Warwick Build Guide by bharg
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
I have been playing LOL for about an year. I like playing different champs and have played almost all the champs in the game. However, I started with warwick in Ranked matches because I am best with him. I went upto 1480 elo by playing only warwick. But after reaching 1480, I got bored of playing warwick and started playing other champs. My win/loss ratio with warwick is 78%. So I made this guide basing on this success.
AD: Attack Damage
AS: Attack Speed
AP: Ability Power
CC: Crowd Control - Stuns, slows etc.
Why another warwick guide? I main warwick and I feel that all the other warwick guides fail to grasp the essence of warwick. This is a comprehensive build for serious ranked play and works best if you have a decent team (don't use this in low elo). If you want to troll and deal tons of damage with Warwick i.e ult + q = dead go for a different build. Warwick can dish out a lot of damage with his ult and the right items, but it is not Warwick's role in Ranked play. The whole point of Warwick is to survive in team fights while continuously dishing out damage. Warwick = Survivability. However, Warwick is also not a pure tank like Amumu or Rammus or Shen. You need at least another tanky dps to balance out your team. Please read the whole guide and use it in a couple of games before commenting. Constructive criticism is always welcome.
Warwick is a versatile champion and can be placed on pretty much any team. Even a team with Nidalee, Teemo, Janna and Kassadin vs Brand, Garen, Nocturne, Ashe and Taric . We actually dominated that one - don't know how. Warwick should mostly jungle, but can go lane wick in specific circumstances. Warwick should never go bot.
The guide describes both jungling and laning.
Pros / Cons
- Infinite duress - amazing ganks once u hit 6
- Safest Jungler - always maintains more than 50% health
- Does not die easily in team fights
- Is an amazing chaser
- Lane wick is pro :) even now.
- Slow Jungle? Is a myth. With the right runes the only ones who can jungle noticeably faster are Udyr and Lee Sin.
- If you don't have blue buff, u can still jungle but you will not be able to gank.
- Early game ganking is not very fruitful even with red.
- Is not a carry. If you get fed while the other team has a similar number of kills. It is going to be hard to win. Always give your kills to your carries.
- No escape mechanism. If you get ganked in the jungle and you don't have flash you are dead.
- Boring straightforward champion. You are not going to be pulling of impressive maneuvers.
Warwick is your champion if your strengths are planning and map awareness.
When to Lanewick
Warwick belongs in the jungle. But, if the enemy team has a solo champion that your team is scared of, pick lanewick. Warwick when played right is an excellent solo laner against most tanky dps champs. He will own any Singed in lane (with the right masteries + runes + starting item). You can/should lane against Singed, Nasus, Akali, Renekton, Jax etc. Do not lane against a good Irelia/Talon/Garen/Caitlyn who can stop you from taking advantage of your q. Warwick can also lane against carries but it is not advised since you should rather have another carry lane against them (so your carry can get fed).
The point of laning warwick is to stop OP* champs from getting fed. (OP in lane). More on lanewick below.
Runes make the biggest difference early game. In late game, runes are usually meh unless you have per level runes. So the runes I pick are specifically for early game
Warwick already has plenty of survivabilty in the jungle, so getting armor runes is pointless for warwick. Attack speed and armor pen runes make jungling much faster. You can replace arm pen runes with attack damage but then replace long sword with cloth armor and two health pots. Drop in a health quint or health seals to give that extra health to survive that early burst during ganking or when being ganked. In short, focus on making your jungling faster.
Since you will pick your first item depending on who you are laning against (either cloth armor or mantle) you do not need a lot of armor or magic resist runes
Attack damage marks to help you with last hits.
Health or armor seals.
Cd reduction or mana regen glyphs.
Health quints or pretty much any combination of defensive/ offensive runes depending on your play style/ availability
Pretty straightforward 21/0/9. You can invest more in the utility tree but you would sacrifice jungle speed; which is a big NO. Defensive masteries are pointless because by the time you are done with jungling (end of laning stage) you should be tanky enough. In the offensive tree you can invest in everything besides lethality and the summoner spell ones. Warwick is not a crit champion.
I prefer 9/9/12. You are laning warwick because of your q - Archaic Knowledge improves your q (so 9 in offensive). Warwick is mana starved and the 12 in utility give him enough mana to use q whenever necessary. The 9 in defensive tree give you that extra survivability.
