this if your solotop though.
- Great for returning to lane or quickly getting to bot lane, thus enabling you to gank another lane effectively. Can also be useful for backdooring/escaping. A strong choice on solotop, as long as you feel safe enough that losing Exhaust or Ignite doesn't affect your lane phase.
- Very good choice, especially given you are ganking alot, meaning you will be able to cripple your opponent's escape, especially after they flash. If you don't utilise Teleport as well as you could, this would be my suggested spell, especially when laning against AD. Definently Grab this if your team doesn't have an exhaust, it's effectiveness at denying the enemy carry can never be underestimated.
- is a very nice spell, and synergises with your Warpath. This was my default with Hecarim, but I decided I prefer flash as the speed of Hecarim makes ghost fairly needless at times anyway.
- Very strong spell in lane, or to counter significant healers (i.e. Dr. Mundo) but I like to play Hecarim as a ganker, so I don't think it is the greatest spell for him.
- Useful for baiting, but you already have a lot of escape mechanisms and in the jungle, heal is unneccessary.
- Decent, especially seeing as you can run very fast, but you can avoid all CC with a well timed Onslaught of Shadows, as you become immune to all CC effects.
Runes (Jungle and Top vs AD)
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
I take Greater Mark of Attack Damage to add some extra damage, which synergises better with his Rampage and Devastating Charge than the standard jungle runes I use; Greater Mark of Attack Speed.
Greater Seal of Armor is a standard for any jungler, the armour reduces the damage dealt by the minions and allow you a very safe jungle, particularly with Spirit of Dread.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist is the best choice for blues, it adds lategame durability, but flat MR is not required because the jungle creeps don't deal magic damage, and most AD champs also don't deal significant magic damage.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed are great, irregardless of champion, but when your a ganking jungler with CC that gains bonus damage from your movement speed, they become even better.
Runes (Top vs AP)
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
I take Greater Mark of Attack Damage again, for extra damage for Rampage and extra pushing power, and stronger ganks.
Greater Seal of Health better than Greater Seal of Armor for vsing AP as you need health more than armour, and I personally am not a fan of grabbing Greater Seal of Magic Resist.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist mitigate damage and are stronger (i.e. offer more MR/Rune) than the seal equivelant, that's why I get these instead of the seals.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed increases mobility and damage. Great choice, my standard quints for Hecarim
I always take 0/21/9 on Hecarim as I find it is the most effective.
From the defensive Tree I always grab Hardiness . It is never wasted and is very nice early, particularly for jungling. I also grab Resistance for when I lane against AP.
Veteran's Scars is a great mastery, a single point for 30 hp. As such, I take this on every one of my pages.
I grab Tough Skin , Bladed Armor and Indomitable whilst in the jungle, as this is a very nice setup to have a safe and fast jungle. When laning I grab 3 points into Vigor for the added sustain.
I grab Initiator for the added movement speed, particularly for traversing the jungle / returning to lane and ganking.
I then grab Honor Guard and Juggernaut to tank up even more.
From the Utility Tree I take Summoner's Insight to improve Flash. It also improves Teleport if I have that.
Expanded Mind is nice, and I don't like Good Hands personally.
Swiftness is very nice, and adds some extra AD.
I grab Runic Affinity if i'm in the jungle, else I grab Scout just to make sure I'm safe.
I start with Cloth Armor for a safe jungle. Boots of Speed are a good start too, but I like grabbing a safe start, especially if the opposing team has a strong jungler.
Grabbing Boots of Speed on first back and working towards an early Wriggle's Lantern is a strong start, allowing for strong ganks and fast clear times.
I upgrade boots depending on the opposing team, creating either Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi, and grab a Heart of Gold for some nice income, enabling me to gather money and thusly gank even more frequently.
I then build towards Trinity Force, grabbing Phage first for the slow effect or Sheen first for extra damage. I then decide to tank up and grab a Sunfire Cape.
