Warwick Build Guide by CombatJack1
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This is a comprehensive guide for the champion Warwick, NOT a generic build. When you consider voting up or down or commenting, do not judge this by merely the build order, because anyone can make a build. The real work went into the advice and discussion of his abilities, strategies, and preferred itemization to confer some really amazing attributes to one of the most versatile champions in the game. So I'll say it again, before you vote/comment, please read the guide in its entirety, because I can almost guarantee that any question or concern you may have has likely already been addressed in the body of this guide. Remember, to be an educated player, a wide variety of viewpoints must be considered to wholly understand both a champion and his/her strategies. Thank you.
I. Introduction & Purpose
21 - 0 - 9
R > Q > W > E
Hey my name is CombatJack and this build is designed to truly create a multi-purpose, sustainable, ganking machine out of one of the most fun jungling champions out there. Warwick can deal insane amounts of damage with the right build and that's precisely what we're aiming for here. You'll see hundreds of guides out there telling you to build pure tankwick, and I'm not here to say that's not smart, but I am going to offer an effective alternative to those who like a little more bite out of their jungler. If you don't like that style, you're welcome to go play Amumu or Rammus to fulfill all your tanking needs. If you're still reading, then I'll assume you've understood my purpose and I think it's time to introduce Warwick, the original jungler. Let's begin:
II. Pros & Cons
+High base AD and AS
+High sustain in jungle
+Good chaser with
+Ultimate procs on-hit effects
+jungler = more global exp
-Weak early ganks (pre-6)
-Slow clears before Madred's Razors
-Early blue buff reliant
-Susceptible to crowd control
-Cooldown dependent and
III. Summoner Spells
I like to take Exhaust because it is the definitive anti-AD carry/DPS spell that will stop that fed Vayne from wrecking your team or that sly Corki from targeting your carry. It is also a useful escape in the event of a failed gank where suddenly the tables have turned. Pop exhaust on their damage dealer, take a quick Hungering Strike, and walk away like nothing ever happened. More importantly however, is the ganking power of exhaust. Before level 6, Warwick is an extremely weak ganker, and exhaust will help tremendously to secure a kill for your lane, don't hesitate to use it!
This spell is useful for a number of reasons and most people swear by it. On warwick, Flash -> Infinite Duress is an extremely lethal combination that allows little to no escape for an unsuspecting victim when paired with a teammate's CC, particularly useful when ganking lanes for that extra reach on your ultimate to keep them out of their tower range and closer to your teammates. Take this spell if you like it, I think it equally useful compared to exhaust, it just has a pretty long unmitigated cooldown, so use it wisely.
I've seen Warwicks packing Ignite but I really don't think it's all that necessary on him. Here's why: you're already one of the best chasers in the game, if you need just a few more ticks of damage you can run up to them and hit them yourself. Sure it's useful for making that Tryndamere pay for his spin into your team, thinking he could just Undying Rage and get out of there alive, but the fact is it doesn't help your role as an anti-carry as much as summoner Exhaust and lacks the overall utility of Flash, and chances are at least two of your teammates already have it because it's a very popular summoner spell. Case in point: better leave it to a laner.
I personally think it's a bit redundant with your passive Blood Scent but at early levels it would make ganking and positioning much easier. With only one available summoner spell however, I think you're better off taking exhaust or flash just because of sheer utility and usefulness in teamfights where Ghost trails off. That being said, it is very useful for escaping if you can successfully juke or dodge the enemy CC or targeting, and in my opinion is a summoner more suited for skilled players, although some may disagree.
Offensive and Utility Masteries
I take 21-0-9 as per typical of the new jungle masteries for a DPS-type jungler. I do like the new 21st mastery because it will make those last few autoattacks and Hungering Strike hit just a tad harder when you are chasing that low-health enemy. I like the attack speed of Alacrity because it will buff your early game clear times before you begin to build into Recurve Bow and other mid-game attack speed items. While this build focuses on magic damage on-hit effects, the early game armour penetration and attack damage from Sunder and Brute Force respectively, only expedite his jungle clear times, especially in the new weaker jungle. Vampirism is an awesome new mastery that adds some new options to jungling and while Warwick has passive sustain, there is nothing wrong with a little extra, equivalent to a Doran's Blade right off the bat.
