Tryndamere Build Guide by NaginataX
Not Updated For Current Season
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Tryndamere is not to be taken lightly, either by those playing him or those playing against him. If you are picking up Tryn for the first time you will be pleased to know that his playstyle is relatively easy to comprehend; HOWEVER, mastering timing and understanding your environment will be your biggest keys to success and the most difficult things to master. Time, patience, and plenty of practice will hone your Tryn into a lethal killing machine capable of soloing almost any champ in the game!
In this guide I will attempt to address common choices for runes, masteries, skill sequence, and items, as well as situational options that can be taken depending on your and your opponent's teams and how the game is progressing.
Runes and Quints
Update 5/27/2012 - With the introduction of
, lifesteal is now a viable option for quints, and can effectively start you with 9% lifesteal when combined with the Vampirism mastery, or 12% if you wish to go with a
to start instead of the
Before I begin on my choice of runes, I'll acknowledge that it may not sync well with the "generally accepted standards" of runes for melee AD champions. Well, reason being is that Tryndamere isn't necessarily cookie cutter material. Ultimately, rune choice is based on your playstyle and your strategy, making no two players the same! This means that if you are an aggressive player, you may have a different choice of runes than a more defensive player, and people who theorize that early game will dictate the outcome (9/10 it does in my opinion), may choose flat runes rather than late-game oriented players who will choose scaling runes.
My philosophy and what has worked for me can be seen by the recommended runes in this guide. I believe that all of your runes should be primary to use them to their fullest potential, and my current track record has proven them to be a viable build. Below I will go into greater detail for my choices as well as list some other options:
For marks I opted for . Why not Greater Mark of Desolation or ? Yes, armor pen is the set standard for most AD characters, and an increased 20% crit damage on 1k crits endgame can be a free 200dmg; However, to better understand why I selected crit runes, we'll need to take a quick look at Tryn's "Q" ability and playstyle.
First, , or "Q", is reliant on 2 things...critical hits and kills. If neither of these are fulfilled, then Bloodlust will go unused and unappreciated. By stacking crit runes (for marks at least), you will be able to land a crit or two per minion, building your Bloodlust stacks quicker and making last hits easier in the early levels...effectively making best use of both conditions of this skill. As a melee, you are also easily harassed by ranged champs and will need the reliable source of self-healing to sustain your presence in your lane...which of course allows you more exp/gold/etc before you have to return to base.
Secondly, Tryn's damage comes SOLELY from autoattacks (sorry to disappoint all of you who were hoping was going to bring home the bacon!) Starting out the gate, you get 8.37% increased crit with these runes, not including the for the additional 8% bringing you well over 16% crit at level 1! Early on a crit or two will easily outweigh the lack of armor pen and will hopefully land you or your partner first blood if played correctly. Even if you are taking damage, Tryn's passive will only push that % higher, giving you more confidence in seemingly equal fights (don't get carried away though!)
In conclusion, crit can offer better "Q" utilization early game which will let you live/lane longer, as well as better chances for double damage which provides easier last-hits and potential kills early on.
For seals I prefer . More armor = more survivability. This effectively negates enemy armor pen early game and still leaves you with your starting armor value intact. Coupled with your glyphs, quints, and Bloodlust, you should be an exceptionally survivable champ that can easily score double damage on your opponents. The reason I recommend Greater Seal of Resilience vs Greater Seal of Defense is just due to my philosophy that early game dictates the outcome of the match. If you feel more comfortable stacking endgame runes (which will have a larger pay-off but only after level 10!), then please feel free to do so. Like I mentioned before, your playstyle and strategy will dictate how you rune!
