Udyr General Guide by spikerdude
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King of the Jungle
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.
Udyr was bought on a whim, just because his kit seemed really interesting. I knew he was set up to be a great Jungler, but I had never jungled before this. So I tried him top lane for a few games. I was correct in thinking that his kit was cool, but I knew to get the most out of him, I would have to jungle. I've tried out a few different play styles and builds with him, and in my opinion, this is my favorite and most effective. Please feel free to leave comments and criticisms!
I prefer to run Greater Mark of Armor Penetration. All of the
camps, as well as champions will have scaling armor. Considering it's very unlikely I'll be able to get any armor penetration or shredding items (At least for the vast majority of the game.) I like to pick them up here. Hybrid Penetration works well if the enemy team has multiple AP damage dealers. Attack Damage, or Attack Speed can also work well.
Greater Seal of Armor is pretty much your only option for seals in the jungle.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist give me the most bang for my buck, considering how often I'm in the jungle for early levels. If you plan on camping an AP lane a lot, flat Magic Resist is also an option.
You can run pretty much anything you want on your Quints. Armor, Hybrid Penetration, Armor Penetration, Attack Speed, Attack Damage, Movement Speed, etc. Hell, even Life Steal can work at times. I prefer to run Greater Quintessence of Health though. I'm going to be building like a tank anyway, and the extra health early game really speeds that up. It's all preference though.
Masteries (And my thoughts on CDR Udyr)
In Offense, I take Fury , Deadliness , and Weapon Expertise Most people would take Sorcery over Fury, but I don't think that's the best decision. Attack speed is crucial on Udyr, especially for early level clearing. 4% CDR takes your cooldowns from 6 seconds to 5.76 seconds. At 40% CDR your skills all come up every 3.6 seconds. Keeping in mind how mana hungry Udyr can be, how long his abilities last, and how it takes two seconds regardless to switch stances, I would never go out of my way to build CDR on him. He has much more important needs, and it's hardly worth the money.
The Defense tree is where all of the magic happens. We start with the obvious, maxing out Summoner's Resolve , Durability , Tough Skin , and Bladed Armor . Now it starts becoming more about personal preference. I only take one point into Hardiness . Two points for three armor is too costly for me. Then, I generally work towards Veteran's Scars , Relentless , Juggernaut , Tenacious , Defender , Reinforced Armor , and Honor Guard . Because Udyr doesn't really have great escaping tools (Aside from Flash and Bear Stance) hard CC scares me. If the enemy team doesn't really have that much, then you can put spare points into whatever best suits the situation.
Sadly, this leaves no room for points in Utility. You COULD take the points out of offense, and put them into Summoner's Insight , Meditation , Mastermind , Runic Affinity , and the last point into whatever else you want, but I'm not sold. It would certainly help out his mana issues a bit, and let him get more out of the buffs. It's entirely up to you and what your team needs.
Smite is a must have on Udyr. You need it. End of.
Flash is your second spell in almost every situation. He needs an escape, and this is it.
Clarity is such a waste if you're not a support. In no situation is this worth taking.
Ghost is outclassed by the utility of Bear Stance. Bad choice.
Heal is widely considered the best late game spell in the game. Ideally somebody else would be able to pick it up for you.
Revive is pretty much only useful on a gimmicky Karthus build. Don't take a spell that at most, you could use four times all game.
Cleanse eliminates the hard CC threat, but I don't think it's worth losing your escape over.
Teleport is a very interesting choice. You can literally gank from anywhere and get a surprise kill. In some cases, this can work. Best in duo queue or with a premade team so you're sure you'll have wards. Communication is a high priority with teleport.
Barrier is a waste. Your job is to soak up damage, you don't need to lose a spell for it.
Exhaust is useless because of your speed up and stun. Besides, there's a good chance your support will have this for team fights.
Ignite is an interesting choice on some junglers, but not Udyr. You're not a carry jungler, and thus don't need ignite.
Clairvoyance is probably the worst spell in the game. Why would you ever want it?
Pros / Cons
1. Very good Sustain in the jungle.
2. Good Clear time
3. Decent damage for a tank.
4. Lots of utility.
5. Fits most team compositions.
6. Fun and rewarding to play.
1: Mechanically challenging.
2: Very reliant on communication and teamwork.
3: Ganks are good, not great.
4: Outclassed by most in early fights.
I know what you're thinking: Why would we put our first point intoH Phoenix Stance when we're playing as an AD Tank? It's certainly a valid question. At face value, it makes no sense to put a point into an AP damage dealing spell when we won't have any AP, and not get our AD damage spell until level three. For the first part of that, think of how you jungle AD Master Yi. You take a point into Alpha Strike at level one because of how great it is at camp clearing. Obviously the two champions have plenty of differences, but they're similar at level one.
