Warwick Build Guide by RsRaedon
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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.
Before deciding to up or downvote this guide, please give me a chance and read the guide first. There is reasoning behind the item build and I'm making this guide under the assumptions that the readers are summoner level 30, or have a good foothold on the game. This is my first guide so I apologize for the lack of aesthetic appeal.
I use a 9/21/0 mastery page for Warwick because I like to play him as a tanky bruiser who also is able to deal damage. The cooldown reduction from Sorcery and Enlightenment add up to 12% at level 18 which synergizes with your Frozen Heart and your Spirit Visage if you choose to build that way (CDR caps at 40% and you can reach that with those two masteries and those two items). Cooldown reduction is important because it allows Warwick to abuse the damage and healing from Hungering Strike as well as the possibility to use Infinite Duress twice in a prolonged team fight. We get Arcane Knowledge for the magic penetration to help out our Eternal Thirst, Hungering Strike, and Infinite Duress.
I use Greater Mark of Magic Penetration because Warwick's main harass tool in lane is his Hungering Strike, which deals magic damage.
The Greater Seal of Armor are practically required in top lane due to the fact that most bruisers are AD.
For glyphs, Greater Glyph of Magic Resist and Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist are acceptable. I chose magic resist per level in this guide because most top laners are AD champions. Consider using flat magic resist if you know you're up against an AP heavy champion.
Quintessences can vary the most. Greater Quintessence of Health, Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration, Greater Quintessence of Armor and Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage are all acceptable. I like the early tankiness to be a jerk so I use Greater Quintessence of Armor.
- This is a very good passive and along with his other abilities, is what makes Warwick a good duelist. At level 16 and at 3 stacks, Eternal Thirst will be dealing the same amount of damage as a Wit's End and will be healing for that much (42) each hit. That's really good because we have high attack speed from our items and Hunters Call.
- This move is your bread and butter. This doesn't need any items to be strong as it naturally tears a percentage of the opponent's health. It was originally 20% of the opponents health as damage at rank 5 but that has been nerfed to 16%. It is still very powerful and is what makes Warwick hard to fight against.
- 80% attack speed buff at rank 5 and it gives 40% to all nearby teammates is just amazing. The buff to yourself alone is already incredible and will help you immensely 1v1. Don't forget to use it when your team is taking down turrets.
- This makes Warwick a true hunter. It gives him up to 40% extra movement speed at rank 5 which lets him catch up to pretty much anyone who tries to run away. Just don't forget you can use the extra movement speed to run away from a fight gone wrong as well. Remember to turn off Blood Scent if you're going to gank someone with low hp or else you'll give yourself away due to an icon appearing above the enemy's head and a loud howl from Warwick.
- along with Ignite, this can usually net you a kill at level 6. This can turn tower dives around because it forces the opponent to take free turret shots and you gain 30% lifesteal while channeling it, resulting in some nice healing. Use this to peel scary enemies off your carries and to lock down someone for your team to kill. Last but not least, this spell can be used to interrupt other spells such as Death Lotus, Absolute Zero, and Grand Skyfall.
We will max Hungering Strike first, taking points in Infinite Duress whenever possible. I normally leave Hunters Call at one point because no one really stands there and fights a 1v1 in lane. However, if the need arises, feel free to max it before Blood Scent. Blood Scent also helps to chase because top is one of the longer lanes.
The items listed above are simply what I'd like to use. Please, never follow a fixed build on a champion, especially in top lane.
- this is probably where the most questions begin. The reasoning behind this is because HP is never bad and because Warwick needs the mana regen to be able to use his Hungering Strike. The ability power from the ring also adds some damage because Warwick has a 1.0 ap ratio on his Hungering Strike. The healing you get from Hungering Strike makes up for the lack of potions as well.
- what? why these shoes? Warwick only has two attacks in his kit, being his Hungering Strike and his Ultimate, Infinite Duress and they both deal magical damage. It also synergizes with the passive magic damage from Wit's End.
- this is the item that every Warwick should have. Infinite Duress deals 5 procs of on-hit damage. What does this mean? It means with his ultimate, Wit's End will be at maximum stacks, granting him 50 Magic Resist as well as dealing 210 magic damage and that's not even including the base damage of the ultimate. This item is almost always better than Malady because it offers more passive magic damage. Malady's magic shred only stacks up to 26 which is less than the Sorcerer's Shoes and Greater Mark of Magic Penetration's. Wit's End allows you to be more tanky because your job isnt to try to instagib the opponent, it's to soak up damage but still deal a considerable amount.