Similarly to marks choice, if you plan on using armor for marks, you should also plan on using magic resistance for glyphs. again helping to negate any magic pen that enemy champs may have and shaving off a little bit of turret damage when you get to the point that you will consider diving (not recommended until lvl6 when you get for obvious reasons). Armor marks + magic resistance glyphs also works wonders against hybrid champs like Akali and Teemo who will be hitting you with both AD and AP.
for the added health that you will need at the beginning. Couples well with the added armor and magic resist, as well as substituting the extra cushion that either Doran's Shield or Doran's Blade would have provided...making these two unbuildable starter items unnecessary. If you have all 3 quints, you should be pushing over 630~ health. Quints can be open to debate considering Greater Quintessence of Desolation is a viable option, but I just don't like how significantly this impairs your health pool early on. Another reason I've chosen to avoid flat armor pen runes will be covered later in the "Items" section of this guide when I discuss the armor penetration priority mechanic.
Masteries are pretty straight forward . The 24 goes towards maximizing damage in the offense tree, the 6 in defense for added survivability, and no great need for any in utility.
24 in offense
6 in defense, using your remaining 6 points for the additional armor and magic res.
0 in utility
Skills and Skill Sequence
Update 5/27/2012 - With the Tryndamere rework, Tryn now uses a "rage" meter instead of gaining stacks of bloodlust. Tryn's skills now also no longer require health, making it impossible to kill yourself with or . Also included that now can essentially be spammed since it no longer requires stacks yet can somehow be used with 0 fury...
BATTLE FURY = Passive
Tryndamere's Critical Strike chance increases as he becomes more wounded.
BLOODLUST = "Q"
Tryndamere thrives on the thrills of combat, increasing his Attack Damage as he is more and more wounded. He can cast Bloodlust to consume his Fury and heal himself.
Passive: Tryndamere thirsts for blood, gaining 5/10/15/20/25 Attack Damage plus 0.15/0.2/0.25/0.3/0.35 per 1% Health missing.
Active: Tryndamere consumes his Fury, restoring 30/40/50/60/70 (+1.5) Health, plus 0.5/0.95/1.4/1.85/2.3 Health per Fury consumed.
MOCKING SHOUT = "W"
Tryndamere lets out an insulting cry, decreasing surrounding champions' Attack Damage. Enemies with their backs turned to Tryndamere also have their Movement Speed reduced.
Decreases surrounding champions' Attack Damage by 20/35/50/65/80 for 4 seconds, and enemies with their backs turned also have their Movement Speed reduced by 30/37.5/45/52.5/60%.
SPINNING SLASH = "E"
Tryndamere slices toward a target unit, dealing damage to enemies in his path.
Tryndamere spins through his enemies, dealing 70/100/130/160/190 (+) (+1) physical damage to enemies in his path.
Spinning Slash's cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds whenever Tryndamere critically strikes.
UNDYING RAGE = "R"
Tryndamere's lust for battle becomes so strong that he is unable to die, no matter how wounded he becomes.
Tryndamere becomes completely immune to death for 5 seconds, refusing to be reduced below 1 Health and instantly gaining 50/75/100 Fury.
Priorities are in this order:
Start with 1 point in ...no exceptions. Reason being you will not be making great use of Bloodlust until it's second level, meaning champion level 3 (I say great use because with the new rework, you can still heal yourself every single time the ability is off cooldown, even with zero fury! It just doesn't heal for much, but it's better than nothing). Also, the added escape mechanic from SS coupled with should keep you safe from nearly any early game gank attempts. You will not resume leveling this until near the end as like I previously mentioned, the damage is negligible except for weakening minion waves and last-hitting fleeing champions. Your PRIMARY use for SS is going to be for either closing or increasing the distance between you and your target(s).
After allocating a point to SS, you will begin with the prioritization list, adding points to whenever possible and each time it comes up. As mentioned before, by champion level 3 you should be able to heal reasonably. Even under heavy harassment, try to last-hit dying minions...it's gold and a significant buff to your healing! Also with the now-spammable heal, the more it heals, the more difficult it will be for enemies to effectively harass you!
This leaves us with before we cover Tryn's ult. The reason I prioritize this over SS is that it serves 2 very useful purposes:
First and foremost, it is a slow. You will need this every time you chase. Most often you will be using this after spinning to a fleeing champion to close the gap and land your killing strikes. Keep in mind that it will only slow if they have their BACKS TURNED TO YOU!
