Warwick Build Guide by Druchtin
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.
The chosen path
Heavy AD Comp
Heavy AP comp
Standard Build A.K.A. Tankwick
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.
Threats to Warwick with this build
|Master Yi||The key to defeating Yi is counter jungling, counter jungling and counter jungling. He will not be able to contest camps with you or trade with you efficiently until at least level 9 and, if you've been doing your job properly, he will never have that opportunity. Use your R to focus him early and teamfights will be yours. Just be wary of his incredible kiting|
Author's note - Patch 5.13 - He's back and he's got a new trick!
I was a bit skeptical when I read the patch notes announcing Sated devourer, but since my first game with him and it, I've been absolutely delighted with the item. He's definitely not as strong as he was pre-4.21 in terms of damage output, but Devourer completing at 30 stacks and also synergising so well with your passive means that Warwick is an absolute monster come mid-late game. In fact, though weaker, I love the new Sated Devourer and how it works with the wolf. I'll update this guide in due course, but tl;dr, Devourer works really well with Warwick and you should definitely check it out.
The wolf is back on the hunt, bois!
My name is Curo, I'm an EUW jungler that mains Warwick. I finished Season 4 in Gold with close to 255 Ranked games on the wolf at a 60%+ winrate. I am confident in my ability to dominate a match with Warwick and also confident that my knowledge of the champion will be of use to you in your attempts to grow and succeed in League of Legends.
What makes Warwick such a powerful champion is the versatility he brings to the jungle - he can be played as a full tank, off tank, bruiser or full-on assassin. Moreover, the simplicity of his mechanics allow you to focus and master the other key skills required to be a successful jungler, such as map awareness, ward placement, ganking, shot calling and taking the blame for your carry's failures. It is because of this mechanical simplicity that I would strongly recommend Warwick to any first-time or nervous junglers who are looking to familiarise themselves with the role.
This guide will specifically focus on teaching you how to play an offensive off-tank/carry Warwick. Although there are numerous styles for playing Warwick, I promote an aggressive, team oriented build; one that focuses on objective control and carry-support while also allowing you to efficiently split push, counter jungle and duel where necessary. With this build, you will not Rambo that **** and you certainly will not be invincible - rather, you will be powerful, fight changing and capable of implementing solo and team strategies effectively.
For anyone who is looking for a more defensive Warwick build, I would strongly recommend checking out the Last Primarch's "Junwick: Supporting your team" guide, which provides fantastic insight into Warwick and jungling as a whole.
If you have any questions, suggestions, rants, tips, death threats, bribes or yordles you would like to send me, feel free to PM me on here or in-game *^_^*
Why Warwick and the concept of Carrying
Before getting into a guide on the wolf, it's worthwhile to mention why you should play him in the first place and more importantly, who should play him.
From my experience with him, I believe firmly that Warwick should be played in the jungle. Although his sustain makes him an impressive laner, I feel his kit is optimal for the jungle, where his Q can chunk targets, his W can assist with objectives, clearing and trading, his E can help chase down and monitor low-health, priority targets in lanes and his R... Well, there are few laners that don't fear a Warwick ult. Each of these abilities, I feel, pay better dividends through roaming and pressuring all lanes rather than being confined to top.
Warwick is often considered one of the most simple champions to play in the game; a characteristic that often leads to rage and flame from the enemy team after their demise. Although flame inducing, this mechanical simplicity allows players to focus on developing their jungling macro-mechanics, such as counter-jungling, buff and objective control, lane pressure and ganking, and lane holding. It is for this reason that I strongly advocate Warwick for beginner junglers so that they can familiarise themselves with the role and learn what it takes to rule the jungle, without getting flustered with mechanics and manoeuvres.
For advanced junglers, an aggressive Warwick is EXTREMELY versatile, one that is capable of ganking, split pushing, and counter jungling. His sustain is unparallelled in the early game, allowing for near full health ganks everytime and comfortable duels. Moreover, with many of the early game junglers such as Elise and Lee Sin taking bashes from the nerfstick, the wolf's true counters are a lot less prominent. This, combined with his decent clear speeds, mean that the comfortably balance bringing hell to lanes and the enemy jungle with maintaining farm and Feral stacks
However, despite my adoration for Warwick, he isn't for everyone. While he can pull off some amazing moves in his own right, he isn't mechanically complex or capable of pulling off OMGAMAZING360NOSCOPE kills or 32/2/1 KDAs. If you're looking for that sort of style, try Master Yi or Lee Sin. Secondly, he is dependent on team follow-up, particularly in the early game. Although the wolf is a beast, his lack of burst or continuous CC means that unless you're engaging on a low health target, your ganks and duels could lead to a long chase. You require your laners for follow-up, burst and CC, which means you're going to be getting more assists rather than kills. However, this also means you'll be feeding your carries (which you should be doing anyway) and you'll be racking them stacks on FF. Simply put, Warwick is a team-oriented, strategic champions, rather requires trust in your team-mates, instinctual decision-making and strong macro-jungling mechanics.
