Warwick Build Guide by Peppercat
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.
Against HEAVY AP/AP BURST
Against HEAVY AD/AD BURST
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.
Hi guys, I'm Peppercat and this is my first guide so please be gentle, but constructive criticisms are welcome.
I have played over 3000 games, and I gotta say one of my favorite champions is [Warwick] since he fulfills the fantasy of a rabid werewolf chompin' on them champions, rendering him almost immortal with them ridiculous lifesteal. I can't say I'm pro at Warwick, but I think I do know how to play him right on the top lane. And it pains me to see only junglewick guides, and less laners. So I figure I made one. I hope you enjoy it, and do test it out before rating. :)
ALL ABOUT WARWICK
Pros / Cons
|+ Versatile build
+ Great built-in sustain
+ Very mobile
+ Deals high percentage damage
|Warwick excels in prolonged skirmishes, as he regains his HP relatively fast. Another good thing about him is that he can be very flexible, unlike most champs, as he deals both physical and magical damage. This makes him hard to counter with resistances, as he deals quite a ton using physical damage and Infinite Duress and still shred using his Eternal Thirst and Hungering Strike, both of which are magic damage. By dealing mixed type of damage, it makes him harder to stop, and will eventually lead into a more feared bruiser were-wolf. His Blood Scent has a good range, and let's him sniff out low HP champions and pick them out, making him as an ideal skirmisher and clean-up master. Paired with tanky items, he can literally walk through a whole team unscathed, and still pack a whopping punch unto the enemy team.|
|- Very easy to kite
- Mana hungry early on
- Ulti can be easily disrupted
- Relies heavily on itemization
As Warwick only has his Infinite Duress as his immediate gap closer, he is quite prone to kiting, and Warwick's greatest enemy is an outstanding poke. If he can't get near to lifesteal, he'll eventually be forced to recall, giving the enemy team a window of opportunity. Early on, his Hungering Strike consumes a large portion of his small mana pool, forcing summoners to choose wisely when to spam the skill. All in all, Warwick can be easily punished for poor positioning, and can be easily disrupted.
I take 9/21/0 as I believe that Warwick needs to beef up first, since his kit revolves around lifesteal and there won't be much to steal if your squishy. I really avoid glass cannon builds anyway, except of course in yolo queue. I take Blast only since I aim for the mpen build because although [warwick] is a melee champ, his skills revolve around magic damage, as his passive and his Q, Hungering Strike, would demand. Going for that mpen makes Warwick a lot more dangerous as enemies would need both armor and magic resistance to nullify his mixed damage. I think it's mandatory to take Durability then Veteran's Scars as it boosts Warwick's health really well in early game. I take Hardiness over Resistance since you'll most likely be taking aggro from minions and additional armor won't hurt. Lastly, I take cc reduction masteries Tenacious Relentless since Warwick has only one gap close (not counting his Blood Scent) and it's very easy to interrupt, thus he is prone to kiting.
Greater Mark of Precision
Greater Quintessence of Precision
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Generally I take Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration to boost Warwick's mixed damage both early and late game, making him hit a lot harder. Of course, it's all on preferences, one can take Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, or Greater Mark of Attack Damage to be able to farm a lot more efficient.
I think that Greater Seal of Armor is the only way to go as Warwick, and almost every champ, except when the situation demands another. This gives Warwick the much needed beefiness early on, making him more resistant to minion aggros and champion AAs, not to mention this might actually save him from a potential kill from an enemy jungler's gank. You can also take Greater Seal of Scaling Health to buff up his HP early on, but this is very situational against AP bruisers, and I usually still take armor since Warwick benefits from resistances rather than HP since his lifesteal value would be more efficient on a lower HP but tankier resistances, rather than the other way around.
I take Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, but you can also choose Greater Glyph of Magic Resist to beef up Warwick in the early stages. Again, it's all about the preferences, and most likely situational, especially in ranked games. Other than those two, I recommend nothing more in the Glyphs section.
Okay, your Quintessences for Warwick is more on whichever you are more comfortable. I usually take greater quintessence of hybrid penetration to boost his mixed damage, but one could also take Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage to farm more efficiently or to make his AA hurt a little more, especially early on. Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed can also be taken, but in my opinion Warwick doesn't really need this much movement speed since he gets so much from Blood Scent. An additional lifesteal quint, for me, is an overkill and should be compensated for by items rather than runes.