From here I get a Hexdrinker and turn it into a Maw of Malmortius, and grab an Atma's Impaler and finally turn the Heart of Gold into a Randuin's Omen.
When I am feeling safe and that I can roam and gank freely, I like to grab an Oracle's Elixir to make sure I can suprise my opponents.
Items (vs AD)
Again, I start with Cloth Armor to mitigate the damage that I take. I then grab some Boots of Speed and build into an early Ninja Tabi and Heart of Gold.
I then grab a Phage to tank up, get some damage and try to stick to my opponent. I'll then grab an early Chain Vest if I am taking a bit of damage, and then continue to finish my Trinity Force.
A Sunfire Cape tanks me up and adds some decent magic damage. I'll then grab Maw of Malmortius or Atma's Impaler, depending on the enemy team. Finally, I will finish with Randuin's Omen and elixirs.
Items (vs AP)
I grab Boots of Speed at the start vsing AP, as many AP champs have skillshots. They also help to escape from ganks.
An early Null-Magic Mantle into Hexdrinker is a very nice item to get against AP, it adds a sudden shield that can bit your opponents into overextending. Another Null-Magic Mantle into Mercury's Treads will make you less susceptible to CC and ganks, and take significantly less damage in general.
Once more, a Heart of Gold is a great item for the health and the income. Laning against AP I often grab another Null-Magic Mantle, then grab a Ruby Crystal and a Cloth Armor and create an Aegis of the Legion.
I'll then build a Phage so I can stick to them, and I will grab an early Maw of Malmortius to dominate my lane even more.
I then finish my Trinity Force and build to a Randuin's Omen and Atma's Impaler.
Below is the items that I consider to be core on a lot of offtank damage bruiser assuming the enemy team has a 'normal' team comp.
Examples: Hecarim, Nasus, Skarner, Irelia, Jarvan IV
These items offer a lot of health, armour, magic resistance and damage meaning you are very well rounded. They also offer some nice passives that synergise well with each other. Some offtank damage bruisers may not benefit from Trinity Force as much, so on these champions I replace it with a Frozen Mallet.
Examples: Lee Sin, Renekton, Riven, Nocturne, Trundle
Items Explanations/Alternatives (Standard)
Aegis of the Legion: This is a very nice item. Adds a lot of all round defense and also helps out your team significantly.
Up to 2 of these stack, but only for the actual item holders, meaning that if you already have an Aegis of the Legion, it may not be the greatest choice.
Atma's Impaler: The nerf did hurt this item, but not that much. Adds some nice damage, but also adds armour and some crit chance. A good item if you are tank to further tank up and also increase your damage output.
Banshee's Veil: A very strong item. Not my favourite on Hecarim, as you will likely engage with your Onslaught of Shadows, meaning that you already aren't affected by CC.
Boots of Mobility: Increases your roaming possibility and also gives you extra damage until you are hit, which may allow you to gank much more often and stronger.
Boots of Swiftness: Less strong than Boots of Mobility, but isn't reduced after you get hit. I personally don't like these boots at all, and Warpath wouldn't give you significant extra damage, but you would miss out on the effects of Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads.
Force of Nature: A more defensive equivelant of Maw of Malmortius. Passive is great for long fights or sustaining in lane, also the movement speed % boost is very nice and adds to your damage.
Frozen Heart: A strong item on any tanky character. Also helps your team significantly, a good item, consider if your team is not already building one.
Frozen Mallet: Would make you essentially inescapable, they only problem with it is it is unneccessary if you have a Trinity Force, which is quite core to Hecarim.
Guardian Angel: A good choice. You have plenty of escape mechanisms which means you may be able to live, which can save your team the game in some cases, but I prefer build this on squishy carries so that they can't be rushed, not the tank. It may make the opponent team not focus you while you want them to focus on you.