With Utility there are a couple divergent options with the first tier of masteries. If you choose to take Flash then take the Summoner's Insight mastery for the crucial cooldown reduction. If you take Exhaust however, then Improved Recall is actually a really cool new mastery that will shave off a second from your recall time (you'd be surprised how many times you might be saved by this when the enemy is searching for you). I personally like the new Expanded Mind mastery, but as with last season, Good Hands can be very important late game for shaving off 6 or 7 seconds from your respawn time, maybe even the difference between losing an inhibitor or tower.
: +3 attack damage is a nice addition for fast early camp clearing
Butcher : Same effect as additional attack damage on neutral monsters, helps expedite early jungling
Alacrity : This build focuses on attack speed and proc magic damage, more early speed means more early damage
Sorcery: While 4% cooldown reduction is nothing special, every little bit counts for a champion as cooldown dependent as Warwick
Weapon Expertise : This will help your autoattacks hit a little harder mid-late game when enemies become more tanky
Arcane Knowledge : This will have the same effect but apply to your spells and magic DPS items, a very good investment for one mastery point
Vampirism : The equivalent lifesteal of a Doran's Blade, a great buff to early game sustain in the jungle
Sunder : Flat armour penetration for early ganks and jungle clears, very helpful
Executioner : Further improves your chasing and finishing abilities by increasing the damage you deal by 6% to all enemies below 40% health, most often seen by Blood Scent
: Critical 15 seconds off the cooldown of Flash
Expanded Mind : Great addition to Warwick's pitiful mana pool, scales into late game
Swiftness : Improves his early ganks without CC by allowing better chase, especially with red buff
Runic Affinity : Crucial for any jungler, increases the duration of blue and red buffs by 20%, giving you an extra 30 seconds to a total duration of 3 minutes.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
I take magic penetration runes because each of the three proc-based items deal additions magic damage as well as your two damage-dealing abilities. 8.5 mpen coupled with the 20 Mpen from Sorcerer's Shoes will grant a flat magic penetration of just under 30, which will almost completely nullify the MR of squishies like Ashe who often fail to build magic resistance items.
9x Greater Seal of Armor
Flat armour seals are always effective on junglers and even laning because it reduces the damage you take from neutral minions and early game harassment from auto-attacking champions. I take these seals on almost every champion I play for their early game value.
9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
I take per level runes because for magic resistance because they offer the most benefit late game when most casters pick up large amounts of AP, and you will need all the help you can get surviving Nether Grasp, Summon: Tibbers, Transfusion, Dark Matter, and many more deadly spells that scale well with AP. The per level runes will grant almost double the magic resistance as flat ones, all you need to do is make it to level 10 and you've already reached the turnover point at which per level runes surpass flat ones.
3x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Warwick is actually very flexible with his Quintessence build because he can easily jungle nearly runeless, so you have a lot of room to experiment with different quints. Probably some of the most universally useful runes are these movement speed quints that will both speed up your travel time between camps as well as your ganking, allowing you to get off that extra autoattack that could be the difference between a kill and a failed gank. These scale well into throughout the game and I definitely recommend them if you have the extra 6150 IP to spare.
Debuff Bruiser Build
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
9x Greater Mark of Attack Speed
I use these marks a lot of tankier junglers who don't utilize the flat attack damage as well as those with scaling abilities like Trundle. These nine runes will give you a flat 15% attack speed boost at level 1 for faster clear times and even more procs for your Eternal Thirst passive. Very good alternative runes if you either choose not to go for the magic DPS build or if you feel you need a little more assistance early game in clearing neutral camps.
Seals and Glyphs should ideally remain the same between each warwick build regardless of your itemization.
3x Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
These quints provide fantastic synergy with your 9x Greater Mark of Attack Speed for a serious 25% attack speed boost at level 1, equal to Berserker's Greaves. That's not including the 4% from the Alacrity mastery as well, giving you a tremendous boost to proc Eternal Thirst and tear through the early jungle. Get these and the marks if you plan on forsaking Malady in your core build for something different, as that is the weaker of the magic DPS items we build. Or if you choose to go the debuff bruiser route, these can make your autoattacks hit considerably faster for your early clears before Wit's End.
