Build Guide by Sixpips
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
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.
After playing a myriad number of games, I found that I excelled with one type of characters: Tanks. I enjoyed playing other characters but never really did well come mid to late game. After analysis, I found the primary reason was always the same; if I were for example to play Ryze, I would usually have somewhere between six and nine hundred ability power. I would get into teamfights, use my four spells as rapidly as possible, and then wait to respawn and hope my damage was significant enough to turn the tides. Such was the case with all of my characters save tanks. This was because I was perpetually building a glass cannon character with zero survivability. After some experimentation I found that Warwick was the best suited "Tanky Damage per Second" character for my style, and it is this build which I have come to mobafire to share (only after having some incredible results to be sure.)
This guide is to explain the build, explain why Tanky DPS will always outdo pure dps, and to touch on some tips for keeping yourself in the heart of the fight.
Pros / Cons
Significant damage output
Fun with a cool character
Many assists, you will not always get the killing blow
Slower build, designed to dominate later in the game
Unusual playstyle takes adjusting
The rune build I have come up with should start you off with 69 armor and 60 Magic resist at level one, assuming you get the masteries to match. The purpose of this is twofold. One, the armor when combined with your starting item of a cloth armor will aid your jungling (which I will get to shortly) and two, Tanky DPS truly shines after hitting the 60% reduction mark. This is accellerated into with the marks and runes, and can save you the twenty-six hundred additional gold or so you would have to spend to get there otherwise.
The mastery build I have done is very reminiscent of a utility tank build, 0/21/9. This will make your jungling immensely easier and safer, making sure you are never at a critical amount of health in case of a counter jungler. The great thing about Warwick is his base stats are already impressively strong, and his damage output is on par with any other dps champion in the league, without the masteries and runes that they are so heavily reliant upon. I will talk about this later as I get to his skill sequence.
Cloth Armor plus 5 health pots. The quintessential jungling starting line up for obvious reasons. However, the Madreds Bloodrazor this will build into later is a MUST for lategame damage output for you.
The Mercury Treads help to push your magic resist ever higher, and the reduction on stuns/snares/everything that shuts you down is perfect. I tinkered with Ninja Tabi before and this is the conclusion I have come to: Dodge is nice, but I would rather reduce all damage coming in to me at all times. By avoiding dodge in my masteries, my runes, and my item build and replacing it with straight armor and magic resist I am insuring I will always take less damage from enemies. Robustness is key to this build, and every attack an enemy hits you with that you DO NOT dodge is just one more time where your dodge percentage proved its irrelevance. I do not wish to gamble for my teamfight wins, I want assurances.
Now that I am off my boot and jungle kick I will talk about my other mid to late game items. Immediately after grabbing my boots I start on my Spirit Visage. My primary damage output source until I get my Madreds Blood Razor is going to be my Hungering Strike, and my Infinite Duress. My auto attack just won't be what it would be in other builds. However, what I will have is durability. Spirit Visage has what every wolf wants. Cooldown reduction? Thank you. Magic Resistance? You are too kind! Health? Feels good! AND you want to increase the health gain of my Passive, Hungering Strike, and Infinite Duress by TWENTY PERCENT? This item is just too incredibly good for Warwick not to get.
While each game pans out differently, once you get the Spirit Visage I reccommend getting your MBR pieces and your Negatron Cloak (builds into Banshee's Veil) at the same time. This is because you will find your own armor to be fairly high even though you are building many magic resist items, and your own magic resist to be noticable but not quite able to shrug off Malzahar Ults with at this point. Survivability and damage output are what you are about, and as such I reccommend getting your MBR and Banshee's Veil relatively close to the same time, usually 17:00-21:00 minutes in you should have both.
The next item in your build should be customizable based on what the enemy team's composition is. Multiple Ability Power characters mean go into Force of Nature to make their damage output on you negligible and increase your own lifegain, where as Multiple Attack Damage characters mean build the Thornmail so they kill themselves on you while you destroy their team.
I once backdoored a tower with this build and had a Miss Fortune come after me. I proceeded to destroy the tower and the creep wave while being at full health and she had to flee and blue pill because she went from full hp to half. I never even attacked her.
After tinkering with the spells in the line ups and trying to decide which were best for my build I found that it came down to two and only two. Smite and Exhaust. Permit me an explanatory moment. These spells are to help you accellerate yourself into the mid/late game where this build really shows off. Since Warwick is who he is, the early game lets him shine without any items whatsoever. (Just for clarification, I define early game as up to the 12-15 minute mark) What he does need, is a way to push into his level 6, and a way to finish people.
