Udyr Build Guide by NauticalPhoenix
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The Udyr Train
Not Updated For Current Season
WELCOME TO THE UDYR TRAIN, ALL ABOARD!
In December of 2009, Riot Games released it's first new champion - UDYR - and since that day have not succeeded in creating a better fighter/tank. Udyr is a ridiculously strong champion, able to 1v1 most melee champs and, in some case, is capable of 2v1 scenarios. When built and played correctly, Udyr can become an unstoppable freight train of death, rolling over anything in his path while being very hard to halt.
This guide will extrapolate on the two core ideas behind this build:
Health, Health, Health
Health is important because Udyr is prone to a lot of punishment entering and exiting fights and heath helps to mitigate that. As a result, this build has health on every item except for two. This allows Udyr to maintain a somewhat tanky composure in the early to mid game as he feeds up, then creates a chance to go full on tank in the mid to late game and further facilitate the "Udyr Train" concept.
By "Udyr Train" I mean three things. The first is the idea that with each item, Udyr's resilience to damage grows significantly, more so than other champions from item to item. The second concept is that of speed. As you build various items and Bear Stance, you will turn Udyr into a faster and faster chaser as the game progresses. The final is building off the concept behind Udyr's passive, Monkey's Agility, which is the longer Udyr stays in a fight, the stronger he gets. In other words, as Udyr gains momentum through the course of the game, he becomes harder and harder to stop... like a... yeah...
If you desire the sacred knowledge of how to ride the Udyr Train all night long on the Twisted Treeline Railroad, you have come to the right place.
REMEMBER: This is a Twisted Treeline build, and on the Twisted Treeline you gain gold much faster than on Summoner's Rift , which is why this build can get away with being as pricey as it is. That being said, this build is most effective when you solo the top lane and get ahead in the feed.
Take notes because class is now in session.
Pros / Cons
+ high snowball potential
+ high sustain
+ incredible mobility
+ stun on a short cooldown
+ great for engaging team fights
+ great at escaping sticky situations
+ can solo Vilemaw extremely early
- no true gap-closers
- no ranged pokes
- must take punishment to be aggressive
- no significant aoe damage
- Phoenix Stance is pretty useless for this build
- no ways to break CC which can cost you your life
FERAL INSTINCTS GUIDE OUR FIST
At his core, Udyr is an auto attack champion that uses his four abilities to augment his basic attacks. Tiger Stance, Turtle Stance, and Bear Stance all have activation and persistent effects that make him an incredibly powerful melee brawler. Unfortunately, Phoenix Stance is relatively useless for this build as you will be building to almost no ability power. The following descriptions detail each ability and how you can use them to their maximum potential.
|Monkey's Agility is a stackable passive that activates every time you switch stances granting attack and movement speed. It has a maximum of three stacks, providing you with 30% additional attack speed when all three stacks are active. Remember this when you have Trinity Force as that will make for 60% additional attack speed. A good stance dance rotation that takes advantage of this passive is to start with Bear Stance to close the gap and stun, immediately Tiger Stance to apply your DoT and get a few quick hits, and end with Turtle Stance. By the time you have reached Turtle Stance, Monkey's Agility will be at three stacks creating much faster life steal in Turtle Stance.|
|Tiger Stance, like the other stances, has a persistent effect as well as an activation effect. The activation effect buffs your attack speed for 5 seconds (scaling with level), and applies a two second DoT to the first target you hit that deals very substantial damage. The persistent effect causes your basic attacks to deal a bonus 15% total attack damage on each hit. It goes without saying that Tiger Stance is the backbone for any AD Udyr build. Remember when engaging in fights that reactivating Tiger Stance will grant you the attack speed buff and the DoT effect but they WILL NOT STACK, their duration will only be refreshed. The DoT effect can be particularly useful when trying to kill an enemy low on health who is running to safety. Simply activate Tiger Stance, hit the enemy, run away, and watch as their life is drained to zero within two seconds. Combining this DoT with Ignite can be extremely effective, especially against champions with heals. Max Tiger Stance first to get your damage going right away.|
