Hecarim Build Guide by BentheBastard
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.
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 everyone! This is a guide to Hecarim - the ghost-like horse champion. It's my first guide but I've used this build and mastery tree, runes etc. in all my jungling experiences and 9/10 times it works. Some may like more tankier builds than this, but personally I'm an offensive kinda guy :D
Note: Do not religiously follow this guide, it is only a guide and may not suit your play style.
Pros and cons!
The Pros and Cons
+ Very good Jungler - Can spam his Rampage every second, clearing mobs very fast.
+ High mobility
+ Decent sustainability - His Spirit of Dread regains health based on the damage he deals, and spamming Rampage every second on all mobs surrounding him makes his sustain nice.
+ Good CC - Fear with his Onslaught of Shadows and knockback with Devastating Charge makes him an amazing ganker.
+ Quite low damage early game
+ Fairly hard to master
+ Bulky frame on your screen
Warpath - Hecarim ignores unit collision and gains bonus attack damage based on his bonus movement speed.
This is an insane passive and the reason why i have put the movement speed into the masteries and chosen the build i have. You can get a large amount of AD from this, and can always evade people by carving your way through minions, where they have to run around like slugs.
Rampage - Hecarim cleaves a nearby enemies, dealing damage. If Hecarim damages at least one enemy, it reduces the cooldown by 1 second, stacking twice.
Get this first every single time, it is the damage disher and will aid your ganking in a massive way. Plus it is the best way to clear jungle as it hits all the mobs around you, allowing you to kill them all fast. The passive of this move is crazy as you can spam at once every second.
Spirit of Dread - Hecarim deals magic damage to all nearby enemies, and gets healed for a percentage of the damage dealt to the enemies inside the circle.
I usually get this second to help along with the sustainability of your jungle, which means you can gank earlier, on higher hp, without using as many potions. It does help ganking at a low level because you'll usually have more health regen than they will due to this, plus the help of the lane will usually ensure a kill.
Devastating Charge - Hecarim gains 75% movement speed for 3 seconds, and his next attack knocks the target back, dealing damage based on how far he has traveled since the ability was activated.
I get this third purely because of the knockback effect, which usually stops an escape, or prompts a Flash which will help you gank next time around.
Also, it would be an idea to use Ghost to help you travel further whilst the ability is activated, so that you deal more damage on the hit. Try to get behind or to the side of your target for this.
Onslaught of Shadows - Hecarim summons spectral riders and charges forward, dealing magic damage in a line. He then creates a shockwave when he lands, dealing additional magic damage and causing all targets hit to flee in terror for a second.
AN INSANE ULTIMATE! This gives you a way of traveling distance super fast, and also another CC. This is ideal to either evade pursuers, or to jump into your target with Devastating Charge activated, the knock the target back further towards your cause. In a teamfight it would be ideal to use this when you can get as many of them feared as possible, to give your team the much needed second to destroy a carry!
I'd say stick with this sequence whatever build you go, because having all 3 of your abilities up early has always worked for me, and can help you get the edge on other champions.
The masteries i have shown are fairly defensive masteries to survive the jungle early game, but they also become very good late game because of the movement speed talents i have put in there, and as hecarims passive give you attack damage based on movement speed, i have found it is a very viable build.
The build really speaks for itself, junglers aren't much different in masteries, some can go more in the damage tree because jungling is easier with them (for instance warwick has a passive lifesteal and can usually clear jungle with cloth armor and health pots, without masteries) but in the long run the reduced damage and the movement speed of this build suits hecarim more than it would to go into the damage tree.
Again this is just a guide, and you may disagree, but this works for me.
Swiftness - This is a perfect mastery for Hecarim, because it links in with his passive massively. Whatever your play style i would recommend this, as it will help ganks as well as give the extra attack damage.
Initiator - Again i would advise to get this, as it links directly to your passive and will help for early game ganks on players, and also to catch players late game who try to outrun you.
Hardiness A must for any jungler, it will reduce the damage massively coming in from minions, as well as countering any AD carrys in late game or ganking phase.
Bladed Armor This helps jungling but is not a must, but i've found that with this it is much much easier to clear early game, giving you more time to gank; or if it comes to it, to counter jungle.
