Hecarim Build Guide by decadeoftherion
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A WIP guide on Hecarim. He's a good ganker, average jungler (in regard to him actually clearing camps), and he can basically be built however you want to build him. He's very versatile as far as build orders go, and it's difficult to go wrong when it comes to buying items in a game.
Hecarim is without a doubt a Trinity Force type of champion so I generally try to rush the item despite its hefty price tag. You can however wait until later in the game to get it as well - as mentioned, he's a highly versatile champion.
Build 1: Metagolem
Begin with Cloth Armor and 5 pots for jungling if you don't think you'll get a leash. Hecarim's survivability in the jungle at level one is very low and he doesn't have any sort of damage steroid so that he can take advantage of lifesteal very well, so in most cases cloth+5 is the best method to use.
Buy Boots of Speed (if you have extra gold your first trip back, get some wards), finish Wriggle's Lantern, then get Boots of Swiftness. On any other champion these boots aren't really going to be worth the money, but Hecarim actually does quite well with them early-mid game. Boots of Mobility may be an option, but since Hecarim is a melee fighter (not an assassin) you'll want the constant Enhanced Movement 3 (instead of occasionally 5) to keep up with your targets.
Finishing Trinity Force should be your first priority, starting with Sheen as it helps your damage output more than Zeal or Phage.
After triforce I like to get Atma's Impaler and Warmog's Armor in whatever order seems best in that particular game (usually Warmogs first).
Force of Nature is perfection at this point, since you need MR; its synergy with your passive and Warmog's is great too.
In almost every game you will sell Boots of Swiftness for Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads depending on the situation.
The very last thing you can do is replace Wriggle's Lantern with The Bloodthirster. You can get a Frozen Mallet instead, but I personally prefer having the damage and lifesteal from BT in most situations. The cooldown on your W is so high you can't always rely on it to keep you alive in sticky situations.
If you want to go straight metagolem, get a leash on blue when you jungle and rush Merc Treads + Triforce. Then Atma's Impaler + Warmogs + Frozen Mallet, using the last slot for Force of Nature. Remember, build to the situation above all else. Buy what you need when you need it.
Build 2: Tanky AOE
Abyssal Scepter + Sunfire Cape go well together, especially with Hecarim's W/R. This build is mostly centered around using Hecarim's W in teamfights, which isn't going to work as well as you'd like at times. If you feel like you're going to die quickly, get Guardian Angel or Zhonya's Hourglass to help keep your DPS available.
Buy Randuin's Omen instead of Aegis of the Legion if the situation calls for it, since they both affect teamfights positively for your team.
Build 3: Glass Cannon
Not recommended, since one good stun will kill you. Here you're most reliant on your W to keep you alive, and the AD ratio on Q/E to do tons of damage. This build is better on Master Yi or Tryndamere, but it's somewhat workable in non-ranked games for Hecarim as well. You should never ever have a glass cannon melee champion since they're required to stand right next to their targets which usually ends up in their death instead of their target's. Be wary of people with Frozen Heart and/or Thornmail.
Initially you begin with a Dunkmaster build: Wriggles + Boots, then Zeal x2. Rush Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancers, with The Bloodthirster to help you survive longer battles.
Since you're at your full build after that, if you have more gold then sell your boots for a third Phantom Dancer and your Wriggles for a second Bloodthirster (or a Trinity Force if you're super fed). Frozen Mallet is an option so no one ever escapes you, but triforce is just way better on Hecarim.
Skill Order and Jungling
Your priority for leveling your skills is like this:
R > Q > W > E
You will only ever need one point in E since it's only for utility; only level it when you can't level anything else. Q will be your main source of damage at all points in the game, and is great for Sheen/ Trinity Force procs.
Q-W-Q-E is almost always how you will level your abilities before you gank. If you want to hit someone early, get E third instead of another point in Q, and then gank. You must have your E before you gank, no matter what. Q and W help your damage output considerably, so it's good to have at least one point in each of those too.
Start at wolves, and go to blue buff as it spawns (1:55). Kill blue (if you can get a leash, good, but you don't absolutely need it unless you started with something other than Cloth Armor). Finish off the wolf camp, move to wraiths, and red buff is next. Your smite should be back up before or during your Lizard fight. Kill small golems, return to wraiths as they respawn, and you should be level 4. If not, for some reason, then go back to wolves and keep jungling.
Begin ganking now, or recall to buy Boots of Speed then gank. If you go back (probably a good idea) then you can also buy some sight wards to help out your lanes. People appreciate it, and it's great to have extra map awareness.
Why I jungle this way:
Cloth Armor and 5 health pots is the least efficient method of jungling, but it's the safest especially in solo queue when you can't always rely on a leash. It also builds into Wriggle's Lantern, which is without a doubt my favorite early game item (armor, damage, lifesteal, free wards, and a passive that lets you clear the jungle faster).
I've tried other starting items as well:
- Boots of Speed with 3 pots (not tanky enough, you may die without a leash)
- Regrowth Pendant and 1 pot (I prefer Wriggles to philosopher's stone on most junglers)
- Vampiric Scepter (Hecarim doesn't do enough damage to really benefit from only 10% lifesteal; you need to have masteries/runes for lifesteal-based routes)
I've tried other jungle routes as well, but they're not as efficient. Hecarim NEEDS an early blue for his first run through the jungle, and if you have to go back before level 4 then you're going to fall behind everyone else.
You can't jungle without Smite. If you decide to solo top you can pick something else ( Exhaust, Ignite, Cleanse), but Hecarim is best in the jungle for the most part.
Wherever you go as Hecarim, and whatever you do, you NEED Ghost! With this champion it's a must-have, and if you can - get the mastery to improve the movement buff to 35%. Hecarim requires excellent positioning and a good understanding of his skills, so ghost helps with this in addition to increasing his damage output. It's also an excellent escape - just activate ghost, hit E, and you're suddenly nigh-uncatchable unless some really heavy CC was just laid down on you or there's a fed Master Yi after you who activated his ult and Ghost.
My masteries vary a bit as Hecarim depending on what I aim to do (see above).
Since he should be a tanky champion I like 9/21/0 or 0/21/9, but I've been experimenting with 9/12/9 after viewing the Hecarim Champion Spotlight. As with all new champions, it's good to keep an open mind in regard to build orders, runes, masteries, and so on. No one will ever really know what his optimal build is for quite some time.
I use typical jungle runes with health regen quints because I like them. You can use whatever you want, including movement speed quints.
ArPen reds, flat armor yellows, MR/level or flat MR blues.
greater mark of desolation + Greater Seal of Armor + Greater Seal of Scaling Magic Resist
This was a PBE game, so the score doesn't really matter, but it was a good example of how to play Hecarim well.
THINGS TO DO
1. Add the rest of the information I want to add.
2. Make guide more visually appealing as opposed to just blocks of text.
3. Test more starting/early items and jungle routes.
4. Test more mid/late game items ( Maw of Malmortius, Youmuu's Ghostblade, Guardian Angel, Frozen Heart, Hextech Gunblade, etc.)
5. Try different rune pages.
6. Anything else I forgot to list....