Warwick Build Guide by Indeed
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.
Welcome to my Warwick guide for competitive play. In this guide we will learn how to effectively use one of the best junglers in the game, the big bad wolf known as Warwick.(See build two for laning Warwick). This is not a long drawn out guide that takes an hour to read. It is a mini-skirt guide. Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep things interesting. I'm assuming if you're reading this that you are genuinely interested in becoming a better player and that you already know some basics of game play. This is not a tanky guide(though our lane build is more off-tank) nor do I prefer to play WW in this manner. However, opponents will find out very soon that you are indeed hard to kill; as Warwick is a life-stealing machine. He is very sustainable in team fights, and an untouchable 1v1 champ. With all that said, let us begin shall we?
Pros / Cons
+ Speedy/Easy Jungler
+ Good sustainability in lane and jungle
+ Great Life-Steal
+ Incredibly strong 1v1 champ
+ Good turret diver
+ Game-winning ult if used correctly
+ Excellent ganking ability
+ Great chaser
+ Relatively low CD on Ult
+ Can solo Baron or Dragon with ease
+ Cool skins
+ Fun/Easy to use
- Ult can be interrupted
- No real CC
- Easily CC'ed
- No escapability
- Team reliant for successful ganks and just in general.(Most people aren't dumb enough to try to fight you alone).
- Useless if built too tanky when ult is on CD
- Cannot gank very well until level 6
Your Role as Jungler
Your role as jungler is a simple one: Get as much exp/gold as possible while covering the needs of all your teammates. I'll outline some basic rules for you to follow, and, assuming you have a competent team, you should do very well.
1. FARM. Easy enough right? Follow the jungle route(outlined later) and get as much gold/exp as you can. Your goal is to get to lvl 6 as quickly as possible because that's when the real fun starts.
2. Map Awareness. Make sure you know where all enemy champs are at all times(excluding their jungler, if they have one). This includes setting up wards(rule 4).
3. Assisting.Know any time that an ally dies or is low on health that you can and will be needed in that lane to help push/protect your towers. Ask your allies, especially your mid and solo top, to tell you when they need to recall ("b") so that you can relieve them.
4. Wards. So many teams fail to put up even a single ward throughout the course of the game. This is just asking for trouble. It is imperative to have wards up, and in good spots too. This is to help prevent ganks, set up ganks, and keep general map awareness/control. If you have a good team around you they will likely ward for themselves, but it is your duty as jungler to assist in this. Buy at least one sight ward any time you have spare gold or before you gank and put it up in key locations(river brush etc.) while you're near the lane.
5. Ganking. Finally the fun stuff. WW is an excellent ganker. You must get to level 6 before ganking however. This is usually no problem. If you follow the jungle route, you will be ganking around 10 minutes in. His ult has a decent range, lunging out of the bushes and suppressing a target for plenty of time for your teammates to kill them, while also doing decent damage yourself. Hit your Q during your ult, it will go off as soon as the ult is over, giving you extra life and dealing extra damage. If they aren't dead after that, hit your W to give you and your allies some extra attack speed and chase them down. Your Q has a range slightly longer than your auto-attack, so a quick flash/q will usually kill any would-be escapers. Ask your team to specify when they need ganks, but obvious clues would be when an enemy is low in health or one that is over-extended in their lane. Ganking is an art, and takes practice. Don't wait too long in the bushes if the gank isn't there, go back to your farm and be ready when the opportunity arises.
The Jungle Route: A Quick Guide
Your jungle route is critical to your success. If you fail the route, you fail the farm, which leads to slower leveling/ganking etc. A lot of guides will tell you to start at wolves. THIS IS WRONG FOR WW. If the other team is smart, or definitely if they have a jungler, then you must protect your blue buff from the start from a counter jungle. Get your mid and the nearest top/bot lane(or better yet your whole team) to help protect your blue from the start by watching the river entrances. Have them leash for you, but dealing damage to the blue buff is not necessary as WW can solo blue buff at level 1 with ease.
Beat the blue buff down, make sure to use your Q after you have taken some damage so you aren't wasting its life steal. Once it's near dead and you are sure there won't be a counter jungle, then smite it down and carry on. You should be level 2 after blue, so level your W and move to wolves.
Activate W on wolves and beat them down, you can now spam your abilities. Use your Q and W as often as possible while blue buff is on, speed is key here. It goes without saying that you should kill the strongest camp monster in each camp first. That's Red Wolf, Blue Wraith, Large Golem, Blue Golem, Red Dragon.
After wolves go to Wraiths, take them down with your spamming abilities same as before.
Your smite should be back up now so go to Red Buff and take it down with your blue buff on which should still be active. Some people like to wait and get red so it will be handy for a gank, I personally would rather have it for my jungle, because at level 6 because you won't need it to gank anyway.
Once red is down you should have no problem getting the Golem Camp. Follow the skill sequence and continue on your way. Use W as often as possible and Q as needed for life steal.