Insanely OP spell. It has a wide variety of use; from escaping to chasing, and even for positioning. Since Warwick has no natural escape, this is very essential and you might find yourself thanking this spell every game.
A great dueling spell, and it shuts down the enemy's regeneration for 50%; great for those pesky champions (e.g. Dr. Mundo, Singed). Overall, it's a great spell, as it also secures kills especially early on where kills matter a lot.
An underrated spell, if you ask me. Since thee top lane is usually isolated from the game for the first few minutes, having Teleport might turn the tide of events down the bottom lane or if your team is contesting the dragon .
A good spell for bruisers, since it provides a bigger window of chance in escape/kill situations due to the prolonged effect over Flash, and Warwick is tanky so he won't porbably be bursted down too fast. Take this if you prefer it over Flash, but I would generally take Flash for the jukes and immediate effect.
Yes, I do believe this spell is viable, especially over auto attack reliant champios (e.g. Jax, Tryndamere, Aatrox). The good news is that this spell only gets better late game, as it shuts down ADCs real hard.
I only take this spell over high burst champions, since usually surviving the initial burst will mean victory in the trade, as most burst champions lack in DPS. This can also be used for baiting the enemy team with low HP under the turret, only to shield the initial damage and end up with 100% health and a double kill. Take it at your own risk
Each of Warwick's autoattacks deal 3 / 3.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 5 / 5.5 / 6 / 6.5 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 additional magic damage and heal him for the same amount. Each successive attack against the same target will stack this amount of healing and damage up to a maximum of 3 stacks. The stacks remain for 4 seconds.
A decent and fitting unique passive for Warwick. This passive is usually underestimated by some, but good players know that this skill can do WONDERS. Even at level 1, regenerating 3/6/9 hp per hit is ridiculous, not to mention [Warwick]'s HP regen (no matter how low). Since it deals magic damage, it counters most armor-building meta up top, and magic resistance has become a very hard stat to buff. And if they do rush MR to counter your ridiculous lifesteal and percentage damage, chances are you've done a good job of ruining their build path
Warwick swipes at a target enemy, dealing magic damage for the greater value between a flat minimum amount or a percentage of the target's maximum health (if the target is a champion), plus additional bonus damage based on his ability power. Hungering Strike can only deal the flat damage to minions and monsters.
Warwick heals himself for 80% of the damage dealt (after reductions).
MAX MAGIC DAMAGE TO CHAMPIONS: 8 / 10 / 12 / 14 / 16% of target's maximum health (+ 100% AP)
FLAT MINIMUM DAMAGE: 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+ 100% AP)
RANGE: 400 COOLDOWN: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 COST: 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 MANA
This skill is what makes Warwick. Although the AP scaling on this skill is plain ridiculous, Magic Penetration would be a better choice on this. Imagine dealing PERCENTAGE damage on an opponent based on their MAXIMUM HP. It's like a built-in Blade of the Ruined King, but with low CD. If that's not OP, I don't know what is. And due to it's low CD, it's very valuable in trades and clashes, but in early game it eats up your mana pool, so it's not advisable to spam so much early on. Still OP though; definitely max this first.
For 10 seconds, Warwick increases his attack speed and increases the attack speeds of all allies within range by half as much.
ATTACK SPEED: 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80%
ALLY ATTACK SPEED: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%
RANGE: 1250 COOLDOWN: 24 / 22 / 20 / 18 / 16 COST: 35 MANA
Your secondary trading skill. It gives you a massive AS buff, and it's shared with your teammates. Although it has a long CD early on, it needs so little mana, so I usually max this second and win most of the trades. Late game it only gets better, since it's very valuable in teamfights or in securing objectives like Dragon or Baron Nashor
TOGGLE: Warwick reveals enemy champions within range with less than 50% health. While any enemies are revealed this way, Warwick has increased movement speed.
MOVEMENT SPEED: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%
RANGE: 1500 / 2300 / 3100 / 3900 / 4700 COOLDOWN: 4
Warwick's clean up passive. It gives meh MS very early, but it provides a clear advantage as most champions wouldn't have much MS early on. Still a cool passive, especially since you can sniff out low champs, and if they linger long enough, they'll buff you up with free MS. Make sure to turn this off though when ganking, especially if you want to go unnoticed, as if enemy champions with low Hp are within it's range, it sends out a very obvious signal that you're near. Max this last, as you don't really need it up top that much.
