Warwick Build Guide by HyperScalper
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.
Hey guys, this is my first guide, hope you enjoy. Please don't down vote without reading the full guide and trying it out in a few matches. It probably sounds different than most Warwick builds, but it seriously rocks. Much of the credit goes to Guardsman Bob. I decided to watch a few streams of his and found his Warwick extremely funny to see in game. I created this guide because there was no guide out on MobaFire for his awesome item build. So I decided to try my own version out and add/remove a few things but the item build start is very similar to Guardsman Bob's, all runes/masteries/skill sequences/explanations are my own.
So, the current meta-game sees a LOT of tanky DPS, especially in solo top lane. Champions such as Irelia, Jarvan IV, Rumble, Udyr, Leesin, Olaf all thrive up there due to their ability to farm up, then soak damage and also rape face in team fights later on. Warwick also counts in the tanky DPS section. He does ******ed mid-late game damage with his Q skill (20% max life per Q at level 9 at a really low cooldown), heals with that same Q skill, can chase down really well because of his E, and obviously his ultimate is a great single focus suppress. He's mostly known as a jungler, and this is where this guide comes in, to help people see how easy he rapes lane too.
This build is for a Tanky / Sustain / Damage Dealing Warwick. There is no AD items, no extra healing, no Razers, and it's probably the best laning Warwick build out there =]
I'm sorry I don't know how to insert the cool pictures so you can see the runes I use and show the items I get, and whatnot going forward into this guide, but I will do my best to be very clear with only typing and hopefully you guys will enjoy this guide regardless :D
(If anyone knows how to, I'd be glad to take advice and add the pictures of items and runes in later.)
Pros / Cons
- Really easy to sustain top lane
- Super tanky by mid game
- Good ability to zone out hard-to-deal-with solo tops, damn Nasus
- Suppress can easily show teammates who to target in a team fight
- Awesome mid-late game damage
- Really funny to see Lanewick pwn all tops =P
- Really mana heavy early game
- Less than great physical damage
- Even if you're not the jungler, dragons and barons will not go down as fast as AD/AS builds
Overview of Skills / Skill Sequence
Passive: Eternal Thirst
Each of Warwick's attacks will heal him for 6/12/18 health. Each successive attack against the same target will restore increasing amounts of health to Warwick. Stacks up to 3x, the stacks remain for 4 seconds.
Explanation: Pretty much your auto attack heals you. Consecutive hits on the same enemy will heal you for more. If you kill a minion from full life with auto attacks, you'll have gained yourself a considerable chunk of life back. Going 1v1 full health vs another tanky DPS will be in your favor too. As long as you're not hard CC'd, you will continually be life stealing from Hungering Strike and even your auto-attacks because of Eternal Thirst. So even if the other guy has more damage, they can't handle your sustain!
Q: Hungering Strike
Strikes an enemy for the greater value between 75/125/175/225/275 (+100% AP) and 8/11/14/17/20% of target's maximum health, and heals Warwick for 80% of the damage dealt. Minions and monsters will only be dealt the flat magic damage.
Explanation: The most bosssssss skill on Warwick. This is his bread and butter. It's what lets you stay in lane forever. It's what decimates the enemy laner's health down to 50% while keeping you at 75%+ easily. At level 5, CD is 6 seconds. With Frozen Heart and your masteries, it's under 5 seconds. Which means, you'll be able to use it many many times in a team fight. With Red buff, and your E (Blood Scent), you could literally just chase down an enemy and auto-attack/Q him to death.
This skill is also the reason why Warwick requires no real damage items. Wit's End and Sunfire Cape are the only offensive items, and they both dual up as defensive items, just as much as they're offensive items. A full stacked Wit's End gives you 50 Magic Res, and Sunfire Cape gives you 45 Armor and 450 Health. Hungering Strike is a spammable 20% max damage target-able skill every 5 seconds. You don't need any offensive items. I can't stress this enough!!!
Note: You don't HAVE to Hungering Strike the carry every single time in a team fight. If you get CC'ed and you're low on health, you can afford one Hungering Strike to the 3,000 Life Amumu or Rammus that'll hit for 20% (600 health) and heal you for 480 Health instead of going for the AD carry you can't kill with that last Hungering Strike and will only heal you for say 300 health instead. Normally, I will go for the carry, but there are certain times you need to be smart and see that you being alive is probably more important than doing 20% to their carry that they'll heal with life steal after you die anyways.