9x Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Not a bad alternative for any jungler, although better suited to those who have spammable abilities that scale with AD, which warwick does not. Still, Warwick has a very high base attack damage, and coupling that with runes and a Long Sword can give his level 1 autoattacks some real sting. This magic DPS build will benefit much more from magic penetration, which does not scale off late game, but if you choose to mix up the itemization to a more attack damage build, feel free to take these for the insane early game.
9x Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Mana regeneration is critical for a champion such as Warwick who is very much a caster type champion with high-cost spells. These benefit more late game when you won't have as much time to make rounds to blue buff, or when you save it for the AP carry instead. These runes will help keep you at a sustained mana pool to cast all your spells when the need arises. Overall great runes at their turnover level when they surpass the flat mana regeneration option.
9x Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
You may find these runes to be invaluable for faster cooldowns on Hungering Strike and Infinite Duress for better sustain and stronger, more frequent ganks. I find that magic resistance is slightly stronger later in the game for absorbing damage, but these can increase your damage output quite effectively when coupled with the Sorcery mastery.
3x Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
These runes are perfect for nearly all junglers and very typical of junglers like Trundle and Lee Sin who also have abilities that scale off attack damage. Only your ultimate scales off this so they are slightly less useful to you, but still tremendously helpful early game for clearing camps faster along with your Long Sword. Warwick already has one of the highest base attack damages in the game at 57, so why not make your early autoattacks sting just a little bit more? People are always surprised by how much your early ganks can hurt even without the crippling CC of your Infinite Duress.
3x Greater Quintessence of Health
You really can't ever go wrong with the flat health Quints and that's exactly why they cost 2050 IP each. While these were nerfed some time ago, they remain to be the most universally useful runes you can buy for early game survivability when every point of health matters. Three of these will grant you 78 bonus health right off the bat to help with a safer jungle route.
|greater quintessence of desolation||ww||
3x greater quintessence of desolation
These are also typical of my tankier jungle runes because they give 10 flat armour penetration right off the bat to substitute for the lack of armour pen marks. If you start with these and the attack speed marks, you're going to clear the camps very very quickly which means more time for ganking and invading. They won't help your magic DPS but will certainly increase the damage of your autoattacks on all targets, beefing up your early ganks when combined with Hunters Call.
|ww||greater quintessence of desolation|
VI. Skill Sequence
I pick one point in Hunters Call first because it helps in killing blue golem faster at level 1. Hungering Strike only does 75 damage at level 1 and it's cooldown is fairly long, although you may choose whichever starting skill you prefer. Past level 1 however, I max my Q first as it is our main source of damage and lifesteal with the exception of our ultimate. I take a point in Blood Scent at level 4 for the chasing capabilities.But you must remember to turn it off before you go to gank, it will alert the enemy of your presence with a large set of eyes and an audible howl, completely blowing your cover! Take points in Infinite Duress whenever possible because it is what makes you the terrifying ganking machine that you are. Max W next after your Q for its lower cooldown and turret-pushing potential, then finish off with E to complete your skill order. By late game, with core items and the full 80% attack speed bonus from Hunters Call you should be very near the cap 2.500 attacks per second.
