Tryndamere Build Guide by SpawnOfHell
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.
ATTENTION : PLEASE READ
October 09, 2013 - Nearly two months and I still haven't launched a full update yet. I bet you all must hate me by now :( I mean to update this properly eventually, I swear. It's just not up to my standards yet especially since I'm not just planning on updating but also making it an equal jungling/laning guide, so it's a lot of work. I'm updating the cheat sheet once more just to reflect upon some new experiments and discoveries I made, and some may be quite shocking. If any of you have questions, please do comment and I will try to answer promptly.
I think the biggest offender will probably be Mercurial Scimitar as an 'don't' item. THERE IS A REASON FOR THIS AND I WILL EXPLAIN IT IF ASKED IN COMMENTS AS WELL AS IN THE GUIDE WHEN IT IS COMPLETE.
August 21, 2013 - So I know it's been a long time since I've updated this guide. I sincerely apologize, and assure you that I haven't left it to expire. I've simply had too much on my hands to be able to completely update such a large guide, and more importantly, it's not a high priority for me right now since apart from general jungle changes, Tryndamere has remained relatively the same despite the long period of time that has passed. That isn't to say that nothing about this guide will change, simply that most of the detail within this is still entirely relevant, with perhaps some discrepancy here or there. Either way, the main point I want to make here is this: THIS GUIDE IS NOT DEAD. I will update it. However, as of right now I am only able to make time for small changes over time, so it'll take a while and isn't worth consistently updating. Because of this, the cheat sheet has been updated but none of the content has. Please don't comment on the fact that the cheat sheet isn't consistent with the item build. Just ignore that section altogether.
As for when the update will go through? Honestly... I don't know. Semester has just started and there's a lot of work that I will have to unfortunately put above this guide. Sorry. Rest assured that small changes are being made, but it could take a long time. As of right now, follow the cheat sheet and the general gameplay guide.
Revamp of the guide will include the following:
- Incorporating the miniguide to laning into the guide itself, making this a hybrid jungle+lane guide rather than focusing on jungling.
- Matchups for top lane put into greater detail.
- Updated item build. (explaining
- Updated gameplay tips.
That's what's on my list right now. I'm not saying that's it, but those are the main things I want to get out of the way before I start doing anything new. Again, I apologize for the lack of attention, and I hope I'll be able to come back and make this guide more worthy of the site.
Hi there. I'm SpawnofHell, also known as Artemius I in game. I'm a long-time league player who played at Gold ranking at Season 2, and hit platinum early on this season. I specialize mainly in playing top lane and jungle champions, some of my main champions being Jarvan IV, Tryndamere and Malphite. I also play tanky mid laners such as Mordekaiser and unconventional junglers such as Pantheon.
Tryndamere is one of my top champions in the game. I play him primarily top lane as a secondary carry, and in Seasons 1 and 2 I rarely jungled with him. However, as Season 3 kicked in I was inspired to try him out again and found that he is great, arguably better than his lane counterpart, in the new jungle.
Tryndamere is not easy to play as a jungler. His early sustain is low and you will find yourself moving around the jungle at some frighteningly low health points at the early levels. His ganks are very awkward despite his slow, gap closer and damage due to the mechanics of his abilities and his unreliable damage output. Worst of all he is incredibly inconsistent and random in the jungle, as his clear is completely reliant on critical strikes, therefore making him annoyingly RNG-reliant.
However, Tryndamere has the advantage over other junglers in that he is one of the only attack damage carries with the ability to jungle. Very few junglers are capable of building pure damage, the only other AD carry capable of jungling being Master Yi. I consider Tryndamere to be the best jungle carry in the game, however, as his kit allows him to be a powerful farm jungler, invader and late game carry if played well.
If you're wondering if I'm exactly... qualified, for lack of a better term, to teach how to play Tryndamere, well, look at the below and judge for yourself.
+ One of the only real jungle carries
+ Has the best transition of all junglers if farmed
+ Immense DPS champion with mobility and sustain
+ Immunity to death ability with many uses and strengths
- Extremely weak early jungle easily susceptible to invasion
- Can be countered extremely hard and will be useless if he is countered
- Inconsistent and unreliable jungle clearing
- Not a tanky jungler
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
Runes have been slightly overhauled. Not only was my previous setup redundant, having the same effect as a more generic 9x AS 3x Armor Penetration setup, but it wasn't optimal for many reasons. The specific problem to deal with is the fact that Tryndamere's runes need to make up for the fact that he won't be getting as much farm as his laning variant. If I wanted to maximize his power at jungling, I would emphasize far more on attack speed and life steal. However, this doesn't work for this champion in particular. Tryndamere has a huge gold requirement in the jungle unlike the most popular jungle picks who can survive on cheap items. Even if you do nothing but farm the jungle you'll still be behind in gold compared to the lanes and, if you've played an AD carry who's behind in gold, you'll know it's not a pleasant feeling. This is why I use a rune setup to bolster mid game where Tryndamere should be the strongest rather than the early game despite his weakness there.
