Hecarim Build Guide by sirherpaderp
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.
AoE Carry Hecarim
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.
Season 3 has definitely changed how the jungle functions, affecting the viability of previous superstars (looking at you Shaco.) AoE has been fairly dominant and after the inclusion of items such as Iceborn Gauntlet, Spirit of the Elder Lizard, and Ravenous Hydra, clear times have never been faster for these champs. I feel that Hecarim is one of the more dominant junglers of late and I wanted to shared my unique way to build him.
*NOTE: Since I usually build a more damage focused Hecarim, this guide will primarily detail this way of playing, although alternate build guides are available as well.
Pros / Cons
-Great Team Fighter
-High Sustain Damage
-Good Synergy with other AoE
ultimates: Solar Flare
and Curse of the Sad Mummy
-Poor Burst Damage
-Fairly Item Dependent
-Can be kited easily
-Dependent on Buffs
during early game
-Lacks Consistent Hard CC
(only has knockback with
and then a fear with
Onslaught of Shadows)
This is my usual page since it is a fairly standard offensive jungler build. I know that many people don't like to build Hecarim this way, but heck I've been doing well with these so far. Butcher , Tough Skin , and Bladed Armor help early game jungling significantly. Veteran's Scars helps me feel a bit more secure during early game jungling and the occasional early teamfightt, which is why I go the Defensive tree over the Utility tree usually.
I have to admit, Runic Affinity is a great mastery and I think that the defensive tree is just fantastic season 3. Although I don't usually go this route, this doesn't mean you can't. Also you can switch around with Meditation , Artificer and Expanded Mind if you prefer.
This is for those who want to go fast. Nimble works great for Hecarim as well as Vampirism and Runic Affinity . There are many great choices in the Utility tree, feel free to switch in Biscuiteer , Explorer , Greed , Strength of Spirit , or Pickpocket if you prefer.
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Health
These are my standard runes for an AD bruiser. Greater Mark of Armor Penetration gives great late game damage, Greater Seal of Armor for early game durability against monsters, Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist for late game resistances against AP carries, and Greater Quintessence of Health for even more early game durability. Every time I survive below 78 health, I thank these runes.
Both the marks and quintessences can be switched if you prefer. Here are some more example builds:
Early Game Boost
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
It is true that attack damage runes do MUCH more damage initially. By combining Greater Mark of Attack Damage and Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage you can really start with some serious AD. This will come down to personal preference whether you think you need this.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed are also a great choice for Hecarim in order to decrease his time between camps and increase his ganking potential.
Attack Damage Vs. Armor Penetration
Smite should be an obvious choice if you are jungling. Faster clear times= more time you can spend ganking and helping your team.
Ghost is a great choice for Hecarim since it helps his ganking greatly and gives him extra AD temporarily from Warpath.
Other Possible Choices
Cleanse is good if you are playing a ranked or draft game and you know the enemy team will cc you like crazy.
Although Flash does not have as much synergy with Hecarim, it is still not a bad choice. I personally don't choose it because Onslaught of Shadows already allows you to jump over walls if need be and has a shorter cooldown than Flash.
Exhaust is also possible to take. However you would be losing a chasing/escape ability by not taking either Ghost or Flash. Let top lane or the support get this.
You could also take Barrier, if you're a dumbar.
|Warpath is similar to Nimble Fighter, sharing the new Phantom Dancer passive to allow you pass through minions and avoid getting trapped behind them during a gank. Warpath also gives you AD based off your bonus movement speed, an awesome passive this build will try to take advantage of.|
|Rampage is your go to damage spell. Does damage in an area, making it great for that AoE jungle clearing. It also has a higher range than your basic attacks, so use it when chasing if the opposing goon seems just slightly out of reach. Also, it's cooldown is reduced if you strike at least one goon. Use this to locate stealthed goons such as Akali and Kha'Zix by checking whether this CDR has been applied (also it will be listed as an active effect above the ability bar). Get this first and max it first.|
|Spirit of Dread is your AoE sustain ability. Use this during jungling for some sustain and teamfights to keep you alive. This ability starts to get scary once you get Spirit of the Elder Lizard, allowing you to clear a minion wave in seconds while using your Rampage to last hit. Remember, this is a magic damage ability that scales off AP so it will not be a major source of damage to champions for this build. Get it second and max it second because of the increasing healing effect.|
|Devastating Charge is your movement speed steroid and main form of cc. Use this to initiate into teamfights by knocking back one of the lead goons. Also, it is also a great gap closer/escape tool, making Hecarim deceptively hard to catch when combined with Onslaught of Shadows. Since it is a knockback, it can be used to cancel certain channeled abilities such as Death Lotus and Bullet Time. Don't forget to use this on the summoner platform in order to return to the jungle quicker!|
|Onslaught of Shadows is definitely an ultimate ability fit for a ghost rider. Creates spectral riders that do magic damage and causes a shockwave near the end that fears goons. You can also use this ability to cancel channeled abilities and disable the enemy carries in teamfights. Since this ability can travel over walls, it is also a great chasing/escape tool.|
Do I need to go over this? I find Hecarim starts well at blue. It gives him the ability to spam Rampage and Spirit of Dread at every camp, increasing his sustain.
