Warwick General Guide by TboydSteam
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
We recommend you take a look at this author's other builds.
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.
Warwick was an extremely common top laner towards the beginning of season 2, and ever since a single nerf to his Q he's been considered unviable. While it's true that he's weak overall as he lacks the mobility to consistently do well as a melee, situationally he can be a very strong laner and scales extremely well individually into late game despite having only single target damage. He's still one of the best duelists in the game and at almost any point in the game not much can stand up to his Q-R-Q combo, as it both does a great deal of damage and heals warwick by a large amount. While Warwick in reality is quite easy to outmaneuver and beat down, there are a few matchups he can thrive against (AD bruisers). Also many people won't take top lane warwicks seriously and be careless, allowing you to snowball off of a single mistake, which warwick does better than almost anyone.
You can also take top lane warwick mid to absolutely crush melee assassins such as kassadin and fizz. They can do absolutely nothing to warwick so long as warwick just hits back.
Also I'm Diamond IV, it's verified my summoner name as Steamcario but it won't show me as high elo for some reason. oh well.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Precision
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Armor Seals are a must into pretty much anything. Take Flat MR blues against AP tops, otherwise take scaling. Marks and Quints are much less standard on Warwick. I personally go with hybrid pen reds and AD Quints, But AD Marks along with MS/Health/AD/Pen Quints, or MPen reds and quints are also viable choices. Really just go with what suits your lane phase. Penetration helps you more against champions than flat AD. Flat AD aids you in CS and pen does not. Keep that in mind when making your choices.
Warwick doesn't scale well with any offensive stats but has massive in fight sustain so the tankier he gets the better his sustain gets. don't bother with HP5 masteries, focus on being a brick. the 9 points in offense tree can be shuffled however it suits you. I put them there for the CDR and extra AD to help me CS (warwick is kinda bad at farming).
Best summoner spell in the game. pretty much required to not auto die when the jungler shows up. opens up your mobility a great deal. If you're not taking this spell you need a very good reason not to.
Standard on top laners, lets your level 6 all in kill people. Helps you kill lifestealing carries later on. Very solid and very consistent, you can't go wrong taking this.
This is your E on a long cooldown, you don't need this and the soft MS cap will give this a diminished effect when your E is activated. core choices like frozen mallet and BoRK help you stick to enemies over long engages, the little boost ghost adds will never be better than the simple threat of a flash warwick ult.
Warwick Teleport ganks post 6 are horrifying. you can simply teleport into lane and ult whatever for a free kill if an ally follows up. this also enables him to splitpush, and though his natural waveclear is atrocious, he can duel almost anyone. Not as consistent as an ignite, but taking teleport allows you to carry your team more if you really know what you're doing.
decent, but many champions can work around the debuff, especially AD carries. I personally think Ignite is better because death is the strongest crowd control there is. Can be useful against certain lane matchups that heavily rely on attack speed. However many of these matchups also are countered heavily by ignite (tryndamere/Aatrox), keeping ignite as the stronger option.
The rest of the summoner spells I don't feel need much explanation, but if you want me to explain them, mention it in the comments section and I'll add it here.
Very efficient start on Warwick and my personal favorite. because of his Q sustains him so well, Flask + 3 pots makes him immovable and keeps him that way for most of the lane.
Not as efficient on Warwick but stronger overall especially against ranged auto attackers. You can also pick one of these up after the first B if you started flask if you really need the extra boost.
Boots are important, buy them when convenient. Just be sure to have tier twos by the time lane phase ends. if they're AP heavy/ CC heavy, take mercs, otherwise take ninja tabi.
Warwick's high sustain makes him tend to prefer higher resists compared to health and high CDR. Frozen heart is this entirely, as an added bonus he gets tons of mana to keep him from running out of mana so much. Great item on doge. such cooldowns, much armor, wow.
Although it's been nerfed it still has very good synergy on Warwick. Ulting will apply the on hit effect 5 times and fully debuff their MR/buff yours. making your Q and the rest of the magic damage in your kit do that much more. take this when you're against AP and winning
A more conservative choice for MR compared to wit's end. the HP5 cowl gives isn't the best synergy on warwick but the massive CDR from spirit visage as well as the total healing boost is extremely good. take this when you're against AP and losing
This is probably the only damage item in the game warwick has good synergy with, and since you can't afford to go full tank, you should probably pick this up at some point. The Passive adds a lot of damage to your ult/ AAs and the active helps you stick to people. Try to work on building this whenever you're tanky enough to be surviving fights. if you're doing really poorly just keep building tanky. It'll take a little experience to know when to go for damage, and it's knowledge that can't really be taught, so experiment and see what works.
