Hecarim Build Guide by Leightle

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Leightle

Jungle Hecarim The Honey Badger UPDATED (6/13/2012)

Leightle Last updated on June 13, 2012
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Violent / Cautious H.B.


Hecarim Don't Give a ****

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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DISCLAIMER : I am still tweaking the builds to make them more solid, as well as making sure I'm not missing out on something that could make Hecarim great. Furthermore, I will be working on a laneing build for those that don't like to jungle.

This is a simple guide to help people get to the information easily without sorting through too much color and pictures. Keep it simple, stupid.

Hecarim is a solid champion that excels with his quick movement and violent ultimate ability. A well placed Hecarim ultimate can spell disaster for the enemy team in a fight. If you want to be a champ that can jungle smoothly, be impossible to chase down, be able to ruin lanes by effective ganks, and strike fear in your opponents? Hecarim might be for you.


    Fast jungler
    Great ganker
    Hard to lock down easily
    Valuable asset to team with ultimate
    Good damage

    Item dependent
    Weak against sustained CC
    Has to be close for damage
    Ult without team support can end badly

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I use Greater Mark of Attack Damage here because it helps a little bit with a smooth jungle. I think the Greater Mark of Attack Speed would be optimal for a smoother jungle, but haven't quite gotten to test them out. Also, Greater Mark of Desolation wouldn't be a bad idea, however if you're playing at a higher elo you may want to just get a Last Whisper or The Black Cleaver; but more on items later.


I use Greater Seal of Armor on just about every jungle champion that I use. Hecarim can be relatively squishy without these, and the jungle will gobble most champs alive without the armor.


I use Greater Glyph of Magic Resist on Hecarim simply because as you are ganking you want all the toughness you can take. Minimizing damage little bit by bit means less time returning to base and more time being a honey badger.


I use Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed because I have tested out alternate quintessences and found that the extra movement speed is far more helpful. Though they are rather expensive (IP-wise), they are a great investment. Even though they only provide roughly 5 bonus attack damage from the start, that's half a Long Sword, which is like 207.5 gold you didn't have to spend.

Disclaimer : I have tested out full on physical damage runes with and without Greater Seal of Armor runes, and found the above mentioned setup to be the most efficient.

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For an alternate mastery tree, read the bottom of this chapter.


Even though Hecarim makes a great AD damage champion, I personally leave this blank in exchange for other benefits from defense and utility.


The defense tree build that I have I found to be the most efficient. It allows me to clear the jungle without taking too much damage as well as being able to gank without getting killed in the process. Keeping the pressure up with consistent ganks coupled with Hecarim's speed will make the enemy team feel your presence and have more to worry about than just your team mates.


The reason I have points in utility is to grab the movement speed of Swiftness , but more importantly the sustain you get from Runic Affinity . I have jungled both with and without Runic Affinity , and found myself lacking in mana from the blue buff disappearing by the time I'm nearly level 5 without it. Until you get Wriggle's Lantern you will need to use your W Spirit of Dread to help keep your health high enough for multiple ganks, which will drain your mana greatly. If my mid champion is good at maintaining their mana pool, I'll take the blue buff from Ancient Golem for the first three or four times.


I have changed out the Utility points before and put them 1/1 Summoner's Wrath , 3/3 Brute Force , 4/4 Alacrity , 1/1 Weapon Expertise , but found that not having 1/1 Runic Affinity made my progress feel somewhat thwarted in the early game. Although, an alternate would be to go ahead and put those points in the OFFENSE tree and just give away your blue buff to the mid champion (after the first blue of course).

In higher elo, you may want to go the Offense mastery tree and simply rely on your Wriggle's Lantern to help you clear the jungle. Though, getting to the point of Wriggle's Lantern won't be as smooth without Runic Affinity to help you get there. But, overall I would keep the DEFENSE mastery the same. I would recommend trying both styles out to see what better fits your play style.

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Items (Core Build)


I choose Cloth Armor over Boots of Speed because even though the Boots of Speed will give you some AD and movement speed, the armor of Cloth Armor and the additional Health Potionx2 allow you to get through the jungle to level 4 and be able to gank with about 70% or more HP left- this means your ganks will likely not end up with you getting killed.