W: Hunters Call
Warwick lets out a howl that inspires all nearby allied champions. This increases Warwick's attack speed by 40/50/60/70/80% and all nearby friendly champions' attack speed by half the amount for 10 seconds.
Explanation: Definitely a useful skill. It increases Warwick's attack speed dramatically, and half of that for his allies around him. You could use it to duel, chase down a guy, team fight, or really own a tower. Make sure to use it when you enter a team fight. That Vayne or Graves will 40% extra attack speed definitely helps rape. Or imagine a successful gank from your jungler at top. With no hero to defend their tower, that tower will go down quick if you have a solid 10 seconds of 2 heroes attacking it with bonus attack speed.
E: Blood Scent
Toggle: Warwick senses enemy champions under 50% life within a 1500/2300/3100/3900/4700 distance of him, revealing them until they heal. Upon sensing an enemy, he will gain 20/25/30/35/40% movement speed.
Explanation: Another very good skill. It's a toggle, so you can either have it on or off. Mostly, I have it on. Early game, if you're harassing correctly, and keeping them low, you'll have a solid 20-25% movement speed buff the entire time they're under 50% health. Definitely helpful if a gank comes for you, or if you decide to chase, or for some reason their jungler is near you under 50% health. It is a VERY good chasing mechanism. After a big team fight, you see their AD carry flashes away with low health. With Warwick, it's very possible to chase them down and/or give sight to a nearby ally who happens to be in range when they're trying to recall back to base. The best part is, you don't have to be chasing them or attacking them. As long as they're in range, you have the speed buff, so even if it's to escape, it's very useful.
Note: If you're trying to gank middle or something, you might wanna turn it off if they're under 50%. You can go and flash in and suppress them or whatever, and turn it back on after, but you don't want to give it away that you're coming for a gank. Noob mistakes can ruin games =P
R: Infinite Duress
Warwick lunges at an enemy champion, suppressing the target for 1.8 seconds and striking for 40/60/80 (+0.33 per attack damage) magic damage in 0.33 second intervals. Warwick gains 30% life steal for the duration and is considered to have fully stacked Eternal Thirst against the target, which is removed at the end of the duration. Each of his strikes triggers on his effects and benefits from life steal and Eternal Thirst.
Explanation: Pretty much, you can go in and suppress a dude and have massive life steal. You have full stacks of Eternal Thirst, so you don't have to hit them 3x first for you to gain max life steal, and you gain another 30% life steal. And during that time, you can Ignite, and press Q, and the Q will hit directly after the suppress is over. So with a guy under 35% life, if you have a Wit's End, all that extra magic damage will stack on each swipe, and you'll ignite, and you'll hit Q directly afterwards no questions asked for 20% max life. The dude's dead.
It's an awesome skill for ganks, which you can still perform from top. If your jungler is invading and planting wards in their jungle, you can coordinate an invasion jungle gank. Or if you go back, you can easily gank other lanes as long as your top isn't being pushed hard. Or you can just simply gank mid from time to time. With a Flash/Ulti from the side bush, it's really easy for an AP carry to go down. After you suppress, your own AP carry should unleash hell too and even if they're skill shot nukes, they can't miss lol.
Note: Careful of Crowd Control effects. Any silence, stun, taunt, knock up, grab, you get it, will disrupt the suppress. That's why I don't recommend initiating a both-teams-ready 5v5 team fight with suppress. You'll easily get CC'ed and the suppress will have done nothing and you'll probably die really easily. Someone else, like an Amumu Ulti, Ashe Arrow, or Alistar Flash / Pop-up would be best. This way, your suppress will last the full duration and your team will know who to target too.
Priority for Leveling Skill Points
[R] Obviously, put points in Infinite Duress whenever possible (levels 6,11,16).
[Q] Max Hungering Strike first as quick as possible. By level 9, you should have a level 5 Q, no questions asked.
[W] Max Hunters Call next, more useful in team fights. One point at level 2, and level it whenever you cannot put points in your Hungering Strike or Infinite Duress.
[E] Max Blood Scent last, put in 1 point in at level 4, and level it last. Some people prefer 2 points in it early on, it's really up to you, but I prefer Hunters Call over Blood Scent.
So, here's the rune page I use...
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Health
TheMarks are for more damage with his Q, pretty simple.