Keep jungling, starting back at wolves, and don't stop(except to assist in lanes) until you have 1000g. Once you have 1000g go get Madred's Razor as this will help with your jungling quite a bit. Make sure you take your passive skill E at level 5 so that it can help you chase on your first gank if things go awry. You should have Madred's Razor and Boots of Speed by the time you are level 6.
A note about Dragon and Baron: Take note when an enemy has been killed in bottom lane or when all enemies are accounted for and get dragon as often as possible. This helps your team's gold income greatly. Have bottom/mid help if they can but WW should be able to solo dragon around level 6 as long as you have blue buff and smite. WW is also adept at solo baron late game so long as you have some good attack speed and blue buff. Make sure all enemies are accounted for when solo'ing these monsters. Beware of ganks, especially late, as they will both likely be warded.
A side note: If you are new to jungling I'd recommend you practice this route in a custom game to get your bearings before trying in a pvp match. Also, smite has a relatively low CD so don't think you should save it for just the buffs. Use it as often as possible if you don't anticipate getting a buff soon so that you can get the bonus gold we took in the mastery tree.
A Word About Counter Jungling
Occassionally the other team will get ballsy and will counter your jungle. Either by taking your blue at game start, or by their jungler roaming in yours picking up any buffs/camps that he can.
If they take your blue at start by overpowering your protection and forcing you out, this is not the end of the world. Do not get killed trying to defend your blue at start if the enemy outnumbers your protection, or they have a stronger level 1 team. I've had an enemy team come in to my blue at start, their Blitzcrank rocket-grabbed the blue buff out of the camp and they all 5 downed it in about 5 seconds. Do not panic if this happens to you. I simply walked over to their blue, took it for myself, and continued on my way back to my own jungle. Now, of course, it won't always be that easy and I was susceptible to being ganked at that point, but this is one of many courses of action you can take if this happens to you. Another option is to just jungle as if nothing has happened, use the jungle route we already covered. It will just take you a bit longer.
If you notice camps in your jungle have been cleared and you didn't clear them, or if a buff is gone with two little lizards just staring at you, then you are being counter-jungled. Their jungler is coming into yours, and stealing your farm while increasing his own. The best way to counter this is to set up wards at either the outer river entrances, or in the brush near the buffs, so that when they try it again, you and the nearest lane will be there to gank their ***.
Your counter-jungle: You may do these exact same things to the enemy, even if they have no jungler to counter(not likely in competitive play). The safest and most effective camp for you to steal is their blue. It is right by the river and this is the most valuable buff to them and you; especially to their mana-hungry AP who is likely mid. Take care where you choose to enter their jungle, as the blue buffs are near the two most warded places on the map(Dragon and Baron), and you might get spotted. Enter through the interior entrances nearest mid(don't get spotted by mid), and weave your way through to the buff. When taking the enemy blue buff, make sure you have smite up and DO NOT KILL THE LITTLE MONSTERS WITH IT. This will cause it not to respawn for them until they have actually discovered it has been stolen and kill off the little dragons themselves.
You may want to invade other parts of their jungle if enemy champs are accounted for or are dead, but I usually don't do this as I am busy ganking and am safer in my own jungle. Red buff is a dangerous buff to steal, but not impossible if they do not have wards up. Steal this buff at your own risk, and remember to leave the little monsters alive to delay its respawn time.
It will be considered an epic fail if you get ganked while counter-jungling. It is not at all necessary to your success in the game. It will definitely hurt the enemy team if you succeed, but it will be a detriment to your team if you are caught and killed.
The runes choice is yours to make and there are many runes that are useful to WW. You may question the Attack Speed marks but attack speed is so very important to WW's sustainability. These will help your jungle as well by allowing you to get Q as an opening skill instead of W. We take the extra health to help his game throughout but especially early on. The mixed glyphs help both early and late game with your MR.
The masteries are self-explanatory. A lil of this(offense), a lil of that(defense). CDR to help you ult more often, added life-steal, and a mastery to help each of your summoner spells.
This build is all about sustainability and offense which is built through life-steal combined with attack speed. We also incorporate items with on-hit effects so that when we ult, we unleash alot more than just a suppression. We build our MR by 20, and we reduce their MR by 24, while simultaneously doing 248 magic damage each hit! Every 4th hit does an additional 100 damage if you use SoD. But we aren't done yet, we haven't taken into account the on-hit effects of the Bloodrazor, which can shred an enemy tank if, god forbid, you feel the need to ult them, doing damage equal to 4% of their max health every time you strike!
The build order is really up to you. All these items will increase your attack speed so it comes down to the on-hit effects when determining what to buy. Judge by how much farm you have, who you are playing against, and what they are building, when determining which items to buy first.
There are only a few items that can be substituted into this build and it's all based on your preference and what the enemy is building.
Stark's Fervor may be substituted for your Bloodthirster if your team has a lot of AD.
Black Cleaver may be substituted for Sword of the Divine if your enemy is stacking armor or MR.
Spirit Visage may be built if you want to get a bit tankier early. This is a decent item for WW, especially for its added lifesteal and CD reduction for your ult.