I'd always say to start at Wolves, then straight to Blue - with the aid of the mid player. Get him/her to damage wolves for you, BUT NOT KILL THEM, then progress on to blue, with a pull/leash from mid. Smite blue.
With the aid of blue you should hit level 2, learning your next ability and progressing onto Wraiths. Put on a health potion on whilst running from Blue to Wraiths to regain lost HP. Kill Wraiths, then click another health potion.
Depending on your HP, you can kill red, but i wouldn't advise this if you're new to Hecarim because you won't have your Smite spell up by this time, but i have done it with around 3 bars of HP to spare.
But, if you are new to Hecarim or even to the concept of jungling... run to golems, and kill them both. This will leave you on quite low HP but will level you to level 3, where you can learn your last ability.
From there put on two health potions, and wait until your first has been fulling used before pulling red, activating Devastating Charge as you are running. Smite red. This will again leave you on low HP - this is your most vulnerable stage for them to counter you so be aware.
After you use Smite on Red, activate your last health pot, and check which lanes need your help the most, or which are the most pushed. You'll be on around half HP after your last health potion, so it will leave you with enough room for one gank if you choose wisely.
After the gank (hopefully successful) - go back to buy.
Repeat this process, killing whatever pack spawns, along with heavy counter jungling when not many of your packs are up.
Here is a video i made to help you, it's against bots and purely made to help you learn the basics of Hecarim and ganking with him.
Cloth Armor - This is a standard for most junglers, although some do take Vampiric Scepter, or sometimes boots depending on how good you are at jungling. For the easy option i'd recommend this, then progress as your skill increases. Buy the pots with the remainder of your cash.
Boots of Speed - This is essential for early game ganking, and coupled with your Devastating Charge will enable you to catch almost anyone.
Madred's Razors - Build out your cloth armor into this, it will help you to kill the monsters a lot lot faster, and leaves a lot more time for ganking or a bit of cheeky counter jungling.
Wriggle's Lantern - Gives you the much needed lifesteal for a jungler, and gives you a ward which is usually used to ward dragon or one of their buffs.
Mercury's Treads - The cheapest type of tenacity you can buy. I'd say get these boots every game, just for this, but the added bonus of magic resist is always handy in a game. If the opposing team has no CC at all and barely any AP characters (a sucky blind game setup), then it might be an idea to switch boots.
Heart of Gold - This is mainly just a stepping stone to your Randuin's Omen, but the early game health and the gold per 5 helps your build along the way, along with a more tanky approach to ganking.
Hexdrinker - This gives you a bit more attack damage to help along your way, and also more of the much needed magic resist, which can keep you alive early game with a shield that takes 250hp before fading (most players only hit around this per ability, so it counters the finishing move that would've kiled you).
Trinity Force - Not one of the cheapest items going, but an essential for Hecarim. Build out the items components first ( Sheen Zeal Phage) to help you get the damage whilst waiting to build it. The attack and movement speed are the essential parts of this item again, but the other stats are a big contributor.
Phantom Dancer - This gives you a bit of crit chances which never goes amiss, but again, the attack and movement speed are the essential for Hecarim. The attack speed also helps as it basically means you are always attacking, either with Rampage or auto attacks.
Maw of Malmortius - Basically just an upgrade to Hexdrinker... Gives you a larger shield to help late game, more magic resist, and more AD. But the best thing about it is the new passive; aside from just the magic shield, it gives you AD on how much health you're missing, and so lets you completely abuse your Spirit of Dread to heal you back up again.
Force of Nature - This once again gives more magic resist, which is sorely needed late game to counter the massive hits that an AP carry will be firing your way... but aside from that it gives you more movement speed, which is vital to Hecarim's passive and will make him do more damage. It also gives you a cheeky bit of health regen, which will add to the regen of your Spirit of Dread.
Randuin's Omen - Build out your Heart of Gold into this, as you've got as much gold per 5 as you're going to get. But this item gives you the armor that you need, along with a bit of health and mana to aid along the way. The passive hinders people attacking you, giving you a chance to lower their movement and attack speed by 35%, which helps if you're being focused. It also has an active which does this to all enemy champions around you, so make sure to pop this in a teamfight to help you win.