No changes here. Offense is absolutely the most important tree for Tryndamere. Frenzy is one of the big investments for this tree, as well as the armor penetration and the extra critical strike damage.
Always take Smite. The other summoner spell can be chosen by personal preference and playstyle, but always take Smite. Why do we need it? Anyone with experience in jungling should know that Smite is vital to clearing, buff securing and invasion. Contrary to what people believe, Smite is not simply a spell to kill the buff camps faster. Smite is our means to make sure that you are the one to last hit your buffs or to get the finishing blow on dragon or Baron for sure. Actually, for Tryndamere it's even more important since you can sometimes get killed in your first clear without Smite unless you are lucky enough to get a ****load of crits off. I shouldn't even have to mention how easy it is to lose your buffs and get invaded if you don't have Smite. Seriously, if you're going to be real about jungling, take it.
||This is a spell you want to get if you plan on ending laning phase early and getting into teamfights. Ghost gives movement speed, which Tryndamere really needs in order to stick to targets. You want to be going after the enemy carries in teamfights. In most cases, due to your immense damage output, they will likely be trying to run away and kite. With Ghost, you'll be able to catch up to them even if they Flash or use whatever escape they have in their kit.|
||Exhaust is another excellent option for jungling as Tryndamere. In my opinion, it's better than Ghost in ganking and duelling, since it provides an extra crowd control to give you the edge. I can't count the number of times I've killed the enemy jungler during an invasion with the power of a full Fury bar and Exhaust. Ghost does slightly trump this spell in teamfights, but Exhaust is still useful to cripple an enemy AD long enough to get him killed. A spell that's useful all the time throughout the game.|
||Situational. It has its place, since crowd control is such a threat to your value to your team, but you really need to be able to know whether it's a worthwhile pick or not. You're eliminating one of your weaknesses (crowd control) only to make yourself vulnerable to another (kiting). If the enemy team has debilitating crowd control which you think might make you completely useless in a teamfighting scenario, this can be a worthwhile choice. You just need to make sure that those crowd controls end up on you.|
||Battle Fury is what allows Tryndamere to jungle. He is the only champion in the game who gets free critical chance, but this is also one of his downfalls. Being reliant on crit to jungle is really annoying as it means you have to hope that you get enough crits off on camps do get a fast jungle clear. Eventually, when you have enough attack speed and AD you become less reliant on your passive to clear effectively and more on your item and stats, but 35% crit chance is amazing for a passive and makes Tryndamere a dangerous AD carry to fight against.|
||There is a degree of restraint needed in order to understand the correct usage of Bloodlust. I like to think of this ability as a scale balancing offense and defense. Many people only look at the fact that it heals you and forget that it gives you more AD at lower health. This is why we actually like to jungle at low health, similarly to Olaf. We don't want to use this to sustain ourselves since we lose up to 35% crit chance which slows our jungle down considerably and we could potentially lose more health from killing the camps than we gained. When jungle duelling the heal can serve as a push to give you the edge in a 1v1 fight. Learning when to use Bloodlust takes practice.|
||An immense AD debuff when maxed and a decent crowd control to work with. The 'back facing' mechanic is stupid, but you need to remember about it. This is your best friend when you're ganking lanes, since most people will run away forgetting about the way this ability works. Don't always save it for the slow, especially in jungle fights. Losing 20-80 AD can easily give you the edge against AD champions such as Riven. This ability becomes very useful in teamfights as it lowers the damage of an AD carry significantly and they usually won't notice due to how small the visual effect is.|
||One of the best gap closers in the game in my opinion. Long range, decent cooldown which gets lower with crits, and is a skillshot. This is a replacement for Flash in Tryndamere's kit since this ability serves the same purpose. It gives you an escape when in a bad jungle fight since you can easily wall hop and escape or at least blow their 300-second cooldown Flash. The cooldown lowering on a critical hit is the best part of the ability as late game you get an almost no cooldown dash with how much crit you build and it becomes a piece of cake to chase down fleeing targets.|
||One of the most hated and iconic ultimates in the game. This ultimate is what makes Tryndamere viable as an AD carry as it temporarily turns him into a tank for a full 5 seconds. What you do in the window of time you get is vital to learning how to play Tryndamere. If you use it simply to disengage from a fight every time, you're doing it wrong. As Tryndamere, this is 5 guaranteed seconds of life to kill vital targets before you drop. When you have your ultimate your ganks become ridiculous as you can pull off tower dives other junglers wish they could do. Duelling Tryndamere becomes a dangerous thing as he deals the most damage at near death. The moment you gain this ultimate is when you become a massive threat to anyone who crosses you.|
As Tryndamere, you always want to max out Bloodlust first. It gives you a ton of free AD at lower health and becomes a decent heal at max rank. When we have level 5 on Bloodlust we can start using it for sustain as the healing is quite significant at this point and our items can make up for the damage lost from fury consumption.