Secondly, this skill is an "unseen" crowd debuff. The attack damage reduction of all enemy champions in range can easily turn the tide in an AD intensive team fight while slowing all enemies with their backs to you. The duration of both effects is 4 seconds which is quite generous of Riot considering it's a crowd control, and should be used to its fullest!
Now for what separates the mediocre Tryndameres from the great ones. is a hard lesson in situational awareness and timing! If you are one of those people that suffer from lag or are unable to multitask, I seriously recommend setting this guide down now and moving to another champion...
UR's main purpose is to protect Tryn from lethal damage for 6 seconds on activation. This is where timing is key because you don't want to pop your ult too early and waste precious seconds of protection while you still have health, but you also don't want to fall prey to a surprise nuke and die with UR unused! Another thing to note is that during his ult, he will probably be sitting at 1 health...maximizing ! This is when Tryn will be most deadly as he should be sitting at or near 100% crit if built with the recommended runes and items. In conjunction, with the addition of , your low health with provide you with another 35-40 extra AD! Timing yet again plays key here, as the experienced Tryndamere player will know at what point he must disengage from combat if there are still enemies standing. is gained upon each activation and should be saved to heal back up once UR has finished!
Keep in mind that he will still be susceptible to debuffs and dots, especially which will continue ticking damage after your ult ends and reduce the healing done from your Bloodlust!
FLASH - Moves your champion to the cursor's position but at a limited range. I often opt for this spell as it allows me to use the full duration of Undying Rage in combat before instantly moving out of range of my enemies, unlike Ghost which you must leave early so you can run out of range. Also useful for jumping over walls or double jumping when coupled with Spinning Slash when your opponent chases you with a flash of their own!
EXHAUST - Target enemy champion has their movement speed reduced by 40%, attack damage by 70%, and ability and item damage by 35% for 3 seconds. Great for slowing fleeing or attacking enemies when Mocking Shout doesn't cut it, as well as reducing target's damage potential. Most useful when used to reduce attack damage based champion's damage but still useful for surviving a nuke if ganking an ability power champ.
TELEPORT - After 4 seconds, moves your champion to target friendly minion or turret. Could be useful if you like map mobility. Especially useful for teleporting to wards/mushrooms/etc or moving back to your lane instantly if you had to go to base for whatever reason. I usually leave this spell alone for cloaked gankers or champs built for backdooring like Yi, but honestly it's not a bad choice for anyone.
IGNITE - Deals 50 true damage plus 20 damage per level over 5 seconds, as well as reducing healing and regeneration by 50%. Good for anyone honestly and even better when facing champions like Mundo and Alistar considering they are self-healing tanks. Great for landing the finishing damage on fleeing enemies that are getting away from you and scoring easy kills early game. Easily tips the tides in Tryn vs Tryn duels, but I would still prefer the Exhaust myself.
GHOST - Champion ignores unit collision and moves 27% faster for 10 seconds. It's a so-so spell but the reason I don't generally recommend this (ever) is not only does Tryn move relatively quickly once you have bought his or , but because all debuffs will prioritize over Ghost! This means that slows, stuns, snares, Exhaust, etc will render this spell completely useless. I'd only recommend this if you're considering also using or purchasing .
CLEANSE - Removes all movement impairing debuffs and reduces the duration of new ones cast on your champion by 65% for 3 seconds. Great for chasing or escaping from enemies with slows, stuns, snares, and Exhaust. Doesn't have an amazing effect in group fights when you'll be hit by lots of burst damage and multiple crowd control effects, but still very useful for getting kills and avoiding death. Also the only positive way to make sure Ghost can be used to its full effect.
SMITE - Deals 420 + 25 per level damage to enemy minion or pet. The only people that get this should be jungling. Jungle Tryn is feasible, but I'd strongly recommend top laning where you can enjoy your continuous buffet of creeps, enemy champions, and turrets. You will also be doing more than enough damage by level 6 to justify killing anything in the jungle (aside from Baron and Dragon) so it will go greatly unused for the remainder of the match. It also doesn't offer any utility for assuring kills against other players or escaping bad situations so I find this a rather lackluster spell anyways. Smite's primary use will only be for clearing the jungle a little faster and assuring last hits on Baron and Dragon.
