Warwick Build Guide by limee
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.
Here is my first guide and it's on Warwick of course :) First, let me talk about my thoughts on him. Although [Warwick] can be a great jungler, I find that he is not the best. He is a lot better laner and can give more to the team doing so. WW as a jungle is a great choice for beginners because of his sustain in the jungle and the ability to run the jungle without potions. The problem with this champion is that his jungles are very slow compared to others such as Udyr who in my opinion, has the strongest jungle in the game right now. And on top of Udyr there are many others such as Lee Sin, Shyvana, Maokai etc. Also, Warwick doesn't have very strong ganking capabilities. He has no CC other than his ult which takes a while to obtain because of his slow jungle and has slow base movement. Therefore, in my opinion he is much better laner because of his sustain in lane and the ability outlane many champs.
Pros And Cons
- One of best solo top lanes
- Great survivability in team fights
- Strong Disruptor with ultimate
- Great Utility for the team
- Great solo queue champ
- No strong CC
- Disadvantage to ranged champions
- Mana hungry
LaneWick should be played as a tank and always a tank. He is not effective any other way. There are crazy things such as MageWick and the classic melee dps Warwick. These are builds that you see most often but don’t not turn out very well. The problem with builds like this is that they only work against newer players who don't know how to make objectives. The melee dps ww build can dish out a lot of damage but if the enemy team chooses their targets correctly, you will be the first gone. Melee dps is not something that really works well because it requires you to enter into the middle of the team where you will get CC like crazy. It Does work on some champions like Pantheon because he has pokes and his passive synergize well with taking some damage. Warwick is not one of these champions. He has no pokes and his Hungering Strike has a very short range. So, to sum things up, he will get shutdown immediately unless you build some defenses into him. Which in end will limit his damage making him useless because he will not be a true tank neither a dps. Now, onto MageWick. MageWick is a wild build that you may sometime see. It also does not work... :/ The problem with MageWick is that stacking ap isn't effective unless you go somewhere beyond 400 ap. The reason for this is because at level 5 Hungering Strike which you will achieve at level 9, will already do 20% of the target's hp as magic dmg. This is one fifth of the target's health where flat damage at level 5 is 275. Then, ap scales 1 for 1 which is a good ratio and can cause a lot of damage, but the survivability of Wariwick is drastically decreased again. The best you can do is get a Rylai's Crystal Scepter and possibly a Rod of Ages to boost some survivability. Let's think about this though, Warwick has one spell that does magic damage which is Hungering Strike and is also on a 6 second cooldown. If your team is depending on you as their only magic damage source, they are going to be greatly disappointed. Yes, it may do a lot of damage but it provides no survivability. Like the situation with melee dps Warwick, their team will focus you down. In your defense you may say that Hungering Strike will heal me for a ton of health, but in between the 6 second cooldown you are completely vulnerable. Without the defense you sacrificed for damage, you are unable to survive until the next Hungering Strike. You also may say that how can you be so sure that i will be focused down first? Well it's because you are the only or main source of magic damage. This will guarantee that the enemy team will come after you.
Skill Sequence and Runes
The first thing you want to max out is. Maxing is not something that is mandatory but my preference. It comes in handy whenever you are chasing down those little escapees from team fights or even in the laning phase. Is something that could be useful for someone like your ad carries or pushing down turrets with a team, so just keep this in mind.
Runes are something that I find is made of preference. I like to use health quints as it gives me sustain early game. As a tank having some defensive runes really help. The Magic Pen runes are to benefit Hungering Strike.
Doran's Ring is a very good item to start with. It gives some flat ap which helps a little towards damage and it gives mana regen. Mana regen is an important thing on Warwick because of his small mana pool and the high mana cost on HungeringStrike. Depending on your opponent in lane it is possible that you may want to start with a [Cloth Armor] and five health, or maybe [boots of speed] with 3 health potions. Something like a [null-magic mantle] even maybe something you want to start with because your laning opponent maybe someone like Gragas or Kennen. Tier 2 boots is something of preference. If you are doing really well, i suggest you take Sorcerer's Shoes as it adds to the damage onto Hungering Strike and the amount you're healing. A core item in your build would be Aegis of the Legion. This is because it provides a bit of everything you need as a tank and it has an aura. It's low cost makes it affordable early games and something you may get as early as 10 mins. Next, you want to get either Glacial Shroud or maybe builds towards a Banshee's Veil if they're are heaving on damage. Of course, you will eventually be building Glacial Shroud into a Frozen Heart. In some cases when I am doing really well, I would like to skip frozen heart although it is a very good item for Warwick. It adds to his small mana pool and gives some cooldown reduction which works well with his Hungering Strike. Sometimes, I like to skip frozen heart because of it's high price and go into something like guardian's angel right away or a [void staff]. Void staff is an item that you will pretty much always need even on a TankWick. It provide Magic penetration which is the most important stat given. This is the reason why MageWick is not as useful in a team as TankWick. With the magic penetration, you can even target tanks with Hungering Strike. In fact Tanks should be the target you are aiming for with hungering strike as it will return the most health. Hungering strike deals the greater damage between flat or equal to 20% of target's maximum health. Twenty pecent of their maximum health is a lot of damage and should be utilized the most. To make sure you get the best results with hungering strike, you need the magic penetration. This is where Void Staff comes in. It will provide all the damage you need and you will be sure to be healing around 400 hp in the later game. Tanks have more health, so Tanks give more health. With 40% magic penetration and for those baddies who don't build magic resist, you will almost be doing true damage. Try to focus those who have high health pools. There are some champion like Malzahar that maybe be buildings things such as Rod of Ages and a Rylai's Crystal Scepter which makes them the perfect target. Also the fact that they do not build defenses like the tanks do make them an even easier target. Something to keep in mind though, there is no one exact build for a champion. Item sequence will not always be in this order. It is up to your judgement. If the enemy team is dealing heaving damage physical damage Frozen Heart is definitely an item you want. If the enemy team is dealing heaving magic damage, Wit's End can be a useful items as it gives some magic resist and helps towards your ultimate Infinite Duress.