We get Spinning Slash instead of Bloodlust at level 1 because the AD from a level 1 Bloodlust really isn't that great and, like I've said before, we don't want to lose our Fury on the heal. Spinning Slash gives a nice bit of AoE for the wraith camp and red lizard, which is more useful for our first two camps. It also provides a means of escape in the case of a jungle invasion.
Spinning Slash is now leveled second in place of Mocking Shout. While this hurts Tryndamere's ganking power after level 8 and on, this is done to increase damage for camp clearing, duelling and, most importantly, split pushing. Even though Spinning Slash has a rather low base damage the lowered cooldown and damage increase makes clearing minion waves a breeze. Since I've adopted a split pushing playstyle with Tryndamere, this has been more successful in my games. Mocking Shout can still be leveled for the huge AD debuff and slow in teamfights, but I recommend leaving it for late game when it's most powerful.
||This is pretty much a crutch for junglers right now, and honestly, while I don't like it, it's what we have to go with. Theoretically you could start with a Long Sword and get a comparable clear time, but that's supposing you even manage to get a full clear with only two potions, which isn't happening without a huge leash and heavy RNG reliance. Without life steal runes, this have become more of a fact now. Using any other start for jungling is simply crippling yourself for very little gain.|
Core Jungling Build
|Typical attack speed boots which you should usually get, unless the enemy team has so much crowd control that you think you'll get the chance to put out more damage from Mercury's Treads. They are really not great late game, so I generally replace them with tanky boots or very occasionally, Boots of Swiftness. However, they are cheap and useful early game.|
|You either hold on to this for a big AD item, or build it into Statikk Shiv immediately. It's a cheap, easy to build item, and gives Tryndamere valuable stats for mid game. This is important because at this point you won't have any crit in your build yet, which is a big weakness. This helps to somewhat mitigate the issue at this current point in the build.|
|This is absolutely one of the items you want to get early as it is very strong both for split pushing and duelling. It gives several stats which are essential for Tryndamere, and the passive is strong for pushing lanes or dealing extra burst to a target. As it also builds out of Avarice Blade, it is a very affordable and useful item for jungle budget.|
Tenacity is a stat you will very likely require in certain games. If you can mitigate the effects of crowd control you will be infinitely more useful than just buying pure damage when you are unable to deal with. Unfortunately, since Tryndamere is an AD carry and not a bruiser buying Tenacity puts him further behind most champions, so this is not a purchase you want to make lightly.
|This is probably the safest option to buy Tenacity. It will suck to lose the attack speed from Berserker's Greaves, so you might want to move the other attack speed items closer in your build order. Mercury's Treads are safe, affordable and give slight resistances which are most effective early and mid game.|
|Bleh... unlike Elder Lizard this one didn't get nerfed to hell several times, and gives a sizable amount of health. I guess if you really want both Tenacity and health for the early game you can get it since it's very cheap. Also, I don't think there's anything mutually exclusive between this and Wriggle's Lantern, so with both you'll have ungodly objective control, so I can sort of see why you might want this. Keep in mind this sets you up for a crippled late game though.|
Viable Defensive Items
Tryndamere has a very tough time itemizing for any form of defense. This has always been a huge problem. These few items are the only forms of damage mitigation I ever purchase, and it definitely hurts when I'm forced to buy them for whatever reason. Unless you really need them, I use 'viable' very tentatively. Be careful when purchasing these.
