Warwick Build Guide by dRaGg3n4c3
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.
Not Updated For Current Season
Thank you to the people who are giving good feedback so far, this is my FIRST guide ever so i'm open to any criticism :) i'm glad you all so far enjoy the first edit and I will be updating with minor tweaks to my guide; including the runes and items. I am also currently using jhoijhoi's guide on how to make guides, you can find her epic guide Here (I know, a girl gamer who is also really smart... that's pretty awesome) so stay with me as I will be updating within the next day or two with any further criticism you guys send my way. Thanks again
Since the recent change on Warwick, he has become one of the most solid solo top heroes in the game, his passive damage now stacks fully onto his Ult and gives him the healing benefits as well. He has become ridiculous and people often say "GG WW is too op, he needs a nerf". I'm not saying that he is op, but sometimes you do get fed from the enemy team and continue to steamroll with this advantage... seeing a fed Warwick on the enemy team is enough to maybe make you want to cry.
Another criticism I hear about WW is that he is "too easy" or that he's a "right-click hero" or, like how Karthus is often portrayed, a "click R and win hero".
The fact that WW has all single target spells and damage means that you really have to know how to focus the enemy team whilst playing him, you need to know when to pick fights, and know when you can 1v1 another hero. Although he is easy to output a lot of damage onto other heroes with single target spells, this doesn't make him invincible as a laner or as an initiator. He can fulfill many roles and each have their own play styles, the fact that he has no skill shots doesn't make him any easier to play in meta games with decent opponents.
This guide aims to show you how to maximise his damage as a solo laner and provide information on how to sustain his mid and late game phases. HE IS STILL A STRONG SINGLE TARGET FIGHTER BUT BE PREPARED TO GET FOCUSED IN TEAM FIGHTS AFTER YOU ULT IN.
Pros / Cons
- Great sustain
- One of the best initiators in the game
- Strong early game nuke
- Naturally tanky
- Passive on E gives good movement speed + reveals enemies, eliminating enemy jukes
- Very strong 1v1 fighter all game
- Strong ranged suppression
- No good escape in skill set
- No AoE damage (not able to push creeps off turrets, need to have team mates with AoE damage)
- Gets focused with Crowd Control effects early game
- Infinite Duress can be disrupted easily
Warwick's Hungering Strike (his Q) is ridiculous with a bit of AP with double Doran's Rings and the magic pen you get from your runes. It is his main sustaining move (obviously) and is what makes him a very viable solo top option, but it's his next two skills which are the question as to what to max afterward that.
I much prefer levelling WW's Blood Scent (his E) over Hunters Call (his W) as the movespeed and range buff is much more beneficial for your team mid-game for chasing and locating low-health enemies. If you don't have your Wit's End by mid-game for enough attack speed then you need to focus more on your cs in lane, but otherwise a massive 40% attack speed buff for you and 20% to your allies is good enough for mid game to take dragon quickly, push towers, or give your AD carry a nice buff for mid-game if they don't have many items yet.
I have played Warwick since just after the beta (seeing as I joined just a few months after) and I remember maxing his W in the jungle, but now that he is strong enough to solo lane, the E is more effective, even if it's just the second level of it that you get at level 8.
I take magic pen marks, flat armour seals, MR/level glyphs and magic pen quints (thanks to The Bulitt) this aims to give him some tank with the armour and MR but give him enough damage in lane with his Q to sustain with its healing. I prefer magic pen on him as his Q and Ult benefit greatly from it, as does Wit's End, and Madred's Bloodrazor.
Magic resist per level is essential because you will hopefully be laning against an AD top, and if you are against a mainly AP solo top then you shouldn't worry too much about the missing MR early game with the amount of sustain you have. (If they have good burst damage though, try not to over extend and be more careful than usual)
I take 21-0-9, so, the typical mage masteries, the damage out of the offense tree is too strong to ignore for any strong damage dealer.
I've considered taking 9 points in defense but the utility tree has more benefits as a strong laner, and during mid game you should have at least one of your tanky items by then plus your Wit's End's MR buff (plus if you manage to get a blue buff then you will love that you chose Runic Affinity ). The health regen and health you gain from the defense tree should be recovered in your ability to spam your Q in lane with mana regen instead.
Ignite and Flash are always what I would choose on WW now.
Ignite for an easy kill once you hit level 6; barely any enemies have a chance at surviving a WW who is charging towards them with an Ignite handy.
Flash is useful for escapes, you already have a steroid movement speed buff with your E so I find Ghost becomes too much of the same, although that's not to say you can't use it; you can chase almost any hero in the game and catch them if you take Ghost... Flashing over walls to secure kills, or escaping from daring chases is essential on a crazy WW, which is usually how he is played as he is always on the front lines into a team fight.
Other Summoner Spells to consider:
- Teleport: Another Summoner Spell to consider, it is always a strong choice on solo top laners as you can push your own lane then teleport to bot lane wards for ganks, or simply go back to your own lane after going back to spend some gold if you haven't moved from your lane for too long.
- Exhaust: Exhaust is also a very viable offensive choice in place of Ignite, choose Exhaust if your team has too many Ignites, such as if your bot lane takes one and so does your mid. This is completely situation but Ignite on such a strong 1v1 champion works well to secure kills. (Plus you already have enough lockdown with your Ult...)
You can try out using Heal or Cleanse but these aren't that essential nor as strong as the others listed. Otherwise, don't often consider other spells, but everyone has their different play styles, so play to your strength.
