Trundle Build Guide by Levgre
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Trundle is a big, scary troll. Especially to little yordles in the jungle like Amumu, who Trundle destroys quickly and with glee (hence the guide name). Amumu was my main for awhile, so I respect him, but trundle is a great 1v1 champ and especially good at destroying tanks.
He can fill the off-tank role (even main tank but that's not ideal), or the main damage dealer role, but most of the time his role is to do lots of damage while being able to take lots of damage, and in the meantime debuffing and frustrating your enemies.
Then, he decomposes the bodies of fallen champions, regenerating before their eyes and mopping up battles very effectively. Sick of chasing after a surviving AP caster with hardly any life, and they blast you away? This will rarely happen with trundle, since you have great chase abilities and should stay at decent health. Trundle is just a very solid AD character, with very few weaknesses that can be exploited.
The marks are pretty straightforward. Marks of desolation add good damage throughout the game, and especially early on. You can't go wrong with 15 extra damage to all your auto attacks, AND your Q ability, which is just an enhanced basic attack.
The 12.6 flat armor from seals of resilience helps greatly with jungling and with taking on AD champs early. Remember, anyone you bite will lose attack damage, making it even harder to kill you.
The MR per level is a very solid choice, and with mercury's tread your MR will near 100 without any additional MR items. So just Mercury's tread can carry you throughout most of the game, and if the enemy is AP heavy or you are being focused you can easily bring your MR to tank-like levels from there.
At first I used quints of desolation for an additional 10 armor penetration. But I switched to Quints of Swiftness because:
A. even without the quints of desolation you destroy jungle neutrals really fast.
B. Trundle has strong base movement speed, so the % enhancement works well on him. At the start of the game you get +15 MV, 325 to 340, and after you buy basic boots your speed will be 392.
C. Attack damage won't matter if you can't keep up with your opponent. Getting that first melee hit ASAP to proc your slows is very important. Lots of AP casters use MS quints also, (and god forbid they have a Janna). Your W also gives you a movement speed boost, but the more the merrier, plus you can't have your W up nonstop, and it has a limited radius so it is more for just closing the gap. If the extra movement speed from the quints gives you one kill you wouldn't have got otherwise, they have done their job, and you can now buy equipment to increase your attack damage.
D. Time is money. While +4.5% MS is minimal, the extra movement speed 'will' net you some more gold over the course of the game. You can run around and farm faster, return from base faster, and of course reach team battles faster.
Trundle is flexible though, you can use a wide variety of quints and runes. Not ALL the armor seals are not needed, so you could use tweak around with those, using mana regen, health regen, atk speed, whatever.
Cooldown glyphs could be effective, but they are not very cost effective and Trundle is not supposed to be squishy. I'd suggest toying with a (squishier) utility tree build if you want the reduced CD.
The biggest drawbacks are
A. Only one point into utility mastery is very regrettable. However I don't think that 23 seconds makes a HUGE difference, you can get by with 2:52 length instead of 3:15 length. Plus late game you should be giving blue buffs to allies, and you will have a slow proc with your equipment anyways so you don't need the red buff either.
B. No improved smite. But, the CD is still short enough that you can easily use it on Blue Golem and Lizard Elder in your jungler route, and 5 gold per 70 seconds doesn't add up to much throughout the game.
BUT, you get 4% reduction for ALL damage by finishing the defensive mastery tree. How much gold do you think that is worth?(it's a decent amount) All the defensive masteries are useful for trundle, while many of the offensive ones do not synergize that well with Trundles kit. If you want a spazzy big damage dealer use Nocturne or Tryn, etc.. Trundle is supposed to last awhile in battles, debuffing and slowing enemies, decomposing their bodies, and chasing down and eating yordles who run away like cowards while shooting at the troll.
And as for avoiding the utility tree... some popular trundle builds use 21.. well, you are a fighter, not a lover (er supporter). Sure, it feels better when a decked out utility tree makes everything a little easier, but when it comes down to it, in most battles the utility tree will mean jack squat.
