Hecarim Build Guide by deac0n
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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.
Introduction / Change Log
Hey guys, my name is deac0n and this is my second guide about a champion that I have been really excited about, Hecarim. I have been playing League of Legends for a couple years now, and while I don't have an excellent ELO score I feel that I know a thing or two about the game and can offer up some advice on playing the newest champion to be added to the league.
I have seen several guides and streamers playing Hecarim as a jungler and he is an excellent jungler. However, this guide will not cover his jungle because I feel that Hecarim can be played very effectively as a solo top laner and I hope that over the course of this guide I can prove this to you.
4/20/2012 - Guide Created
Pros / Cons
Great damage output
Excellent escape mechanic
Relatively inexpensive core build
Low sustain early game
CC destroys him
Lacks reliable CC
High cooldown on escape mechanic
x9 or x9
These are pretty standard solo top lane runes, with the exception of the Swiftness Quintessences. The reason I pick these up on Hecarim is solely because of his passive since 4.5% movement speed will scale up and give him more damage when you increase your movement speed with boots, and . When I get a chance I will update this section with a comparison of damage numbers using compared to using Swiftness at level 1.
The difference between Shielding and Warding depends on your lane opponent. If you have both pages set up before entering a game you can choose them based on who you will be facing. If you are going up against an AP top laner, you will want to get Warding to defend against their damage early on. If you are going to be facing an AD top laner, then you can choose Shielding giving you more MR in the later stages of the game when you will be engaging in team fights.
1/1 You should use Ignite every team fight, and the additional damage granted from this Mastery helps bolster his offensive stats.
3/3 Additional damage helps with farming and harassing early.
4/4 Attack speed is vital for AD champions allowing them to deal more damage in shorter spans of time.
1/1 This is enough Armor Penetration to get you through early game, should you need more late game it's best to acquire it through items.
4/4 Again, more damage equals more pain.
1/1 Surprisingly once you acquire Trinity Force on Hecarim he crits quite often and this will make those crits do more damage.
3/3 Even though it is only 3% lifesteal, this will help you sustain a little better in lane until you can pick up items.
3/3 Additional armor penetration further reinforces the choice to take flat AD Marks.
1/1 This is a no brainer, helps to finish off targets who get low under the weight of your unrelenting assault.
3/3 or 1/3
1/3 or 3/3
The Defense Tree gives you a few more options for variation than the Offense Tree. I would change this depending on your lane opponent. Picking up the extra armor when facing AD top laners or the extra MR against AP top laners will help you gain the upper hand in your lane.
4/4 Additional health adds to Hecarim's already natural tankyness, and this is one of the best ways to get it.
1/1 Same as above, 30 additional health at level one will give you a better shot to outlive your opponent top lane and survive ganks from their jungler.
> > >
That is the priority your spells have based on their usefulness in lane and the pace of the game at which you need them. Rampage is your primary damaging ability in team fights due to its low cooldown upon constant use, so max it first. Take one level of Spirit of Dread at level 2, and at level 3 you will want to get devastating charge. EXCEPTION: If you feel that you are going to be ganked by the jungle early by someone who starts at Red Buff (Lee Sin, Shyvana, Mundo, etc.) you should grab Devastating Charge second to give you the ability to escape the early gank.
Spirit of Dread is maxed second because even though it provides us with some sustain, the effectiveness of the sustain is capped when used against minions. Also the damage output when compared to Rampage is not worth sinking our early points into it.
The reason Devastating Charge is maxed last despite it's high damage possibility and its knock back is due to its primary use early on in the game. Your attack damage early game won't be high enough to really deal the maximum amount of damage from the ability so it become's Hecarim's primary means of escape and you do not gain increased movement speed for putting more levels into it.
Additional damage based on a percentage of movement speed. Why would you NOT take Ghost? This summoner spell becomes more than just a means to catch up to enemies who are fleeing from you, but becomes an effective boost to the offensive capabilities of Hecarim. Using this at the beginning of a team fight gives you mobility to get behind the tanks and destroy the carries, and boosts his overall damage by a considerable amount.
Useful for finishing off your enemy at top lane when he is low, and the usefulness of the reduction to healing performed on that champion cannot be overstated. I take Ignite when I top lane more often than not because it helps secure kills and it can mean the difference between killing Mundo/Swain/Irelia and them regenerating most of their health back during a team fight.
