Warwick Build Guide by Tim Depp
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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.
I wish to say, that, despite the volume of Warwick builds currently present, I have to display mine in hopes of some hits. My friends and I have discussed my Warwick build for some time, and since I've had Warwick since I was lvl 4, I would say that the evolution has created a great build for all people, be it newcomer or old-timer!
Before you comment or question my style and build, read through EVERYTHING at least a little to understand how the mechanics of this Warwick build go through, and why exactly I recommend what I do. Also, note that this build can be changed around to dually serve as a solo lane Warwick build, if done properly.
Rune builds for Warwick should be somewhat apparent in what is needed and not. But, there are discrepancies where the tradeoffs are indifferent enough that you can fudge the exact build. But below are the current runes, the good subs, and the "to-avoids".
*Strength(A.D.): Since Warwick has base lifesteal and benefits from being able to sustain his health in fights because of this, and, as a jungler, also benefits from being able to kill quickly, extra phys. damage is always a plus.
*Shielding(M.R.): Warwick has a high base magic resistance, and kills non-tanky supports & AP carries fairly quickly early to mid-game, so offering yourself a boost to this will allow mid and bottom ganks to be easy.
*Resilience(Armor): Jungling is always easier when armor isn't a problem, and, with a tankier build overall, ganks become easier as well.
*Swiftness(Movement): Two key points make this Quintessence a must-have; 1) Warwick is vunerable to crowd control and can only kill targets he is able to stay on top of, so faster movement is vital, and 2) Speed is critical to clearing jungles quickly, catching up to a lane when ganks are most needed, and just staying leveled with the rest of the team.
Other runes I would allow include attack speed, health regen, and lifesteal, since attack speed is one of Warwick's best ways to deal damage, health regen makes jungling go by more smoothly, and lifesteal is Warwick's best innate skill.
Bonuses to avoid include critchance, crit damage, and ability power, since critting is not necessary considering how much Warwick benefits from on-hit effects, and that Warwick's ability damage and bonus magic damage are not too greatly supplemented with AP runes. Also, Ability power does not stack with the bonus magic damage given by Warwick's passive. (I've done the tests!)
This is where the questions likely come in, since I have a lot of points, nearly a third, mind you, in the Defense branch of the Masteries tree. Most builds are very common in having a 21-0-9 build for any DPS, AD and jungler build. However, PLEASE note the skills that I have selected in there, of which are: Bladed Armor, Vigor, Tough Skin, and Hardiness.
Bladed Armor, first of all, is the best part of this choice, as all minion and creep damage you suffer is reduced and redirected as 6 true damage, which is *very* nice to have when jungling. It allows you to focus buffed monsters while their cronies hurt themselves against you, only for you to smear them shortly after being buffed.
Tough Skin, secondly, is the skill needed to access Bladed Armor, and is where your damage reduction from creep is derived. Since creeps hurt you plenty from levels 1 to 4, this bonus is worth the investment to get the headstart in jungling.
Vigor and Hardiness, which grant added health regen and additional armor, respectively, add to your tankiness and, as I've been saying, make jungling go by faster and more smoothly, so that you will only really need one health potion. Also, they make ganks and recovery from attacks faster - always a plus if you have lots of ground to cover in the jungle in order to help your team.
Before considering what the items build into, note the two items Madred's Bloodrazor and Wit's End, both of which offer an on-hit effect, or proc, and are superior additions to his arsenal. The rest, of course, builds Warwick to be tanky, and the Bloodthirster is much of his base damage as well as his added lifesteal. Since Warwick does much, if not all, of his practical damage through staying on top of someone while he autoattacks them, on-hit effects, plus as much tankiness as one can build, allows him to excel.
*Ninja Tabi: I chose these over Berserker's Greaves, surprisingly enough, since many of the good fighters I see playing will often equip them to their build. Now, attack speed is nice for Warick when procs are stacked on as well, but being slightly tanky over DPS as Warwick makes you relatively unkillable, which means you can gank more comfortably without worrying too much about dying if something comes up in a fight.