Start with vamp scepter, you dont need th cloth armor or potions to make it through the jungle, so this will save you 175 gold towards your build.
First trip back I typically buy boots of speed and long sword. The long sword lets you finish jungle creeps faster, and gives you more life back. If for some reason you don't have enough gold for the sword, feel free to buy cloth armor or even a ward or two to help a lane avoid ganks(you don't want their jungler getting fed, do you?)
Second trip, finish wriggles, and either start towards Mercuries tread (null-magic mantle), or towards phage (Ruby Crystal, or Long sword if thats all you can afford). Generally you only get Null-Magic Mantle this early if you know you'll have lots of damage spells sent your way (morgana's, brands, annies, etc.)
Then finish phage, or Mercury's tread before Phage if you need the tenacity ASAP.
After phage, get Sheens as that is a very large damage increase. If you find yourself in close combat a lot, trading blows, you can do Zeal first. Zeal gives more damage over time than Sheen's in close combat, and the individual items that build up to zeal are more useful ...then tome and sapphire crystal that build up to sheen are pretty useless on their own. Again, you could still postpone Mercury's tread until after Sheen/Zeal. But once you get either of those items (so you have 2 out of 3 items for trinity), you definitely don't want to wait on Mercury's tread any longer.
Then finish Trinity Force.
After that, you definitely want some more staying power. Giant's belt and negatron cloaks are great choices for basic item , they are useful even if you don't upgrade them for a long time. If you bought heart of gold early game, you can build into randuin's omen. In fact you should buy HoG early on if you think the game will be a slow-paced, passive one. However I didn't put HoG in the item build because I think it is often a crutch. Trundle has a great early and mid game, and you want to press that advantage by using your gold on stats, not investing with gp5. Those immediate stats could lead to another kill or extra jungle CS, so you get that extra gold anyways.
Then, you can make a banshee's veil, although I don't think it is necessary since you have 35 tenacity and 40% CD reduction from your W (stacks to about 60% CC reduction). You often will have lots of enemy abilities flying in your face anyways. BUT, the magic resist and health are both very useful so it is a good choice against AP threats.
Starks fervor is a great item you should keep in mind for late game. Don't be afraid to sell Wriggles when the game is reaching its climax, to replace it with Fervor. Stark's contribution to teamfights is HUGE, while wriggles not so much. Fervor it helps your team bring down towers a lot faster. It is basically a mandatory on a team with lots of auto attack champs. Lots of other champs tend to buy Starks though, so if they do, make sure you don't. Unique aura is unique. And Wriggle's is rarely a bad item to keep, so don't feel bad if you don't 'upgrade'.
A. Build into frozen mallet instead of trinity force. Use this if you think the tankier build and the extreme slow will help your team more. It is a tricky business, figuring out when the frozen mallet's slow is worth it (for reference, the cost of the slow trait is 700 gold. Trinity force also buffs Phage's slow, although to a much lesser extent). If you do build frozen mallet you will probably want Atma's Impaler afterwards, as it will give you about 60 AD, along with armor and crit chance, for a very cheap price.
B. Build straight into Warmogs. Do this if you really want to do a tanky build. Warmogs is a great buy as you get lots of 'free' hp out of it, and HP is the 'universal defense', applying against AP and AD. BUT, if you do this, Atma's impaler is basically mandatory. Remember trundle is supposed to do dmg. He has a 60% attack speed buff with his W when it is maxed, and with Impaler and your Q buff you will have at least 220 damage (At that point sheen's without trinity can be worthwhile since your base AD is so high)
Other items to consider
Spirit's Visage has great synergy with Trundle. Cooldown is really useful, Health and MR are useful, and the regen/healing bonus applies to Trundles passive and lifesteal. But regen/healing is generally underwhelming in team fights, and since Trundle is a bruiser extra defense/dmg is still generally better than Cooldown. But it wouldn't kill you to try Spirit Visage out.