HEAL - Heals you for 100-570 (based on champion level as well as 50% to nearby allies. It can catch enemies off guard in close fights and can supplement your ult well when it wears off, but you already have Bloodlust which will heal for the same (if not more) and is on a shorter cooldown, so I don't usually recommend it; However, with the current meta, if you are going bottom AD then it behooves you to use this as it will heal you for the full 100% of the heal, rather than the 50% AoE if your support is forced to take it. Also to note it will combo well with + when coming out of your ult.
CLARITY - Restores 190 + 30 per level mana to yourself and 50% to nearby champions. Tryn isn't a mana user so no need to continue.
REVIVE - Instantly revives your champion at your team's summoner platform and increases your champion's maximum health by 220-560 (200 + 20/lvl) for 2 minutes. Used to be more interesting when it had the insane movement speed buff when playing 3v3 but even then it wasn't a practical skill unless you expect to die a lot (and your ult's purpose is to PREVENT that!)
RALLY - Summons a beacon with 200 + 25 per level health that increases all allies attack damage by 10-35 (also ability power by 20-70 IF specced) for 15 seconds. This won't turn a team fight and isn't even that great to justify laning with.
FORTIFY - Removed from game
- Metamorphoses the nearest allied siege minion into an anti-turret cannon, healing it, granting bonus stats, and causing it to grant the caster gold for its kills. Initially introduced with the new map, Dominion, this will really do little more than buy you a couple extra seconds of wave pushing when you have to go back to base, and is only usable when you have a siege creep anyways!
CLAIRVOYANCE - Reveals a section of the map for 6 seconds; Casteable anywhere. Extremely short cooldown but I'd save it for one of your support or long-range champions like Ashe that can make use of their abilities at that distance. Also places a visible indication on the map that will tell enemies that you used it which can tip them off. I rarely ever see this used for anything but checking lanes when moving from the base within the first minute of the game and monitoring the enemy jungler's movements.
Purchase Order and Recommended Items:
Start = x2
This provides you with the necessary additional crit to establish true threat early on, as well as the start of your Zeal. The two health potions help to supplement any damage taken before you reach level 3 when you can reliably count on Bloodlust to keep you healed.
As soon as you have enough gold, head back to purchase your and if you have the additional $$$, start building your . From here you can head back to your lane and continue pushing the turret and killing players until about midgame.
Once your laning phase starts ending you should head back to complete your Zeal if you haven't already, and begin building ASAP! I generally start with either of the AD items just for the fact that your greaves have already provided you with attack speed and movement, and the zeal is contributing additional attack speed, movement, and critical strike. Your Infinity Edge once completed will boost your damage exponentially and is undisputedly the single most important item that you should get for Tryn above all others!
After Infinity Edge I prefer to rush for the added attack speed, critical, and most importantly, 25% reduction to all CC (ie. 25 tenacity). There is absolutely nothing about this item that I'd reconsider for Tryn. Even for teams that are low on CC, this is still a useful item just for the attack speed and critical alone, not to mention that the tenacity also applies to anyone that may have picked up Exhaust.
From here you can continue with the recommended items and finish upgrading your zeal into for the added crit, attack speed, and movement. Otherwise, depending on how the game is progressing, you may pick up any of the optional items as you see fit in lieu of finishing Phantom Dancer and the two . A large reason I recommend the two Bloodthirsters is that the damage potential is second to only Occult Blade, but much easier to increase and gives you abundant lifesteal as well! If you purchase all of the items mentioned above, you will be capable of soloing Baron should you feel like doing so.
LAST WHISPER - To be completely honest, I love this item. The only reason I don't have it as a prioritized item is that most of the time you should be hashing enough damage to take down even players that buy Thornmail. I also prefer the 40% reduction to enemy armor compared to runing and buying flat armor penetration since the percentage of reduction will scale greatly depending on tanks that are stacking copious amounts of armor.
To better explain this you must look at the priority list for armor penetration:
Reduction applied first, then flat penetration, then %.