|ww||Eternal Thirst: Your passive has now been buffed to scale tremendously into late game as well as increase your early jungle clear speeds on par with the likes of Skarner and Udyr who still sit at the top tier because of their strength and speed. While the new passive grants slightly less healing at earlier levels, it scales up very quickly and stacks upon itself up to three times for quite a bit of damage and healing as you get up in levels. This change was a major buff to this build in particular as now his passive is another source of serious magic DPS.|
|ww||Hunters Call: This is an incredible ability for taking down large monsters in the jungle and destroying towers with ruthless efficiency. Increasing your attack speed by 80% at level 5 and 40% to surrounding teammates will make towers and inhibitors crumble in a matter of seconds. You should max this directly after Hungering Strike to enhance your pushing and jungling for the mid-game phase.|
|ww||Blood Scent: This ability is what makes Warwick one of the best chasers in the game. It will grant him bonus movement speed if an enemy is below 50% health within a deceptively long range. In addition, it reveals units stealthed from brush (although not those by ability such as Twitch or Evelynn) when they are below half health and the skill is active. Be careful when ganking a weak opponent however, as this will surely give away your position with an audible howl and a pair of eyes floating above the victim's head. Conversely, this ability is also useful in escaping chasing enemies. Often in the aftermath of a teamfight if you are left alive and chased by a weak enemy, you will receive the buff from this ability and likely elude capture. A great escape mechanism when the situation allows.|
|ww||Infinite Duress: This is your most important skill as Warwick, and I will be explaining in depth just what this skill does and how it synergizes with your items. The ability description says this will suppress the enemy champion for 1.8 seconds and strike 5 times in that duration. This suppression cannot be escaped from through summoner Cleanse. Crowd control reduction will also not affect the duration of this spell. The only exceptions that will cancel your ultimate are Quicksilver Sash and a few particular champions with cleanse abilities (see "Dangerous Enemies"), although the enemy player will require quick reflexes to break your suppression fast enough to prevent the on-hit effects from stacking up.|
Note: Speaking of on-hit effects, this is where Infinite Duress really shines through. It is an ability that will proc on-hit effects just like Gangplank's Parrrley, Ezreal's Mystic Shot, and many others. Infinite Duress will activate your effects 5 times in its duration translating to: 20% max HP damage from Madred's Bloodrazor, 100 magic damage and max 24 MR reduction from Malady, and 210 magic damage and 20 MR bonus on yourself from Wit's End. Now it will also deal additional damage from your improved passive Eternal Thirst amounting to 82.5 damage at level 6 (5 * 16.5), 135 damage at level 11 (5 * 27), and 210 at level 16 (5 * 42). Those numbers are substantial since his ultimate now automatically accelerates to max stacks of Eternal Thirst for the first through fifth hits, allowing the base numbers to be tripled, for example at level 18: 16 magic damage per hit multiplied by three gives you 48, multiplied by five consecutive hits gives you 240 damage. All of this is not taking into account the bonus attack damage 2.0 ratio scaling which would also add approximately 144 damage from Frozen Mallet, Madred's Bloodrazor, and attack damage masteries.
VIII. Core Itemization (Magic DPS)
I prefer to start with a Long Sword and one Health Potion for the extra attack damage which will allow for faster farming. You should however take Cloth Armor and 2 x Health Potion if you chose Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration as your primary seals. The extra health pots are not always necessary but a useful crutch if you get a bad leash (golem returns to camp and regenerates missing health) or if you think you are going to be counter-jungled by an aggressive Shyvana or Skarner. The sight ward as well will help you to catch the enemy jungler invading your camps so that you and a teammate may gank him in the act. As fast as possible you want to get Boots of Speed and build your Madred's Razors because this will vastly expedite your jungling and allow you to take buffs in a matter of seconds in combination with Hunters Call. After this I usually purchase a Recurve Bow and finish Wit's End before finally going back for your choice of tier two boots for the extra mobility around the map.
Here's where the fun part begins, the item build:
I am the kind of person who loves to calculate and analyze every aspect of items to best maximize my benefit for a champion. I spent a long time theorycrafting and testing these different items, and this core build is so far my favorite. I will offer alternatives as well in this section if procwick isn't necessarily your style, although if you give him a try I think you'll find it to be one of the most effective builds for arguably the most versatile champion in the game.