The Seals are for his Q. The Q can get pretty expensive because of how short the cooldown is. The mana cannot keep up for sure if you wanna constantly Q. But, more Qs = more damage, the more dmg = easier it is to zone out annoying farmers like Nasus and Udyr, more Qs also means more heals/sustain for you. With 9 MP5 runes, you get 3.7 extra MP5 at level 1. So with the starting item of Doran's Ring, you're getting an extra 8.7 MP5 at level 1. Pretty sweet for a guy like WW with low mana regen.
The Glyphs are more for mid-late game where you're team fighting and jumping in there with your ultimate. You will get targeted by a lot of enemy CC after you suppress because they want that suppress off their carry. Magic resist is always nice for that.
The Quints are just for awesome early game tankiness. That + your Doran's ring + masteries will provide you with really good health early game.
However, there are various other choices I'd definitely consider depending on the situation. If you're playing ranked, you could definitely choose depending on match-ups. Or if your play-style is different, you could decide to choose which runes fit you best.
Marks - I'd stick with Magic Pen.
Seals - Instead of Mana Regen, Armor could definitely work in lane vs tanky DPS top.
Glyphs - Stick with Magic Res, you get CDR from items + masteries
Quints - Instead of HP, Magic Pen or Movement Speed quints are other options, but I like the HP quints.
Some of you might wonder about that extra point in Ignite in the offensive tree, and I think gaining an extra 5 Dmg/AP for when Ignite's on CD is useless. Although a lower CD Flash would be nice with the point in the utility tree, I'd rather have the Juggernaut for 3% Max health and 10% reduced CC, that reduced CC is really useful considering the main build doesn't include Mercs.
With these masteries, I aim for high magic res and armor, lower CD w/o wasting runes, and high HP. My early level stats are jacked.
AP is really not a concern for Warwick, the 20% max life damage does 20% max health and heals for 80% of that whether you have 0 AP or 250 AP. Maybe you would do more damage with 250 AP because it does the higher damage of the two, but I just always think "worst case scenario is 20% of their life, which I am completely fine with. Furthermore, if you hit someone with a lot of HP, you're always going to do the 20% anyways.
With this combo, once the solo top lane gets under 35%ish life (which is easy for that to happen), you can literally burst them down with the entire combo from half a screen away. If they're stupid enough to stay within 700 range, you don't even need Flash.
Some like ghost, but it is unnecessary in my opinion. When you are chasing down a guy with low health, your Blood Scent gives you extra Movement Speed. Even if you are running away from an enemy with less than 50% life, you still have that Movement Speed. Also, Flash is still a viable escape mechanism even post-nerf. When you are running away, if you know that all his skills are on CD, you can also Hungering Strike him once as you run, lowering his life and boosting yours. That last Hungering Strike has saved me many times. Don't do this if he still has a nice skill or CC left that he can use on you, then just run.
is unnecessary in my opinion too. When you are going in, your main initiation should be with your Ultimate, exhausting the enemy while you are suppressing him is useless and if you're in a team fight, the guy you target should already be dead by the time the suppress ends anyways.
could be okay. You are soloing top, so say if you get ganked early, teleport could be useful, yet I still go with Flash/ Ignite.
Gameplay / Skill Sequence
-> -> ->
You get the point. Just Hungering Strike all day in top lane. I'll last hit minions with my auto attack and save my Q for the enemy champion. That mana is too valuable to me to waste on minions, and mana will most likely be a problem if you're aggressive, which you should be. The range for Hungering Strike is actually a little larger than the auto-attack range. It's 400 range, so versus melee fighters top like Udyr, Irelia, Jarvan IV, Olaf, this could also be used to hit and run without getting hurt yourself. Use it to your advantage.
Anytime he wants to last hit, I hit him with a Hungering Strike. Anytime he's close to me, I use Hungering Strike. This is why Warwick is such a good zoner. You can deny his last hits because if he wants a last hit, he's gonna have to go get it through taking your damage while you heal his harass.
Another reason Hungering Strike is awesome is that because it's magic damage, it doesn't aggro minions. So, you can run in, use Hungering Strike, and run back without ever getting hit by a minion.
Use the range to your advantage too. You can stand behind a small minion wall and Hungering Strike the guy through the wall as he's trying to last hit the minion in front. Chances are, you can get away without getting much - or any - damage done to you if you're smart.