- This item in general gives a lot for what it's worth. It offers practically the same armor as a Thornmail and gives a ton of mana with 20% cooldown reduction so you can spam Hungering Strike in teamfights. Lastly, it has an aura that reduces enemy attack speeds by 20% which will always be in effect because Warwick will be in the middle of a teamfight tearing someone apart.
makes up for the lack of hp in this build and gives him incredible chasing power because he gets a perma-slow and can get more movespeed from Blood Scent when an enemy is under 50% hp.
is an item with a lot of controversy. It should never be rushed as a first item because champions have lower hp values earlier in the game so the 4% hp damage isn't as useful and because the item itself costs a small fortune. However, it is still a very powerful item and should be considered later in the game. With Infinite Duress, this item will activate 5 times, dealing damage equal to 20% of the opponents health.
Some optional items include:
- This item should be built when you're against a laner who deals significant magic damage and you need the healing buff passive to keep up.
Examples: Mordekaiser or Yorick.
- This is basically the Spirit Visage against AD champions. It offers some resistances and lets you heal more. Usually a Glacial Shroud is enough but if they're doing a lot of damage early you should consider this item. It also comes with a free Sight ward so be sure to use that and save some money.
Examples: Lee Sin, Irelia, Renekton
- Generally you won't be using this item but you can get it if you're stomping the enemy team or if you're doing fine without the tankier items. This gives Warwick even more lifesteal and damage, making him super strong in a straight up 1v1.
- I usually don't build this item but it has it's uses. The spell vamp DOES work with Hungering Strike so you'll be stealing even more health. It also offers lifesteal and more damage on auto attacks so it's a pretty good package once you take into consideration the 300 damage nuke and slow from the active. If you get this then don't get The Bloodthirster and vice versa.
or - I personally like Sorcerer's Shoes but i can understand if you want a more tanky setup, in which case either of these boots may work.
- So far i've only had to use this item against Yorick. It gives magic resist which helps against his ghouls and gives you the mana to repeatedly use Hungering Strike to keep up in sustain.
- if for whatever reason you were losing your lane earlier and bought a Heart of Gold to help with money, you can upgrade it into this item. However, if given the choice I'll take Frozen Heart over this item any day because of the mana it offers.
- Need to soak up more damage? This item should definitely be considered.
- This item is kind of mid-gameish but that doesn't mean its bad. It gives a nice mix of armor and hp and let's you do a little more damage during Infinite Duress due to the passive magic damage to whoever is close to you.
- This item is good if you need magic resist later in the game. Gives Hp, Mana, and your personal spell shield.
- Another option if you want magic resist. It gives movement speed for a little more chasing power. This item is usually used if you're building very tanky because of the passive health regeneration. Remember to build an item that offers hp because this item doesn't. This item can replace your Spirit Visage if the game drags on really long. Don't build it if you don't have a good amount of HP though (try to pair it with Frozen Mallet or Warmog's Armor).
- You can't really go wrong with this item. On Warwick you can actually save your ult until after you die if you have this item and soak up a lot of the initial burst damage. You gain 30% lifesteal when casting Infinite Duress and with Hungering Strike, you can heal up and be the terror that never ends in a fight. I nearly always take this item last because in my opinion it's the most game changing item.
AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS REMEMBER TO BUY sight ward!!! THESE ARE MANDATORY! Wards can save lives.
If you're on the purple side, ward the entrance to the blue team's blue buff to warn you of ganks. If you're blue side, ward the bottom of the river bush or the tri-bush on the purple team's side of the river.
A good top laner will build to counter the opponent. You wouldn't build Wit's End right away against Riven because you don't need magic resist. Instead, build Frozen Heart which gives armor and lets you spam Hungering Strike.
is a good summoner spell that adds kill potential and can be casted during Infinite Duress without interrupting it.
because its a great utility spell and can be casted to get in range of Infinite Duress to grab someone out of position.
Exhaust - I personally prefer Ignite over this spell for the extra damage but it can be great against laners who are very reliant upon auto attacks and/or their items to deal significant damage such as Jax or Riven. Later in the game you want to target the enemy AD carry with this spell.
Ghost - I do not recommend this spell because you already get movement speed from Blood Scent.
Cleanse - it's actually not too bad but enemies will want to target your carries with their stuns, slows, etc. instead of you.