*Madred's Bloodrazor: The first proc item and the item I would recommend obtaining linearly, Madred's is the first good chunk of attack speed you'll use, as well as the first proc you'll gain. The effect in question adds a chunk of magic damage (calculated as a coefficient of the target's max health) to each swing you take, which means that, if built correctly, you can hit for about 3/5 physical and 2/5 magic damage on each hit, allowing you to damage your opponent efficiently, no matter which type of protection they build. Also, the addition of AD and armor on it allows you to jungle quite faster if you build it early.
*Banshee's Veil: For those of you unfamiliar with Banshee's Veil, it grants you a spell shield every 45 seconds, which blocks the very next unfriendly effect that hits you, as well as magic resistance, mana and health. If procs were not in the build, I would argue that this item is the most invaluable piece to your build. Since the shield is indiscriminate to what type of spell hits you, this means that even crowd control is stopped on first hit, and crowd control is Warwick's biggest threat. With no escapes and no crowd control of his own outside of his ultimate, a way of preventing it becomes absolutely necessary in order to deal damage and fight correctly with your allies.
*The Bloodthirster: As I created a hybrid build of tanky and AD items coupled onto a jungling champion, I soon realized I needed damage to complement my AS as well as my defenses. With AD and lifesteal both in one item, the Bloodthirster is a lovely addition to your build, and it makes you more sustainable in a fight, considering that Warwick has base LS as well.
*Guardian Angel: Since Warwick lacks his own crowd control (and therefore cannot escape quickly) and he himself is weak against CC, he will likely die repeatedly against a CC-heavy team, or pretty much any high-damage team. Added protection on both ends (as well as an occassional second chance) will allow you to fight longer and get away with more health intact. However, the revive on Guardian is its best attribute, as it will revive you on death wil a chunk of mana and health, with no death penalty if you don't die again until the 5 minute cooldown resets, when the revive becomes avaiable again.
*Wit's End: The second proc item, this one also adds AS and bonus magic damage, but Wit's end acts more defensively than Madred's does. Rather than armor, Wit's End grants magic resistance, and more is added up to a stack of four, for each autoattack you get in within 5 seconds of each other. The passive, with the bonus MR, also adds flat bonus MD, but it adds a percent to your damage within the 4 stacks you build. All of this should encourage you to chase your enemies and stay on top of them as you autoattack, which is exactly how Warwick plays.
Skills and Summoner Spells
I might as well clear the air on my skill progression and spell choice. Also, some dos and don'ts can't really hurt... Unless you have a tip allergy, in which case you should read with caution, as cross-contamination is likely with this product.
D-key Spell - Smite: Every compotent jungler needs thsi to kill buffed monsters early on, and to clear jungles faster in general. Now, before anyone suggests that they can jungle well enough without it, or that Warwick is the best jungler to not use Smite, I must say that you should just go with it, just to keep your experience from being any more of a pain-in-the-*** than it ever has to be. Also, Smite lets you take bufffs from enemy junglers if you feel adventerous enough to invade and try to steal their creep.
F-key Spell - Flash: I'm not a conformist to the rest of the community,(in which LITERALLY every build includes Ignite and *FLASH*) but I highly recommend Flash as your more defensive S-Spell, since he has no escape move or crowd control. Now, as opposed to Ghost, Flash is better, since Warwick's vunerability to CC makes Ghost lose some bonuses when compared to the instant evasion of Flash.
Now for skills, which should be pretty simple. However, as with any build, I would highly recommend getting at least one point into all three basic skills first, so that you have a lot of options in combat early on.
Q - Hungering Strike: This select-then-target strike deals magic damage and heals you for a good chunk of health, which is great for jungling and is just awesome for last hits and replenishment. When you begin to die in a team fight, simply use this on a carry or other squishy target, then bring your focus onto said target, so taht you can begin to regen your health and possibly kill an enemy champion. Max this skill out 2nd of all, as it will serve you very well in the jungle and out of it.