A standalone Kindle Gem can actually be a pretty useful mid-game item. You pay a couple hundred gold for 10% reduced CD (along with paying for the HP that comes with it). You can then sell it later on in the game for only a loss of about 200 gold. So you can think of it as a really long lasting CD elixir almost! This would be most useful when you find that you want to spam your pillar as often as possible, to keep their team position in disarray or to chase more effectively.
Black Cleaver can be a decent item, it helps you rip through enemy's armor really fast. I find it to be a bit too specialized for its cost, generally.
If no one else on your team gets sunfire cape, Trundle is a very capable cape wearer.
Trundle can use Wit's End really effectively. He lives long enough and has enough attack speed to get the stacks built up, and the magic damage on hit diversifies Trundle's damage. Smack some minions before a fight and you can build up Magic Resist stacks without hitting the more dangerous champions. So ideally you can get 40% atk speed, 50 Magic Resist, and 42 bonus magic damage per hit, for only 2k.
Trundle can also be a good holder of Aegis of the legion, as he has longevity and is in the middle of most fights. But generally it fits better on other champs. Trundle is supposed to do lots of damage and needs the proper items to do so.
Passive - Decompose
Whenever an enemy unit near Trundle dies, he heals for 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6% of their maximum health. (approximately 1000 range)
This passive is actually pretty useful. It makes you stay at high health while jungling. It behave like 2-6% extra lifesteal/lifevamp for all damage you do, including smite.
It helps you regain health between battles, so you have to recall less.
In team battles, Decompose can help you live longer and accomplish more, albeit inconsistently since enemies don't always die when YOU want them to. In mid game champs typically have about 2-3k health, so 4% of that would be 80-120 HP which could allow you to take an extra hit (more so if you have high defenses).
Rabid Bite is, as others have called it, the 'bread and butter' for Trundle. It is essentially a huge attack speed boost early on, since it resets your basic attack. Although this can be a slight hindrance later in the game when your attack speed is huge, since the animation will make you lose out on attacks. But it is still very good later on, don't abstain from using it whenever possible. It just really shines early on. Most people suggest leveling this up as much as possible, although I think there are some circumstances where that is not true.
Contaminate is a great ability. Trundle infects a very large area, which gives him Attack speed, movement speed, and CC reduction. The general consensus is that you should level this up at level 2, then alternate between leveling this or your E.
I think at times it is beneficial to rush W to a very high level, ignoring E and even occasionally not maxing out Q right away for an extra point in W. When should you do this?
A. You are getting in fights that stay in one location, like brawls against other melee champs. The extra attack speed and movement speed will be very beneficial. One tactic you can use as Trundle is hit and run, you bite someone, attack a bit, then back off, waiting for your bite to become available again. Most of the time you don't have to micromanage like this, but against someone like Yi who has limited duration combat boosts, it is better that you don't keep the fight completely toe-to-toe. Then, when they realize they are now losing, put a pillar in their way to slow and block, proc your slow, and finish them off!
The other time when leveling up W over other skills is useful is when the enemy team has huge CC and you may not even have your mercury's treads yet. The extra CC reduction will net you extra attacks, and the increased movement speed will let you jump back into the battle faster after being snared/stunned. The basic philosophy is, W is more valuable if it helps you get more attacks in. Q enhances your damage and DPS by a greater amount, but if your enemies keep you out of biting/clubbing distance the Q won't be doing that much for you.
Pillar of Filth is Trundle's most unique ability. It creates a physical obstacle about the half the size of a tower, and slows any enemies around it. It can be absolutely wonderful if you have allies with skill shots or ranged attacks. You slow the enemy from a safe distance, and your allies blow them away while they muck around in your filth.
It is also Trundles best chasing ability. But, even if you level up E as much as possible the CD is still quite long so you won't get a 2nd E in to stop someone from getting to their tower. But you will learn in time when the extra slow and lower CD is worth it, at the expense of a lower W and the attack speed, movement speed, and CC reduction that comes with it.