Possible builds you can be using:
and continuing however you see fit.
You can see that I like the item Aegis of the Legion very much :) It provides a lot for tanks especially in the early game. The stats last throughout the game and if it is ever needed. This maybe something that people will argue over because you are a top laner and the aura does not provide much. It is something that can skipped over preference, but i find it a very useful item because it provides a considerable amount of each defense stat. It can be useful in team fights which you will be keeping until you finish your build. It will be the last item you sell which can be as late as 40 mins.
Now, to discuss why TankWick is better than the rest. His laning phase early game is practically the same as any other build you may go into. Your only source of damage is Hungering Strike which deals the same amount of damage early game with melee dps or no significant decrease in damage compared to MageWick. Since the damage output is fairly the same, it is best to invest in survivability and sustain in the lane. When you are laning it is important to have map awareness and make sure you're pushed when the enemy jungler allows it, and back off when you know they're are close. Also, be sure to conserve mana and to use it at the proper time. It often happens when players get carried away and harass their opponent with hungering strike. This is something that you DO NOT want to do. It has a very high mana cost and you will run out of mana in no time. It alright to use it once in a while against the enemy when you are holding mana for a while. If you are at full mana, it's obvious that you won't run out anytime soon. A rough idea as to when to use hungering strike to inflict damage without needing the heal is when you are above half mana. Always try to keep at least 3 Hungering Strike available in case of ganks or the need to heal. Once you get your ultimate, it's sometimes best to gank lanes whenever possible. For example when your lane is pushed and the enemy is away from lane. Take this opportunity to snag a kill from middle lane. In fights, you want to target the carries. This means that whichever your team decides on. The ap carry or the ad. Preferably the one that does the most damage. As the tank it is your job to zone these carries from the fight with your ultimate. An important thing to keep in mind though. You must be aware of your team. It happens often but you ult the Ashe for example and you're hitting like a truck, she runs away but you realize your team is way behind. They are being held up by the 3 beefy bruisers and end up dying. This is something that happens to me myself. Make sure that you open a path for your carries to deal damage to the enemies' carries. Try to be aware of how far behind your team is and their problems in a team fight. Although your objective maybe to zone the carry but be sure that their bruiser does not take out your carry first.
In the early game, it is fundamental that you get farm. This is something that applies to all champions, not just Warwick. Champion kills are a great help but they are also unreliable as you will not get kills every game. The standard amount of CS you want to aim for every game is 75 CS at 10 mins. Allowing you to miss very few. Last hits assure that you will always have gold for you to spend rather than getting lucky on getting champion kills. Sometimes, it is possible to impair your opponent of getting last hits by dealing significant amount of damage and warding them off. Make sure you do not get carried away in the dominance and forget to last hit yourself. This is something that happens often to myself. Because your opponent gets zoned by you, the lane dominance makes you feel obliged to kill him. Don't fall into these temptations. Make sure you farm up as much as you can. Also, you need to make sure you are aware of your map. As a top laner you should ward often as you are vulnerable to ganks. If you're spawning from blue base, you may want to ward the tri-brush area. As purple base, you might want to ward the intersection at the river coming out of the blue golem buff. Upon getting your ult, it is a good time to gank. Try ganking middle lane as it's closest. Make sure you lane is pushed so that the enemy does not take down your tower. If you don't feel like ganking, you can make use of your jungle by taking the golems or wolves for example when there is no enemy in lane and your lane is pushed.
Laning Phase and Counters
These are just some of the major counters that may be difficult to lane against as Warwick:
Galio is a hard counter to Warwick because of his range abilities and the fact that he builds MR. The main thing to remember when thinking about countering Warwick is countering his sustain which come from his Hungering Strike. Magic Resists greatly decreases his ability to exchange blows, especially a champion who deals damage from a range like Galio.
The amount of damage from Rumble's Flamespitter is ridiculous. It has a very low cooldown and deals tons of damage. Try to avoid his flamespitter at it's initiation and go in about 2 seconds before the timer runs out to take least amount of damage. If you decide to go in after it runs out, by the time you reach his with your Hungering Strike, he will re-activate Flamespitter and chase after you with his harpoons.
His resourceful shield takes tons of damage blocking your Hungering Strike. Becomes hard to harass and win over him. Best to just farm up and if needed, use Hungering Strike to last hit and heal off minions.
Pantheon has a high base movement speed and if he starts with boots of speed he will be kiting you easily. Not to mention his poke with his spear toss, you will not be able to win him in lane easily.
Anyone who builds health as primary stat (ie. Vladimir, Shen)
Low base defense champs that do not naturally build defense