Hecarim Build Guide by Sanguined
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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.
This is my first guide here on mobafire.
I made it because I play Hecarim different to how other guides outline him, and have been doing so with a lot of success.
I max Devastating Charge first, don't leave yet! I'd like to outline why along with item choices.
Fairly standard AD bruiser rune setup.
I've been using armor pen quints too and they work fine as well (movespeed ones are pricey after all).
I strongly suggest the armor pen marks and armor seals for the jungle and strength on Q and E, our primary abilities.
Magic resist glyphs are a personal choice. CDR could work, but I haven't tried.
I don't go into the offence tree because; there is no movespeed here, my main burst E and ulti R are our highest dmg dealers in a gank and our initiators so don't benefit from the final mastery in this tree. Finally, armor penetration; I may be mistaken, but % armor pen goes after flat penetration, for this reason I tend not to mix and match on bruisers. With our flat armor pen runes and a ghostblade this mastery has little affect early game, which is the most vital time for Hecarim to shine.
Bladed armor helps the jungle start a lot. Hecarim is not exceptional in the jungle and levelling E first hurts us more, so I feel this along with the armor mastery is required. The rest are a standard pick, CDR will be from items, but you could have it if you'd like.
Less time spent dead, faster movespeed and buffs last longer. Fairly solid choices.
Skill Sequence (+Power of E)
It's great don't get me wrong. But 5 phantom dancers are not as great as you think.
It makes items with movespeed involved more cost effective, but not the be all and end all of Hecarim builds. I only use two: trinity force and ghostblade. I feel abusing his ult makes him suffer in every other department. The unit collision ignoring is great for getting through creeps to gank and going through an enemy while charging E then knocking them back with it once your past (all the time, as standard, mashing Q).
Early game in the jungle this attack gives okay AOE damage to creeps. During ganks you will rarely get 2 Qs before the enemy escapes. It should be used constantly though because of the low mana cost and it does not interrupt autoattacks or movement. I level this second because mid game is when, with ghostblade and phage, Hecarim can chase to his hearts content and get multiple of these swings off. Using this constantly in fights has never starved me of mana during the fight, so throughout the game spam Q. ^^
W: Spirit of Dread
I think this skill shines late game. The AOE is mediocre but a useful jungle tool. I understand why people choose to level it first but it leads to weaker ganks and more time in the jungle and not helping team-mates in lanes. This is because during a gank, that normally last a few seconds you will rarely get the full duration of the ability on your opponent. Furthermore the heal is not often needed as in most gank situations you have the advantage and the enemy doesn't fight but run (and if they do fight they tend to target the weakened laner instead).
Late game however, and with a spirit visage this item really helps late game and mid-late game team fights. Turn it on during a full team fight and you heal for 30% of damage taken on everyone in the vicinity from all your team-mates and yourself. Making Hecarim a hard to kill initiator. This is why it is levelled last.
E: Devastating Charge
This is a biggy so I separated it into two major bits.
Every second for 4 seconds Hecarim's speed increases. 1 second in +25%, 2 seconds in +50%, 3 seconds in +75%. You'll have noticed the noise and effect as these boosts happen. The damage also increases in discrete blocks like this (to my knowledge), so waiting for the final boost before hitting an enemy is crucial, as then it does the most damage and the best bonus ad ratio.
The damage shown does not include the normal attack hit you do along with it!
SUPER IMPORTANT, due to you're passive that bonus AD increases as the E speeds you up, leading to even more damage.
It also does a short charge at the end, meaning even if you think you are out of reach try autoattacking at the end of the duration just in case you can leap to your target.
I understand why people use this as a utility instead. The movespeed bonus is unchanged through the ranks. However two things do change, the damage and the cooldown.
As his main and only ganking tool before 6, and even then a necessary part of a gank, devastating charge benefits hugely from the cooldown reduction as you rank it up. It's the difference from going straight from a gank at top to a gank at mid without pause compared to waiting the 4 or 5 seconds where the mid lane could react or change.
Ganks last a few seconds, I would say rarely longer than 4 seconds. The sustained damage that Q and W put out is just not enough to ensure a successful gank. You'd be hard pressed to get 2 Qs out or even the full duration of W, so both don't deal much increased damage per rank compared to a full power E. So overall during ganks I feel the damage E does is greater than Q or W.
R: Onslaught of Shadows
A powerful blink with quite strong CC and mediocre damage I feel this ultimate is really strong in ganks early game and initiation late game, along with a flash if needed.
Aiming is hard as you ideally want to hit the enemy in the half of the circle closest to you, that way they are feared backwards. Furthermore it means a great E can be landed.
Charge E for a second or so before using R if you want a good gank, then as soon as R is done you can land a fully charged E along with a Q and W.