This means that % from Last Whisper is applied AFTER runes and items such as Black Cleaver...lowering the full percentage that it reduces. This is confirmed by http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=137525 by PhailRaptor. To give a short example, if an enemy only has Thornmail, you will still reduce their armor by at least 40 (100 + whatever their natural and runed armor is * .40)...without the use of runes or flat penetration. Of course for a tank who may be stacking near 250 armor, the same item will reduce that total amount by over 100 armor (250 + natural and runed armor * .40)!
THE BLACK CLEAVER - Good alternative to Last Whisper if the enemy tank is focusing primarily on magic resist! The additional 15 AD and 30% attack speed compared to Last Whisper aren't to be scoffed at either! However, keep in mind that this is FLAT penetration (meaning that at full stacks, it will not reduce armor more than 45). I would only really recommend this if you have the $$$ to burn, and the enemy isn't stacking any more than a single piece of armor.
YOUMUU'S GHOSTBLADE - Never used it myself but I could see where this would really come in handy for chases and teamfights. AD, Crit, ASPD, ArmPen, Movement Speed, and CD Reduction all in a very convenient (but expensive) package! Don't forget to use the active or the ASPD and movement increase will go wasted.
HEXDRINKER - Nice affordable choice for magic resistance with some additional AD to boot! I will take this over a any day, as most people will use a seemingly useless skill (like Tryn's Mocking Shout!) and can remove the bubble from everyone on an entire team! Secondly, as mentioned before, Tryn doesn't use mana...making that part of it useless whereas he DOES benefit from the AD of the Hexdrinker! The 300 absorb shield will also make timing your ult easier during harsh nukes. Another reason that I believe this is significantly more useful than BV is that the true protection of this item comes before the final damage is dealt...unlike BV who's bubble is removed at the initiation of a fight. Against things like Karthus' ult who use it once you're dieing or fleeing, that shield will have a better chance to save you than a BV bubble that was popped at the beginning of a fight!
- ^ but with a little better aspects and the added bonus of increasing your damage when you start dieing. Couples well with your ult and passive.
THORNMAIL - If the enemy team is really AD heavy and your lifesteal from Bloodthirster isn't cutting it, I highly recommend getting Thornmail as your primary source of armor. With a whopping 100 armor and the passive to reflect 30% physical damage back to the attacker, who can say no?
FORCE OF NATURE - Large chunk of magic resist with the added bonus of health regen and an additional 8% movespeed. Great for increasing your mobility while offering the largest single chunk of magic resist possible.
GUARDIAN ANGEL - Nice armor, so-so magic resist, and a free pardon from death every 5 minutes. Good against teams where you're already dealing enough damage that anything else just feel like overkill, while at the same time providing well-rounded defense and protection from the missed ult or unexpected gank. The only qualms I have for this item are that if your team isn't willing to get your back, you may just be killed again.
Update 9/22/2012 - Updated gameplay to reflect current meta. It should be noted though that Tryndamere's current state has him unbalanced now with the introduction f new champions with higher damage and cc potential (like Darius)
Most people claim that Tryndamere is a weak champion starting off. I couldn't disagree with that more. Without going back into reexplaining runes/masteries/items again, it should be clear by this point that with the recommendations, a lvl 1 Tryndamere should still be kept at arm's length whenever possible. Things you should keep in mind early on:
1. You should have higher crit than any other starting champion
2. You have a decent amount of health for a non-tank carry
3. You can self heal...repeatedly
That being said, you shouldn't be afraid to punish aggressive enemies that enjoy pushing through the creep fights. Chances are they will be running into at least a crit or two, drawing aggro from your own creeps, and having to run away while you heal yourself with Bloodlust. However take note, that LoL is a TEAM game! If your enemies are more coordinated than you and your laning partner (if going bot), you can still be easily taken down. With the current meta though, I'd strongly consider insisting on either top or jungle though, as most bottom lanes will consist of a support capable of cc-ing you, and a ranged AD who will zone you out. Again, coordination is key! If you notice that an enemy is starting to drop in health and you feel confident that you can land a couple good hits in after pushing in with a + combo, communicate this to your partner so they can offer their assistance! Even if they don't land a single hit, most opponents will instinctively move back when their enemies are running them down and any additional CC from your partner may ensure that you survive the other opponent's attempt to punish you.