ACTIVE: Warwick blinks to the front of an enemy champion and channels for 1.5 seconds, suppressing the target for 1.8 seconds and dealing magic damage 5 times in 1/3-second intervals. Warwick gains 30% life steal for the duration. Each damaging strike applies on-hit effects, life steal, and maximum stacks of Eternal Thirst.
MAGIC DAMAGE PER HIT: 50 / 67 / 84 (+ 40% bonus AD)
TOTAL DAMAGE: 250 / 335 / 420 (+ 200% bonus AD)
RANGE: 700 COOLDOWN: 90 / 80 / 70 COST: 100 / 125 / 150 MANA
A very low CD ult that supresses a single champ. This skill does so much especially early on. Unfotunately, this is your only form of CC, and interrupting it is very easy since it's a channeling skill. You might want to unleash this after you're quite sure that the enemy have already unloaded their hard CC's. The best fact about this skill, for me, is that it procs on-hit effects. This means more lifesteal for you, not to mention a very huge burst potential. All in all, this is a great skill, and even better with Warwick. Obviously, rank this up whenever you have the chance.
Blade of the Ruined King adds so much on Warwick's dueling potential and damage of tankier opponents, perfect for peeling bruisers. You'll find it's passive actually very usefull, especially since he doesn't have a built-in gap closer/escape mechanism, not to mention the massive lifesteal and damage it provides. It also has a good synergy with Spirit Visage, which increases every healing effect you take by 20%; which is a LOT considering Warwick's kit revolves around regaining health.
Frozen Heart on Warwick is such an OP item, as it makes trading/dueling with him virtually impossible to win, with 95 armor and a 20% AS debuff aura. As if it's not useful enough, it gives off much needed mana and cooldown reduction, basically what every Warwick needs.
I prefer Frozen Mallet on Warwick since it provides a decent soft CC for him, and it gives off perfect synergy in cleaning up after clashes with Blood Scent. The additional HP and damage it gives make him a better bruiser, too.
I'd usually take Doran's Ring first since it provides Warwick with a decent HP, mana regen, and a very beneficial unique passive of regaining mana every kill. The additional AP doesn't hurt much too. One thing I like about the Doran's Ring is that it provides all the stats Warwick needs, especially early on which is mana sustain. It also enables Warwick to go for additional Health Potion or a sight ward.
Take Cloth Armor though against Heavy AD (e.g. Zed, Talon) so that every trade will hurt less, and eventually you will win trades with your lifesteal.
Doran's Blade is for better sustain through autoattacks, and it gives off 10 AD which greatly increases your dueling potential with a mix between physical and magic damage.
I only Boots of Speed against champions who have skill shots, to dodge it better. While a Boots of Speed early game is decent, nerfs to it have rendered the item quite unreliable early on. Buy it if you prefer it.
Wit's End for me is the perfect offensive item for Warwick for its cost, since it gives off perfect synergy with his kit. While it provides decent AS and magic resist, its passive which steals 5 magic resistance per hit is very underrated, considering that it does stack and does so well with Infinite Duress. It also gives additional magic damage per hit, which makes you even more devastating to trade with, and eventually a bit beefier.
With the rise of Trinity Force, I do believe it fits Warwick just as well, as all the stat he needs is right under one expensive item. While I usually don't take this item due to it's outrageous price, having this luxury item will guarantee that you will hurt real bad. The additional 150% damage per skill is well deserved, and with a low CD on Hungering Strike, it greatly increases your DPS. Even the movement speed bonus will not go wasted, and especially the additional AS.
Maw of Malmortius is really underrated on Warwick. Besides the additional magic resist it provides, it gives off a decent shield when he's low, perfect for surviving initial bursts or baiting the enemy with low hp. Either way, it adds survivability for our beloved werewolf. Its unique passive is very OP on Warwick too, having to deal more damage as his HP goes down. All in all, a perfect item with good synergy on Warwick's kit.
While we focus on magic penetration, The Black Cleaver shreds the opponent's armor. And with Infinite Duress, it shreds them HARD. Definitely a go item for Warwick if you want to hit like a truck, and want to boost your ADC's DPS as the The Black Cleaver removes armor rather than ignoring it, which means your whole team will benefit, unlike armor penetration wherein only YOU benefit.
The Banshee's Veil gives off a huge utility to Warwick, and it does not go wasted on him. Initiating with Infinite Duress will be a little harder to interrupt, especially in small skirmishes. It also provides decent stats which will buff Warwick's survivability.