Infinity Edge: Just a strong item in general. Adds damage and crit chance. With Atma's Impaler and Trinity Force, you have a fair bit of crit chance, and the passive then kicks in. Very aggressive build though, I personally play him as a tank, but if you already have a tank, this could be integrated into your build.
Last Whisper: Armour penetration is really nice and enables you to deal significant damage, but again is very aggressive in your build. Will make you significantly less tanky.
Maw of Malmortius: The shield is great, the damage and passive is very strong. A great item and creates a balanced build
Phantom Dancer: Adds movespeed, critical chance and attack speed. This also increases damage thanks to Warpath. Makes you stronger in a 1 on 1, but also lowers your tankiness.
Randuin's Omen: Tanks you up, and when you jump into the enemy team you can activate it, giving your team a significant advantage.
Spirit Visage: Increases the effectiveness of Spirit of Dread among lifesteal. Again, as with Abyssal Sceptre I would only get this in lane vsing an AP champion.
Sunfire Cape: The health is great, the armour is significant and the passive deals magic damage to everyone as Hecarim jumps into the middle of teams and utilises AoE to deal massive damage to everyone. This item synergises nicely with his playstyle.
The Black Cleaver: Shreds armour which is nice, but again, very aggressive. Also isn't good vsing high armoured foes.
The Bloodthirster: Adds significant lifesteal and damage. Makes you a lot stronger, but faces the same drawbacks as all offensive items, you are engaging and may die before you can even utilise the damage if you are not sufficiently tank.
Thornmail: Only get this if the opposing team has 3+ AD. Only adds armour and the passive, but that said can be a game turner if the opponents are stacked with AD.
Tiamat: Ties in greatly with the AoE damage Hecarim deals, but once again, may leave you squishy.
Trinity Force: The ONE ITEM TO RULE THEM ALL atleast, in the case of Hecarim. Gives him much desired movement speed, damage, a slowing effect and the upgraded sheen effect ofcourse, which Hecarim is able to spam. Also adds some nice health, attack speed, AP, mana and crit chance.
Warmog's Armor: Strong health wise, but I think the other items synergise better, giving stronger damage. Atleast, post Atma's Impaler nerf.
Wit's End: A strong item, I would consider grabbing this laning against an AP champion once again.
Wriggle's Lantern: Great, especially if you are in the jungle. Makes dragon/baron significantly faster and just increases your clear time in general.
Items Explanations/Alternatives (AP)
Abyssal Scepter: A fair choice. Does make you tanky, also increases damage on Spirit of Dread and Onslaught of Shadows quite nicely.
Guinsoo's Rageblade: I have seen this a bit, makes your attacks and abilities stronger, also allows you to attack more and proc your other items more. I personally don't like it on him, but it could be useful to list here.
Hextech Gunblade: Another item a lot of people get on him. It has a nice amount of sustain, as well as AP and AD. Also a strong active ability that can slow a target, allowing you to kill them.
Lich Bane: A must if you are AP Hecarim. Similar to Trinity Force, but doesn't really tank you up much, but that said the passive is nice and can regularly be proced and the % movespeed is also nice.
Sorcerer's Shoes: Standard caster boots, synergise very well with Abyssal Scepter too. The boots I recommend for AP Hecarim.
Rod of Ages: Tanks you up and adds a fair amount of AP, acquire this early if you are building AP.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Adds a lot of slows to your spells, good to build on AP as you won't have the slow % from Trinity Force and can make up for this.
Spirit Visage: I have listed this again and in the AP section even though it isn't an AP item to show that if you build AP your Spirit of Dread will deal a lot more damage and you will heal even more with this item.
So why not build just MS?
Warpath turns any movespeed into damage, this does make an extremely strong, fast and potent ganker. This been said though, it leaves you quite open to dieing and means that you are not as useful in team fights.
If you are going for significant damage on Hecarim, I would suggest AP. His Onslaught of Shadows has a 1.2x AP scaling, as well as near 500 aoe magic damage already. This does offer a lot of AoE burst damage and then if you die, even when Spirit of Dread is healing you, you have still done significant damage.