If you're low, the enemy could push the lane. If he pushes, you can stay back and auto attack minions to regain health or instead of last hitting them, Hungering Strike them for the kill instead to gain back a lot of health. You can also turn on Hunters Call for this, it's a 35 Mana cost, it's cheap. When the enemy creep wave is close to the turret, I just hit W and start auto attacking all the minions and Hungering Strike them too if I'm low. If I'm full or close to full health, I just last hit as usual, but being able to auto attack and regain health with no life steal items is awesome and by the time the wave is back in the middle, the enemy is like "Huh??? Full life again?".
As always, only last hit the minions in your lane. Do not push far into the enemy's lane because you'll get ganked. Try to keep sight wards up to see the ganks, and if you can, let the enemy push, so YOUR jungler can gank him instead =D
You'll have to get the hang of it eventually, but you can kill enemy laners that are under 30-35%. The suppress range is awesome and it immediately teleports you right beside the enemy. Once they realize how powerful you are, they'll start staying away from you when they are low, even if you are similarly low. The combo is...
(if needed) -> -> -> -> + if needed
At a certain point, you can just start tower diving too when they're low. You should NOT get CC'ed because you're suppressing them. They're at 30%, they hug tower, you still kill them. With a minion wave pushing, just Infinite Duress, Ignite, and Hungering Strike. I wouldn't suggest tower diving unless they're pretty low (under 30%) so you can guarantee the kill with the Q so you don't have to chase when he Flash away and accidentally give him a kill instead because you couldn't accurately gauge how much life he had.
The combo is exactly the same for team fights IF your team is the one doing the ganking. If you guys are ganking someone from the bushes, flash Ulti will be devastating. Whoever you're ganking with, or the laner you're ganking should immediately burst him down. Don't be shy either, it's a relatively low cooldown with Frozen Heart and Sorcery and Enlightenment . If you get into a teamfight at Dragon or mid, do NOT Infinite Duress to initiate the fight. You wait till the most dangerous enemy comes and suppress him before he can use his skills, or sometimes it's better to wait for the enemy to blow one or two CCs before suppressing. If Soraka Infuse (silences) right when you Infinite Duress because you immediately jumped in, it'll end right there. However, don't wait till your carry gets CCed and dies before you suppress. It is really going to be a judgment call. As always, play it smart.
All three of those are done by Hungering Strike. The awesome part about Hungering Strike is that it requires NO ITEMS to make it powerful. It really doesn't. That's what people need to understand when choosing his items. The items will all be tanky, will add NOTHING to his real AD or AP, and it doesn't matter a single bit because he will sustain just as much, and deal just as much damage. So if increasing AP or AD doesn't do anything, the best way to go is to build tanky. My entire build will revolve around this very important fact. Some people will down vote this without even looking because there's no Razers or Wriggle's or whatever and the items don't look normal, but trust me. Try it and see how awesome it really is.
There is a core build, then after that, it comes down to your preference, play style, enemy team comp, your team comp. If they're AP heavy, build magic res items. If they're physical damage heavy, then build armor. If your team is squishy, go for health and play more of an off-tank role which this Warwick build can do. If your team is super tanky as is, you can potentially play a more aggressive build.
The extra health, MP5 and 15 AP help your sustain so much early game. No brainer, always start with this. This could literally be enough for you to sustain yourself for the first 10-15 minutes alone without ever having to go back. If the enemy goes back 3-4x, and has stronger items now, I'd just go back even if I don't need to, just to buy items and not give him a kill because I have no items. Once again, judgment call.
If you managed to pick yourself up a kill or have 1100 gold, I go straight for Sorcerer's Shoes. People wonder why Sorcerer's Shoes, but both your attacks (Q and Ulti) rely on Magic Damage, definitely the way to go. If not, you should still have enough for Boots of Speed + Sapphire Crystal + sight ward. If you don't even have enough for that, you're playing this guy wrong because his sustain is seriously ******edly strong. The sight ward is on a need basis depending on who the enemy jungler is. If it's someone who could really burst you down or has hard CC, I'd buy one.
If their jungler is more DoT and harass, sometimes I don't feel the need to buy one and kindly ask the jungler to put one down for me =D Play smart, if you're low, stay back, don't fight, and just keep Hungering Strike minions until you're high enough to start fighting with him again. Chances are your sustain > his health regen.
Note: If I see the enemy team just has massive massive CC... like 3 stuns, 1 silence, and a Taunt, I have NO problem getting Mercury's Treads instead. Merc treads are never ever a bad choice no matter who you play, and it'd be stupid to have Sorcerer's Shoes and just get raped in team fights the entire time. Use your head. See their team comp, and bring some Mercury's Treads into the game if necessary.