Everyone runs when they see Warwick show up. The only exception is when they believe they have such an upper hand on him they can kill him with ease. This is usually given to them by low health/mana or having ignite/exhaust (both nasty for warwick). Having exhaust of my own opens new doors. The exhaust gives you that extra few seconds to beat on the foe until your Q comes back off cooldown and you can finish them with it, it also gives you those few seconds to run away or chase, and gives you the survival seconds to make it through an enemy exhaust or ignite. Exhaust is also useful in the mid to late game by crowd controlling and eliminating an enemy primary damage dealer. Utility wins in this game, and Exhaust has truckloads of it.
To balance the extreme utility of Exhaust, we have the extreme focus of Smite. Some of you may have noticed I did not get improved smite but permit me an explanation: That 1 point is the equivalent of me getting 4% reduced damage taken, or the equivalent of getting 15% longer neutral monster buffs. and for what? 5 seconds off of an already short cooldown and 5 gold per smite. I MIGHT use smite 30 times in a game. thats 150 gold. I would MUCH rather have either of the other two options than my 150 gold. This is not to say smite is bad however. I find it to be quintessential to the speed of this character's early game leveling in the jungle. Smite increases your jungling potential to the point of cutting roughly two minutes off of hitting level 6, that means two more minutes to gank enemies, and outleveling the dual lanes. Not as much utility, but the focus is extreme.
I feel it is intuitive to focus Hungering Strike with Warwick, maxing it at level 9, picking up your ultimate along the way. It may not be so intuitive to focus secondarily on your Blood Scent, but here is why; When ganking, the chase is supreme, when backdooring, the get away is supreme. This can allow you to do both more efficiently. If there is a gank attempt on you while you were attempting to backdoor for instance, you can ulti any non-tank and this is what will happen with this build: Infinite Duress will do a minimum of 25% of the enemies max hp in damage due to MBR, Hungering Strike will do an additional 20% dropping at least 45% of their health. Usually it will be over 50 since your Infinite Duress deals significant damage without the MBR passive, and you can bloodscent and flee the premise. The same thing works for your ganks, opening on someone with R-Q means you should have bloodscent very very soon for the chase.
The lategame Hunters Call points also enable you to backdoor efficiently without getting a ton of AS/AD items, and also help the team in teamfights.
I mentioned previously I would explain in this section why Warwick can deal equivalent DPS to enemy hard carries with this build. MBR and Hungering Strike deal % health damage. There are some people who build "magewick" and stack ability power on warwick, but why be greedy? 20% of an enemies max hp on one hit with a short cooldown is more than enough when you won't be dying any time soon, and your basic auto attacks will be hitting the opponent for ~120-140 per second PLUS 4% of their max hp. An enemy Ashe may be able to hit other DPS carries for 600 per shot, but with this build you are taking 70-74% reduced damage and actually returning 30% back to her, while having an additional 1200 health on top of her and plenty of lifesteal. Her 600 per shot looks sad when its reduced to 130-160 and returns to her 30% of the 600 (140-180 after reduction).
The difference in playstyle with teamfights with this build is vital. The ganks are going to be the same in the early game as every other build, but teamfights are where you really begin to shine. In teamfights you will be ten times more durable than any other dps champion thanks to this build, and still be able to put out great damage (as I mentioned above). Your job in teamfights is to figure out who is the best target for your ID and neutralize them with it and Exhaust. It may not even be their heavy AD dps that is the issue. Mayhaps, they have a Malzahar who nukes down your strongest DPS every teamfight and significantly cuts the team dps down. Maybe they have a nasty Eve who busts her stun on your support and rapes them before they can get away. Your job is not just find the squishiest guy and go for the kill, its protect your killers and then soak up the damage. If there is one thing I have learned about Warwick, its that people disdain him. He gets focused incredibly heavily in teamfights, its like having a free universal taunt that costs no mana! Play Warwick as a tank and you will have the teamfights of your dreams.
In conclusion, I find that Tanky DPS Warwick is an immensely fun character with a lot of utility and survivability. With this build you will be able to dominate solo queue pubs, and I have found it to realistically do great in Ranked solo queue as well. As this is my first Guide on Mobafire, please Rank and Comment all you wish, and keep in mind I am not sure how the tools will turn out until I post the guide! If you try this build out and do exceptionally well, please let me know! Suggestions taken as well XD.