While some disagree on putting Guardian Angel on Warwick, I believe that it is a good item for him. It's unique passive makes him even harder to kill, and eventually more annoying since he sustains his HP so fast. Its stats are not small feat to, as it gives off raw resistances, which is perfect for Warwick as he benefits from it more that health-stacking, since his lifesteal can only fill a certain fixed amount, and having resistances will give more value to each stolen HP.
Tired of pesky Ultra carry ADCs? Try Thornmail. While most ADCs have insane lifesteal values, remember that it is only applied after resistances, while the Thornmail's 30% return damage is based on the damage before resistances. It will surely shred hard carries (e.g. Tryndamere, Aatrox, Master Yi) while mitigating most of the damage. And if ever the damage seeps into your armor, you'll probably just steal it back anyway.
While the Sunfire Cape gives off nice stats, both of which provides decent advantage to our Warwick, what we're after is actually it's unique passive which deals aoe magic damage per second, increasing his DPS while beefing him up. This also increases Warwick's clear time, perfect for pushing and shoving lanes for better map and objective control.
Warwick's strength relies on his massive sustain in lane, giving his lane opponents a hard time forcing him to recall or tower hug. Try to play more passive in the early levels, as his Hungering Strike demands a huge chunk of his mana pool. But of course, when given the window of opportunity, grab the kills and get gold. Warwick is really poor on setting up ganks as he has no CC pre-6, but you can usually bait the enemy top laner with a low HP. It's not really recommended though. DOn't forget to farm as he is really item reliant. Choose your trades very well, as a poor trade can mean lane domination for the enemy. As much as possible, use your Hungering Strike on the enemy champion rather than the minions. Remember to freeze your lane, as Warwick doesn't have a natural escape, making you very vulnerable to ganks especially early on.
TL;DR: play passive, farm on.
This is where Warwick really shines. If you have played passively and have attained an equal if not higher gold than that of your lane opponent, the lane is most likely yours. He is unparalleled in sustain, so try zoning you enemy out, but never forget to plant wards every time to ensure your safety. Don't use you Infinite Duress as an initiating tool over full hp opponents, except if you jungler has come to gank. Use it well as it is your only form of CC, and blowing it up might turn on the aggression from your opponent. At this time, you should be focusing on objectives and roaming around, especially in the mid lane.
With your full build, you are virtually unstoppable. But even so, don't throw the game with your cockiness. Although Warwick is quite the beefy champion, it is not recommended to take front lines since he is very prone to kiting, and don't even try to initiate with your Infinite Duress since it is relatively easy to disrupt. But given the chance, like when the enemy Caitlyn is out of position, do NOT hesitate to use it. He is very exceptional in picking out enemies that are out of position with his ult that supresses the enemy for 1.8 seconds. Always put into mind that Warwick excels in long skirmishes. If you are the only beefy champ in your team, try to force clashes without using your ult. Infinite Duress also excels in peeling for you ADC so you might want to suspend the use of it, especially since it sends out a psychological effect to your opponents: they will ALWAYS be watching out for your ult.
NOTE: With 40% CDR, you Infinite Duress has a very low CD. Take advantage of it.
-- Warwick excels in prolonged skirmishes. Use this to your advantage
--With your full build, Infinite Duress's cooldown will be ridiculously low. Use it shrewdly whenever a window of opportunity opens up.
-- Warwick deals more damage the larger the HP of the opponent is with Hungering Strike. Take note that he steals 80% of the damage dealt, and at max rank it deals 16% of the target's MAXIMUM HP. When you're very low, it might do you better if you use Hungering Strike on a beefier champion.
-- Infinite Duress applies on hit effects, such as the passive of Blade of the Ruined King and Wit's End. Another note to remember is that it is treated as 5 hits, and lifesteal procs with every hit. In a duel, it is better to remember this, as if the opponent is cocky enough to 1v1 you, he might be surprised that a 50% HP Warwick may end up with 100% with his Hungering Strike and Infinite Duress. And with Blade of the Ruined King and Spirit Visage, your dueling potential is at a ridiculous level.
--Toggle off Blood Scent when you want to go undetected. A small icon and a sound will alarm low HP opponents if you are near if Blood Scent is toggled on. You might find this useful, especially when ganking unsuspecting lanes.
--You might want to save you Infinite Duress in clashes as it induces a psychological effect on the enemy of whether you're ging to initiate or not. A funny trick is running next to your opponent with you ult up. In my experience, some summoners do something funny when they are panicking.