Blue Buff > Wolves > Wraiths > Red Buff > Gank or Golems
You can start at red as well, if you are SUPER protective of it, as it is the only buff Hecarim really needs past early game.
Red Buff > Wraiths > Wolves > Blue Buff > Gank
After the first two rounds of buffs, start giving blessing of the Lizard Elder to your AD carry and crest of the ancient golem to your AP carry, or earlier if they ask for it.
Get into a habit of buying a sight ward (or two) every time you go back to the summoner platform as well as a couple of Health Potions or Mana Potions.
Here's a quick map guide of where the jungler should place these:
The Green spots are where I usually place wards because if the mid lane is warding, these should give full vision into your jungle AND help your top/bottom lane to watch for ganks.
The Blue spots are bushes where I place wards if mid lane is not warding and I want to more protective of my jungle camps. I ward on the other side if I want to be super aggressive and have vision on enemy jungle camps in order to take them.
Make sure that the wards are placed in optimal spots so as to maximize what they can see.
MAP VISION IS OP!
It is true, it is true: all of the items listed are primarily offensive items. While this may seems peculiar, I've found that in most games that I end up taking the most damage on my team while my damage to champions is be just a few ticks below the AD carry (unless they are doing REALLY well). How is this possible? Well, Hecarim's Spirit of Dread heals for 20% of ALL damage enemies take from ANY source. In teamfights, when you're in the middle of everything, this ability is saving your bacon. Basically, the more damage you do, the more health you get back and the better your survivability becomes. And since these items have such great synergy, I really feel that none of the core items ( Spirit of the Elder Lizard, Ravenous Hydra, Iceborn Gauntlet) should be usually switched out in order to do the MOST DAMAGE AS POSSIBLE. Let's get started shall we?
Hunter's Machete + 5x Health Potions are nearly standard for any jungler come season 3: it costs nearly nothing and builds into Spirit Stone and beyond ( Spirit of the Elder Lizard.)
Cloth Armor + 5x Health Potions are another viable start, however they don't build into anything in the standard build layed out (you can substitute Ninja Tabi for Boots of Swiftness.)
I generally recommend going back with around 800 gold so that you can purchase Boots of Speed , Spirit Stone , and a sight ward all at once. However, if you are killed during a gank or whatever and are unable to buy both, I would usually recommend getting Boots of Speed first, BEFORE Spirit Stone. Remember, Hecarim gets a boost in AD based on his BONUS MOVEMENT SPEED ( Warpath however this bonus is VERY small at first, around 2.5 AD). More importantly, Hecarim is also completely dependent on his movement speed in order to gank pre-level 6.
Boots of Swiftness work great for Hecarim. They give him bonus AD because of Warpath, reduce time spent between jungle camps, and greatly increase his ganking potential. Trust me, a Hecarim charging at you with Boots of Swiftness , Ghost , and Devastating Charge all activated at once is a sight to behold. Also you can finish these boots off with either Enchantment: Alacrity or Enchantment: Furor
Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads are also great choices if you are dealing with particularly heavy attack or magic damage teams. Note: If you do get Mercury's Treads , the tenacity on Zephyr would be wasted, so I would most definitely switch that item for something else (perhaps shurelya's reverie?)