With that in mind, I want to touch on the concept of carrying. For many players, regardless of ELO, the concept of carrying is limited to having ridiculous KDAs. This is not what Warwick is for and this is not what wins games. Carrying, in my opinion, is using mechanics and strategy to prevent you and your team from making mistakes, exploiting and punishing the enemy for their mistakes and encouraging and motivating your teammates to a point where victory is inevitable. Whether this is stealing or soloing dragon, setting up kills for your carries, making effective shotcalls or controlling objectives, the fact is that carrying is not limited to results on the scoreboard. It is a concept that has been bandied around far too often and one that has been bastardised by the idea that if you don't have a mad KDA, you didn't carry. A 2/0/14 Leona that got her 16/5/2 ADC big and made a fantastic Baron call carried; a Mundo who went 0/8/12, but peeled successfully in all situations for his 14/2/5 Khazix carried; a Warwick who stole a level 7 dragon, helped all lanes take outer turrets and assisted with a bulldoze mid to inhib carried. By adjusting your mindset and broadening your understanding of the concept, you too can carry with Warwick.
Pros / Cons
Extremely versatile and can fit into virtually any team comp
Post-6 Ganks are incredible
Fantastic objective control and split pushing capability
An absolute beast
Deals Magic and Physical Damage
Can solo Dragon and Baron at comparatively early levels
Is extremely flexible for ranked 5s and can fit into every single team comp
Reliant on team CC for successful pre-6 ganks
Susceptible to both hard and soft CC and kiting without "E"
Ult can be interrupted
Reliant on team follow-up for successful ganks
Requires serious mana management
Somewhat item reliant
Induces harassment for being a "NOOB" champ
Ult can make or break a team fight
Respectable, but not amazing clear times
Is somewhat squishy in early levels, but is only an issue if positioning/engages are poor
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
I'm going to refrain from giving an in-depth explanation of each of Warwick's skills; if you are in need of this, I'll direct you to Last Primarch's guide, as I'd basically be copying and pasting from his. Instead I will discuss each skill as it pertains to this style of play.
Work in progress - adding general points to to expound upon later - publishing so that new players have a basic framework to start from.
Start Grump, then blue buff, wolves, raptors, red buff, krugs - will provide you with enough gold to buy jungle item and boots, possibly a ward depending on how long it took you to complete.
If you're worried about getting counter-jungled, particularly in higher divisions, then just go Grump, blue buff, ward red buff, raptors, red buff, krugs. You should be aiming to get boots and jungle item in one go.
After first back, return to jungle and do a full route starting with Grump, clearing every camp on your way, then back and purchase a Dagger. Return to the jungle and do another route and all things going according to plan, you should have two daggers and level 6 with 20-30 seconds to spare. Use this time to either deep ward or gank, if an opportunity is available.
Throughout this entire time, you should be vigilant of any opportunities for mop-ups in lane, or of an enemy seriously overextending themselves. If a laner requests that you hold lane, try to do so as best you can - the wave will aid you greatly in leveling and gold.
If your gank earlier went well, you should have enough to back and purchase Devourer's. If not, continue farming until you can afford it. You need to acquire the item as soon as you can afford it to ensure that you can begin stacking.
With respect to buffs, thanks to the jungle item changes, Warwick isn't as mana hungry nor reliant on blue buff as before. So, there isn't any major loss to passing it to your mid-laner. However, if your mid laner is feeding (which happens), if you're behind or if you're snowballing hard and blue buff will allow you to preserve momentum, then take it. Red buff is always yours until roughly 20 minutes, where you should consider allowing your ADC or AD top laner to take it.
The 10 - 20 minute period is the hardest for Warwick - you must successfully balance applying lane pressure with maintaining farm and acquiring Blade of the Ruined King. Your aim is to have the item at 20 minutes, so you need to keep on top of farm. Back and purchase ingredients where you have time and make sure to pick up wards as well. Although you are not the support, you are equally responsible for ward coverage, particularly around the mid lane and Drake pit. If your ultimate is up, you should be looking for a chance to use it, as it will grant 2 stacks at the very least. Look for over extended lanes, low health targets (even supports will do) or the enemy jungler ganking.
The moment you pickup Blade of the Ruined King is where the fun really begins. You'll now have enough damage to comfortably duel virtually any champion in the game and will also be able to split push on towers. At this point, you should be heavily warding and look for opportunities to take outer turrets and make picks. Ideally, you should have also acquired at least one dragon, but preferably two. As you are still not tanky, try to avoid teamfights or large skirmishes until you've picked up tank items - using your ult will make you vulnerable to enemy damage and you will be focused by the enemy team as you'll typically be ulting on an enemy carry.
The 25+ minutes is where Warwick's solo carry ability begins to fall off. As the enemy team gets beefier, it'll be harder for you to continue dealing the same amount of damage, particularly given you'll not be able to powerfarm as before. You should be continuing to farm where you can and as you push deeper into enemy territory, make sure to take their camps as often as possible. Continue to deep ward, look for picks and push for objectives. You should also be conscious of Dragon timers and Baron timers. Work with your ADC to push for objectives - Your W will allow you and the ADC to shred any tower in a matter of seconds - work with your team to set up sieges.
As the game begins to close out, you will have less of a damage impact, but due to the Devourer's stacks, BOTRK procs and your ridiculous sustain, you will continue to be a rather large nuisance that the enemy cannot ignore. Your ult usage and timing becomes far more critical at this point - ulting the wrong target at the wrong time will make or break a team fight and depending on how many of your turrets the enemy has taken, this could mean the end of the game. Remain vigilant and work with your team to close out the game as quickly and efficiently as possible.