|Turtle Stance grants you a defensive shield upon activation that scales with level and 50% of your ability power. The persistent effect is what makes this stance really effective, granting you lifesteal. With five points in Turtle Stance, you gain 18% lifesteal. Couple that with a fully stacked Sanguine Blade and that puts you at 38% lifesteal. Even with level one Turtle Stance, your minimum lifsteal with Sanguine Blade is 25%. This ridiculously high potential for lifesteal coupled with insane attack speed will have you blinking your eyes at how fast you will regain chunks of your life. And don't even get me started on how well this works once you have Spirit Visage fully built. Activating and reactivating Turtle Stance can help absorb extra damage with the shield. I can't tell you how many times this has helped me live through bleeds, ignites, or any other form of damage. This stance is amazing, but Tiger Stance and Bear Stance take precedence as they will help you more in the early levels.|
|Bear Stance is an incredibly powerful CC stance as well as an insane gap closer and "OH S**T!" button. When activated, you are granted movement speed (up to 35% at max level) AND Udyr will ignore unit collision for the duration which is why you max this ability second. That, and the fact that your first attack on a target will stun it for one second with only six seconds until you can stun the same target again. You read right, THE SAME TARGET, meaning you can chain stun the entire enemy team during big engagements and do it all over again six seconds later. Turtle Stance can aid Udyr in chasing down ranged champions sitting behind their team, or can help hin run away from a fight if things aren't going his way. Try alternating between Bear Stance and Turtle Stance when running away to maintain speed and give yourself a periodic damage shield. When ambushing from the bushes, Bear Stance's speed buff and unit collision ignore can leave your opponent wondering how you got on top of them so fast. It's also worth mentioning that Udyr will lunge at a target he has not yet stunned while in this stance, which helps a great deal when chasing victims.|
|Phoenix Stance, while very cool (see my name), is pretty useless for this build. It gains damage bonuses from 45% of your ability power, which you will only get 30 of from Trinity Force. Just put some points into it at 16, 17, and 18 so it doesn't feel left out.|
As you build stacks of Monkey's Agility during fights, the Udyr Train will build momentum. The more attack speed you have from items, the harder the train is to stop. Use your abilities intelligently and very few people will be able to cease the glory that is the Udyr Train.
Masteries, Runes & Summoner Spells
|If you have read this far you are already on your way to swooning all the ladies with your godly Udyr skills. I find that masteries and summoner spells should only be done one way with this build whereas runes allow for some flexibility. Personally, I enjoy full armor penetration runes for early game champion-shredding. You, however, may elect to go full attack damage, or a combination of both damage and penetration.
Since Udyr needs to take a good bit of punishment when engaging and fleeing fights, I've found it best to build his masteries tanky. In the mid to late game, you can transition to a full fledged tank with all the health you have on your weapons coupled with the tank items I have recommended. The great part about being an Udyr tank is that you are still capable of putting out great damage similar to champions like Garen and Nasus. If this were a Summoner's Rift build, I would say alter the build to get four points in Tenacious , but since it's not, it's just not as beneficial because less players in the game means less benefit from Tenacious .
I save three points for Meditation because stance dancing in the early game eats mana very fast so every bit of regen helps. By the time you have built Trinity Force however, you won't need to worry as much about mana.
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Lethality
As I stated earlier, I enjoy full armor penetration runes. These runes give you 19.77 armor penetration at level 1. Most champions start level 1 with around 30 base armor meaning you have 66% penetration at level 1. By the time you have built The Black Cleaver, you will have 29.77 base armor penetration as well as the stackable armor penetration debuff provided by the weapon. I go with armor seals and magic resistance glyphs to help with early game tankyness and to create a solid base for mid to late game tankyness.
Ghost is the only choice for your mobility spell in my opinion. It lasts for 10 seconds making it amazing for supporting Bear Stance's run speed buff, Trinity Force's Rage buff, and for getting out of Dodge when the turds hit the fan.
Ignite is fantastic for sealing the deal on kills. Save it for when your enemy is at 10-20% health. With Tiger Stance's DoT effect, Ignite can add an additional deadly DoT that also makes healing less effective on your victim.
THE PARTS OF THE TRAIN
The item build philosophy for The Udyr Train is to build items that boost Udyr's power the longer he fights, as is his design with Monkey's Agility, and that provide him with as much tankyness as possible while maintaining high damage output. You will notice that every item in this build except for the Sanguine Blade and Ninja Tabi has health on it. This is absolutely crucial to making Udyr an unstoppable engine of destruction.