This is your Bread and Butter, your Pièce de résistance. Spirit of the Elder Lizard is THE choice for a jungling Hecarim. It gives you AD, 10% CDR, 30% extra damage to monsters, health and mana regen. This is all nice but its unique passive is what make this item worth it's weight in gold. Spirit of the Elder Lizard's passive triggers on EVERY basic attack and non damage-over-time spell, dealing an extra 6-40 TRUE damage. Fortunately for hercarim, he has no DoT abilities, allowing this passive to trigger on EVERY ATTACK HE DOES, EVEN THE AoE ABILITIES.
Give time to let that sink in.
This means that every basic attack, Rampage, Spirit of Dread, Devastating Charge, and Onslaught of Shadows does extra TRUE damage. This guide essentially focuses on how to maximize this incredible passive.
Rest of Core
You should have strong AoE damage at this point, now let's make that even better. Iceborn Gauntlet gives bit of AP, a good amount of Armor, more CDR, some more mana, and an AWESOME passive. I am a personal fan of sheen and the spellblade myself because I love to just spam my Rampage in fights. Essentially with this spellblade passive, you do 125% of your AD IN AN AREA THAT ALSO SLOWS! Spirit of the Elder Lizard also applies to this AoE damage (and ice item that also burns!?) Also, Devastating Charge counts as a basic attack so it ACTIVATES and also APPLIES THE PASSIVE on Iceborn Gauntlet.
THIS IS AN OPTIONAL ITEM!!!: Ravenous Hydra is only for a heavy offensive build, so only get it if you are confident you will still survive teamfights!
After Spirit of the Elder Lizard, you should be clearing camps incredibly quickly. Now Ravenous Hydra will make those clear times EVEN FASTER. Ravenous Hydra is essentially Tiamat with lifesteal, extra AD, and a neat passive that allows lifesteal to apply to the damage cause by this item. Like Tiamat the real draw is it's active ability. DON'T FORGET TO USE THE ACTIVE CONSTANTLY!!! It has a ten second cooldown for heaven sake's! When clearing camps, use Rampage and this active to clear all of the smaller monsters pretty much instantly. This also is great when in the middle of bunch of goons from the other team. BAM! You just hit them all with for up to 100% of your AD. Did I mention the Spirit of the Elder Lizard's passive also is applied to damage from this item? I like to get this item because of the amazing counter pushing potential but I don't think this item gives you a lot of survivability in team fights so if you find yourself being bursted down, SKIP this item and build more tanky.
Finishing Your Build
I find that The Black Cleaver is a great choice with its reworked passive which applies 5% armor reduction to enemies on EVERY TIME YOU DO PHYSICAL DAMAGE! This includes basics attacks, Rampage, Devastating Charge, the passive on Ravenous Hydra, and Iceborn Gauntlet. Now you are a AoE armor shredder for your team.
You can get Zephyr if you get that far because of the tenacity, movement speed, additional AD, and attack speed. However, the end of this build is extremely malleable compared to the middle, giving you many choices depending on what you need.
Are you finding that you need something else, something this build doesn't provide? Well, fortunately there are other items that are great for Hecarim in certain situations:
Spirit Visage is great if you are getting focused down by the AP carry every teamfight. It gives good health and magic resistance, not mention the passive which will boost your lifesteal and healing effect from Spirit of Dread every so slightly. If you need magic resistance, this should be your first choice.
Locket of the Iron Solari is becoming more common on junglers if the support can't afford it or if they are better off spending all of their money on wards (this is true for higher ELO matches.) A game changer in team fights and it is now pretty much required that SOMEONE on the team gets it. If that person is you, well then get it!
Warmog's Armor is the go to item for health. Always a great pick if you think your armor and magic resistance are both sufficient but you still need more tankiness.
Randuin's Omen is a great armor and health item. Also has a good active slow. Get this if you are being targeted by the enemy AD champs.
Guardian Angel is great if you have a huge killstreak and you don't want to take the chance of losing it easily. Gives you both armor, magic resistance, and one of the best passives in the game.
Sunfire Cape is good when you need both health and armor. However, I wouldn't personally choose this item since I feel that Iceborn Gauntlet is a better choice for armor and it's passive is fairly weak after you factor in enemy magic resistence. However, there are definitely times where this item would shine because it is a (relatively) cheap mix of offense and defense.
Frozen Mallet is another possible substitute for Iceborn Gauntlet. It also gives a consistent slow, some AD, and a decent amount of health. Get this if you need health more than armor.
shurelya's reverie is another possibility if still don't find yourself fast enough. It gives a little bit of health, lots of health regen and mana regen, and a great movement speed boost for those around you.
