Udyr Build Guide by Rancidbudgie
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Hello! This is my first guide, as many guides are, and hope to provide a frame that is as adaptable as the champion I am presenting, Udyr.
Something about this guide- It is a laning Udyr. Not a jungler. I have nothing against junglers or jungling, but I myself am terrible at it and there are already enough great Udyr jungle guides by some people (Yes, you, SxR). I was dissapointed at the quantity of Laning Udyr guides, for although he is a good jungler, I still like to promote that he can make a respectable solo top laner if the user becomes proficient and practiced.
As a guy who plays a lot of champs, I realize: at later levels, runes can be great. For everyone. They give that little push that makes a solid early game. However I would have preferred to not put any runes in the guide. Why? because I myself haven't bought any yet, instead opting for buying new champs, so advice on runes would be hypocritical. And really: Its up to you. Runes are only good for your stats, never a waste of space (Except probably cooldown runes. Not too useful with most Udyrs), just pick what you think you need more of. Some of my suggestions here are the Armorpen, AS, AD, and Armour.
Either Defence or Offence works here. I prefer 21 points offence, as it makes people think twice at early levels when you can take a good chunk of their health with a simple Bear stance-Tiger stance combo punch. Also, most solo tops opposing you are usually AD and will build armor against you, and that 10% armor pen is sure nice. in the same circumstance, you should pick up extra armour ranking into defence to survive a bit longer against the aforementioned AD top. No matter which you choose, splash a bit into the other for some useful balance.
Not going to go into great detail on each item here, hopefully you have invested some time in discovering the items and their abilities. This build is mostly to provide you and your team with an off-tank that can do lots of damage and live to tell the tale. The core item in this build to me is the [Wriggles Lantern] for the lifesteal and general badassery. Sure, get a [Doran's Shield] for early game survivability, (the reason I have 7 items in this build is that you sell the [Doran's Shield] if the game drags on and you can sell it for a more expensive and powerful item, like [Force of Nature]) but the next item if not the boots should be Wriggles. The other items are in the order that I found most useful during my travels with Udyr, and some are more useful in more games, but there are a lot of items that suit this playing style. [Frozen Mallet], [Warmog's Armor]/[Atama's Impaler] combo, [The Bloodthirster], [Last whisper], [Ghostblade], all prove useful depending on what you want to splash into the build to give a change of direction. Seriously, I once had a game where I made an ArmorPen Udyr and it was really effective. So take my items into consoderation when building your Udyr, but dont follow the build religiously.
[Monkey's Agility]: Remember this. Even if you are going to be staying in one stance and have the mana, activate your already active stance for the 10% attack speed boost.
[Tiger Stance]: Main source of damage for Udyr. Hence the maxing of it first. Your attack speed is increased, and tht first hit is important for extra damage. The second part of the bear-tiger combo.
[Turtle stance]: Health and Mana vamp? Hells yes! I know in the guide I said to put 1 rank in early and max it after alternating Bear and Tiger to full, but if you feel pushed too close too death too often in your lane, put a few ranks into it earlier. also, a well-times activation can save your life from an ignite or last hit.
[Bear stance]: The first part of the one-two punch demonstarted in this guide. The stun stays at 1 second, but it's usefulness never decreases. At late game, if you got the boots of swiftness and at least the zeal if not the trinity force, a max-ranked bear stance can usually have you going at 500 movement speed for 4 seconds when activated. This is great for picking a target and rushing past any obstace to get to them. when you have struck them and stunned them, quickly switch to Tiger stance and have at them. The first hit is the most important, and with them stunned, this shouldn't be too difficult. If they run, usually you can chase them by switching back o bear, but use your judgement on whether this is a good idea at the time.
But anyways. Bear Stance. Use it.
[Phoenix stance]: Not jungling, dont need it. Im a tiger man myself.
[Flash], because it's great, and [ignite], just to have 1 ranged attack for those few that you can't catch when they flee at low health.
[Ghost], [Cleanse], and [Teleport] are also useful.