In regards to why you don't get Tiger Stance at level two, Phoenix is going to do enough early damage until you get to level three. Picking up Turtle Stance second makes sure you have enough health to save a potion or two, and keep your mana high.
I normally don't plan on ganking until I hit level four, when I have my full kit to work with. If you want to gank at level three, you should take Bear Stance before Tiger Stance. Leading in with a one second stun out of nowhere with Bear Stance is incredible, and worth farming up to get. After that, I instantly max Tiger Stance. It scales remarkably well with levels, and the damage output is fantastic.
After that, I normally like to finish off Turtle Stance, but you could go for Bear Stance if you want. Alternating between the two is an option as well, but I don't prefer it. Leave Phoenix Stance alone until you have nothing else to put points into. It's good enough at rank one, and we won't be building AP to scale it.
This Information Is Based On The Upcoming 3.8 Patch. Take Note Of This And Adjust Accordingly Until Then.
Just like with any other Jungler, we're going to start off with a Hunter's Machete and 5 Health Potions. If at all possible, wait to base for the first time until you can pick up Madred's Razors and Boots of Speed. This is going to be slightly easier now that basic boots are only 325. The recent changes to Wriggle's Lantern have made it nearly a must buy, even with the price upgrade. Go for it if you have the chance, but it's not the end of the world to leave it as it is. Unless you have a champion on your team who incredibly bennefits from armor or magic resist. ( Galio and Malphite for example) then there's no reason why you shouldn't go for an early Aegis of the Legion. However, considering that you're going to be fulfilling the tank role, I don't see where they would fit into a team comp. (Unless they're supporting.) But even then, you should be the one picking it up. Unless something is majorly different from the game plan at this point, now is the time where you should be looking towards your Sunfire Cape. This is such a big item on Udyr, you can't pass it over.
Those three items are what you should be getting every single game as Udyr. The rest of your build is going to depend on the enemy team composition. First, we'll look at if they're primarily AD based.
Ninja Tabi will probably end up being your most purchased item aside from your core, even against AP teams. The armor and passive make it a very gold efficient pick up for this one of a kind item. I look to get these either during, or before my Aegis.
Frozen Mallet is the most expensive of the common AD items, and rightfully so. It gives you a great amount of health, as well as attack damage that you're missing out on. (Even if you upgraded to Wriggle's.) The passive slow really changes how you can gank and initiate fights. Now whenever it's safe, it's effective to lead in with Tiger Stance, saving your stun until after the enemy is no longer slowed. The only real reason why this isn't part of your core is because it's so expensive. Get it if you can.
Frozen Heart is a peculiar pick up on Udyr. I said I don't like going out of your way to pick up CDR on him, but in some cases, you could still get it. Frozen Heart is a solid, gold efficient tank item that not only has a utility based passive for your team in fights, but it's also going to help out your mana issues. The problem is really the price, and how long it takes to really be effective when compared to your other armor items.
Randuin's Omen is a wonderful choice. If you don't get a Frozen Mallet for whatever reason, this is a great substitute. Generally you're going to be a bit tankier. (Even at the loss of 200 health.) The passive slow is a bit weaker, but it also includes Cool Steel, and an active that truly can change the tide of the game. If you want to forgo the damage of Mallet, but still like the basics of the item, then this is your pick.
And now, let's take a look at some solid choices if you're going against multiple magical menaces.
Mercury's Treads are an obvious choice depending on their team comp. The magic resist is decent, not to mention the passive it gives. Combining that with your masteries shuts down a lot of otherwise devastating CC. Just like with Ninja Tabi, you're going to be getting these on your way to Aegis.
Runic Bulwark upgrade form Aegis is normally a good choice even against mostly AD champions. But with multiple AP champs, it's required.
Mikael's Crucible got buffed recently, and now it's a wonderful pick up on Udyr. The mana regen plays a huge part in how often you're able to spam abilities. Magic resist is always important, and an extra 40 is no slouch. Not to mention, depending on how you recipe this item, you could get free gold generation for a while from the Philosopher's Stone.
Mercurial Scimitar is a wonderful item, but normally just WAY too expensive for a jungler. The active is one of the best in the game, and the AD is decent. Never, ever prioritize this, but if the game is going on for a lot longer than it should, or if you've snowballed incredibly hard, then it's a solid pick up.
And now, it's time to go over the more utility based items.
Boots of Mobility are a good pick up if you think you don't need the armor/mr. I prefer Mobility to Boots of Swiftness so I can get to camps and ganks faster. The drop off in speed once I start fighting is worth it. Pick these up when you would get the other boots.