Trinity Force vs. Iceborn Gauntlet
With the release of patch 3.10a, Trinity Force has seen a major buff, drastically increasing its viability for Hecarim. Still, there lies a question for which spellblade item you should buy. Let's take a look, shall we?
Since both items have 30 AP, this stat is a tie and therefore irrelevant to the discussion. Iceborn Gauntlet comes with more than double the mana that Trinity Force comes with (500 mana vs. 200 mana.) For survivability, I feel that the 70 armor from Iceborn Gauntlet is also much better than the 250 health from Trinity Force in the majority of team compositions and will do much more to keep you alive in teamfights. The 10% crit chance and 30% attack speed from Trinity Force is nearly inconsequential since Hecarim does most of his damage from abilities rather than basic attacks. While Trinity Force does give 30 AD and 8% movement speed, important stats for Hecarim. However these are small bonuses rather than game-changing stat increases.
Now it comes down to the unique passives. Both have a spellblade passive that does extra damage (based on base attack damage) after landing a basic attack following a spell. Iceborn Gauntlet's passive is both a slow and a AoE damage spell, instead of having two separate passives like Trinity Force. Instead of a slow (like the previous version of Trinity Force, the new Trinity Force gives temporary bonus movement speed, a critical stat for Hecarim, every time he strikes a target with a basic attack or kills a target (20 and 60 movement speed, respectively.) The extra damage on Trinity Force is much higher (200% of base AD vs 125%), Iceborn Gauntlet does damage in an AREA. This means that EVERYTHING in this area is slowed AND hit with the extra 125% damage after Hecarim lands a basic attack following a spell.
It comes down to what type of item each is. Trinity Force gives you a little bit of everything and will allow you to deal more single target damage while Iceborn Gauntlet is much more specialized AoE bruiser item. Iceborn Gauntlet also comes in at a cheaper price (3250 gold vs. 3628 gold.) When building Hecarim, I want aim to maximize his current AoE toolkit, not limit his focus by building specific AoE and single target items. Still, Trinity Force looks like a great match for Hecarim and I will be continually monitoring whether this item is ideal for Hecarim in in-game usage scenarios.
I've been doing fairly well since making up this build, slowly climbing my way up the ELO ladder. The funny thing is that I'm not a superstar player: I simply always help my fellow teammates win their lanes, I ward the map, and I just have this build that seems to be the optimal way to play Hecarim.
Updated as of 9/18/2013
Here are some of the match histories I've had building him this way:
This is the match I had just before releasing this guide:
I got carried to gold by using pretty much exclusively Hecarim. Here is that now:
Guess who's in my league? Faker's smurf account!
If you still aren't convinced (and why would you be, this build is insane) I have a link to my lolking and elophant if you want validate how poorly I play
Using the best of the season 3 items, you've hopefully turned Hecarim into a AoE beast. You should be able to outmaneuver, outfarm, and outplay the opposing jungler and help your team to victory. If you got this far into the build, I want to thank you for reading it! This is my first build and I felt compelled to share it. Be sure to leave a hateful comment pointing out all of the errors in this guide! I know I will.
Picture credits to leaguewallpapers, lolwallpaper, and MaTTcom
1.0 : Released Build Guide (08/17/2013)
1.1 : Added Balanced Hecarim build (08/18/2013)
1.2 : Added Tank Hecarim build. Changed Offensive/Utility Mastery tree to Defensive/Utility. (08/21/2013)
1.3: Made Changes to items and the Trinity Force vs. Iceborn Gauntlet section because of patch 3.10a. Added Trinity Force to situational items. Changed Quintessences of Health to Quintessences of Movement Speed. Changed AoE carry items, runes, and masteries to be more defensive. (08/22/2013)
1.31: Fixed minor grammar issues.
1.32: Fixed errors (wrong boots) with AoE carry and Tank build.
1.33: Changed Title (indicated that this a jungling guide.) Update Results page to show current stats. (09/08/2013)
1.34: Fixed Title (too long, whoops!) (09/15/2013)
1.35: Hey I'm gold now! Just wanted to say that. Also, updates to results page. (09/18/2013)
1.36: Added Locket to all builds as a situational item. (9/20/2013)