Dont get [Heal] or [clarity]. That's what Turtle stance does for you.
[Rally] is a joke.
When playing [Tiger stance] Udyr, the first tip that I can stress is this. When it is early game with ganks being rare, and hopefully at solo top, Udyr is not the 1v1 machine he can be later. Nobody wants to sit and take punches from you, so they usually run. Without ranked [bear stance] and [boots of speed] yet, your chase is usually never scaled enough to take them out.
So if a target gets within Bear range and slips up, [Bear stance], run and stun, then switch to [tiger stance] while they're stunned and get that first hit off. Usually after this you back off- your CD on Bear stance's stun will not be ready, and they will flee because your one-two punch will have taken down a good portion of their health. Your tiger stance firt hit will be spent, and your damage output will decrease as you chase-and-hit them. So let them run- It lets you farm creeps while they lose xp they could be getting, and if they try to poke back, you will have probably Cooled Down by then and repeat the process, further removing their health and minimizing damage done to you due to the stun. Plus, Udyr has health and mana vamp in his [turtle stance] - not many other characters can pull that off- and it makes you outlast, outfarm, and outperform your opponent.
It should also be considered that in this build, you can deal plenty of damage, but still be able to offtank. You should by no means try to be the only tank in a teamfight- hopefully one of your teammates builds as another offtank, or better yet, a full-tank. Udyr is meant to add to the CC wall that is your teams designated tank, as well as contribute some good dps.
I have found that my motto for Udyr is "UDYR ALWAYS ESCAPES!!!" (this being said in all caps to my teammates and to the opposing side) because, as obviously indicated,your bear stance allows you to always escape. I can not count the times I have escaped the most unlikely circumstances with good planning and Bear Stance. Flash has also helped on more than one occasion. Despite being a potential offtank, Udyr can be focused down by a full team effort. So sometimes you need to run. There is nothing more hilarious than 5 players chasing down an Udyr at 30 health through turrets, Teemo mushrooms, minion waves, and teammates- just to have 2 of them die, 1 to have to recall back to base for health, and your teammates to have smashed two towers in the meantime..... and with Udyr still getting away from them.
As I said going over the skill list, you do not need to fully max turtle stance after Bear stance. If the extra shield and survivability is what you need, or if the person you get paired solo top with is atrociously slow, pick up a couple earlier ranks in Turtle for more early game sustainability.
In team fights, Udyr is one of the members on your team that will be looked at to initiate a fight. If one of their team members pokes out farther than the rest of their team, Udyr can [Bear stance] up to them and stun them, while your teammates pick of the hapless target. His stun is great for interrupting channels and combos, and stun you can get to hit in a teamfight is another second of 4v5 play. Don't be afraid to switch targets multiple times to immobilize each for 1 second and get the most out of bear stance. When you have chosen which target to focus, simply tiger stance while they are stunned and hack away. Remember to "stance dance" even if you want to stay in the stance you are in, just re-cast the stance to set off [monkey's agility] and the activation buff on your stance. Activating stances gives Udyr a significant dmage burst.
High survivability and sustainability
High damage output
Good at ganking
You are the Kitemaster
Good at interrupting channeled abilites and combos
Strong early game
High mobility gets you where you want quickly, either to or away from someone
No range (save ignite)
Build loses a lot of punch if with laning partner- solo top gives you the xp to catch up and possibly surpass the levels a jungling Udyr could have, and you need xp to keep ahead.
Easily harrased be a ranged Champion (mostly in early game)
Udyr's abilities not as scaled as other champs at late game.
I hope you read the guide fully, I appreciate people taking the time to consider other's advice and ideas. Please understand that this is my first guide, and I hope to improve on the quality of my guides to contribute to a site that has helped me develop so many exciting champion builds. I apologize for the lack of pictures and the shallowness of the guide, I hope to increase the clarity, colour, and depth of any guides I may submit in the future. Thank you for reading, and remember- Udyr always escapes. I wish you all the best in your League endeavors.