Double Doran's Rings is the best strategy for WW right now, the single Doran's Ring as his starter item gives him crazy damage/sustain with his Q, he is already a 6-barring hero with any Doran's at level 1 and his base stats, so he is naturally tanky, and the mana regen works well the added masteries boost. Double Doran's Rings gives him that added impact onto a hero when he uses his Q on them and is easy to afford if you've gotten first blood or have farmed up well by the time you're level 6.
Sorcerer's boots is an obvious choice with such an AP heavy early game, his Q and his Ult benefit from the flat magic pen and when you get Wit's End you should be doing enough damage with your Ult to leave a lasting impact. Attack speed, as i've said before, is already covered in the Wit's End and by his W, and for WW to be effective in scaring your opponents and putting a bit more pressure on them you need the magic pen for your Ult, rather than when you plan to 1v1 another melee hero, which is hopefully not very often, but if this happens then the damage on your q should scare them off...
Wit's End is Warwick's core item now, the stacks for his Ult are very useful, the damage it outputs onto auto-attacks is amazing on any offtanky hero mid-game if you target the enemy's carries, and the attack speed makes WW more successful at farming, 1v1 fights and getting dragons, baron and turrets. Plus the MR you gain from going in and fighting helps if you're really confident that you will come out on top, especially helpful when mages are trying to kill you with spells as you run away and are left with unlucky 'snipes'.
I always build tanky after Wit's End as you it should give you enough dps to remain as a viable offtank mid to late game. At this point, however, you need to build a Phage and leave it in your build for whenever you decide you would like a Frozen Mallet. I have been criticised for leaving it too late in my build and I have decided that your natural tankiness works well enough with the health from Frozen Mallet and the utility is also too strong to ignore when combined with your E.
Glacial Shroud gives you cdr, armour and mana, which are all useful for WW. Leave that in your inventory after your Phage or Frozen Mallet. When you decide to build it into a Frozen Heart, you will be helping to stop the enemy's AD carry and their offtank, depending on whether they are auto-attack heavy or not.
If you figure you need more MR before you finish your Frozen Heart, build a Negatron Cloak and come back and finish your FH. FH will benefit you further mid-game with the cdr and armour for turret diving, if the enemy mage is focusing you in a team fight then your carry doesn't cop that damage, so you can feel good about being a good team-mate even if you die...
The Abyssal Scepter is a personal favourite of mine, but in an unbiased point of view, at this late stage of the game, your team will benefit from the lowered MR of your opponents, especially if the enemy's AD carry has built even just a Negatron Cloak or finished off an item using it. The ability power is good if you still feel like making an impact with your Q, it also gives you a slight boost for your sustain mid to late, but that's just an added bonus and an extra reason which makes it more viable on ww. Your survivability with an Abyssal Scepter is greatly improved for when an enemy tries to focus and burst you down with cc so you can't lifesteal anything back, and after an initial burst on you, the Wit's End procs should help give you a longer lasting team fight prescence with over 170 MR.
When you get towards late game, I find that building a Madred's Bloodrazor is good so that after an initiation (which does give Infinite Duress a massive buff) you can deal devastating damage on squishy carries since essentially you have over 50 magic pen. Warwick is still, and always will be, an auto-attack hero so don't neglect the late Madred's Bloodrazor as it will definitely benefit your late game domination.
Another important point for all offtanks that choose offensive boots early game, make sure you sell your old boots and buy Mercury Treads or Ninja Tabi depending on the enemy team's main strength and check whether or not you need the tenacity. This is a great point to take care of before you start buying your elixirs when you are maxed out on items.
Personally I like taking Mercury Treads on WW as you don't want to be disrupted for too long in the late phases of the game, you want to ult in, get focused for a bit, heal up and stay in the fight with continuous disruption on your Frozen Mallet, but that is just personal preference, if you feel the enemy's ad carry is shredding you too hard then go for Tabi instead.
Warwick's early laning phase isn't overpowered, however his Hungering Strike does give him a strong advantage over a lot of early game heroes, the natural sustain he has from it makes him not seem like a pushover at all.
His auto-attacks and attack speed from this guide's set-up is very weak, so be careful but cs as much as you can, WW has a strong harass in between auto-attacks with his Q's poke range so you should be safe enough to cs without worry unless the enemy is ranged, in which case you might need to decide to fight them more often (you can usually afford this with your sustain against solo top AP mages or ranged AD carries, but don't extend too much in your lane and always ward your top brush/es!!).
This phase is generally aimed on getting your double Doran's Rings and Boots of Speed, and coming back to your lane to destroy your opponent without them being capable of pushing you out of your lane, I always enjoy solo top so have fun testing your boundaries against other strong top laners.
This is the fun part, if you've farmed up enough, fighting 1v1 is one of the easiest things you can do, but his Ult and his Q become so influential against any character, squishy or not.
The only thing to watch out for is knowing when to Ult into a fight or not, never Ult into a situation where you might get turret aggro or there aren't enough allied champs nearby to give you cover. Warwick is a lot stronger now, but he isn't invincible, you usually can't just 3v1 very well and if you can then the enemy team either has no Ignites, Exhausts, cc or are just generally very bad.
Otherwise, at this stage, your lane should never be able to be pushed too hard as you are scary at an allied turret's range and can easily sustain through any enemy's harasses.
You should also hope to be reasonably tanky for now, as dragon fights will start becoming vicious and WW is squishy as hell without a few tank items.
You should be a beastly hero by now, so much tank that it's not even possible to move you and enough utility to keep your opponents scared of being initiated on by you...
If you don't have enough items by now to be a great tank, you need to focus on your early and mid games more, at this stage you should find you can tank any situation and come out having done reasonable damage or taken a few Ults for the team.
Have fun initiating crazy team fights with Infinite Duress and being ridiculous in your solo top lane now, that is all :)