Warwick benefits from resists more than health, but it's still good to get some health, and frozen mallet is the item with the best synergy on Warwick as far as health goes. With mallet you can stick to almost anything, solving warwick's poor mobility problem provided he can catch his prey (ult).
Build this when you have no idea what to build because you don't really need anything. Or when you're doing really well and they want to focus you.
This actually procs 5 times on Warwick ult, but since warwick doesn't build lots of AD, it's not quite worth the cost unless your goal is to split push. if you do intend to splitpush however, this is an absolute must as warwick's waveclear is absolutely awful without it.
A great secondary armor item for an AD heavy team. This offers more survivability than frozen heart but doesn't offer the synergy frozen heart has. Build this if you're having trouble surviving very long against an AD team.
Build this after frozen heart and randuin's against an all AD comp to be almost invicible. otherwise thornmail isn't very worth it.
Gives good stats, but not really what warwick is looking for. There are dozens of champs who would do a sunfire cape rush better and sunfire is not great on warwick later on in the game.
If you'd like thoughts on any item not listed here, feel free to post it in the comments section and I'll add it in.
Skillset in Depth
Passive - Eternal ThirstEach of Warwick's autoattacks deal 3 / 3.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 5 / 5.5 / 6 / 6.5 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 additional magic damage and heal him for the same amount. Each successive attack against the same target will stack this amount of healing and damage up to a maximum of 3 stacks. The stacks remain for 4 seconds.
magic damage that stacks with each auto attack and heals you for the same amount. It may not seem like much but remember the damage and heal stacks up to 3 times. this rewards warwick for sustained battles against one target and can be used in lane to aid with sustaining. Late in the game this essentially becomes a built in wit's end that heals you for the same amount. This is an extremely good passive, never underestimate it as it's where a lot of warwick's dueling ability comes from.
Q - Hungering StrikeStrikes an enemy for the higher value between 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+1.0 per ability power) magic damage and 8 / 10 / 12 / 14 / 16% (+1.0 per ability power) of the target's maximum health, and heals Warwick for 80% of the damage dealt. Minions and monsters can only be dealt the flat magic damage.
Your bread and butter spell. This is your sustain, your damage, your everything in lane really. this has quite a hefty mana cost associated with it however and warwick has a small mana pool, so it's important to not get careless with this. but just this spell alone lets you win trades with most lane opponents. And Late game this spell just continues to get better, scaling off of enemy max health.
W - Hunter's CallWarwick lets out a howl that inspires all nearby allied champions, increasing Warwick's attack speed by 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80% and all affected friendly champions' attack speed by half of the amount for 10 seconds.
Your attack speed steroid. It might not seem like much but it's decent for early DPS and buffs your entire team in teamfights all at a very low mana cost. with close to max CDR this spell has 100% uptime, and even without max CDR it will pretty much be available whenever you need it.
E - Blood ScentWarwick senses enemy champions under 50% life within a certain distance of him, revealing them until they heal, leave the area or Blood Scent is deactivated. While sensing an enemy, he gains 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% movement speed.
a utility spell that's decent in lane and late in the game. in lane this allows you to pressure and deny a low lane opponent with superior movement speed while being able to escape should the jungler arrive. It's also always nice to get free vision of the enemy jungler should they be low and wander too close to your lane. Late in the game this spell is good for cleaning up after teamfights. The movement speed makes it so few champions can run, and the free vision makes it so that they can't hide. It's also worth noting that in addition to granting vision of low enemies, you also get vision of a small area around them, essentially turning low health enemies into free mini wards for your team.
R - Infinite DuressWarwick lunges at an enemy champion, suppressing the target for 1.8 seconds and striking for 250 / 335 / 420 (+2.0 per bonus attack damage) Magic Damage. Warwick gains 30% life steal for the duration. Triggers on-hit effects 5 times and benefits from life steal and Eternal Thirst.
The infamous warwick ult. Your all in tool in lane, with the damage it brings and the bonus lifesteal it completely turns an engage around. It pretty much ensures a kill from a jungle gank with the 2 second hard cc in addition to whatever the jungler has to offer. It can also funcion as a hilarious escape if you end up sandwiched because you can flash out of it (lol). Late game you use this on a squishy damage dealing champion to deal tons of damage to them, hold them in place, and prevent them from dealing damage. Although it may appear that this is a strong initiation tactic, it usually isn't because it is a suppress, not a stun. The fact that it's a suppress means that warwick is immobilized as well as his target and any form of cc other than a slow will stop his channel and the suppress. Now if you initiate with warwick's ultimate into the entire enemy team, you can expect to have your ultimate stopped instantly assuming the other team is capable of doing so. It's generally best to have someone else initiate and use your ult later on when not everyone will jump on you and stop your ult, it'll be much more successful that way. Now feel free to use this if you've caught someone out of position, as doing so often wins games. But be sure to recognize the difference between catching someone and initiating. warwick's ult is amazing at the first, but rather bad at the second.