Potential end-game builds:
General Magic DPS:
Magic DPS Itemization
|ww||Sorcerer's Shoes: These boots offer the 70 movement speed of any tier 2 boots with a unique passive that grants 20 flat magic penetration. I like magic penetration on this build because we have two abilities that deal magic damage, Hungering Strike and Infinite Duress as well as three items that have magic damage on-hit effects Malady, Wit's End, and Madred's Bloodrazor.|
|ww||Wit's End: This item was made for Warwick and will be your first heavy hitter that also really starts to develop the awesome mage-killing magic resistance that this build grants. For 2150 gold you get 40% attack speed, 30 magic resistance, and an amazing passive that deals 42 bonus magic damage per attack along with a 5 MR buff for yourself that stacks up to 4 times. With that you'll have a total of 50 MR from this item alone after one Infinite Duress.|
|ww||Madred's Bloodrazor: The one item that I believe no DPS Warwick build should be without. This item is expensive as hell but well worth the gold. Since you already have your Madred's Razors you only need to invest 2800 gold in it for arguably one of the best DPS passives in the game. This item grants you the ability to deal 4% of the targets maximum health in magic damage with each attack. This is not unmitigated however, and this is why we need that magic penetration to ensure that we get the most out of our attacks. With one Infinite Duress we can devour 20% of the targets health, then take another 16% with Hungering Strike and start really chewing the enemy carry up. Because it applies to the targets maximum health, you don't have to worry about diminishing returns on weaker opponents. In addition to the strong passive is a very nice 40 attack damage (recently buffed) and 40% attack speed as well as solid armour. Build this as your last magic DPS item because of it's expense and real effectiveness after the enemies become more bulky.|
|ww||Frozen Mallet: This item is amazing on Warwick because he is already an incredible chaser due to his passive Blood Scent. I include this item in my core build as a mid-late game item because with our attack speed you'll be applying a near perma-slow to the enemies you are chasing and there would really be no escape for them (especially with your Madred's Bloodrazor proc-ing every hit, you wouldn't have to chase very long). The bonus 700 health will make you quite tanky to really round out the build with some late game survivability, pushing your HP over the 3000 mark. I like to build an early Phage to give some early-middle game tankiness and that amazing passive slow for ganking.|
|ww||Frozen Heart: This item provides everything Warwick needs going into late game to really create a tankier DPS machine. The mana is perfect for throwing out more spells every time they're off cooldown. The armour will protect us from the inevitable focus of the enemy AD carry as well as their bruiser. The cooldown reduction will allow more frequent usage of Infinite Duress and Hungering Strike to increase our overall DPS. Finally, the passive attack speed reduction debuff will further solidify our role as an anti-carry to not only destroy the enemy damage dealers but also hinder their own effectiveness. Easily one of the best items in the game for cost-effective tankiness, purchase this immediately after your Madred's Bloodrazor for a flawless transition into late-game.|
|ww||Banshee's Veil: This item is invaluable to any champion at any stage of the game. This build will benefit absolutely from it's base stats and passive, and this item should not be passed up. It is good as a late-game item because it isn't required if the game doesn't make it this far, although it's very useful in team fights in preventing your ultimate from cancellation by hard CC such as stuns or knock-ups, and the extra magic resistance fits so perfectly with our role as a dedicated mage-killer. It's passive is fairly self-explanatory and will block any spell directed at the wearer. This includes both skillshots and targetable spells, but in my experience does not include AOE DoT spells such as Anivia's Glacial Storm and Vladimir's Sanguine Pool.|
IX. Core Itemization (Tanky Bruiser)
|ww||Mercury's Treads: If you decide to go for the alternate tank build and the enemy team has a large amount of hard crowd control such as slows, stuns, snares, or taunts, then this is the item you want to build your early Boots of Speed into. You may sacrifice the 20 flat magic penetration of Sorcerer's Shoes but the CC reduction is invaluable at almost all stages of the game against a competent enemy team.|
|ww||Wriggle's Lantern: If your team needs a solid tank to initiate fights and stay alive to peel off carries, then you will need to be building items that offer much more durability and farming up 3800 gold for Madred's Bloodrazor will really set back this goal. This is where Wriggle's Lantern comes in: at only 1600 gold it is a bargain for the stats it gives. Even though the lifesteal was recently nerfed, you are affected less than others that don't have your powerful passive. This item is fantastic for jungling because of both the free ward every three minutes and the 20% chance to immediately deal 425 magic damage to an enemy minion or jungle creep.|