In 3v3 you should insist on the upper lane. Why go solo in 3v3 but not 5v5? Most often than not, in 5v5 the middle lane is reserved for your ranged carry. By laning with a partner in 5v5, it is much easier to secure kills early on rather than having to rely on ganking. Thanks to the smaller map in 3v3, ganking and having quick access to the neutral monster buffs will play in your favor. The most important thing to keep in mind about top lane in 3v3 though is that you can easily spin the upper wall, saving you from death if losing a fight or surprising enemies while you wait by the dragon. Flash will also prove useful in jumping the wall separating the top lane and red golem, giving you essentially free movement in all 4 directions. Note that Spinning Slash has a shorter range than flash so even though you should prioritize spinning and saving your flash cooldown, you should learn what walls you can spin through, and which will require flash.
Since Tryn's damage is primarily derived from autoattacks, this means most of his abilities are more or less for situational utility than a required damage rotation. Here's a list of the ones that you should definitely learn to love!
+ - Useful for closing the gap between yourself and enemies. Since no one likes having a giant, hulking barbarian with a big sword in their face, most players will instinctively move away (even if just for better positioning). The second they turn their back to you, hit MS and reduce their speed. Enjoy your free hits.
+ + - Let's face it...sometimes SS+MS isn't going to cut it or someone's going to counter your shout with a debuff of their own. Hitting with Exhaust adds an additional 4 seconds giving you a total 7 seconds of slow to melt face. If you aren't 100% positive that Exhaust will ensure the kill however, I strongly recommend avoiding wasting the cooldown and backing up for another attempt later.
+ - Shouldn't even really need to explain why this is important but I will anyways. Undying Rage will leave you with 1 hp assuming you don't have any lifesteal. This means that the second UR wears off you will be vulnerable to death by even a single point of damage from any source! By using Bloodlust immediately after, you will give yourself a modest amount of health to allow you to survive any lingering dots or the stray AoE after disengaging from the teamfight.
+ + - For when you've done all you can do and need to get the hell out of the teamfight!
+ - You're going to learn to love this combo! There are two primary uses for using Flash after Spinning Slash. The first is to double jump walls when an opponent jumps a wall after you! You can either jump the same wall again or jump a wall on the adjacent side of the path to effectively put another wall inbetween you and your aggressor. The second use that I use this for is for putting SUBSTANTIAL distance between myself and the enemy team. Sometime's you'll be lulled into finishing a dying opponent even when surrounded by the rest of the enemy team. After burning Undying Rage you will need to utilize this combo to put unreachable distance between you and the remainder of the enemy team. This situation can require even more exacting timing than just learning your ult, as a targeted ability (if cast while you were within range of the enemy) can chase you the entire distance of your spin, the flash, and hit you as you attempt to run away! Also be wary of any dots and use Bloodlust as soon as possible if one is present!
+ + + - The ultimate combo for those times where you've killed some people in a teamfight, royally pissed off the remaining guys who are hellbent on your destruction, and need as much distance as fast as you can while making sure you don't die to any stray attacks. Recommend mastering the basics before getting ballsy enough to try this and keep in mind that a stun can still ruin your fun with this.
If you've made it this far than I congratulate you on your dedication towards learning what can be an extremely rewarding champion! Keep in mind that like any champion, practice above all else will be what carries you. The tricks and builds I've learned have been through many months of trial and error and it's from our losses that we can look back and go "where can we improve?"
Thanks again for taking the time to peruse my first guide here on Mobafire! If you found this guide to be helpful, please feel free to leave encouraging feedback and a positive vote and I will do my best to keep this guide updated and put out additional guides in the near future! Even if you didn't like the guide, I'd be more than happy to go further in depth on the guide and discuss alternatives. Good luck to all you Tryndamere diehards and may your pentakills be numerous!