After 700 gold you can return to base and complete your Madred's Razors. Though, if you get a successful gank, and have 1050 gold you can return and get both Madred's Razors and Boots of Speed. Otherwise, I choose Madred's Razors first because the 20% chance to do a bonus 300 magic damage to a minion can help you clear the jungle without blowing your mana on Spirit of Dread as well as making your jungle faster as you gank lanes, and then get Boots of Speed. Hecarim isn't a slow champion such as Twisted Fate, and thus has a little breathing room before having to get Boots of Speed- especially with your Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed.

Soon as that's finished complete your Wriggle's Lantern. The ward you can place for free (albeit on a cooldown) should by default be placed in front of dragon. For more information about warding simply scroll to the warding chapter. If my team does not have a tank I will build a Heart of Gold with the intent of turning it into a Randuin's Omen but more on that in the next chapters : Items (Advanced).

Hecarim benefits from every stat from Trinity Force, and is hard to argue against for being a hard core item. Though, before I get a Trinity Force I usually build a Heart of Gold if I am tanking. I probably tank maybe 50% of the time, so when I know I'll be mostly DPS I will go right into building the Trinity Force. I start with Phage to augment Hecarim's HP so that when I gank it doesn't end up with me dead. I have tested out starting Trinity Force off by rushing Sheen and even Zeal, but found that Phage helps me secure more ganks and sustain me through sometimes surprising enemy damage. Also, don't forget the nice slow in Phage.

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Items (Advanced) : Introduction

After you have gotten your core build, you now must decide on several paths you can take with Hecarim. Ask yourself a few questions:

    Do they have a lot of AP champs?
    Do they have a lot of AD champs?
    Which champ is fed the most, AP or AD?
    Does your team have a dedicated initiator/tank?

Below I will paste copies of my match history using various situational builds. You'll notice in just about every guild I have my CORE items, and in some cases will not see Wriggle's Lantern because I usually sell it at the end to add a more expensive 5th or 6th item.

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Items (Advanced) : The Violent Honey Badger

The Violent Honey Badger

After I built my core build, I noticed that the enemy team had a well balanced team. However, having a Singed type character as your tank and a juicy target such as a Akali as your top lane, this means they will have not only a tank harassing them but they will want to attack your Akali, or they will attack you. The way my build is here if they choose to attack one over the other, the other will ruin their lives. The chaos that Onslaught of Shadows creates makes the enemy sort of freak out. The early phase went well in this game because of successful ganks, and I snowballed. I would of finished the build with a The Bloodthirster and then finally with another Phantom Dancer for 100% crit chance, which was the build I had when I got my first pentakill with Hecarim.

Sometimes you can't always be violent. Your team mates will never be as awesome as you, and sometimes you might have to be able to take a hit or two and just keep rolling. The below advanced items sections will show you a liberal way of being defensive, and then a dont give a **** way of being defensive.

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Items (Advanced) : The Cautious Honey Badger

UPDATE : 6/13/2012
The explanation for this build has been changed. It's intended for a high AD dmg dealing team and low AP dmg dealing team (such as 4 people building AD with a Nidalee going AP).

The Cautious Honey Badger

If the enemy team seems a balance between AD and AP, such as they have a Vladimir and a Varus, and the Varus hasn't been shut down by you but hasn't completely just stomped your team, then I would use the build I was using above. Even if I have some juicy targets on my team like a Veigar or a Twisted Fate, I will still look closely at the progress of the enemy damage dealers.

If the enemy team has a hard hitting cat like Veigar, LeBlanc, Brand or their AD carry gets fed such as a Graves, Fiora, Kog'Maw; I would suggest skipping over being a cautious Honey Badger, and being a Honey Badger that don't give a ****: Shown Below

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Items (Advanced) : The Honey Badger That Don't Give A ****

UPDATE : 6/13/2012
I've changed a bit of the explanation between three of the builds: The first of the two here (left build of HB TD G A SH**) with the Guardian Angel is mainly for high AP teams but low AD teams. The other build with the Force of Nature and Randuin's Omen is when you're going to need every ounce of MR and ARMOR you can get!