A useful option, but I personally don't take it because with getting back to your lane quickly after shopping or getting ganked is not really a problem.
Another option, however I do not feel it is as strong as Ghost or Ignite. Our item build already takes Phage early giving us an on hit slow without the long cooldown.
Only take this if you are up against a heavy CC team.
Only take this if you are going to be laning against a heavy harassing champion (Ranged Champions, Yorick, Warwick)
Can be useful for escapes, but once again with its effectiveness is lowered.
If I didn't list some of the Summoner Spells here it's because the rest of them are not even options and should not be taken on Hecarim.
90% of the time you will want to take Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. This combination helps you sustain yourself to stay in lane longer, and the extra movement speed adds to his damage allowing you to push your opponent out of the lane.
The only time you will want to take Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions is if you got counter picked by an AD champion who can harass you. I'm thinking someone like Pantheon or Olaf. These two are capable of trading damage with you at little risk to themselves.
You want to stay in lane until you have enough gold to afford the above. These three items are so vital to have early game that it's almost core items for Hecarim. The Razor and Scepter will increase your damage and help you farm while sustaining yourself to keep you in the lane. If you don't buy wards then you have no vision of the river and leave yourself wide open to getting ganked. Don't blame your jungler if you fail to ward properly and get caught.
These items are what I'm calling Core Items on Hecarim so let me explain. After getting your early game items you should finish your Wriggle's and Mercury's Treads. These two items give you a little extra defense, movement speed, and sustainability. I've chosen Phage as a core item because it does so much good for a minimal cost investment. It eliminates the need to run Exhaust as a Summoner Spell and also gives health and damage allowing Hecarim to survive longer in team fights. Hexdrinker is another one of those low cost items that is extremely effective for Hecarim. The additional MR makes up for the recent nerf to MR runes and the shield it gives is great against the AP carry on the opposing team.
Luxury / Late Game
After you have your core built, it's time to start getting serious. The shield from Hexdrinker was good, but the shield from Maw is great and it's unique passive is such an incredible boost to damage its worth getting on any tanky melee champion. After Maw, pick up Sheen and then finish Trinity Force. This item has so much benefit to Hecarim it's a little bit insane: extra damage on auto-attacks after using Rampage, damage, health, movement speed, on hit slow, attack speed, critical hit chance.
At this point in the build, you should have more than 120 armor and MR so to compliment that we need to get more heatlth. Giant's Belt will take care of it early on so grab that as soon as you can afford it, and afterwards finish the rest of Warmog's Armor. Finally, what's a Warmog's without a Atma's Impaler? Even with the recent nerf to damage conversion, this is still a great choice for tanky DPS and with the additional armor from Chain Vest helps to make Hecarim an unstoppable horse of destruction.
If you are completely built and still have time at the end of the game to go for another item, there is an option for you! Selling Wriggle's Lantern will give you a nice little chunk of change in your pocket that you can use to buy:
NOTE: Only sell Wriggle's when doing so will allow you to buy the Bloodthirster outright.
Other options include:
A solid item choice that will help you survive in team fights as well as give a small damage increase from the movement speed buff. You can take this option if the other team is double AP and you are having a hard time surviving in team fights.
If the other team is lacking CC and/or is heavy AD then you will want to choose these boots over Mercury's Treads. The damage reduction is nice, and the low price of these boots will also help you complete your build faster.
You could pick this item up in place of Warmog's Armor if you are dominating the other team. It's health increase and additional damage makes this a potent item on Hecarim.
Another solid item if the other team is heavy AD. This item will help get you to maximum CDR (40%) and provides a solid amount of armor. Take this item if you are getting focused in team fights by the enemy AD carry and cannot survive long enough to kill the attackers.
Getting this early on in the build in place of Hexdrinker would be another solid choice. Keep in mind that if you buy this instead of Hexdrinker/Maw you will have to compensate with more MR from another item.
This item just missed being in the regular build sequence by a slight margin. The UNIQUE Active from this item gives you additional Movement Speed and Attack Speed further beefing up your damage due to Hecarim's passive. If you are doing really well against the other team and feel you can spare the MR then this item will be a great option.
This is just the beginning of this guide. As I play more with Hecarim I will continue to update this guide to reflect changes to his playstyle. I am planning on doing a section on gameplay, and include pictures. I will also put in a section about each skill and how to effectively use each one effectively. I may also include a video, but we will see how popular the guide becomes.