Trinity Force is the shining example of the Jack of All Trades. If you ever do get this, it would need to be your last item. If you don't have Frozen Mallet or Randuin's Omen, then you can get your slow from this. The 30 AP will finally make your Phoenix Stance better from the base. It's pretty rare for Junglers to make it to a six item build, let alone that 6th item being a Tri Force. It's a good choice though.
Muramana is only a good choice if you are snowballing INCREDIBLY hard early game. I'm talking about a minimum of four kills/assists before twelve minutes in. While this will tremendously solve your mana issues, and give you a decent mount of AD, it is no where near a priority. Don't consider picking this up late game, you won't be able to stack it and get your money's worth after a certain point in time.
Locket of the Iron Solari is a great, dirt cheap pick up that offers amazing stats and power. Ideally your support would pick this up, but that could change depending on the comp. For example, if your support goes Aegis, then you should be getting the locket. It's required for every team comp, it's just better if you don't have to get it.
The Black Cleaver is so important if the enemy has armor built. The armor shred reduces the enemies armor for everybody attacking him, not just you. This combined with your Carry's Last Whisper is deadly. Normally the top laner will pick it up, but you can benefit from the health and AD as well if need be.
Early Game Strategy
Because of the dominant AoE Phoenix Stance, you can get your
Crest of the Ancient Golem
without a leash pretty painlessly. In normal/low elo games, you can get away with invading the enemy jungle pretty easily, just because they don't expect it. Depending on who the enemy jungler is, you can send the rest of your team to get one of their buffs (Normally
Blessing of the Lizard Elder
) to the champion who needs it the most, while you safely pick up your own buffs. Wards save lives, especially when venturing into enemy territory, your team should not be hesitant in dropping some down to protect themselves when invading.
If you don't invade, then your clear route is very comparable to other junglers. Now that all spawn times are the same at 1:55, it doesn't make sense to start at Wolves . If you want to gank at level 3, get blue smiteless. If you're okay waiting until level four or later, then use smite for the extra gold. Hit up wolves next before going to the other side of the jungle.
For a level three gank, get your Red Buff whenever you're healthy enough for it. Otherwise, you go Wraiths , then Golems , then Red. Depending on what side of the jungle your on, head to the closest lane that needs help. While you do want to get the most out of your Red Buff, don't be afraid to base first and farm your jungle until you can be useful.
Generally, the best way to gank is to hide in the brush and wait for your moment. When the time comes, open up with Bear Stance for the increased movement speed and stun. From there, your next spell depends on what you need, and the lane you're attacking. At the very least, you should be able to force their laner to go base, and then your team is free to do whatever they want.
As much as you would like the mana regeneration from the blue, in most cases you need to let your mid laner take it. It will be better for everybody that way.
If a buff isn't about to be spawning, and dragon/baron aren't in the cards for whatever reason, feel free to use your smite whenever it's up. It will speed up the clear process even more, and the ten gold per use really does add up.
Udyr has very good dragon control. Depending on your build, you could solo it at around level eight. If you take a team mate or two with you, you can get it done EXTREMELY early. Make sure you save smite to finish it, just in case the enemy has vision on you.
Counter Jungling is very important, but the timing of it is everything. The basic idea of counter jungling is that you go into the enemies jungle, and steal the majority of the camp, possibly including buffs. You always leave one of the minor monsters alive to postpone the respawn for as long as possible. Counter Jungling is done so you can deny your opposition experience, and slow them down. While this is all well and good, you have to be smart about it. First of all, if their jungler is a strong duelist, it can be a bit scary to go deep into their territory, when you have no idea if they have vision on you. Secondly, don't go into their jungle if it's going to slow you down as well. Counter Jungling is best done right after a gank, so you can easily steal a camp or two on your way out.
Your role is to be out in the front line, taking as much damage as you can. Alternating between Bear and Turtle stance (And Tiger when you can.) is the best way to do this, as well as tremendously help your team out. You're going to be the one leading the charge, and buying time for your damage dealers to do their job. You shouldn't be afraid of death, but don't stay in fights when you're out numbered just because you're the tank. You can still deal a substantial amount of damage and CC through your abilities. Your team is always stronger with you alive!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Since you're already putting your first point into Phoenix Stance, why don't you max it and go as an AP Tank?
Q: Can he work as a carry jungler? Would you go AD or AP if yes?
Q: Does he have any hard counters, or Junglers that he smashes?
Thank you all for reading this! This is my first guide, so I would love to get feedback on this. Feel free to leave questions as well, and I'll add them to the FAQ. Good luck, and I'll see you on the rift! Just try to keep your rage under control...