Honey Badger That Don't Give A ****

The build on the left was against a team that had some pretty nasty AP burst such as a Veigar, but their AD carry wasn't completely shut down, so the Guardian Angel will give you some armor to help against champions that aren't fed but still hurt like Caitlyn while also giving you a stepping stone to the Force of Nature. Sometimes games end before I can finish my builds, and they do so because of reacting to the enemy team coupled with smart gameplay. With a build like this you'll be screaming "Honey Badger don't GIVE A SH**" over the mic in no time as you dive the enemy team while they're on their tower.

The build on the right was against a team that escalated very fast to ouch status. But, the main reason I did not get a Phantom Dancer or get a chance to replace my Wriggle's Lantern with some kind of damage item is because my team absolutely did not have a tank. Notice the difference in stats, but the victory was still had. The build on the right was a result of me scrambling to get hard to kill- fast. the Randuin's Omen was a solid choice due to the enemy team having a Jax, which is a champion that loves attack speed. The Jax went a hybrid AP/AD build, and their Vladimir was no pushover, so the Force of Nature was quick to come after.

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Items (Advanced) : Good and Bad items

The last whisper is a great armor piercing honey badger thrusting rod. It could replace a Phantom Dancer from the violent build if you're in a higher elo and the enemy is smart and puts on a MASSIVE amount of armor like a Thornmail. But, in my opinion a The Black Cleaver would be a better choice, see below.

This is if the honey badger REALLY don't give a S***. I've never actually had the chance to use this item, but I've used it on other champions. If the enemy team is just being ridiculous with AD + Attack Speed, you might grab a Thornmail. Though, when they have came at me guns hot with AD I usually just get a Randuin's Omen. Also, if the enemy team gets a Thornmail against your team, you can negate the damage reflected back to you by getting Magic Resist like a Force of Nature because Thornmail does magic damage on the 30% mirror damage.

I would prefer this over a Last Whisper since it gives you some nice attack damage and attack speed. Again, only needed if you're playing against higher elo players that get smart quick and put on some armor.

I've actually used this in my build many times, and I would get it right after my Trinity Force. It has nice attack damage and some health regen for sustain, not to mention the passive can mean a lot of damage done to the enemy team as well as lets you clear a minion wave in under 5 seconds. Keep in mind though, the damage only bounces to enemies in a cone in front of Hecarim, so positioning is important. The only reason I don't include Tiamat in my build is because I always ended up selling it for something with critical strike/movement speed like Phantom Dancer for a higher crit rate- and Tiamat is a bit pricy to just buy and then sell 15-20 minutes later.

I've used this as well on Hecarim, but I only use it in my AP build, which is a Hecarim that is one if not the fastest jungle in the game but doesn't do very much damage in team fights. I will say though that pairing the Guinsoo's Rageblade with Hextech Gunblade and also building some defensive items I was basically a lifesteal/spellvamp tank.

I use this with Guinsoo's Rageblade when I use a AP Hecarim build. But, I prefer AD Hecarim because when comparing stats between AD and AP Hecarim games I found my AD builds, no matter if I built tanky or not, always had 50,000 more damage.

This item isn't terrible, and would replace a Phantom Dancer. Though, I like my Hecarim fast and light. If he wasn't absolutely ridiculously fast and able to get in and out of a fight in the blink of an eye, then I couldn't scream "Honey badger don't GIVE A S***" over team speak 3 could I?

This is more of a tanky item, and would be something to get if 3250 gold suddenly fell into your lap and you were planning to also get a Atma's Impaler. You could experiment with a build that used Atma's Impaler with Frozen Mallet and Warmog's Armor, but I've never gotten the chance to.

I wouldn't use this without Frozen Mallet and Warmog's Armor or some variation of items that give you health. Though if you wanted to do that and it works out, you should make a guide about it. My playstyle for Hecarim demands that I am a scary fast murderer that makes the enemy want to uninstall League of Legends.

You could get this with a Force of Nature after Trinity Force and still have two slots left over for Atma's Impaler and another item. The reason I didn't include it in this build is because I'm a Honey Badger, not a ninja turtle.

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Skill Sequence

I'll be brief here because I started off wanting to make a simple guide, but brain fudged and spit out the above shinies.

Giving Rampage precedence over Spirit of Dread when jungling with Hecarim will mean that your ganks will ultimately do more damage to enemy champions.

However, if you decide to level up Spirit of Dread first, then you will clear the jungle faster and have more health for ganks. Your damage will be lower when ganking with Spirit of Dread leveled up over Rampage. Keep in mind though that I mentioned above Spirit of Dread loves your mana, and if you ever plan to give your mid a blue don't level up Spirit of Dread first.