The Glacial Shroud should take care of your Mana needs. I prioritize the Glacial Shroud over the Wit's End if I'm buying in recipe pieces. If I go back and have 2k gold, which I often do, I'll go straight for Wit's End after Sorcerer's Shoes though. The Recurve Bow to me is too expensive just for Attack Speed, which isn't really necessary in your build. That's why I buy the Glacial Shroud pieces first because they're actually useful. But the Wit's End item itself is awesome, so I buy that in full if I have the gold. Even if I have like 1000 Gold when I go back and I already have the Glacial Shroud, I'll most likely take the Null-Magic Mantle and possibly grab an Oracle's Elixir or a few sight Ward.
Some items people argue into Warwick builds include Philosopher's Stone, Phage, Madred's Razors, Chalice of Harmony, and Spirit Visage. These items are all decent on other builds, but build horribly into mid/late game or are very inefficient for mid/late for this style of Warwick play.
Spirit Visage costs too much for only 10% CD, and it costs the same as Glacial Shroud. Frozen Heart is a much better item mid to late game. The extra 15% healing is nice, but the other stats of only 250 Health and 30 MR make this item weak in my opinion. 250 Health is less than a Giant's belt, c'mon now. How is this item going to hold up vs. a late-game Trynd or gank from Annie + Rammus?
Phage builds into a Frozen Mallet, but that's a HORRIBLE item for this build. You are going Tanky/Sustain, the Frozen Mallet would be way way too expensive for only 20 AD and 700 health. If you want a slow, grab the Red Buff. Your auto attacks are not doing much damage, Frozen Mallet won't help. With 3250 Gold, I'd much rather buy a Warmog's Armor or Sunfire Cape + Oracle's Elixir. You'll live much longer or do much more damage while still dishing out the same amount of damage because of Q. Also, you don't need a slow because your Blood Scent will activate when they're under 50%. When they are under 50%, you move faster than them. So you'll always keep on attacking and Hungering Strike them and they will die =]
Philosopher's Stone is just bad. GP5 is nice, but you have Mana Regen from Doran's, Health sustain instead of Regen. Shurelya's reverie doesn't fit into our build late game either.
Chalice of Harmony is just a really bad item by mid game. The stats are way too low for it to be useful just for mana regen, this is why I get a Frozen Heart to take care of my mana problems, yet also be an awesome asset for my team.
Madred's Razors are also bad. Why would you want to do 400 damage to a minion? You'd push, and Wriggle's Lantern is for AD Builds, Madred's Bloodrazor are for Tanky/AS builds like Tiger Udyr, and our build is neither of those. Besides 3800 gold?! Guardian Angel + Giant's Belt? Warmog's Armor + Oracle's Elixir + Elixir of Fortitude? Way better.
+ a combination of the following... Warmog's Armor || Sunfire Cape || Guardian Angel || Force of Nature || Banshee's Veil || Thornmail || Aegis of the Legion || Randuin's Omen
The Core is still the same, except now you have a Frozen Heart instead of Glacial Shroud. Obviously sell the Doran's Ring for one of these items late game for your 6th item. Anyways, the rest of the build really depends on YOUR INTELLECT. Use all the information around you to make a decision.
Like I said, they're all going to be defensive items. But as long as you're alive, you can do 1/5 of their health every 4.5 seconds. 20% of their health regardless of their total life, and you get 15% of THEIR life back. There is no need for any offensive items. This is Sustain/Tanky/Damage Dealing Warwick.
Note: There are probably some item combinations that just should not mix. Do not mix Warmog's Armor with Guardian Angel if you're never dying because you're so tanky with Warmog's. Randuin's Omen and Guardian Angel is not a favorite of mine either due to the TOO little health of making the Guardian Angel worth it.
So like I mentioned throughout this guide, the entire item build, masteries, and runes are set up around Warwick's Hungering Strike. Because it is a percentage of total life skill, it is very powerful and on such a short cooldown too. The entire build revolves around you being tanky enough to live and keep on using Hungering Strike. You'll be able to track them down easily with your Blood Scent so there's no need for any slows or extra damage or whatever it is.
This build is extremely extremely fun. You will continue living and staying healthy, while they will die. Enjoy the tankiness of running around and Hungering Strikeing everyone and Infinite Duressing every 40 seconds at level 16. Please try the build before you vote, and see the awesomeness for yourself =D
Credit to jhoijhoi's guide in Making a Guide for aesthetic beauty =]
Hope you all enjoyed!