Warwick Build Guide by WukingLoL
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.
What's the build, and what's the use?
Hi guys, my first guide ever so judge and comment at every opportunity please as it is better to know the public's opinion than to have a silent audience! It would help me improve this guide also, thanks!
I'm not going to put all the information here about the champions default skills and passives simply because you should already know this since the TUTORIAL stage of the game or by simply reading up on it in the League of legends client. I am just making this guide short and informative for any players who wish to play well with Warwick.
First up guys, I am only GOLD ranked on solo queue so I'm not saying I am and the one who knows best, but simply because there is no other AP Warwick build on any forums that builds him correctly.
Secondly I want to point out that I main Wukong on ranked and carried myself in the jungle to Gold using that champ (Hence the name), but I have recently started playing Warwick and really started more experience on playing the champ and like his play style.
Third and lastly, I want to say before anyone comments on it - that this guide DOES NOT turn your warwick into an AP scaling champion, but the title simply suggests that he does more AP than AD damage.
As any mid to top elo player will tell you, Warwick has been an overall easy to use champion who falls off late game. Don't be surprised (I'm telling you from experience) that people will start commenting on "OMG, not warwick, delete the champion please, pick someone like Lee top!"
Warwick has made a bad impression in peoples' minds simply because the champion should not be built like any other top lane champion - This is what people get wrong, and start to fail in the game, creating an assumption to his allies and themselves that Warwick is a horrible champion to play.
My runes and masteries chapter will explain to you what you need before the game starts, and how each one plays the effective role in your game.
Why should I pick Warwick, what makes him any different?
Warwick indefinitely has the biggest sustain in the game. Doing hella damage all the whilst keeping himself in lane is why I find Warwick one of the toughest brutes in League of Legends. Through playing Warwick top, I have had very few problems even with enemy junglers ganking at low levels. I've come across a few times where I've taken a double kill just at level 3 when their jungler and top laner comes to turret dive.
Warwick is able to stay in lane without ever needing to go back to the base. The only reason he would need to is to buy items to get stronger.
Okay, so let's start, how do I set up myself before starting the game?
Ok, this is where I'll explain to you the strong and weak points of this champion:
Huge sustain in lane
Great chasing champion when enemy is low
Can boost team attack speed aswell as your own
Can jump the ADC from afar
Huge mana costs
CC can stop your ultimate
ZERO push strength in lane
Quintessence: 3 Ability Power
Reason I chose this setup is to give Warwick that big hp steal during the weak early stages of the game. The main damage comes from the %HP on his Q, and AP does not scale all too great on WW, so I gave him just Quints of AP to keep the spell vamp strong even from level 1
RED: 9 Magic Penetration
Magic penetration is strong on this champion, it is what will keep his Q doing steady damage throughout the game in case people start building armour which would also drop the hp stolen per cast.
Yellow: 9 Mana Regen
Through many changes in this colour rune page, I have finally found the best use of the yellow section of his rune page. If you have played Warwick enough times, you will realise that his mana bar is nearly always empty, and will find yourself losing out on a lot of kills or even conceding a lot more deaths than you should have if you just had that mana to put out that extra Q.
More than enough times, putting 9 into mana regen will turn the tide completely on losing game to a winning game.
Blue: 9 Scaling Ability Power
This is where I found glory in a late game Warwick. I cannot even begin to express how much this will make or break the late game winning chances. AP gives you a strong burst of damage as well as heal you for amount it does. You can exchange the Scaling part for flat if you wish to have a stronger early-mid.
Through the later parts of the game, if you have followed my build, you will begin to see that your champion is a beast, and the enemies will spend a lot of their nukes and auto's to take you down. Just to add the spices to the meal, the extra AP will make you harder to kill, and make them easier to kill.
Just a quick run through of why I chose the masteries this way:
Offense 3 - CD in offensive to reduce cooldowns on all his skills, especially for Q
Defense 3 - Warwick relies on tankiness and sustain in fights, and letting his %HP damage items and skills do the killing.
Utility 3 - Simply spend the remaining points on keeping Warwick's mana bar in the green throughout the game.
Cool, Runes and Masteries in place, what next?
Here's where I'll explain to you what you need to think about in the game if you have set up how I have taught you. You will do fine.
Okay, if you have a look at my build items, you'll probably be thinking "WTF, why would you start Doran's ring?! In season 3!"
Doran's ring gives Warwick that starting AP boost that he needs to keep himself sustained in lane. Along with getting a little more hp boost and mana steal on CS, it makes a perfect starting item for your early game. With the runes and masteries setup, there should be no need for any mana pots or health pots.