It's important that Devastating Charge is your FOURTH ability that you upgrade no matter what you do. Once you hit level 4 you will want to look to provide a gank.

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Summoner Spells

Smite is a given for any jungler (yes, even Warwick in my opinion), but sometimes the second summoner spell is up for debate. I've used all kinds of different ones with Hecarim

I found Exhaust made it to where when I ganked, I would gank like a bawss. Using Exhaust has secured me so many kills while ganking that I eventually stopped using Ghost all-together. Furthermore, you can use Exhaust late game on the most fed person on their team to stunt their damage output for a short while and secure kills on runners.

When I first started using Hecarim I abused Ghost with blind ambition. When using Ghost Hecarim's bonus attack damage is increased and makes his ganks explosive, however Ghost allows the champion to run through minions and such which is something Hecarim can already do with his passive. Furthermore, his Devastating Charge is like Ghost so you can escape, or you can use your ultimate Onslaught of Shadows. It's not bad to use with him, but I don't feel he's being efficient with his summoner spells if I choose Ghost

He's not rammus, he doesn't need to flash over a minion wave to land his Q when ganking. Don't get this.

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Abilities / Tactics

Use this ability as your primary damage dealer. After you get your Wriggle's Lantern, you can stay away from using Spirit of Dread and save your mana. Rampage's cost is low, and does some decent damage to jungle minions, so feel free to spam it. When dealing with ganking or chasing champions make sure you are constantly clicking behind the champion auto-attacking them as well as hitting them with your Rampage so that the cooldown of Rampage is getting reduced with each consecutive strike.

This ability is great for a little AOE damage as well as giving you heal and acting as a sort of spellvamp. Anytime you are honey badgering an enemy champion you want to use your Spirit of Dread as much as possible. Leveling this ability up first before Rampage will mean a faster jungle, but your ganks won't do as much damage as having Rampage leveled up more.

This is an ability that can save as well as kill. When you activate it the ability sort of charges up making you faster and faster. The first minion or enemy champion you right click on after activating Devastating Charge Hecarim will pounce on them and knock them in the direction you were facing when you hit them. It is very important that you make sure that direction is where you want the enemy to go. Running past an enemy champion while your Devastating Charge is charging up and then suddenly turning around and right clicking them will push them in the direction you were running from. This strategy is best used for ganking and pushing enemies into your team mates. It's simple to use as an escape, hit your E Devastating Charge and run for your life- just don't right click anyone or anything other then ground.

Hecarim's ultimate is a very power utility as well as does some decent damage. When you activate Onslaught of Shadows you will have a long bar with a circle where your mouse is at. You then move your mouse and left click when you want to activate your ultimate. Hecarim will suddenly lunge forward ignoring walls and solid objects and land at the center of the circle where you left clicked.

Onslaught of Shadows will fear all enemy champions that are in the circle when Hecarim lands on them. This will fear enemy champions in the direction directly opposite of where Hecarim is. So when ulting on an enemy champion try to make it so the center of the circle is behind them so they will get feared into your team.

You can also use Onslaught of Shadows to ult enemy champions closer to your tower as well as use Onslaught of Shadows as a very violent flash with a ridiculous range. Basically... if you aren't chained stunned and want to escape with Onslaught of Shadows and then manage to get the ability off? They will NEVER catch you. Unless, of course, Twisted Fate or Nocturne ult you- but that never happens to us honey badgers.

Furthermore, tactics I've never used yet

Take this, with your speed, and go step on some wards. Make sure you type in all caps in /ALL chat when you do. That is all.

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Jungle Route / Strategies

Return to Base after STEP 6, or after you have ganked. You may continue on to wolves and hopefully get an assist or kill from a gank until 1050 so you can get Wriggle's Lantern and Boots of Speed
These are good spots to gank from. Middle lane can be ganked from the top or bottom bush. Try to gank after STEP 6.
What is a successful Gank?
    You get a kill or an assist
    The enemy champion uses a summoner spell
    You damage the enemy champion more than 50% of their maximum HP
    You force the enemy champion to return to base
    You stop the enemy jungler from killing your team mate
    Successfully getting a kill after typing "HONEY BADGER DONT GIVE A S***" in /all chat
When should you Gank?
    [HoneyBadger]When the enemy is camping your team mate at our tower
    [HoneyBadger]When the enemy is low health
    [HoneyBadger]When you know the enemy jungler is about to gank that lane
    [Secondary]When bot lane has one person returned to base
    [Secondary]When any team mate has much lower health than the enemy in their lane
    [Secondary]When a team mate needs to return to base and needs their lane covered.