It's always good to have a tanky build, because depending on your setup you may need to be the initiator of the team, and to do that you'll need to not die!
I have swapped a lot of the items around on the tank build, but the starting phase is generally the same.
Where it begins to change is when you'd usually build out a Trinity Force you'd change and build a Heart of Gold instead. This will give you a bit of early game health, and aid in your build with the gold per second passive. Keep this until the very end of your build.
Next build out a Phage for a bit of attack damage, but again more hp. Build out the Frozen Mallet from this, getting much more hp, and the great passive of slowing down, which with Hecarim is an advantage because of the speed runes you will have.
This now is the decider. If their team seems to be dominating yours quite a bit, it's handy to go for the Warmog's Armor first. But if you're owning their team, it's handy to have a bit more early game damage and crit rating with your Atma's Impaler - This all depends on the direction the game is going, so always take heed.
Whichever way the game is going, after you have finished building those two items, Force of Nature should be next. This will give you even more movement speed, adding to the passive bonus AD. Also it will give you massive health regen, as you have high hp. The magic resist wouldn't go amiss either, as those AP carrys floor anything that moves!
Randuin's Omen is next. This is built out last purely so you can get as much gold out of your Heart of Gold as possible. This will be the tip on the icing for you, as the movement/attack speed in it's active is a team fight winner.
Last but not least, get Elixers! All of them count towards your damage apart from Oracles, but that never goes amiss due to the ward killing you can do!
This is the most skeptical part of the guide, as you can also change this every single game depending on your play style. I would still recommend Ghost and Smite rather than any other combo due to the fact that Hecarim's ultimate could serve as a Flash.
The only other alternatives i could give to you would be to mix Smite (which is a must no matter what combination you choose, for early game jungling and late game Drake/ Baron's you do) with either Exhaust or Ignite...
Although usually people on your team with already be packed with those spells, which is why i recommend the Ghost and Smite combo, to enable your Devastating Charge to deal the most damage for great early game ganks, and also to evade pursuers by ghosting through minions where they cannot.
Hecarim is a great team player early and late game, because his Devastating Charge can easily secure a kill, or a sly knock into your own turrets if you're fast enough. But the best way i have found to work in a team with Hecarim would be to Onslaught of Shadows when as many of the opposing team is there, not to secure a kill or to steal another persons kill, but to disorientate the enemy with the 1 second fear. This could be a team winner, especially coupled up with another AoE ultimate such as Kennen.
I would say to give the Blue buff to your mid player as soon as you can, but more than likely you will need it for the first couple of times it is up, so try to counter jungle their blue as much as possible to enable your mid player to have blue, as well as yourself.
General Jungle Tips
Many people think jungling is simple: Clear your jungle, gank, go back to your jungle. But it is far far from this.
As well as clearing your jungle and ganking, you must also counter jungle at any possible opportunity - For instance if the opposing team's jungler is in a lane ganking or supporting, you go to steal his jungle on the opposite side, as you know he can't get there fast enough.
One problem with this: He could go into your jungle whilst you're in his. So a solution, which is usually only viable around level 6, but if you can do it as early as possible : WARDS.
Wards are an essential to jungling. Always have the entrances to your jungle warded in case the other jungler tries to enter, and also ward up their entire jungle if you can (usually around 3 wards per side), so you can counter jungle them when you know where they are, maybe even securing a kill - if not a buff or a bit of extra money which he can't have.
Throwing the enemy jungler off course by counter jungling or ganking him will inevitably lead to them falling behind in levels, and not being able to gank your lanes efficiently.
The red spots on this map are wards that i'd definitely recommend warding, as they cover the main buffs, entrances to your jungle, and the main monsters (Drake/Baron).
The green spots are ones that are optional, but will massively help you set up ganks as a team, making it a much easier win.
WARDS WIN GAMES!
Note: Take care when counter jungling, lanes are always close and their team can react to save their jungler or a buff, leading in you dying a pointless death and feeding their team.
All in all, Hecarim seems like an amazing jungling character, maybe one of the best. I'd recommend trying this against bots once or twice until you get used to his play style, then to go use him!
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