Trundle Build Guide by Whitewind617
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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.
Laning Trundle? Yeah, I know what you're going to say. I agree too. Trundle is more suited to jungling than he is to laning, but the simple fact is that not everybody knows how to Jungle, or they might not enjoy jungling as much for whatever reason. Plus, everyone and their mother is writing Jungle Trundle builds, and this site could do for a decent build in lane if one is so inclined to build him that way. I must stress that this build is NOT intended to be some kind of hardcore, high level play build for the pros, and I'm not that good of a player myself, at around 1300 ELO level (although I'm actually currently unranked...) so don't go to this build if you want to mix things up in a ranked game when you're already pretty dominant with Trundle. What this build can do is get someone who would like to get their bearings with Trundle as a character off to a decent start if maybe they don't want to try jungling for a while.
If I were you I wouldn't pay much attention to my choices for this part, as rune choices are not something I know much about. One thing I can guarantee you is that armor pen. reds are a great choice on him. Many jungle guides have attack damage or attack speed reds, but that's mostly because Trundle's jungling times would be screwed up if he didn't have those bonuses early on. Because You're in lane, you don't have to worry about that. Go armor pen reds.
As for the rest, use you're own judgment mostly. Again, I don't really know to much about rune choices, but I would say some tanky runes like armor and magic resist per level would be a safe bet. I use Seals of Clarity because I find myself running put of mana with Trundle frequently, and using them kind of mediated that, so they stuck. For quints, I would say the more armor pen the better, so probably go with those. Not much else really seems all to appealing, except maybe movement speed, which is pretty important on Trundle (which I'll get to later.)
For Masteries, ABSOLUTELY make certain that you grab the quickness utility mastery, it's essential to get Trundle's movement speed where you'll want it. The Ghost and Exhaust masteries (which I almost always use on Trundle) are pretty sure picks, and the neutral monster buff enhancer is pretty important too, If your team has no jungler (many low level solo queue games don't, don't think this statement is so incredible) then you should probably be picking up monster buffs (especially red) pretty often. Get up to the armor pen in the offensive masteries, it really helps. You should put excess points in the armor mastery, and I don't really find trundle needs armor masteries all that much, he soaks up damage like a champ regardless I find.
My items are meant to get you off to a rough idea or what you should be building, so don't follow it completely, but it's certainly won't mess you up completely if you do.
Start out with a Doran's Shield. I used to say go straight for Heart of Gold on him, but now it just sucks. Doran's is the safest bet IMO. It doesnt leave you with money for pots, but Trundle's passive should let you get a bit of health back as you go.
You should immediately go for Mercury treads as soon as you're able. Trust me, they're the best choice, they'll give a good boost to Trundle's already great CC reduction, and the extra movement speed early is important. Berserker Greaves aren't recommended, they don't help nearly as much, and Boots of Swiftness are expensive and not worth the bonuses they give. As for the new tenacity items...they're ok, but not as good as investing in Merc Treads. None of them, with the possible exception of Eleisa's Miracle, give a whole lot of what Trundle needs, and the Tenacity given by Merc Treads is better than any of them anyway. If you want to go for different boots, go for Boots of Swiftness, they're probably the next best choice, and get Eleisa's. But I'd recommend Merc Treads over this any day, as far as Trundle's concerned.
Phage is a good item to get next, since it allows you to get some much needed attack damage, while still staying fairly tanky. Plus, frozen mallet's a great item for much later, so Phage is another item I highly recommend building.
From this point on, the build is open to both personal preference and the current enemy team. There are two items, however, that may seem attractive but I recommend you not build. These are Wriggle's Lantern and Trinity Force. Wriggles simply doesn't help much in lane. It makes perfect sense for a jungler, and building it early there is a great idea. But in lane however, you'd be getting to it fairly late (After Doran's and Merc treads anyway, if you choose to build him like that) and by the time you finish it, it will be too little, too late; there would be much better options by that point. Building it early I also wouldn't recommend, as you would stay too weak for far too long. Trinity force is another one people seem to like on Trundle, but this one I really dislike on him. It's my opinion that people build it solely for the passive to grant extra damage after every cast, and I don't think it's worth building it just for that. I find Frozen Mallet's slowing passive much more useful, and I find I do enough damage without Trinity force.
Before you build Mallet though, Getting more defense and Magic Def is definitely recommended. Two items I think are best for this are Sunfire cape and Force of nature. I use Sunfire because it's a good iteam that gives both armor and health, and FoN because it gives great Magic def and its passives are a big help; the movement speed is pretty good for Trundle, and the Health Regen helps a lot too. Use your own judgement for this part. If the team has a ton of Magic damage, build more Magic Def, and if their AD guys are really killing you, consider a Thornmail. Don't build Warmogs thought, it's way too expensive, and all it gives is health. Not very useful. Banshee's veil might be a good choice if they have a large amount of CC, but Trundle's natural CC reduction from his W and the merc treads might make the item unnecessary. Think about that before buying it. I used to build Randuins on him, but the recent nerf to it has made it fairly terrible. I haven't tried it since they buffed it back up a bit, I may check it out to see if it works.