Items (+Jungle Start)
Cloth and 5Pot
Required, I don't think Hecarim can start in any better way without damaging his levelling process. Pop a pot on wolves (you need help from your team-mates on nearby lanes for wolves), then head to blue and get a pull. Now see if you can gank your nearby lanes (it's a risky move so only go if you're fairly sure). Go to wraiths, then wolves, then red (smite red) and then wraiths. Head back to base and get your...
Boots, 2Pot and Ward
I like to get a ward for the guy up top as I'll be looking to gank there at some point. The pots are for the jungling as we still get hurt a bit in there. But at this point you need to harass lanes, even just to try and burn off a few flashes, as this can help your team-mates hugely. Go around the back of the lane, Start E, Ping enemy, and charge, spamming Q whenever anything is near. The main aim is to hit from the back with a full charged E for heavy damage.
Tier 2 Boots, Madreds and Brutalizer
Choose from Mercury Treads or Ninja Tabi (only Tabi when there are 3 heavy auto attackers). Madreds is needed for speedier jungling and downing blue (for your mid lane buddy, as Hecarim is fairly okay with mana) and red. Brutalizer is needed to strengthen our ganks with the bonus damage and armor pen helping our Q and E hit so much harder (soooo much harder), the CDR helps us gank more often and is nice for our long CD ulti when we get it.
Argh, smarter people than I won't like this. The avarice blade is a horrible item to build, so try to get the ghostblade off it as soon as possible. The ghostblade strengthens the great things about the brutalizer I mentioned earlier along with a great active. Use the active right before you hit with you're fully charged E for the best results. The crit chance at the moment is so-so, but we strengthen it with more crit chance later.
Now the ghostblade helps this item so much, which is why I say to get that first. Percentages are inherently evil, so to guarantee the proc we activate the ghostblade. After it's worn off they'll be slowed. A match made in heaven. Plus, this allows you to start diving towers and taking hits more freely. And the damage is nice for our maxed out E and Q as they now benefit from huge attack damage bonuses, flat armor pen in abundance and high ranks. Lovely.
It's late I know! But I dislike this item on it's lonesome. The phage proc normally isn't assured enough, but we sorted that with our ghostblade. Zeal is really mostly a plus when we have ghostblade, the crits become noticable and more reliable and the movespeed with the active of youmuus and E is super fast. Plus attack speed is nice with our around 150 damage. Howver, I believe sheen on it's own isn't as great as people make it out to be, the ratios on our two AP abilities mean the +25 is a pathetic amount and he isn't bad with mana so I don't notice the difference in the +200. We only get it for the proc, the dmg proc every 2 secs. it's good yes, but I believe that on it's own early game, the ganks don't feel any good with +60 dmg for over 1000 gold. In trinity force though, and later in the game the multiple procs really are visible during those longer fights that you just don't see during early game ganks.
We've got our wriggles to shore up our armor but it's time to look at our magic resist. We have our ult too, which we'd love to use more often with a reduced cooldown. Oh, oh! And we need to be more tanky. But we'd like these things cheap so we can go back to dmg dealing.
That's what spirit visage is to me, all those things with a super secret rank up to our W, which now gives us even more health during teamfights and our main source of health sustainability in long fights.
Maw and Atma's
Few games do I manage these 2 beasts of items, well one's a smaller beast of it's older self, but still! Prioritise based on the enemy's main dmg output; magic - go maw, physical - atma's. Special mention goes to maw for it's lovely synergy with spirit visage and your W on long teamfights. Hit a couple of Qs at low health during W and you get a new lease of life. If you get both I tend to replace wriggles with atma's. The crit on atma's brings our total to around 50% which is great.
Summoner Spells (+Why Jungle Hec)
We're jungling in this guide, I have tried lane Hecarim and prefer jungle as I feel there are many stronger top laners but Hecarim's frequency and speed of ganks is unique.
I feel with maxing E and getting ghostblade Hecarim feels like a threat from anywhere and a really fast engager. Theses are strengthened with the use of ghost, which gives a long (that's vital too) boost to speed and a minor increase to dmg (sometimes in a duel 10 secs of a bit more dmg makes the difference).
Flash is good. Take it if you want. I feel as long as you have a straight where enemies aren't present, Hecarim can run there to escape from most things. However, wall jumping can be a game changer so I understand this choice; just remember you're ult can do that too (aaaand has a shorter cooldown :P ).
Teleport is... sorta, I guess. I can imagine Tp'ing behind an engagement and causing mass panic with a charge or an ulti. But Hec is faaaaast; with E, Youmuus and ghost he can get most places in time for action.
Exhuast and ignite, other players have them, let them use it, we don't need loads in a team. I've seen too many double exhausts, so I may be bitter. But again, it's personal preference and how you use summoners.
This is a rough outline of a guide I'd like to finish.
I'd love opinions and views on what I have done so far.
I will make the guide appear better if it gets a good reception.
I'd love any theorycrafting on my claims, as I may have made mistakes.
Really, thank you for reading this, and I hope it wasn't too painful.
All the best ^^