W - Hunter's Call: This increases attack speed in you and nearby allies, which makes Warwick much better at killing, and also makes him quite the asset in a 5-man push or team fight. In addition to saving it for team fights, I would also say that you should save it for when you ult on top of your gank target, where you will be able to get most of your autoattacks in. Despite the utility of this skill, I would max it out last, since it can wait until late game, where it serves more than one use.
E - Blood Scent: What most new players to Warwick don't realize is that this isn't really an ability that you select ae, but rather, it's a toggle for an in-game mechanic. When you upgrade Blood Scent, you will scent out nearby champions, and will gain sight of them (which also puts a pair of hunter eyes over them, which both you and the target in question can see) *and* move faster if their health is below half their maximum value. This allows Warwick to chase, and is what makes him good for assassinations and blocking pushes through ganking. The toggle is set to on when you first upgrade it, and you can turn it off to get close to a wounded target (without alerting them to your general location), then switching it back on when you are ready to strike. I would recommend maxing this one out first, since ganks are a breeze with the massive speed bonuses you get with it.
Ult(R) - Infinite Duress: By striking R, you get a cursor that lets you target an enemy champion. When in range of your target, you leap on and suppress (read: "silence AND snare") them, all the while applying a percentile of your magic and physical damages. This is what makes Warwick a great jungler, (or even just ganker) since it makes him so hard to escape from when his ult is up. However, being his ace-in-the-hole, this can also be used by your opponents to turn the tables on you, so plan carefully when using it. As with any ultimate, put a point in whenever it becomes available (at levels 6, 11, and 16).
Feel free to devise your own path for fighting just remember the following rules:
1) Warwick is suited to 1v1 encounters, so don't gank an enemy lane if both people are there to fight you.
2) Start on blue. Red is good too, but, in addition to buring through mana quickly, Warwick also has no business giving the enemy your blue in case they invade.
3) FOCUS in this order: damagingest, squishiest, and slowest, and your targets won't live to see the day end.
4) Prioritize; no jungler can multi-task and babysit every lane, so only go for the most pushed lane out of any.
5) It's a jungler's job to recognize when a gank is possible, needed, and helpful - on that same note, it's the laner's job to recognize your pings and help set up your ganks; EVERYONE NEEDS TO LOOK AT THE MINI-MAP OFTEN.
6) Even if you don't kill someone, their flashing away or your side's lack of deaths is always a plus, and, therefore, a successful gank.
Start at blue - have your team guard and leash. Keep the leash *outside* of a bush, so that when they leave, the golem doesn't start regen of its health when it switches targets. You should level up.
Fight the wolves, using your W and Q to stay healthy. Go to wraiths, but only a W cast will be necessary. Make it down to golems, and unleash your best. With level 3, get ready to go for red, where you should focus only the buffed monster, drinking your health potion if you really have to.
Once you get the red buff, you can start ganking if the enemy is playing aggressively (watch out for warded rivers!) or continue jungling, until you reach 1100 to 1350 gold, where you can buy Ninja Tabi and a Long Sword (or Madred's Razors and Boots of Speed) upon recalling. At level 6, you can start ganking full time, only stopping to focus jungle when you have a cooldown.
To make life easier as you gank...
*ALWAYS ping your target (keep to the flow chart on target attributes in no. 3 above) and ask about wards. Backdoor if necessary if the enemy has warded, and use bushes always to your advantage.
*If a target is particularly hard to gank, tunr off your E until you can lunge, then switch it back on as you chase them down.
*Stay away from turret dives until you have at least three items or have achieved lvl 9, and Dragon should follow the same rule.
*On planning for your first gank, consider saving your potion until the trek to your ganking spot to drink it. However, if you feel that wolves, golems, or red buff has injured you too much, then drink it anyways.
*Watch for overextensions; if you are not sure that you can kill your target soon after overextending, or that you may not be able to escape, then backing off and breaking your teammates off is the best idea.
Questions? Comment? Observations?
Be sure to read it through before rating it, and mess with the build as much as you like; just consider the core skills implemented here, and never forget about being creative.
(Little secret for you guys: this build can be tweaked for a good solo lane build; just start on Boots of Speed and save all of your cash until Ninja Tabi or your first build item)