|After having trouble against teams with a lot of crowd control I've been giving this item another go. It's a very powerful situational item if the enemies are focusing all their CC on you instead of your teammates. While I don't think it's as good of an anti-magic item as Maw of Malmortius this item is of more use when you're less concerned about enemy burst and more for crowd control. Remember that the important part of the item is not the AD but the Cleanse active so it's usually best to hold on to the Quicksilver Sash and upgrade this as your final item.|
|This is actually a fun and pretty powerful weapon to buy. AD is nice, AP scales decently with both Bloodlust and Spinning Slash, and it gives attack speed and a very powerful passive. With full stacks and the passive in effect, it gives a huge 52% attack speed as well as a variety of other strong stats. Tryndamere excels at fighting at low health so the passive is very strong on him. It's also relatively cheap for what it provides, making it a decent item to buy when you don't really have a particular need for your build. Very fun to play with, but not something I would get all the time.|
|Yeah, Phantom Dancer's been moved down to here. In my opinion, it's a very bad idea to put both Phantom Dancer and Statikk Shiv in the same build. With Infinity Edge and Fury, this puts you into crit overkill, and there are other attack speed items worth getting instead of this. Unfortunately, I also consider Statikk Shiv to be the strongest item for Tryndamere in mid game right now, and I don't really ever see a reason to purchase this over it. This is NOT to say Phantom Dancer is unviable though. In fact, in late game when you don't have anything else to build, I would replace Statikk Shiv with this since the lighting passive actually falls off in late game DPS since it doesn't scale and you don't build magic penetration. At this point, the 10% more attack speed and crit chance becomes more valuable and useful, as well as a passive which prevents you from being body blocked. This is best as a replacement item.|
Jungling as Tryndamere
To start off, you should understand when the situation suits you to pick Tryndamere as a jungler over another champion. To do this, you need to know what Tryndamere has over typical junglers to make him a viable pick.
Tryndamere as a jungler:
- One of the few junglers who can build full AD carry
- Has an invulnerability ultimate allowing for tower dive ganks
- Can fight and likely kill most weak duelists
- Ganks decently with gap closer, slow and heavy damage
- Jack of all trades - decent ganking, invading, clearing and a strong late game
- Tryndamere is one of the most inconsistent junglers in the game. His clear speed is reliant on critical hits to kill camps quickly and if you don't get them your jungling is slow and unsustained. Regardless of how good you are with Tryndamere you're still reliant on a randomly determined factor.
- His early game is weak and can easily be abused by strong invaders who can shut him down and make him completely useless, as he brings little power to his team other than damage which he will lack if he falls behind.
- Though he is versatile in the jungle, he doesn't particularly excel in any role - he can gank, invade and clear well, but there's always someone who can do it better. He's not a good pick for teams that need a particular type of jungler.
If you can work around his weaknesses as a jungler whether it's by good counterpicking or teammates, and take advantage of what he brings to a team compared to other junglers, Tryndamere will work well. If you pick him in spite of the enemy being able to exploit his weaknesses, you will fail with him.
Ganking as Tryndamere
This is probably the first thing people want to see. For people with experience in the jungle, they'll know that all the laners (at least at low-mid elo) expect from their jungler are ganks. Despite Tryndamere being fine just farming his jungle, you'll need to gank whenever you see an opportunity to.
For starters, I want to get one thing straight. Unless the enemy laner is just stupid and overextended without wards, do not try to force ganks to work. You are not Maokai. While your ganks are fairly strong due to your huge damage, most of the time it just takes a bit of CC and smart play to escape your gimmicky 30% slow and single-use gap closer. It doesn't matter if your laner is failing and just whining at you for a gank, if you don't think the gank is going to work, don't do it. It's better to let one lane fall than to waste your valuable farming time trying to gank a lane which is doomed to failure and end up putting yourself behind as well.
However, post-6, while your ganks are mechanically as average as they were before, you now get a powerful weapon no other junglers are capable of - the ability to completely tank turrets. You are the ultimate ganker for champions hugging their turret as with full health + Undying Rage you can usually tank a tower for a good 7-10 seconds which is plenty of time to get a kill, especially if your laners are paying attention. The easiest lane to dive, as far as I've noticed, is bottom lane, as ranged carries are squishy and easy to kill, and most supports can do nothing but lock you in crowd control for couple of seconds then be helpless. Top lane is a bit more risky to dive as most tops are tanky bruisers who can take a beating even from two people, and usually carry some sort of anti-dive CC. Never do a dive gank if you haven't seen the enemy jungler/adjacent laner recently in another area in case they show up.
Invading as Tryndamere
Counter jungling is a risky but beneficial skill if you can get it to work. Thanks to Tryndamere's massive potential damage with critical hits, if you can get a bit ahead in terms of items or levels, you can actually play Tryndamere as a counter jungler aimed at stealing buff camps and killing the enemy jungler.
However, to do this you have to have good map awareness and knowledge on matchups. Examples of champions who you should never try to invade under any circumstance are Shyvana, Dr. Mundo, Lee Sin, Olaf, Trundle, Skarner and Jax. There are also champions who you simply can't do anything against even if you do catch them in their jungle, such as Malphite or Fiddlesticks. However, weak duelists with low sustain such as Amumu and Nautilus are food for invaders. If you ward their buff camps, go to them when they show up and catch them at the right time, you can likely slaughter them. Taking small camps is a good way to maintain Fury while hunting for the enemy jungler.