|The Sanguine Blade is the most cost effective starting item for Udyr with 15% base lifesteal and 40 base attack damage. It's unique passive grants +6 attack damage and +1% lifesteal for 4 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. At 5 stacks, this amounts to 20% lifesteal (the most on any item) and 70 attack damage. The great thing about Udyr and his attack speed mechanics is that he can build 5 stacks in no time at all. Some may be thinking, "But Nautical, why not go Ravenous Hydra or Blade of the Ruined King?" Well, I'll tell you why: Ravenous Hydra is incredibly expensive and only has 12% lifesteal, paling in comparison to Sanguine Blade's 20% at 5 stacks. Blade of the Ruined King, while a fan favorite, caps at 15% lifesteal, has a measly 25 attack damage, and is also very expensive. Not to mention, going with the cheaper Sanguine Blade first means a faster build to Trinity Force which is, in my opinion, the backbone of this build.|
|The Ninja Tabi are the boots of choice for this particular Udyr build. They add 25 armor getting you off to a nice, tanky start. Your first actual tanky item will be Spirit Visage in most cases so having the armor helps.|
|As I have said before, Trinity Force is the backbone of this build. This item is choked full of so many stats it's absolutely ridiculous. It also has two, count em', TWO unique passive abilities that make Udyr a force to be reckoned with.
To start, Trinity Force has 250 health and 200 mana. The mana buff will alleviate a great deal of stress on your mana from stance dancing and the health will be the first of many in your pursuit of increasing Udyr's health pool. The 30% attack speed will aid your Monkey's Agility and Tiger Stance activation buff while the 30 attack damage and ability power will help your damage output and Turtle Stance's shield. Having a small amount of critical chance is nice for those serious thuds in Turtle Stance that grant extra lifesteal and the 8% movement speed buff will augment Bear Stance's activation a great deal.
The Trinity Force's first passive buff is Rage. Basic attacks grant 20 movement speed for 2 seconds and killing grants 60 movement speed. This. Is. Fantastic. When chasing down an opponent, the Rage buff allows Udyr to keep up with his prey. This is especially useful once you get your first stun off with Bear Stance. The second passive buff is Spellblade. After using an ability, your next basic attack deals double damage and this only has a two second cooldown. Since Udyr's stances have more than a two second cooldown, every single time you enter a stance you will be granted the Spellblade buff. It is for these two passives and the ridiculous amounts of stats that the Trinity Force is a must have for Udyr.
|If you thought 25-38% lifesteal was crazy with Turtle Stance and a fully stacked Sanguine Blade, just wait until you have the 20% increased healing effects buff from Spirit Visage. In addition to enhancing your healing, this item grants 400 more health to your health pool, 55 magic resistance for those pesky AP champions, some life regen, and 10%cooldown reduction. It is for the 20% enhanced healing alone that this is the first choice for building magic resistance on Udyr. This item should always come before Randuin's Omen unless you are in dire need of armor.|
|The The Black Cleaver will be the final weapon you build. Most of the time I can get away with building to it fourth, but in some cases when my team needs a tank sooner, I go with Spirit Visage or Randuin's Omen before The Black Cleaver. This weapon has another 200 health to add to your pool, 50 attack damage to make you hit like a train, that 10 armor penetration I talked about earlier, and 10% cooldown reduction for a total of 20% with Spirit Visage. Not only does it have these wonderfully beefy stats, it also has an on hit debuff that reduces enemy champion armor by 5% for 4 seconds and stacks up to 5 times- exactly like the Sanguine Blade- duration and all. Once both are stacked, you are doing 30 more attack damage and reducing their armor by 25%. Couple that with a stacked Monkey's Agility and you have the Udyr Train concept in full effect.
ProTip: Use Sanguine Blade's buff to keep track of The Black Cleaver's debuff on single targets.
|Randuin's Omen offers nothing but pure beef in terms of anti-attack damage tank stats. With 500 MORE health and 70 armor, there is really no better choice for a single armor item. The Cold Steel debuff slows enemy champion movement and attack speed for 1 second each time they hit you, allowing a slightly easier escape if need be. Randuin's Omen also has an activation ability that slows enemy champions within a range of 500 by 35% for 2 seconds. This can obviously aid with both chasing and fleeing.|
With this build fully acquired, the Udyr Train will be in full effect as he runs faster, hits harder, heals more, takes less damage, and increases in power the longer he fights. CHOO-CHOO!!