Hungering Strike is warwick's bread and butter ability so max it first. Hunters Call is extremely valuable in midgame so it's best to max second. Blood Scent leaves a lot to be desired as a skill, so just leave it for last. as always, take the ult when available. You'll generally have this same max order every single game, as warwick's spells get strictly worse as you move from Q to E.
Warwick's lane phase is generally played the same way in every matchup. you get progressively more aggressive as you gain levels. Levels 1-2 try to stay as conservative as possible and avoid using any mana as rank 1 Q is extremely weak. Levels 3-5 you can be a little more bold, feel free to use Q to harass or sustain as needed. At this time just take what your opponent gives you as they'll either have more mobility or more range. take advantage of your sustain to keep your health topped off. The moment you hit level 6, be looking for an all in. if you can get in range for a Q and you're not extremely low, you can likely do a Q-Ult-Q ignite combo and win the duel unless you're against an extremely strong duelist or duelist with an execute like darius. If at any point you know that you're way ahead, do not let your opponent even smell CS. Stand at the front of the wave and just farm and combo them if they get close. once they're under 50% health, your E will give you complete control of the lane even if your ult is down. If you're behind, just look to last hit and even last hit with Q if you need the health. Warwick's very good at freezing the lane so try to do so near your tower and just farm.
Also be sure to keep your lane warded and/or do a good job of tracking the enemy jungler. Warwick has no escape other than his flash so a warwick lane is a prime target for early ganks. Be extra careful if you suspect the enemy jungler is near you. But on the other hand, if you keep track of the enemy jungler and know they're nowhere near your lane, you can feel free to make any aggressive play you want. Also only ask your jungler to gank your lane if you've hit level 6 and dragon is down. Pre-6 warwick has little to follow up ganks with, and even if you get a kill post-6, the loss in dragon control often isn't worth it. If the situation allows for it however, any post 6 gank for a warwick lane is usually a free kill.
Jungle Warwick is infamous for his post level 6 ganks, and he can do the same from top lane in the event you pushed your lane. In most cases you'll just want to be ganking mid so you don't lose your turret. when ganking mid, just focus on landing your ult when your mid is close to being in range for their burst. the 2 second suppress will usually let your mid land their entire burst combo for free and pick up a kill for your team.
Late Game/ Teamfights
Warwick's role in teamfights is generally as pseudo-assassin on an enemy squishy or as an Anti-Assassin peeler if the team lacks good peel. His teamfight as a whole is defined by his ultimate and it deals a ton of damage and is great CC if it runs its full channel. However like all channels it is interuptable so it's generally not a good idea to use it right away unless you've caught someone out or really just want to gapclose. Once the enemy team has blown their hard CC, Warwick's ult can safely be channeled for its full duration and pretty much screw over some enemy champion. Also be mindful of an enemy champion holding a Quicksilver Sash or Mikael's Crucible. It interrupts Warwick's ultimate so try to avoid using your ultimate on applicable champions until these actives are down since it stops the damage and CC as well.
A few other things to keep in mind while teamfighting
-constantly be hitting things/Qing things, Warwick's Strength is in his high attack speed and sustain.
-ORB walk (cancel your attack animation with movement as soon as your auto connects)
-Keep your W up, it buffs your whole team and has 100% uptime with decent CDR.
-Make sure your E is up, there's been a number of kills I've missed out on cleaning up because I didn't realize it was off.
-don't tunnel vision and chase a kill you won't get. if you're not sticking you're not sticking.
-don't tunnel vision and dive into the middle of the enemy team thinking you've caught someone. (I still do this sometimes)
-Use item actives!
-constantly look for high impact times to ult (Ahri ulted into your team, Zed Ulting your carry, Channeled ults from the backline, etc.
About the Author
I am a diamond Top Laner who's played since early 2012. I have a great deal of experience in solo queue, ranked teams, and on and offline events. You can find my stream at Twitch.tv/Steamcario . I also used to play a lot of top Warwick...
this is my first guide here in a while though I made a few other top lane guides during season 2. I plan on making more comprehensive guides in the near future for top lane champions that are more common. Feedback of any kind is welcome and appreciated. Thanks for reading!