Be very careful of laners when you're counter jungling. The risk that comes with invasion is that enemy laners will always be closer to you than your own, and if you can't get out of the enemy jungle quickly enough when you're caught you're likely dead. Unless you brought a teammate to their side of the map, or you actually know where their wards are, never stay in the same place in the enemy jungle for long, especially if laners go MIA.
++Initial Spawn Time: 1:55
++Respawn Time: 5 minutes
You should only start at blue buff if you're on the purple team and you intend on doing a level 3 gank on top lane with double buffs. The opposite, while unlikely, is also possible, if you want to do a level 3 gank on bottom lane for whatever reason. Either way, unlike most junglers who rely on mana/cooldowns, this isn't an important buff for you other than experience.
Any time past your first clear, unless both your mid and top (or bot if you're on purple team) lanes are feeding horribly and are hopeless to recover, never take your own blue. The mana regen is useless on you and though the cooldown reduction is there it's not going to do much for you, an AD carry. Even if your laners are manaless, they're likely going to benefit a lot more from the cooldown reduction than you will.
++Initial Spawn Time: 1:55
++Respawn Time: 5 minutes
This buff is one of the most important things for Jungle Tryndamere. You need red buff to gank and it definitely helps when invading for the extra damage and slow. Your first clear starts at red because it increases our jungle speed and we aren't blue reliant to clear.
It's common practice for a jungler mid-late game to donate his red buff to his ranged AD carry. Even as an AD carry yourself, it's best to provide red buff to your ranged DPS since they'll have an easier time applying it and harassing. The only case where you might consider taking it personally is when your AD carry is either Ezreal or Ashe since they have ways of consistently reapplying slows to an enemy.
However, I fully endorse taking red buff if your ranged DPS is proving to be highly incompetent or incapable of carrying the game. Tryndamere likes red buff a lot due to the ability to slow the enemy during a chase and the extra damage is a very welcome addition. If your AD carry looks like he isn't going to be carrying ****, I usually will just take the buff myself.
Dragon and Baron Nashor
++Dragon Respawn Time: 6 minutes
++Baron Nashor Respawn Time: 7 minutes
Dragon and Baron Nashor may not be jungle-specific, but as you are the Smite-carrier of your team the task is on you to initiate dragon and Baron attempts.
Knowing the timers is vital, so I advise playing with timestamps on and keeping track of when they were slain. This way you can prepare ahead of time and tell your teammates to position themselves on the map so that they aren't at top lane when dragon spawns.
Remember that as the jungler, it is your job to finish off dragon/baron with Smite. If the enemy team jumps in and steals it, unless the enemy jungler is higher level with a stronger Smite or you got knocked away from it, it's your fault. Always keep aware of the specific numbers on the monster when killing it so you can Smite at precisely the right moment. This will take practice but it's highly important due to the influence over the game that dragon/baron have.
Your first clear depends on priority on ganks. You can get a smiteless leash on the 'lower' buff (whichever buff is on the bottom side of the map, Blue for Purple Team, Red for Blue Team) and go to your other buff. This sets you up for a gank on top lane, as you'll be level 3 with your gap closer, slow and double buffs. You can also do the opposite if, for some reason, you want to early gank bottom lane (not recommended, bot lane is really hard for Tryndamere to gank). From there on, you act at your own discretion.
Below is a video of Tryndamere's first clear in the jungle, courtesy of Stonewall008, one of the most knowledgeable junglers in the game. (unfortunately now outdated)
I didn't think I would have a need to make this section, but for whatever reason I've seen more Tryndamere being played, and regardless of whether they're jungling or laning they don't seem to ever take advantage of Tryndamere's strengths. It's important that Tryndamere remains active throughout the game, specifically, when you're not fighting, you should always be trying to split push lanes. Remember that AP Tryndamage **** that was the thing a while back? As stupid as it was, the entire point of it was to split push all day and never die. Now, you're not as unkillable as 1.5 AP ratio Tryndamage, but the thing is; Tryndamere has always been a strong split pusher. AP Tryndamere only brought out that aspect of it because it was godawful at actually doing damage. AD is just as good if not better when it comes to pushing as AP was. If you aren't split pushing when you play Tryndamere, you're not taking advantage of one of the niches that he fills.
When your intention is to split push when playing Tryndamere, you have to set things up in order to do it successfully and not just continuously overextend and put yourself at risk of being ganked. Buy items to help you push lanes. ( Statikk Shiv, The Bloodthirster) Ward the river and anywhere you suspect enemies might move to intercept you. Don't be afraid of a single person trying to defend against you, remember, you're Tryndamere. Most of the time, you can pressure the enemy by shoving a lane, and if they send one person to stop you, you kill him. It's easy to tower dive a single defending champion then finish a tower while your teammates press an advantage elsewhere as making these plays will force the enemy to respond to you. Remain mobile and active at all times. Farm the jungle and lanes. If the enemy team brings multiple people to stop you, leave and push another lane. Never force yourself into a passive, defensive mindset when playing as Tryndamere.