If you have enough defense (armor seals) or if you feel like you will not get counter jungled (facing a ramus/ shen enemy jungler – does not happen often in ranked) get a long sword + a health potion. If not, get a cloth armor + 2 health pots. Go back to the base once you hit around 800 gold (for long sword build). This allows you to complete Madred’s razors, buy a couple of wards and a health pot (for that unlikely scenario where you are defending a tower with low mana and health). The next trip should be when you have about 1200 gold. Get shoes and a Kindle Gem. Complete your spirit visage and Merc Treads. Spirit Visage is a must on every warwick. Four of his five abilities are geared towards healing so why would you not but an item that boosts your healing by 15%, reduces cooldowns and gives you a bunch of health. Even a dps warwick should have spirit visage. On the next trip buy a giant’s belt (since you are tanking) and either a pickaxe or a recurve bow. Pickaxe improves your ult while recurve bow improves your survivability. Finish a sunfire cape before madreds blood razors. Get a wit’s end before madred’s if it is an AP heavy team. Get a banshee’s veil at some point. That extra health and mana helps. If the game is really long (almost never happens) and if you feel like you need to dish out more damage; sell spirit visage and buy a Black Cleaver. Otherwise invest in Elixirs.
Your first item depends (cloth armor or mantle) on who you will be laning against. This is usually obvious in ranked games, unless that talon goes mid and you get a Kassadin. Then either switch lanes or play defensive. If you get cloth armor, get 3 mana pots and one health pot. Add in a ward if necessary. If you get the mantle you have to get one mana pot and one health pot. After that just follow the usual build overlapping some items as necessary.
Guardian's Angel: If you find yourself to be the only one dying in team fights. Still its better that you are focused than your carries, and GA will move the focus to your carries. Get this with caution.
Wriggle’s Lantern: Get this if your other tanky dps is not tanky enough or if you are the only tank (it’s a bad situation to be in) or if the enemy team is all squishy besides that rammus or shen.
Shoes: When the enemy team does not have much cc, get whatever shoes you feel necessary.
Force of Nature: Get it, if you feel that you will not be the focus of cc.
Other Support items: Depending on team composition.
Items you shouldn't buy
Any AP item: Warwick’s q does 20% bonus magic damage on champions or 275 + AP. Now Most of the champions towards end game are at at least 2500 health. Which is 500 magic damage by only building AD. So why would you build AP when you can do much more damage with your ult using AD. Anyone who thinks AP/AS warwick is anywhere as good as AS/AD warwick is dumb. Lets say after all the survivability items your AP went up to 350. This gives 625 damage. Why are you sacrificing so much gold on a little additional damage on q?
Malady: I can see the use of this item on warwick as tt shreds magic resit but I'd rather have wit's end over malady. Could be useful vs tankier teams.
Hextech Gunblade: It is way too expensive for the benefits it gives warwick. The UNIQUE active is the only reason why you would want this. Still E is enough to chase down enemies and Spirit Visage gives more healing than a Hextech would to an AS warwick.
Infinity Edge: Ugh NO. I’ve seen a few players get this item in normal games. If you build warwick right you will be doing a lot of magic damage with your hits (as much as your attack damage). Why would you get an item that is expensive and gives you a chance of increasing your base damage which is low.
Bloodthirster: You would think it might be viable but with warwick you want to improve attack speed (passive) and on hit effects (ult). So get a Black Cleaver instead.
The fastest jungling route for warwick is from the double golems. Warwick does not need Blue to kill golems + wraiths + wolves, so why waste blue? If you do the golems first you can gank top/bot with blue (for an early gank). If you do it right, you should have atleast 75% health and blue. Always start with golems if you are the blue team (i.e bottom team) - so you can gank solo top. If you are purple (top team), you can get blue first, finish red and gank solo top. However, this is not the fastest route and as warwick you want to hit level 6 as soon as possible. Besides, an enemy shaco or lee sin can easily gank you at your blue, since at level 1 you will drop below 50% health while doing blue (unless you get a massive leash).