Surge - at first glance it seems alright but let's look again. This spell only gives 35% attack speed and with the Summoner's Wrath mastery it's still only 40% and has a 180 second cooldown. Our Hunters Call is a 40% attack speed boost at rank 1 and only has a 24 second cooldown. Surge is just too weak to be considered.
Revive - the point is to NOT die.
Teleport - we don't get this spell because later in the game the only purpose of using this spell is if you want to split push. Warwick has poor escapes and wave clearing abilities so he's not suitable for this job.
Clairvoyance, Promote, and Clarity are just not good enough to replace any other spells for Warwick.
In team fights, Warwick should be a feared tanky bruiser who is capable of 1v1-ing nearly every champion in the game.
You should cast Hungering Strike every chance you get in a team fight because it deals 16% of their hp value as damage AND it heals you.
Remember to cast Hunters Call AND BE A TEAM PLAYER because at maxed ranks, it gives your team 40% more Attack Speed which can be an incredible boost on your AD carry.
LEAVE Blood Scent ON IN TEAM FIGHTS!!! The enemy team should already know you're there so you won't blow your cover and the movement speed can really help out.
DO NOT initiate with Infinite Duress if it's a full team fight. Chances are you'll get interrupted somehow ( Cryptic Gaze, Enchanted Crystal Arrow, Bear Stance) which wastes your ult and puts you out of position. Feel free to use it if you catch someone out of position or if the stuns and suppresses have been used and you want to lock someone down.
Match-Ups in lane
Warwick can beat a lot of champs in lane due to the fact that he can alter the order in which he buys his items. That being said, you should know how you fare against certain champs.
- He's considered to be a hard counter for Warwick. Although I've been able to beat the Olaf's I've been up against, I can say for certain that if you do win trades, it'll be very very close. Against him, I like to get an early spirit visage to have bonus hp to help from his Reckless Swing and to make Hungering Strike heal for more. This is a lane where I actually recommend building Sorcerer's Shoes to maximize Hungering Strike's damage and because no boots will help against true damage. Try to trade his Reckless Swing with your Hungering Strike everytime. Even though his spell does more damage, the healing from Hungering Strike evens it out/wins the trade. Beware of his Ragnarok as it can break Infinite Duress and grants him extra defenses. It's never bad to nicely ask your jungler to help out either.
- Unfortunately, he DOES beat Warwick. His Decimate will be able to out-trade Hungering Strike and his Hemorrhage will negate a lot of healing. The only thing you can really do against him is to build armor and hp and keep up in farm as you wait for ganks since he pushes waves quickly with Decimate. Don't forget to use Infinite Duress if he tries to kill you under your tower. I would recommend Randuin's Omen because it gives the hp that Frozen Heart does not. You won't need the mana from it because you're not looking to try to trade with him when you'll get out-traded. The Heart of Gold component in Randuin's Omen helps out too with the gold increase.
- Well he's just sorta the king of a 1v1 standoff. He's harder to deal with due to the fact that he deals large amounts of both physical and magical damage. I would suggest building defenses early and relying on Hungering Strike to get him low. If you can manage to get him to about half, Infinite Duress and Ignite should make it to where he'll run for his life but you'll be keeping pace with Blood Scent so you can finish him off. Remember not to use Infinite Duress during his Counter Strike because even though it deals magical damage, the five hits can still be dodged.
- Believe it or not but AD Sion can actually be pretty tough. He'll win any 1v1 with his Cannibalism. He's still pretty strong at early levels due to his Enrage and has a shield to help with trading. You'll obviously want armor and to fight him only to bait out his Cannibalism. Back off after that and you should be able to kill him the next go-round.
- He's basically a ranged Warwick. He'll win the lane because he can shove waves into your turret with Tides of Blood and Warwick has poor wave clearing abilities. More importantly, he isn't limited to mana and his Transfusion at rank 5 will be on a lower cooldown than Hungering Strike.
Medium difficulty/depends on skill:
- This match up can actually go either way. He WILL out trade your damage early on so make sure you get a few points in Hungering Strike before you start messing with him. If he's maxing Safeguard / Iron Will it can get tough, but you shouldn't be completely dominated.
- She has no lane pressure early on but once she hits level 6, she'll be a completely different character. Her burst in cougar form is significant due to her Javelin Toss / Takedown getting stronger each time and none of her moves cost mana. Generally, she'll go AD in top lane so stack some armor and you should be able to beat her if she sticks around after her burst.