With this build you have 410 MS if your to believe the stats up the top. Using Youmuu's Ghostblade, IMPROVED Ghost and Shurelya's Reverie in sequence.
This means your movement speed becomes
= 492 +(35%)+(40%)
= 664.2 +(40%)
= 930 MS (That's very fast)
But heres the thing, Warpath only adds 25% of BONUS movement speed.
Extra damage = (930-320)/4
= 152 extra damage... for 3 seconds, and these items cost... wait for it...
Though the items are strong, they cost more than a Trinity Force and don't give most of the effects, and as such I think that they are a far inferior choice.
Hecarim excels in two roles within my mind:
Jungle: (See team 1 build) Hecarim is implored to build movement speed from his passive.
The ratio is decent, but not great, which is why my build has shifted from Shurelya's Reverie and Youmuu's Ghostblade to a fast offtank.
Due to his mechanics aforementioned and his speed, he is a very strong ganker. He can clear camps very fast whilst staying healthy thanks to Spirit of Dread and Rampage. Coupled with Smite, you can grab wolves > blue > wraiths > golems > red > wraiths and hit level 4, within less than 4 minutes, as viewable below (despite the dodgy screenshot).
Gankingwise, with red buff and your speed + Devastating Charge for the knockback, you excel. You can also roam between all lanes very quickly, enabling multiple gank opportunities very quickly.
This said, it gets even stronger post-6. You add a very strong gap-closer, and a fear. The best part is the combination of Onslaught of Shadows and Devastating Charge, to catch up to an unsuspecting target and knock them towards your team.
Solotop: (See team 2 builds) Solotop is possibly a less intuitive role for Hecarim, as his ganks are strong and his AoE clear time is amazing, but he is also very strong on top lane. Rampage can harass your lane opponent while pushing your lane.
This is not normally a good strategy to do on top as it leaves you susceptible to ganks, but with Hecarim, you can use your immense movespeed from Devastating Charge and also use Teleport to gank other lanes while your lane opponent is just farming. If you can snowball other lanes, and gank with your jungler, it will be very nice for your team. But always be careful and don't overstay on another lane if the person on top decides to push.
An early point or two of Spirit of Dread can help you sustain in your lane very well, and enable you to stay in lane, force your opponent back, push your lane up while sustaining and then allows you to gank.
You also synergise quite nicely with a junglers gank, particularly after you hit level 6, but on your own you mightn't be able to faceroll your lane.
This section is still in process, but I will start it now.
When you gank and are charging in with Devastating Charge, use the bonus damage from Warpath and hit your opponent with a Rampage, as it adds some extra damage due to your higher AD.
If you are jungle, you should have Smite.
Hecarim is very good at securing global objectives, especially with Sight Wards (such as the one from Wriggle's Lantern).
You can Onslaught of Shadows into baron/dragon pit, Smite steal it while they are feared, and use Flash and Devastating Charge to flee to safety after acquiring the objective. Can be a great way to turn around the game.
Hecarim is great, even in ranked games. He can tank very well and is quite strong in 1v1s too. AoE fear and damage is very nice and makes him a welcome addition to any team.
Below is a picture of my ranked stats with Hecarim.
Hecarim can't solely carry a game, but he isn't far off it. He can become so tank and deal enough damage that your team can easily add a bit of damage and allow you to win. The screenshot below is from a while ago, when my ELO had fallen significantly (it has since came back to bronze banner, now is slightly under it).
I am only including it to show you the power of Hecarim. My stats from the game that aren't visible include almost 500K damage dealt and 60K damage taken.
I would strongly suggest Hecarim, and if you haven't played him much, test out some builds in normal and get to learn his mechanics. Once you master the timing of abilities, he becomes a moving train of death.
So, if you haven't tried him and have always dismissed him as "underpowered", I would emplore you to try him yourself.
Thats about it from me, have fun and good luck guys.