Now during your early part of the game, you should help your jungler get the blue buff if he needs the help, otherwise sit in the top river bush to scout for enemies attempting an invade till the minions reach their lane.
As you wonder around in the top lane, don't be scared to rush in to take cs! Warwick is a bully early game and it does not matter if the enemy harasses you. Each time you go in for a kill, you will notice that 99% of the time, the enemy champion will harass you ESPECIALLY if they are ranged.
Here's the key point in your early stage sustain - Save up your cd and mana of your Q in the lane. Wait UNTIl they enemy uses a skill or auto-attacks you a bit, before running up and using your Hungering Strike on them. If they are too fast to catch up to heal, simply sun back to your minions and steal hp from an enemy minion.
The main thinking point of this part of the game is to keep your HP bar above the enemy's at all times.
If you keep this routine going for a while, you will see that the enemy will have expelled all his mana, and drank all his pots. Some will even get or call for a gank, but fear not, simply retreat to your tower all the whilst using Q to keep your HP up until you reach sanctuary. Like I have said, I have had a couple of times where I got a double kill from this just by using Q and baiting them into the tower dive from my low HP.
You will realise that a lot of the times, the enemy champion will be below a certain percentage of HP and your blood scent will trigger. Use this to scare them and zone them out of lane whilst you last hit creeps at will.
Upon reaching level 6, this is where the killing spree will take place. This is your turning point, where the little passive caterpillar has finally bloomed into a monstrous kill-hungry errr.. butterfly.
When you achieve your ultimate, this is where you are no longer scared to lash out and destroy the opposing champion mirroring your every move. If you have kept the enemy low throughout the start, you can use your movement speed buff to insta-kill the enemy champion by using it and finishing off with a Q directly afterwards.
Level 6 is where you will have to decide on the following:
1 I can kill the enemy, then recall.
2 The enemy is unkillable at the moment or has recalled, I'll recall too.
Either way it is best to recall sometime at this level.
Your first item you should look to finish first is the Haunting Guise. By this time, the enemy is sure to have seen your AP build and bought some magic resist. Haunting guise will give you the edge over their items and give you a boost in HP and Q spell vamp.
Spend the remaining gold to buy boots or a few mana pots if you really feel you need them, but don't buy health pots as THEY ARE NOT NEEDED.
After boots 1, I usually find that is enough speed, especially when you have so many points in Blood Scent, that it is easy to catch preys without level 2 boots. Aim to finish building the Liandri's as this will give you a more lethal Q, which means an earlier Blood Scent, which in turn means an easier kill.
After Liandri's, finish your Mercury Tread's to give you that tanky Magic Resist, Tenacity, and movement speed boost. Even against AD champions in the top lane, Mercury treads is more important than the ninja tabi as CC can really shut him down.
The last and main source of damage from your item build is from a Wit's End. This beauty is the last item you need before you start raking in the kills and begin to look like the carry of the team. Wit's end will literally make you a lot harder to kill and a lot more terrifying to see on the battlefield.
By this time, your KDA scores should be positive or at the very least on a draw. This is where you must press that TAB key and check to see what types of champions the enemy's have and build accordingly to the list below:
More Attack Speed = Frozen Heart
More Attack Damage = Frozen Heart and/or Randuin's Omen
More Ability Power = Spirit Visage and/or Runic Bulkwark
More Health = Blade of the Runed King
I DON'T KNOW!! = Iceborn Gauntlet
Although I have stated Blade of the Runed King, the item is still not vital to the Warwick's build and is not where his strength lies. It is simply your choice to make the item if you feel that your champion is having a really easy time in the game and simply want to be a stronger hunter than the rest of your team!
For anything else, or if you need that slowing attack on your enemies, it is a good choice to get Frozen Mallet or (my favourite) the Iceborn Gauntlet as they will secure a kill on a fleeing champion.
Pro tips and last words
Here is the Warwick skill combo, you should use everytime you fight an opponent:
Q for harass, Q for life steal, W for harass on very weak opponents, W for hitting towers, E toggle off to sneak up on enemies, R for any champions under your guarenteed % of HP (Include a final Q after the suppress)
E(on) -> Q -> Q -> R -> W -> Auto.. .. .. .. -> Q
I want to thank each of you for taking the time to read this guide. I hope it has helped you win some games with an AP Warwick. Don't let anyone get you down by them spamming "Warwick is a useless champion"
I've already given you a guide on the Runes/Masteries/Items setup. Any champion is good, if you have the right knowledge of their skills, and play smart.
Good Luck Summoners, I hope to Mirror Fight a good APC TANK Warwick in the top lane some time in the future. Add me if you wish, I can show you in real demonstration of my top lane AP Warwick in game =]
Best of luck
your fellow summoner Wuking (North America)