- This guy beats a lot of people in lane. Warwick stands a chance if he plays with his build. Spirit Visage and Chalice of Harmony will help out a lot and Mercury's Treads should be questionable. Consider philosopher's stone or Heart of Gold to increase your gold total later if neither of you are going to die and are still able to farm.
- He's kind of troublesome to melee champions in general. The build is similar to Yorick. You'll want your Wit's End and Spirit Visage and probably Mercury's Treads. Just auto attack his shield off then Hungering Strike and continue auto attacking when he uses his spells to farm minions. Don't spend all your time fighting though, you still want CS yourself.
, , and bursty AD's in general - Although they will burst you harder than you can heal earlier on, just try not to fight too much and focus on farming. They become much much easier when you get a Glacial Shroud and can soak up more damage as well as continually damage them and sustain yourself with Hungering Strike.
- He can be very annoying if you're not able to dodge his Electro-Harpoon. After you get some magic resist you should be able to out trade him. His Scrap Shield is the main problem. It gives him movement speed so if you waste your Hungering Strike on it, it may be hard to catch up again and lay down damage.
- This guy counters a LOT of melee champions in top lane. However, Warwick can still win because Hungering Strike will not be affected by Blinding Dart. Just go up and hit him with Hungering Strike and run into the bushes to lose vision. Repeat until you can cast Infinite Duress and Ignite to seal the deal.
- Usually when Udyr is paired against a sustain lane, it will just be a farm fest. He can't really kill you and you can't kill him if he decides to just use Turtle Stance all day. Focus on farming and ask your jungler for assistance. Consider buying a gp10 item for the farm-off.
- The rework on this guy has made him a top tier champ. His burst is very strong and he'll beat Warwick easily early on. Build some armor before you take him on. I'd like to have a Glacial Shroud and a Wit's End.
- He should be very easy to beat for you. His main defense earlier on is his high HP values. Hungering Strike does damage equal to a PERCENTAGE of the opponent's HP so he can tear holes in Cho'Gath's health bar.
- He's easy for the same reason as Cho'Gath. If Shen tries to shield, just auto attack it off. More importantly, if he tries to cast Stand United, make sure to interrupt it by using Infinite Duress on him. Don't forget, your ult is a lower cooldown than his is, so you'll always have it up if he tries to help out his team.
- He isn't a big deal either because Warwick can outsustain and outharrass him. Just keep the damage up and keep him from farming his Siphoning Strike.
- Shouldn't be a problem either. Hungering Strike has a short range on it so you can cast it and run away. Stack magic resist and try not to let him flip you.
- He's always been strong in the early levels but that's about it. A few crit's of Parrrley can get annoying though. Grab your Frozen Heart and you win.
- What's he doing in top lane? I occasionally see Master Yi and he's no problem either. Same idea as Gangplank, get Frozen Heart and win. His Alpha Strike can be annoying early on if he's smart enough to hit you while aiming at a minion so that he doesn't reappear in range of Hungering Strike. If he uses Meditate, don't waste your mana on a Hungering Strike because he gets extremely tanky while channeling it.
- You'll always out trade him with Hungering Strike and when he activates his Undying Rage, you're probably still pretty high health. You can just tank his hits and Hungering Strike the hp he'll get from Bloodlust and add an Ignite. You can use Infinite Duress with Ignite when hes about 1/3 hp and he might not get the chance to cast Undying Rage and just die right there.
- I've honestly never seen a Poppy do good in top. Hungering Strike her all day and don't let her slam you into a wall and you should be fine.
To Ult or Not to Ult?
Warwick's ultimate, Infinite Duress is a very powerful skill and we wouldn't want it to go to waste. This is a list of opponents who can potentially ignore Infinite Duress
- He eats some oranges Remove Scurvy and hes k. Darn it.
- His Ragnarok allows him to break free of any kind of cc.
- His Unbreakable Will lets him break free of cc too.
, , and all have spell shield's that completely block Infinite Duress.
When facing these champions remember to not be too trigger-happy with your ult and take advantage of them when they blow their shields on something else.
All in all, Warwick is the guy that few champions would want to fight alone.
The most important thing about Warwick is knowing when to be aggressive and when not to be.
You may choose to destroy the other team's squishies or to protect your own. If you plan to protect your own, save Infinite Duress for the inevitable dive on them.
..aaaand that's it!
Thanks for bearing with me through that wall of text and please up-vote this guide if you find it useful. Now go out there and show them the power of Warwick, the Blood Hunter!