This is a general gameplay tip, but it's more important for jungling as you won't have laning farm and experience which means you're not as strong when it comes to mid game teamfights as opposed to a lane Tryndamere, so your best bet is to go solo and force the enemy team to respond do you. This tactic works well in solo queue, but only if your team knows what you're intending and actually utilizes the advantages you give them. Many idiot solo queue teammates will pick 4v5 teamfights while you split push and then complain that you don't group with them, and those are the games where the split push playstyle won't work so well. When your team knows what you're doing, though, you can take advantage of the fact that solo queue is uncoordinated and generally there won't be an instant response to your split pushing. This is one of the greatest strengths that many pushers such as Tryndamere, Master Yi and Singed have in solo queue.
Before I begin my own section about teamfighting as Tryndamere, I want you to read these:
Teamfighting, part two: duties and positioning by role and champion
Read them. I'm serious, READ THEM. They give incredibly effective details on the proper ways to deal with a teamfight depending on the role you're playing. I swear to god for every game we lose a teamfight and the first thing that pops up in chat is 'OMG FOCUS AD NOOBS' I break something within my reach, because that is absolutely not how you should be playing in teamfights. Learn how to teamfight properly, please. PLEASE.
Anyways, as those guides above explain teamfighting in general, and this is a Tryndamere guide, I will talk about how Tryndamere works for teamfighting specifically. For starters, I want people to understand that the positioning of players in teamfights usually consists of a 'frontline' and a 'backline'. The frontline will be the tanks, bruisers and short ranged mages (e.g. Amumu, Jarvan IV, Mordekaiser. The backline are your ranged AD carries and long ranged mages (e.g. Caitlyn, Xerath) Sometimes you may have champions who don't fit in either of these formations. These are your post-fight cleanup assassin-types, such as Master Yi and Akali. In general, the frontine's job is to initiate fights while the backline provide DPS from a safe range, and the assassins either take out the enemy MVPs during the chaos or literally clean up after the outcome of a teamfight.
Tryndamere functions as either a frontline or very occasionally a post-fight cleanup. However, as the frontline his job is never to initiate fights, instead that is left to the proper initiators with crowd control or burst damage. Instead, what I call Tryndamere is a sort of 'anti-frontline', that is, his job is to counter an initiation by using his massive DPS to eliminate the enemy tanks, bruisers and assassins as quickly as possible. To do this well you need to buy items which enable you to do respectable damage to these tanky threats, such as Last Whisper and Blade of the Ruined King. One of the worst mistakes you could make as a Tryndamere player is to go into the assassin mentality and try to initate yourself by diving the enemy carries in the middle of a teamfight. While this might work at lower levels, this is an extremely bad play to make because it's very unlikely you will survive at the outcome of the teamfight essentially making it a guaranteed death in exchange for a kill you might not even get. This is because Tryndamere is very easily peeled by enemies with strong crowd control and mobility so you should be focusing the targets who are unlikely to run away in a teamfight. Tryndamere does not lose direct fights. He only loses when focused or when the enemy kites him and stalls out the duration of his ultimate for the kill.
Essentially, this basically means the general idea of 'never focus tanks' isn't entirely true. Yes, you shouldn't be piling cooldowns on the tankiest of the enemy team, but Tryndamere's strength is that he can usually kill anyone because he has a consistent output of DPS in contrast to most champions who do burst then have very little left. This means he is extremely well suited to taking out tanks because he won't lose any damage output once his target is eliminated. So please, stop diving enemy carries thinking the fight is won if you manage to kill them. You lose more games than you win by playing this way.
Laning as Tryndamere
Because I'm sure a lot of players out there prefer to lane instead of jungle but still want to play Tryndamere, I've made this section a miniguide for the basics of playing Tryndamere in the lane instead of jungling.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Mark of Critical Chance
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
Altered very, very slightly. Instead of Attack Damage Quints I now use lifesteal, mainly due to the fact that this makes up for the fact that Tryndamere can't afford to use Bloodlust to sustain himself early game which effectively makes his sustain awful for the first few levels of laning. Life steal runes are currently very popular due to being one of the few types of runes that scale consistently throughout the game due to the multiplicative effect.
Should be no cause for debate here.