Situational Tank Items
Since the gear in this build synergizes so well together, especially the weapons, I only have two alternative tank items to discuss. These items are not meant to replace their counterparts above, but rather meant to replace their opposites above. The follow two recommendations offer the best bang for their buck.
|In the even you are facing an all AP team OR an AP strong team with a weak AD tank, you should swap Mercury's Treads for Ninja Tabi. No explanation necessary.|
|In the event you are facing an all AD team, you should purchase the Sunfire Cape instead of the Spirit Visage. It more than makes up for the health on the Spirit Visage, grants an additional 45 armor, and has a persistent AoE DoT effect to all enemies near Udyr. Although this means you will not have the 20% healing enhancement buff from the Spirit Visage, you will have more resilience vs the all AD team thus lessening the need for such a stat.|
|In the event you are facing an all AP team, you should elect to purchase Banshee's Veil over Randuin's Omen. This item offers nice support to the Spirit Visage with 450 health, another 55 magic resistance, a damage absorbing shield that procs every time you are out of combat for more than 25 seconds with enemy champions, and health regen that activates upon taking damage.|
Sunfire Cape and Banshee's Veil support Randuin's Omen and Spirit Visage marvelously, and are insanely cost efficient for what they have to offer. Mercury's Treads are the logical situational replacement for Ninja Tabi.
Playing the Build Effectively
While playing bottom will do just fine, this build is a build that works best as a solo top/jungle member of the team. Getting ahead of the feed in general will allow you to build the momentum needed for the Udyr Train faster and will make early ganks easier. Udyr excels at ganking due to his high burst, movement speed, and stun and as such, you should always look out for ganks.
I will outline a simple strategic mindset I take into account when playing Udyr in the solo top/jungle position on Twisted Treeline .
At the start of the game, if your team has enough burst to make up for your lack since you got Bear Stance at level 1, you should seek out a level 1 gank for your team. You can chain stun the level 1 enemy team while your own teammates secure a kill or two on the opposing team.
REMEMBER: Only attempt this if your team has enough level 1 burst damage to out burst the opposing team.
Once the laning phase begins, assess your top lane partner. If it's a champion that can poke you back like Ashe or Brand, you may want to consider trading with one of your teammates. If not, do your best to earn CS while keeping a safe distance from your lane rival. Every now and then I like to activate Bear Stance, stun my rival, and run away before they have a chance to recover and deal a counter poke. At level 3, once you have Tiger Stance, Turtle Stance, and Bear Stance, you should try to either gank your lane rival or journey down south and help obtain some ganks in the bottom lane.
REMEMBER: You are only level 3 and have not become that tanky yet, so play it safe- if a situation seems sketchy get out!
After this point, it becomes a simple game of "Stay Ahead of the Feed". If your laning rival harasses you out of the lane or if you push your lane close to their turret, back out and do a quick jungle clear, scout for possible ganks, then return to your lane. Rinse and repeat.
REMEMBER: Keep an eye on the minimap. If you are past the halfway mark on the map and have no vision of the enemy team, back off your lane into the jungle and let your rival push the lane.
As you continue to build and become more powerful, you can start taking more risks with engaging ganks and team fights. This is something that you will only understand better with practice of this build as Udyr's limits change very drastically through the course of the game. He goes from being a relatively squishy assassin early on to a hardened, damage bursting tank in the mid to late game. Playing him with this mindset will dramatically increase your success.
REMEMBER: Know your limits. Playing this build requires quick thinking and strong judgement skills. Once you have reached your final build you can afford to be more reckless, although I never recommend that.
By level 10-12, with your only items so far being Sanguine Blade, Ninja Tabi and MAYBE the Phage, you can solo Vilemaw. Simply engage him by running in with Bear Stance (it doesn't stun him, it just gets you to 3 stacks of Monkey's Agility sooner), activate Tiger Stance, then activate Turtle Stance when your stances have cooled down. Continue switching between Tiger Stance and Turtle Stance every time your stances cool down and you should kill Vilemaw with a small bit of your own health left. Once you've built to Trinity Force and beyond, soloing Vilemaw will become a hobby.
Experiment. Practice. Get to know Udyr. In time, playing Udyr with this build will become second nature and you will know the ins and outs of his limitations at every junction.
As with all champions and builds, practice makes perfect. I promise that with time and attention this build will be unbelievably rewarding and fun to play. Although I feel the item build order I have outlined is best, I encourage you to experiment with purchasing these items in a different order. Some situations may call for it. Plus, you never know what you could discover!
Special thanks to summoner Bafoto for introducing me to the magic of Udyr, discussing builds with me, and for providing the Udyr Train picture.
More thanks to the community for providing feedback on the initial guide and setting me straight on some things. :)