Jungle stage 1
Ask for a leash though you do not need it. Any amount of extra health helps. Tell them to hit only once and leave (you do not want them to steal your xp). Hit your w and hit one of the golems a couple of times and smite it. Kill the golems, get your q and head to the wraiths. Hit w and start hitting the small wraiths (this actually lets you come out of it with max health). Finish one of it with q and proceed with the rest. You can use another q on the bigger wraith (if necessary). Head to the wolves, pop the health potion and kill them with w (don't use q). Go to the Blue, hit the smaller creep and lead the golem back into the shrub (so you wont be ganked or steal smited). Use q how many ever times you can on the golem and after you kill it, use q on one of the smaller creeps. For the last creep dance around it until you get your mana up to use your q to finish it. If you follow this - you will be at 75 % health
Alert your solo top and go to the top/bot river bushes and wait for about 15-30 seconds (unless the enemy top's been pushing like a tard). Usually the enemy jungler shows up. Since you are ready and you solo top also see him - attack him. Even if you don't get a kill you will force him to go back. Now go Mid and scare enemy teams mid (I've sometimes gotten a flash out of it), use a q on them and get out (don't steal xp). If your mid is doing bad tell him to go back while you hold mid (no pushing). Now you can, head to the wraiths + Red + golems + a gank (only if they are pushing -- you will be low on health).
Head back to base and buy madred's razors + wards + health pot + mana pot (depending on how much gold you have). If you got a kill somewhere buy madreds + shoes + ward. From now you head where you are needed and try to get to 6 as fast as you can. Place those wards for your bot (a little right of dragon) and top bush. Gank whenever you have ult and see a teeny chance. Making the mid go back is good enough. Lets your strong mid gank. Keep the river and paths to your jungle warded. You need to own your jungle. As warwick I always get the first ward at the dragon (unless the enemy support is massively warding). So you will know exactly when you can get that darned dragon. Its usually a positive sign when you see the enemy jungler ganking top.
After 15mins, you usually stop jungling. Help push a lane (with help of wards) - get dragon - gank more - push mid - ward enemy jungle - gank more.
Warwick is a strong 1 v 1 champ. At a good amount of health you can take on any jungler 1v1 except Udyr. Udyr can kill you even when he is at half health and you are at full (even with your ult). So unless you are playing against Udyr or Shaco, invade enemy jungle - be aggressive. You can dominate Shaco 1v1 but its not worth it because you will never get a kill out of it. You might just end up being ganked by enemy team. Xin Zhao is stronger than WW but since his jungle is weak he will never have enough health to take you on unless he is just coming back from base.
At > 75% health you will own fiddle/nocturne/amumu/jarvan/tryn (before 6)/rammus/shen/olaf (a little trickier - hint: always use q to finish) --- from personal experience. If you are equally fed and you do it you can even kill tryn between (6-14).
With my masteries and runes you can dominate almost any champion in solo lane before you hit 6. However DO NOT attempt a melee hit out against ad champs at full health-- you will lose. HARASS them with q, last hit minions and deny them. I will tell you how to play against some common powerful top champs. Q --- run around --- Q --- run around -- a few hits etc.
You can easily spam q and harass singed but I advise against it. I'd rather get a kill out of it. Use q often to keep him around half health. If the singed is aggressive - throws you in the poison trail - eat him (q) and walk out of the trail (Do not chase -- obvious huh). Every singed will end up pushing and overextending. Keep it this way till level 6. If the enemy singed is only last hitting - punish him by eating him and hitting him a few times. Make him waste mana - don't worry - your regeneration will always keep you at higher health. Once you hit 6 --- KILL HIM if he is below 50% health. Q + ult + Q + exhaust.
It usually wont finish him, he will flash out + ghost + ult. WHATEVER --- Chase him with your E ---> kill him with your Q -- flash out. Your kill will be guaranteed if your jungler ganks.
SPAM Q and HARASS him. DENY him and dont let him q farm. You can't kill Nasus by yourself after six, so your best option is to Q harass him hardcore.
Spam q and harass before level 6. If she shrouds dodge out and harass her when it is on cd. Once she hits 6 play a little more defensive. All Akali's think they are invincible after 6. Use it to bang 'em' back hardcore :). Stick with your minions. When she ults and hits you -- eat her with Q. If she shrouds run out of it and stay there till she tries to come out. Eat her --- ult her -- with the minions hitting her. If the shroud is on cd you can usually kill her. If not you will push her back. If you play it right -- Akali cannot harass you. You regenerate as much as she does with her passive.
Talon is a tough champion for warwick. His silence and slow can out harass you. However they have higher cooldowns which you can use to your advantage. A gank will help too. Once both of you hit 6 --- only use your ult after he ults. Or use it for a future gank from your jungle.