Also, you must sell your boots to get that final 1 defensive item. I prefer Guardian Angel because while most champs revive only to be killed again, WW can revive and auto-attack his way to another kill or out of trouble. Other viable choices are: Thornmail, if they have a hard hitting AD, or Warmog's Armor if you just want the extra health. Get a Force of Nature or Banshee's Veil if they are high in AP champs. For multiple AD enemies you may even consider a Frozen Heart which, a lot of times, is more useful than a Thornmail.
A side note: Most junglers take cloth armor and a health pot to start off with. THIS IS WRONG FOR WW. The cloth armor is mostly useless to us as we will not be building it into anything until MAYBE our very last item. Also, the vampiric scepter is our main source of added lifesteal til late in the game and will provide much greater sustainability.
No other summoner spells are viable on this build. You must take smite for your jungle and no other spell compares to Flash in its multiple uses for escaping and chasing.
How to use your ultimate.
WW has a powerful Ultimate because of its ability to suppress an enemy champ. Your ult has many uses and being aware of these is the key to helping your team to the max.
1. Use your ult early to gank any enemy that's vulnerable. INITIATE GANKS WITH YOUR ULT. There is no point in waiting til they run to use it because guess what? They are going to run as soon as they see you coming, because most people are aware of this amazing ability. You have great chasing ability to finish off any gank that doesn't end with your ult.
2. Use your ult in a pinch to save an ally that is being chased down with low health. Do not, however, jump in on 3 enemy chasers with 1 fleeing low-health ally as your ult will leave you vulnerable to being killed yourself.
3. Use your ult mid-late on enemy carries. As long as you have 1 or 2 teammates nearby to take them down, any slightly extended enemy carry should be targeted. Do not target enemy tanks, especially in team fights, as you likely won't kill them and this will be a waste of your ultimate.
4. Do not use your ult for life gaining purposes only. Your purpose is to pin an enemy down so your team can make quick work of them. If you are in a 1v1 fight(with somebody dumb enough) do not ult until they run or you are sure you can get them low enough in health to activate your E.
5. Use your ult to suppress/catch any fleeing enemy. This is your longest range ability and a flash/ult can finish off many fleeing enemies or at least allow your team to catch up to them.
6. Use your ult to interrupt an enemy's ult. I can't count how many times a Katarina has gone into insane ult dagger throwing mode just for me to half a second later pounce and interrupt it leaving her dead in the water and my team unscaithed.
7. Be careful when ult'ing near enemies with a silence, stun, taunt, fear, etc. Because, just like the aforementioned Katarina, your ult can be interrupted as well.
8. Feel free to turret dive a near dead enemy with your ultimate, as you will gain advanced life-steal during its duration. Make sure you have enough initial health to comfortably do this however.
9. Use your ult against an enemy turret-diver. Turret diving WW is a very foolish endeavor indeed. If any enemy is stupid enough to dive and be targeted by your turret, immediately ult them in their stupid faces. This will pin them down allowing you and the turret to likely combine for the kill while simultaneously keeping you alive.
Build Two: The laning Warwick
I personally do not enjoy the thought of laning Warwick. I believe he flourishes in the jungle, and laning him to be a waste. However, this is not to say that he is not totally viable in any lane, but preferably as a solo-top.
As solo-top your job is really quite simple. Last-hit creeps, while being careful not to over-extend unless ALL ENEMIES ARE ACCOUNTED FOR.
Warwick is highly sustainable in the lane due to his life-stealing ability. Therefore, you should stay in lane as long as possible until your jungle can come gank or relieve you, and only then should you recall when you can afford to buy items. I prefer to stay in the lane at least until level 6. Then, when I get a chance, I port back, buy what I can, and go mid to gank. Usually the enemy will just think you have teleported and won't be aware you are missing until it is too late.
The build is different from our jungler and will give us a little more tankiness. As solo-top, we need to stay in the lane as long as possible until the laning phase ends.(sometimes as long as 30 minutes.) WW should never lose his turret, even if it is 2v1. Play as passive as you need to while still getting last hits to preserve your turret. Make sure if the enemy is pushing hard, that you have enough mana to cue your ultimate. Bait them into turret diving you, then mess them with your ult when they do.
Other than that it is pretty simple, farm as much gold as you can until the laning phase ends. Harass with your Q if you have a comfortable mana pool and they have no sustain.
Just like our jungler, you must adjust your build according to what the enemy is doing. This was out-lined in the items section.
A study of all major wars in world history showed that the side that fired the most bullets won the majority of the battles. Let this be the motto of your gameplay when using this guide. We aren't going to hit once each second for 310 damage, we are going to hit once every half second for 220. We want to hit as many times as possible, to steal as much life as possible, so that we can stay alive and help our team. Thank you for taking the time to consult this guide in your quest to become the best WW you can be. There are many takes on how to build WW and I realize this may not work for everybody. Tankwicks are nice early but I find them be fairly useless late game if their ult isn't available. A good team comp with you included is likely going to rely on you for extra damage output, not to be a tank. As always I am open to questions/criticisms and will address them. If you play smart and your team isn't a bunch of trolling R-tards you will succeed and have fun doing it with this build. GL, HF, and tell your enemies to STFU AND GTFO <3.