Ghost + Exhaust - My personal recommendation. Ghost benefits Tryndamere more than Flash since he relies more on sticking to enemy champions rather than just getting close to them. Its cooldown is also lower than Flash making it more reliable since it'll more likely be up at the right time. Exhaust is just good since Tryndamere needs the extra CC to land more autoattacks on a target when fighting as well as delaying the need to use his ultimate. I love this combo also because both spells can be used offensively and defensively, giving me a lot of versatility in how to use them.
Ghost + Ignite - Been using Ignite a lot more recently, and I have to say I'm quite enjoying it. It certainly feels underwhelming late game, but I've gotten a lot more snowballed lanes from the extra kick that Ignite gives me. It really isn't a horrible spell to use, though you have to consider that it's a lot less useful than Exhaust if you don't get kills from it.
Exhaust + Ignite - A very aggressive duo which leads to a devastating early game but I would not recommend it unless you're absolutely sure of yourself and your ability to perform without a mobility steroid. You're almost guaranteed to win lane if you're never bothered by junglers, but your late game teamfighting suffers due to the lack of Ghost and you do become rather vulnerable to ganks. If you're certain you can shut down a lane using this, then go for it, but keep in mind you can also reverse snowball really hard.
Ghost + Cleanse/ Barrier - A safe option which many other Tryndamere players use and recommend. Both render you immune to ganks if used well, but you lack any form of killing power from your spells this way. I don't like this due to my setup being focused around a strong early game and this makes it difficult to work with. Only use this against lanes you're sure to lose and you know you'll need the ability to remove CC or shield yourself in late game.
The important part to take note of is that I will always get Spinning Slash at level 1, then Mocking Shout, and leave Bloodlust until level 3 and on. The reason I do this is because level 1 Bloodlust is your weakest ability early game. It barely heals for anything and the AD is insignificant unless you're near death which, well, you shouldn't be, you're not level 6 yet. On the other hand, Mocking Shout is amazing at rank 1 early game. It cuts 20 AD. 20. That's more than you can get from a standard AD rune page, and as much as 2 Long Swords. That's effectively taking away 800 gold's worth of stats from the enemy. If they fight you, they're crippled, and if they try to run, well, they can't, you have a gap closer and you might've tagged them with the slow. I've gotten many first bloods this way by getting my gap closer + slow combination at level 2 instead of 3 or 4.
Start with Long Sword + 2 Health Potions. It may sound like suicide, but trust me, it's the best possible start for Tryndamere. Life steal runes mean that the lack of potions isn't a huge deal, and you can do a lot of early game damage to cheese a first blood on the enemy once you get used to your damage. The 2 potions don't last long, but enough to get you started and if necessary, it's enough to at least get you >400 gold for your first recall.
Rush Vampiric Scepter. Easiest if you started with Long Sword but it's relatively easy to do regardless. Your first main item should be Blade of the Ruined King which makes you pretty much immovable in lane if you're not behind.
Alternatively, if you're getting kills and snowballing, stack a couple of Doran's Blades for cheap stats and rush The Brutalizer/ Youmuu's Ghostblade which is very strong for Tryndamere in mid game. I rarely do this but it's been the most useful when I'm getting fed. Regardless, rush a B. F. Sword afterwards, but what you build it into is situational depending on whether you intend on split pushing or teamfighting as Tryndamere.
After this, like Jungle Tryndamere, your build will vary. Attack speed, attack damage and critical chance are the most important stats for Tryndamere, with armor penetration becoming a necessity after a certain point in the game. However, you can build different things according to what you need. Want to teamfight? Rush that Infinity Edge and add on a Warmog's Armor to last longer in fights and deal more damage. Split pushing? Hold onto that B. F. Sword and rush a Statikk Shiv for wave clear. The Bloodthirster and Phantom Dancer allow you to push indefinitely while making you hard to catch with added mobility. Don't be tethered down to one build path either. Mix things up a bit - buy IE and Shiv if you want to fight skirmishes then push lanes. Get both BT and IE if you have massive team attack speed steroids. Build accordingly with what your team has and what you need.
Last Whisper is the last item I want to talk about. You need need need it. Get this mid or late game if you feel your damage is somewhat lacking- this is not due to a lack of offensive stats, it's just because the enemy team is likely stacking armor, so you need the armor penetration. Usually, your build might round out to look like this:
But will vary, obviously. Build accordingly to each situation in each game for best performance.
Most people don't seem to realize this, but Tryndamere is actually a very strong early game champion with the right setup and played right. He's actually one of my best 'first blood' champions due to the fact that he gets amazing damage right from level 1 thanks to his free crit chance. Stack that fury bar, force a fight, and if you're lucky you'll completely dominate any top laner. While this power will fade as the enemy laner begins to rack up damage on his abilities, your amazing Bloodlust sustain will keep you laning for a very long time, especially with an early Vampiric Scepter. Try to get a farm lead while also showing the enemy laner you're not a pushover by occasionally putting out autoattack harass to intimidate the enemy. You'd be surprised how scared they get with a few crits on them.