    I've never quite done any counter jungling other than stealing enemy STEP 6 on my way through top river, and from invading poor
Amumu's blue buff at the beginning of a game. I'll be more than happy to include someone else's take on a great counter jungling strategy for Hecarim. I'll put it in it's own chapter and give credit where it's due.

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Team Fights

Hecarim excels at late game team fights whether he has been fed or not because of Onslaught of Shadows. If you can hit the entire enemy team with the slider circle with Hecarim's ultimate, and your team is looking for glory, it is the best shot you guys will have at winning a fight.

It is very important not to get over-zealous with Hecarim, especially at late game. I can't tell you how many times I am flying all over the place, the adrenaline gets pumping, and I honey badger into the enemy team and my team mates are just standing there like...

So try to control your excitement, I know it sometimes is hard to resist- especially when Veigar is hopping around by himself. The only problem is, there are four enemy champions all helping each other kill wolves and wraiths and they will all magically appear if you activate honey badger mode.

Hecarim needs to be treated like an angry assassin. If you are a tanky Hecarim you will obviously be the initiator, but if you know you'll die instantly from focus fire wait for the enemy to slip up and then Onslaught of Shadows on their entire team.

Also, make sure that after you have ulted you need to put your face right in front of the enemy carry or the most fed champion on their team (in some cases). It is amazing how the moment your big angry a** is in an enemy's face that they magically start attacking you instead of one of your team mates.

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Hecarim is a very versatile jungler. I have yet to spend extended time playing him in a lane, and if I would do so on purpose it would only be top lane. The problem is that he has great speed and is meant to fly in and then fly out of conflict. I could see Hecarim being countered by many top lane champs, but I am open for anyone who has a great build for a laney Hecarim.

I know sometimes when you play League and you do absolutely stellar, but still manage to lose, you may feel a little like this...

But, don't cry. My elo is 1100 because the only ranked I play is with my brother, and he got stuck in elo hell, and as many of you know it is very hard to get out of elo hell without getting bored of League by spamming solo que games with LeBlanc.

This was my first ever guide, I just made my MOBA account today. I've used MOBA for many guides as I played League of Legends, and it basically helped me improve myself in LoL. My in-game name is Leightle, and don't mind playing games with fans of my guide- hell, I'll play Hecarim ;-).

I'll probably add other guides as I feel I am completely consistent with another champ ( Veigar, but there's a guide already with my build I use)).

Oh, and don't get what being a Honey Badger is like? Enjoy.

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What is the Honey Badger?

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Match History /w Builds

These screenshots do not include the one's shown above in the items sections. I could of put them down here to show even more examples of my builds, but then that would be redundant; wouldn't it?

Build : Honey Badger Don't Give A SH**

Build : The Violent Honey Badger
Build : Cautious Honey Badger

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Change Log

It's been a month and a day, and time for an update! I changed the Cautious H.B. build to include a Randuin's Omen and Maw of Malmortius for teams with high AD, but not too much AP.

I also changed the H.B. Don't Give a SH** builds, the left one is for high AP teams, but not terribly too much AD. The right one is for teams with explosive AD AND AP.

I also added another screenshot in builds /w match history section. This time I added a cautious H.B. build screenshot.

After reading Littlev's comment about switching out 4/4 Good Hands with 4/4 Expanded Mind , I have changed the guide accordingly. I don't find myself dieing too much, and I thought Expanded Mind wasn't much until I read it, considering the last time I actually READ it was like 6 months ago. Thanks

5/12/2012 - After I woke up from sleeping ALL DAY

I put the different item variations that I've used and put as pictures of game's i've used them as cheat sheets at the top; for those who can't read. :D


I felt that not enough guides showed proof of builds working. So I added a match history section, and will update it as I play ranked with Hecarim. Keep in mind he's not the only one I play :D.