This is a guide in progress I realize it is currently a text wall, so there will not be alot of description, I wanted to get this up fast since alot of people are having a very hard time deciding how they should be trying to build this champion.
Hecarim is a high mobility support jungler, he is not designed to really solo kill anyone he shines as an aggressive early game jungle but falls off hard after lvl 9 or so. Since he is such a good ganker and you have naturaly high run speed you will spend alot of time roaming, this further hinders your gold and exp gain especially in upper level play where you wont be getting kills as easily and enemies will not expose them selves as often. To soften this problem an early philo stone is highly advisable.
He is a great back door lane pusher and has the mobility to escape ganks and the damage to take towers.
Late game he is a support and picker, and when forced he can initiate.
I take standard AD carry runes with the exception of changing out 2 quits for MS quints as this gives you more than 4.5dmg once you get boot1, everything else is standard.
For masteries I use 9-21-0. Hecarim requires tenacity and has a weak early jungle, to help with this we take a page from maokai and use 21 in defense focusing on anti-minion masteris to allow you to complete your first run with out going cloth+5. This also makes him an even better back door and pusher as they carry into late game.
We get the bonus 10% tenacity as this is vital for late game team fights. Round it out with damage reduction, alittle extra movement speed for initial hit damage, and some cool downs to help your ult.
The 9 in offense is standard for AD based support/tanks
For summoner spells I take the very obvious choice of smite...cause your a jungler.
For my second spell I use the much less obvious cleanse, this is a skill I think alot of people are missing out on, it is VITAL to hecarims ability to effectively team fight, I can not stress how big of a difference this skill makes for horse boy. It allows you to get up into the enemy team and not jsut implode, when combined with 45% tenacity you can literally absorb and entire teams cc base and hardly even notice it. It also combines naturally with your defense tree and the additional +10g from smite. This is the skill people are missing when they think aobut hecarim.
You could choose flash or ghost, and sure early game they may seem better, but it is a trap.
You have a natural ghost ability, and we can get a second speed buff dmg steriod from a shuri.
Flash seems nice as you can use your speed boost knock back and then flash past someone to knock them back but....come on....really?!?! You should simply practice your ganks and time things better tbh.
The items I build allow you to sustain without the need for life steal add tankiness and still increase your overall dps without directly adding AD. Philo stone will allow you to give away your second blue to your AP carry while keeping you spamming your skills and your health up in between camps, it only gets better once you turn it into a shuri, as not only does the regen increase, it acts as a damage steroid.
An early phage is very helpful as it gives you some much needed hp and a bit of damage it also helps with ganking and builds into the most important item hecarim can have, a tri-force.
Once your around lvl 6-9 you want to be finishing your merc treds, this will allow you to gank now that everyone has some skills and thier slows up to shut you down.
Our next pick-up is a sheen, if you can get this before level 11 you should be wrecking people early, just remember to slow it down on your Q so you dont miss out on sheen procs.
Finish your tri-force asap. It is everything you need and more.
At this point you need to ***es your game....if the enemy is ad heavy, has a fed top lane etc...go for your chain vest, if they are AP heavy build a negatron.
Once you have your key armor or magic resist item, finish your shuri as you should be out of the jungle at this point and into team fight mode.
The build at this point becomes pretty flexiable.
You can swap thornmail for GA if they enemy has weak AD or you are the only tank/initiator on youur team. This item combines very well with Maw and allows you to initiate with your ult drop your burst then die and come back to do some more disruption.
If the enemy has little AP you can swap out Maw for a blood thirster.
I highly recomend keeping FoN, it is a great item, there will always be some AP damage and it provides alot of regen and also adds to you overall bonus AD.
How To Hecarim
Hecarim suffers from a serious issue, his main source of bonus damage, his passive is constantly shut down.
Nearly EVERY team you come across has some form of AoE slow. While this may not matter early game in team fights he basicly implodes. Hecarim also suffers from a horrible first clear jungle, thus he DOES require a hard leash. After your first run thorugh, you will hardly take damage from creeps.
Secondly I'll just say this right now, and I know some people will consider it a donwside, but I simply do not gank until level 4, you really need at least 2 ranks in Q to make his damage worth while, if mid is just beggin for a level 2 gank then so be it but baring that rare ocasion just wait, you want your philo + boots b4 you start roaming for ganks.
lay down your phantom dancers and reconize!!!
anyway I will clean this up more this weekend g/l