After building Mallet, get some DPS items. I use Ragebuild and Atma's, for a few reasons. One, I find Rageblade really fun, and it really helps pushing structures. Atma's gives a bit of armor, and puts all that health you have to good use. But you can mostly build what you want here, Ghostblade isn't a bad item to use, and it has a built in haste to boot. Bloodthirter may be a decent item. I've determined that Hexdrinker doesn't give enough attack damage to of much use at this point.
If you want to focus a bit more on champion killing, I'd recommend Black Cleaver or Infinity edge; Black Cleaver is my favorite of the two, mostly because it's much less expensive (1000g less!!) and its armor shredding is pretty useful. Plus the attack speed is useful for pushing. As for Infinity Edge, its good, but pretty expensive. If your fed, go for it I guess, but if your not in the money, it may slow you down a little much.
Now, here's a special condition I've found - Twisted Fate or (to a lesser extent) Teemo. Both of them are amazing pushers, and may give you a ton of trouble, mostly for their outrageous ability to move around the map with incredible speed. If you find yourself getting ****ed by one or both of them, invest in TWO phantom dancers as attack items. These will not only boots your critical strike to give you some more hitting power, but they'll boost your speed to crazy levels, and may give you a chance to properly deal with them before they run you into the ground. I wouldn't recommend this otherwise, as it does make you slightly weak.
In conclusion, you REALLY need to think a bit when picking items past Phage. I strongly believe those starting items are pretty core, but any build can be great or useless, depending on the situation. Mixing up your builds a bit is fairly tricky, especially for someone who's used to just doing exactly what a build tells them and letting that be the end of it. PLEASE don't do this, my build will get you started, and is a good recommendation (in my opinion anyway) if you really don't know what to build, but tanky characters like trundle really need to assess the situation. Look at your team, then look at theirs. Figure out what your role will need to be to best deal with your enemies, and think/discuss with your teammates what is the best role for you to play, should be be more tanky than DPS, or vice-versa? It can be tricky indeed, but you'll get the hang of it.
First off, don't put a point into ANY abilities until you realize what's going on. This is a common newbie mistake I see all the time. For example, you might pick Trundle's bite early on when you could have gotten an early kill from picking Pillar of filth, or you needed it to scout a bush, and instead got killed from your own bush. On the other hand, if you pick Pillar of filth, you may not need it and miss the extra damage from bite. Just leave the point unallocated until you talk to your team. Learn if you're ganking jungle, ganking mid, or simply laning. Wait for the need to arise, then pick your ability.
Pillar of filth is definitely needed at some point early though, get a point in it as soon as level 3, if not at level 1 or 2. Then, put some point into bite, at least 2. You'll need the damage to help last hit minions, and possibly score an early kill. At level 4 at the latest, get a point in Contaminate. It'll come in handy as team fights start arising. Get your ult whenever possible, obviously. Level up pillar of filth last, its scaling is just worse than the other abilities, it doesn't help as much to put extra points into it.
Decompose is a neat little passive. What it does is this: Whenever any unit around trundle, be it aggressive, neutral, minion, or even champion, dies, Trundle recovers for a percentage of their maximum health. It starts off at 2% at lvl 1, increasing to 3% at lvl 5, than 4% at lvl 9, 5% at lvl 12, and finally 6% at lvl 15. This health gained back is kinda handy, and builds up over time. It's one of the reasons I find he can go without health potions at the beginning perfectly fine, as the health regen from Doran's along with this passive keep Trundle going pretty strong, as long as he can avoid being harassed too much. However, I'll be clear on this, this passive is not something you should try to rely on. The health does add up over time, but the health you get back from a single kill is fairly miniscule, and will hardly ever be enough to save you in a pinch. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT pick smite for the sole purpose of getting health off this passive, it's just not enough. I go into more detail about this particular point below, but trust me on this. There are two points where the health recovered could be significant enough to make a difference: Champions and super minions. A super minion (at 2300 health) will heal you for about 130 health, and a tank (around 3000 health usually) could heal you for 200 health or more. These numbers help a lot, especially during the late game, when you are dancing around in the enemy base, smashing towers while your health comes back from super minions dying around you, with your enemies wondering why the hell you won't die. Anyway, I went into a bit more detail here than I meant to, but all in all, it's a handy passive that doesn't need much thought, and it might be better if you don't think about it too much.