You need to get the hang of 'what's the best thing to do at the moment'. Sometimes Tryndamere should be split pushing like a madman, sometimes he should join fights. Notice how two of the items I recommend for split pushing have movement speed components? This is to allow you to join fights faster in case the enemy catches your team out of position. If you've built accordingly to what you intend on doing for the game, you'll perform much better.
Also, I still can not stress how important it is to remember that your main purpose in teamfights is to consistently output as much damage as possible not to recklessly dive the enemy carry. I've seen so many fed players, not necessarily Trynd, blindly dive into a teamfight going after a carry through enough crowd control to neutralize him three times over. Don't be that guy. You're infinitely more useful to your team by staying in the frontline of a battle taking down the enemy's tankier but less protected threats.
And that's pretty much it for gameplay as Tryndamere. Anything else relies on yourself to figure out, and the random number generator does the rest. Have fun.
Top Lane Matchups
I feel it's important to know your enemy when you play any top laner. If you have issues with a champion, play that champion a few times to figure out their weaknesses. From my experience, this would be how I rank Tryndamere's matchups in top lane in difficulty.
Keep in mind that these are only my own opinions from my own experience, and by no means am I implying that 'this champion is a free lane' and 'this matchup is impossible' (though some literally are) This just shows which champions you can usually handle and which you need to be more careful around. Seriously, even I've lost against some of the easiest matchups on this list simply due to skill. Don't rely too heavily on this, use it as a guideline or a warning.
Master Yi moved to Limbo (unranked): Master Yi is pending for an upcoming rework, which will remove AP Yi entirely as well as buffing AD Yi, likely making him stronger in lane. Matchup is in limbo for now.
Tryndamere added to [strikethrough]"Limbo"[/strikethrough] RAAAAAGGGEEE: I hate mirror matchups. This is by far the worst in the entire game though. Zero skill, entirely RNG dependent. You crit, you win, you don't, you lose. This is why I don't play Tryndamere in blind queues. Aarrgghh.
And as a bonus addition...
This is why I love Tryndamere
Synergies and Counters
Tryndamere performs best with champions who can provide him with power with supportive abilities such as Kayle's Intervention or Morgana's Black Shield as well as offensive steroids such as Blood Boil to give him artificial gold in power to make up for his gold disadvantage. In addition, because Tryndamere usually takes a role relegated to the team's tank, initiator and utility bot these things must be acquired from other champions in your team in order to not hurt your team composition.
Tryndamere is countered by champions who can ruin him at any stage in the game whether it is from abusing his fragile early game or crowd control to neuter him in teamfights. Champions such as Nautilus can cause you to deal literally no damage in a fight simply due to the mass of crowd control available as well as builds which can cut your usefulness massively. In addition, slippery and mobile champions, usually ranged carries, are a massive pain to deal with due to their ability to freely kite and deal damage from a safe distance.
Tryndamere is great. I've played him since Season 1, though I've never had the pleasure of trying old Tryndamere, unfortunately. He's a very fun champion who you can pick up quickly, but mastering him takes a surprising amount of time and effort. He's very difficult to play, but quite rewarding.
The jungle isn't exactly a perfect place for him, a farm reliant carry with average ganking and invading potential, but it's very possible to play him viably in the jungle. Now that I've provided some guidance on his laning gameplay, I would also highly recommend playing him at top lane, where he is actually very powerful. He's gaining popularity recently, so now is a good time if you're considering playing him.
Thanks for reading my guide and enjoy carrying (hopefully) games as Tryndamere!
12/12/2012 - Guide released.
21/01/2013 - Guide has been significantly updated, with a reevaluated item section and minor changes in other areas.
20/02/2013 - Guide has been updated. Item build has changed slightly, Exhaust has been replaced by Ghost in the cheat sheet, Flash has been replaced by Cleanse in "Summoner Spells", evaluation on Tryndamere buffs added.
17/04/2013 - Guide has been updated again!
21/04/2013 - So I apparently forgot to add a 'teamfighting' section to gameplay tips which I intended to. My bad... >_< I've written it up now. I strongly recommend you read it and the linked pages.
02/05/2013 - As of right now, this is one of the most highly rated Tryndamere guides on the site. Thanks a lot, everyone! Added a laning miniguide near the end of the guide as a nod towards Tryndamere's recent competitive play by ZionSpartan, hope you guys enjoy.
28/05/2013 - Minor updates
10/06/2013 - (mostly) Laning mini-guide updated.
15/06/2013 - Updated the guide again for the jungle and Wriggle's Lantern changes.