Trundle's ult, Agony, is an awesome ability. It is not that flashy but it is very effective.
The smaller aspect is the lifesteal, you deal 200(rank 1), 350(rank 2), and 500(rank 3) magic damage to the enemy (although their magic resistance applies), while healing yourself for the same amount. Half the damage is done right away, while the other half is done over the next 6 seconds. (so at first rank, 100 initial damage, then 17 per second over the next 6 seconds).
Don't underestimate the capability of this ult to finish off someone running away. Even though Trundle is a melee AD champ, he has a ranged damage spell too! The damage can be used similarly to an ignite.
The second affliction Agony applies, however, is much more useful at times. You steal 30% of the targets armor and magic resistance at rank 1, 40% at rank 2, then 50%! at rank 3. Again, half of that is stolen immediately, then the rest over 6 seconds. Any tanky character who tries to do an armor/mr build over HP will find all that equipment shredded to bits for a good portion of the fight.
Now, who do you target with Agony? There is no straightforward answer. The safest option is the enemy tank, as that will give YOU more Armor and MR, allowing you to wreak more havoc on the enemy team.
However, if you are not being focused (or even if you are) the best target is often whoever your team is focusing first. The target will be sliced up much faster when they lose 30-50% of their defenses, and the extra damage can make the target die before they can fall back.
Also, Agony allows your team to first focus champs you would otherwise not be able to. Is their a Jarven/Xin really ruining your team's day, but he is too hard to kill even though he is jumping right into the middle of your team? Well, if he didn't build lots of HP, agony will make him a squishy.
Agony is a versatile skill, keep an open mind and always try to discover new ways to leverage it. You can also use it to escape a gank or chase, by giving yourself a little extra life.
Summoner skills are straightforward. You need smite for jungling. Flash helps you escape situations when your W and E fail to (they are very good escape tools). It is also a great gap closer, or a great way to jump out of a teamfight after you have been focused down to low HP, so you can then regain some HP and jump back in. And as Trundle, you will be focused a lot. They just hate you because you are beautiful..
Creeping / Jungling
Start at blue buff(with leash of course), then wolves, wraiths, lizard elder, then small golems. You are level 2 after blue golem, level 3 after wraiths, and level 4 after small golems. At that point you have a full kit for ganking, the lizard elders slow, and at least 1 point in your pillar and your contaminate.
If you're not ganking before level 4, level up Q for blue golem, then W, then Q again, then pillar.
Time your Q right after your normal auto attack. This maximizes your damage. Make sure not to interrupt an attack with your Q because you just lost damage.
W also has an animation, so use it between attacks. Normally I do the following:
Auto attack - Immediate Q - Auto attack - immediate W. You will use W only once per neutral camp, and it will run out before the end, so there is no need to rush it at the start. Also, make sure to conserve your mana, only use W once at wolves, once at wraiths, and typically only once at lizard elder.
(Minor tip, with the amount of damage done with this build, during your first jungle route little wraiths take 4 normal hits. After 3 hits they have about 10 hp left over. However, if you do one Q and 2 normal Auto attacks on a little wraith, they die in 3 hits, saving you a little time).
You can put a point in pillar at level 3 or even 2, if you feel a quick gank would be successful.
There are fantastic jungling video guides out there, including some specifically for Trundle. You should watch those if you don't feel comfortable with jungling yet. There are lots of strategies and specific tips for jungling, by learning these constantly become a better jungler.
Trundle is a very fun champion to play, and has a strong amount of depth and skill that can be applied to improve your game with him. Trundle is also pretty uncommon right now, meaning your teammates won't steal him from you, and in ranked the opposing team usually won't. However, he is not really a lane champ at all, and you'll find a decent amount of competition for the jungler role. But most of the time you are free to do the Jungle Trundle.
I hope this guide has been useful, and that you will continue to learn and develop your own tricks as you play more games with Trundle, the Cursed Troll.
I'll likely add to and refine this guide at later points, but 2 hours of writing is enough for now!