Hecarim Build Guide by KmancXC
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Carry with the tankyess
Not Updated For Current Season
My summoner name is KmancXC, and I main the jungle for my ranked team PoleXC. I have been playing since March of 2012. I main Hecarim now, and don't see that changing any time soon. As soon as I bought him (on a whim) I realized how powerful he can be when played correctly. I was silver in S2, at about 1200 ELO. Currently, I'm in Plat Division 3, after playing almost exclusively Hec. My KDA as him is 6.6, and winrate about 68%. I usually end the game very fed, and I strongly encourage you to check out some of my replays on LoLReplay, to see exactly how I play. This is my first guide (and I'll be working on it to organize it better, etc), so questions/comments are welcome, but I hope I can help you learn to play a good jungle Hecarim, as I honestly think he can be the best jungle in the game. I just started up my own stream, so if you have a minute, check it out here!!
If you have want to to see a pretty nice play as Hecarim, I got my first solo queue penta yesterday. Unfortunately, the replay is currently lost, but oh well.
NOTE: Just got my second ranked penta as Hecarim today, will be trying to put it up soon. Fraps is disagreeing with my laptop (speaking of which,does anyone know why that might not work?)
When it comes to runes, I'm not doing anything crazy here, its kinda self explanatory. AD reds, armor yellows, Mr/lvl blues, and movespeed quints. I don't really know what else to add here, but if you have questions let me know!
Now for masteries, I like to go 9 in offense, getting a little bit of cdr, and armor pen. Then you want defensive masteries in general. Focus on staying alive, and not getting CC'ed. Most of the time your job is to take out a carry, so you'll want to survive without too much delay from CC. You'll notice I get tons of tenacity and such because I have to be the initiator. By reducing all the CC, I can do a much better job at that.
Early on, your build leaves you fairly squishy, but don't worry. Basically, you're gonna want to get kills and assists ASAP, so you don't have to dive. That Spirit of the Lizard Elder is huge because it allows you to clear/push really quickly. I usually hit 100 farm between 15 and 18 min. After that, you're best off with a sheen for some clearing/ganking power, and then you're ready to start getting tanky. With Iceborn Gauntlet, you have amazing sticking power, plus an easy sheen proc. And Spirit Visage is awesome for your W. It is a must build on Hec. After that, its pretty situational, but you're gonna want health regardless, which is why I like sunfire, randuins, warmogs, etc.
So my skill order is a little odd.
Q -> W -> W -> E -> Q -> R
Then max Q, W, and E in that order. W gets two points early for easy/free sustain, then Q for the damage, and clears.
Using your spells...
Your Q is your main source of damage, especially because it gets your Lizard Elder burn applied to everyone in the cast range. Its on a low cooldown, so expect to be mashing Q a lot.
Spirit of Dread
W is probably the most underrated skill in the game, so let me explain to you why its so awesome. It does a little bit of AoE damage, but also heals based on damage your team does in the circle. So at fifth rank, if you have your W active, and your ADC does say 2000 damage (not too much to ask over about 4-5 seconds)to the person (or monster, like baron/dragon) you will get healed for 20% of that. That's 400 health, so thank your ADC. But oh wait, you pressed Q three of four times, and dealt about 400 damage. So you've really healed for about 480. BUT THERE'S MORE!!! No this isn't a sham-wow commercial, but you were smart enough to buy a spirit visage, which increases heals by 20%. So during that fight, you healed for 576 health. So whatever health you had, you have an effective 580 more. And your resistances are pretty high already. Hecarim is amazingly tanky for this reason.
Your E is what makes ganks work. Often times, if i know all the lanes are warded, i will run from behind my own turret with my E on, and ult at the enemy. This works especially well bot lane, so fool around with this when you get used to ulting/comboing with Hec.
Onslaught of Shadows
Your ult is an AMAZING initiation tool. Imagine you're Malphite. Its does essentially the same thing, except instead of a knock up, its a fear. This has tons of uses. If the enemy team is baroning, you can ult in to the baron pit, and while they are feared, you get an easy smite steal. I would guess my steal rate is at least 80% which is pretty good (I think).
Creeping / Jungling
In the jungle, I like to use this route:
That should get you to level 4, assuming nobody took XP (make sure they are far enough away from the creeps when you kill them), and its really easy to gank from here. I ALWAYS take the second blue as Hecarim, as it really helps him hit level 6 in a timely fashion. After that, its YOUR discretion when it comes to buffs. Is your mid feeding? Don't give them blue. Are they winning easily, and not being an ***? Offer them blue. Pretty much as easy as that. Junglers don't HAVE to give buffs to players just because the pros do it. That is an arranged team setting, which is much different than what you're doing. Don't bother arguing about if they flame you for taking blue/red; if they deserved it, they'd have gotten it.
Now when it comes to ganking, its actually a very simple concept. If you have any experience playing Alistar or Lee Sin in the jungle, its essentially the same idea. Get behind them, press E, and run into them. That said, doing so isn't always the easiest thing. Hecarim is pretty fast, and getting the angle right is key. Early on, the enemy will often flash just as you're about to hit them, which is frustrating. That's ok though, just leave the lane, and gank within the next few minutes, because their smite is down. Make sure you hit W when you're next to the enemies, as this will essentially act as a health potion. Another little tip, don't worry about auto attacking; attack speed on Hecarim is basically useless, as his damage is from his Q. Just run along side the person you're trying to kill, and press Q when it comes up. If you are successful on a gank, I always push the lane to the enemy turret. This forces the minions to die to the turret, which allows for a big gold lead in that lane. You'll still want to make sure you're actually getting the last hits, but push the lane out. People usually get mad at this, but to be honest, its best for them. It gives a CS/XP lead, and resets the lane. So in short, push the lane out...always.
I figured I'd touch on some quick match-up stuff in the jungle. I usually first pick Hecarim, so that my top/mid doesn't get countered, but there are some things to watch out for.
: spell shield, high damage, and a fear. Be REALLY careful playing against him, because it really sucks.
: his passive, and CC make him tough to face, but if you focus more on ganking than fighting him specifically, you're good.
: way too much CC, so he can be annoying to face.
or : sorta like Nocturne, but not quite as good (ie easier for you).
Everyone else, just try not fight them too early, and you're good.