Harass with Q. Step back if he has dodge. Do not ever hit him back. Just Q him, unless he is attacking you behind your minions. Once you hit 6 finish him the same way as singed. He will be easier to kill as long as he doesnt have cleanse or you let him get a stun on you.
Watch his Fury. If it is less them 50% be aggressive, if it is more get back behind minions.
His stun and slice will not out hit your Q.
She is probably the toughest champion for Warwick. If you try to harass her with Q she will stun you. She has good health regen and her ult gives her a ton health back as well. I have never tried to lane against Irelia. Tell me if any of you try it and actually win against her.
First point in W for the regen passive + it is mana effective. After that max out 'Q' while taking a point in E at level 4. This is a must at level 4 as it lets you see the enemy jungler at low health --- if he is in your jungle or trying for a early dragon etc. + gives you the speed to finish a gank. After Q, I max out E if I am having successful ganks but max out W if my team is behind and the enmy team is easily escaping my ganks. Max E is always good as it scares the hell out of any enemy champ below 50% health (especially if they are sticking around creeping and you don't want them to).
Pretty simple -- Max out Q while grabbing a point in E before 6.
Smite + Flash ---> Final. You do not want to replace either of them. Some might say "But, warwick can jungle without smite blah blah its pro" etc. THAT makes you noob. If you don't have smite it slows down hitting level 6 by atleast a minute or two and that is bad. What difference does a minute make -- when you can get an awesome exhaust? PLENTY! if you are playing against decent players. You always want to be ahead in ganking than your opposing jungler. Ganking mid first ensures your mid to be ahead (because the enemy jungler cannot gank without thier mid). Instead he will be holding down mid while the enemy mid loses xp and you steal his jungle! GET IT? no jungling without smite. Besides, you need smite to ensure your Baron/Dragon don't get stolen.
Flash -- because it matters a lot in team fights. Flash and ult that running away Caitlyn/Nidalee/Kassadin etc. It also lets you escape team fights. Flash out and if you have E on (if atleast one of the enemy team is not below 50% health you are doing it wrong) -- no one besides maybe Kassadin or Noc ult will be able to catch you.
Flash + Exhaust. Flash for the same reason as above. You can replace exhaust with ignite but I prefer exhaust. Lets me survive till I can get another q off.
Never initiate a team fight with Infinite Duress (NEVER). Unless you are ganking --> which is not a team fight though it might end up being one.
Who best to ULT and Why?
- The AD carry is always your first preference. Why? Because it keeps them out of the fight for a bit, which will let your carry dish out a ton of damage in the meantime.
- That assassin trying to get to your AD carry. Might be better if your carry is more fed than thiers.
- The AP carry is not the best choice. Unless your whole team is able to focus on them and kill them. Why? An annie will still get her combo off as you will not be able to kill her by yourself.
- Never ult a tank --- unless its 1v1 and he is almost dead or you are trying to save a teammate. Or you are trying to block amumus ult before it hits your whole team..
Wards win games. Yeah everyone knows it, but I can’t stress the importance of carrying wards as Warwick. In ranked play the purpose of Warwick is not to dish out tons of damage. So you do not need to worry about building damage like Nocturne/Fiddle/ or even Udyr. So you contribute to the team by getting wards. Wards allow you to do everything from detecting and performing ganks, to invading enemy jungle, pushing lanes, and getting Dragon and Baron. There are comprehensive guides for explaining warding, so I am not going to go into that. But remember to ward extensively. Get at least 1 or 2 wards every time you go back to base. Wards trump over everything except completing your spirit visage (early) and madred’s bloodrazors (late). Don’t use this as an excuse though. If you know how much gold you need, get those damn wolves before you head back. Even if your support is mass warding, tell her that you will help her in buying wards and make her buy a few defensive items. A dead support is a useless support. I hate it when supports tell me that they were warding the whole game, so now they are useless in team fights. There is a fine balance. I have often been called WardWick (haha) and I won those games.
Holding Lanes for junglers
DO NOT PUSH a lane that you are holding (early game). DO NOT STAY IN LANE for longer than you need. DO NOT STEAL your laners xp early game. This will hurt your teammates' laning stage. Only push when you think you can hurt a tower. When holding a lane early game jungler's should only last hit and harass the enemy laner.