Trundle's primary damage dealing/farming ability, this is really important for trundle. Put a point in it as soon as possible, at Level 1 if you can afford to, and immediately after Pillar of Filth if not.If you see both enemy champions appear in your lane (i.e. not hiding in the bush) and you're confidant you won't get ganked, then put a point in Rabid Bite.
As far as using the skill goes, there are two very important things to know that will help you use the ability much better. #1 - This ability is the kind that buffs your next normal attack. What will happen when you push Q is this: Trundles head will start glowing a bit, and the next attack you do, Trundle will bite them instead of hitting them. This ability deals a fair bit of damage, dealing a percentage of your Attack Damage (80% to 120%, depending on the level of the ability) plus some base damage. The ability also saps attack damage, making Trundle's hammer glow red for the duration after the attack lands, adding regular attack damage to your own attacks and lowering the attack damage of the enemy you hit by half the amount that you stole. This is much simpler than I made it sound, so don't worry, it's easy to get the hang of.
#2 to understand is that activating the ability resets your attack time, allowing you to attack immediately after activating it. Even if you've just attacked, you get to attack again. Do this often: it really helps increase your damage output. It also helps with farming, as you can get two hits in (one regular attack followed immediately by a bite) to quickly kill a minion before it gets taken by your own minions.
Uses of the ability are pretty varied, such as simply spamming it when attacking an enemy champion or strong minion to do as much damage as possible, to using the ability first on the primary AD champion on the enemy team to lower their damage (because of the AD sapping portion of the ability.) In a team fight I highly recommend doing the latter if it's safe to do so, and if said champion is close to you (as in, not across the entire fight, if he is then don't bother) to really lessen the amount of damage he can dish out to your team. Another use of it I like to do is to push structures. After laying down a contaminate right under me (more on that ability next) I often like to use Rabid Bite on the nearest enemy minion, which will increase my attack damage as I hit the tower. Remember though, you can't use the bite itself on towers, so you need to bit a minion first, then go back to hitting it.
BEST SUMMONER SPELLS
Ghost- One of the two best choices. It works well with his W to give him a huge movement speed buff, and trust me, nobody is getting away from you once you pop both (except maybe Teemo....how I hate him.) Well, not much more to say than that, I mean, it's ghost, it make you move faster. It's useful to have in almost any situation you can think of, running across the map to help a team fight, running to protect a tower, running to a gank, everything. Get it, trust me, its the one thing you can't do without.
Exhaust- My second favorite, but not as pivotal as Ghost. Basically, whereas ghost is helpful for getting you in range of someone (either to pop a great Pillar of filth in front of someone, or to just keep hitting them) exhaust helps everyone else get in range. Trundle only has one form of CC, pillar (which is only a slow anyway, however useful it may be,) so I recommend getting this, as I find him a bit CC challenged. Trundle's basically helpless in a situation where someone is channeling, there's like nothing he can do to help (OH NOES KATS USING HER ULT, our taric's stun is on CD, and she's eating us ALIVE!!!!!) so having exhaust can help in this situation, as it doesn't just slow, it reduces attack damage by 70% and ability damage by 35%. Against a big burst AOE ult like Kat, Nunu, or Fiddle, this can help A LOT, especially if there's no other options available. The mastery also make it reduce armor and MR by a bit, so ALWAYS use it in a team fight, even if nobody's running, the bonuses make it worth the use. Don't let it sit on CD just because nobody's running away from you.
BAD SUMMONER SPELLS
Smite- Only for jungling. Plain and simple, it's not useful otherwise. The spotlight video makes a point on how it can be used to proc Trundle's passive. LOL. What a joke. Take this for example: You're running for your life from a champ, and you pass Golems, the strongest jungle monster that can be killed by Smite. However, you must be lvl 16 for smite to kill him in 1 shot (you will will clearly die if you stop to hit him, so don't consider that.) Okay then, assume you're lvl 16. You smite one of the golems. At lvl 16, your passive now heals you for 6% of the golem's max health. 6. Six. 6%. How much is 6% of the golem's 800 health? 48. You just healed 48 HP at lvl 16. THIS IS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH TO SAVE YOUR LIFE AT ALL WHATSOEVER. DO NOT PICK SMITE FOR THIS PURPOSE. The Spotlight gave the mistaken impression that it could be picked for this purpose alone (as in NOT jungling) but don't be fooled, that is a DUMB idea. If you actually check, in the video when he did it it healed him for about 8 health....does that sound like a lot? Why he even made this comment is beyond me. Smite could be a useful pick if your team has no jungler, allowing you to snipe big creeps like dragon and baron before their gotten by the enemy team, but it's not an very useful pick in comparison to other choices. I'd recommend it only for jungling.