|ww||Wit's End: When it comes to this item, our tankier build is no different, it is essential. While Riot recently increased the price by 150 gold, it is still the quintessential on-hit item and synergizes perfectly with all Warwick builds. For this build we are getting it mainly for the magic resistance as our Infinite Duress no longer hits as hard as the Magic DPS build will, but the extra damage will not go unnoticed. Get this after your Giant's Belt and before your Glacial Shroud so that you can really beef up with strong mid-game items.|
|ww||Warmog's Armor: The iconic tank item that gives a ridiculous 1270 health and 40 HP/5sec with full stacks (which you don't lose if you die). This is a great item for extra survivability, and I actually don't even think you really need to get it early to get the max effects, just farm a little bit even in mid-late game and you'll get those stacks right up to a considerable amount in a relatively short time. This item doesn't fit into our DPS build because our focus is not on pure health but damage output and intelligent play, although our tankier build will benefit from this and if you like a little more beef to your champs, it's a great item overall.|
|ww||Force of Nature: I personally love this item and it is a necessity on almost any tank or off-tank because of it's absolute versatility. The 76 magic resistance will make you much more tanky against casters, the 40 HP/5sec is staggering and you won't even notice that you're at full health throughout the game because of this, and finally 8% bonus movement speed is awesome and will put you over 400 with tier 2 boots, very important for chasing. Overall a great item that I would pick up if I had a 7th slot, but i do feel the regeneration is less necessary on a champion like warwick who can lifesteal so much just from a few hits on enemies. Note that this item's passive will benefit you greater if you have a larger health pool, so pair it with your Frozen Mallet or Warmog's Armor for a lot more tankiness and huge health regeneration.|
|ww||Sunfire Cape: A strong item on most aggressive tanks like Amumu and Dr. Mundo who already have an AoE DoT, the magic damage component of this will maximize the damage over time those champions can deal from close proximity to enemies. This item synergizes with the magic damage focus of Warwick and will provide some serious health capitalization in combination with Warmog's Armor. A great item overall against more AD oriented teams, you won't go wrong with a little more magic damage over time and flat health for damage soaking.|
X. Alternative Itemization
While I personally believe that the six items in my core build are the best options for competitive Warwick players, naturally there will be situations that call for adaptation. So I'm going to offer alternative items that synergize well with Warwick and his abilities and playstyle.
Your Best Choices
|ww||Ninja Tabi: These boots are also good for that tankier role if the enemy team has more physical DPS champions that are tearing your team apart. Since the rework it now reduces damage from basic attacks by 10% which is fairly significant when that fed Vayne is hitting crits for over 700 in the late game. Only get this if the enemy team has less than two or three forms of dangerous CC.|
|ww||Malady: This item is very good on Warwick for a number of reasons. Around middle to late game this item can give a massive boost to your damage and best of all, it's very inexpensive should you choose to purchase it. For a mere 1825 gold this item grants 50% attack speed, 25 ability power, and the best part: an on-hit effect of 20 magic damage per attack and an MR reduction debuff of 6 that stacks up to 4 times (instantly maximized with Infinite Duress).|
|ww||Maw of Malmortius: This item was recently introduced and has immediately caught the eye of melee bruisers such as Olaf, Tryndamere, and Lee Sin who often have very fluctuating health bars during fights due to lifesteal and their aggressive nature. This item is great against a caster-heavy enemy team because of its spell-absorbing passive, tanking 400 magic damage if a spell would leave you with less than 30% health. The bonus attack damage is also a plus as well as the passive which increases your attack damage by a ratio of your missing health. Built from an early Hexdrinker, this is a strong anti-mage item that can not only save your life but also ramp up your damage in teamfights after soaking up sufficient damage.|
|ww||Guardian Angel: An average tanky item that will give you that awesome passive with a second chance at life if you screwed up and died. Less useful later in the game if you're being focused by 2 or more enemies, but overall a great defensive item to round out your build. The 68 armour and 38 magic resistance don't go unnoticed either. This will be especially useful when you've been the victim of hard CC after casting your ultimate: you can be killed, revive yourself, quickly swipe away some health, and escape. A bit expensive for the stats but the passive can be invaluable in some situations.|
|ww||Spirit Visage: You will benefit from every one of this item's stats and it is often a core item in Warwick builds. If gotten early, it grants decent survivability with 250 bonus health and 30 magic resistance. The 10% cooldown reduction is nothing to write home about though, unless paired with other CDR runes and items, but always a plus. The passive however, is what makes this item so good. Increasing healing effects on yourself by 15% is big, because it synergizes with your passive Eternal Thirst and your Hungering Strike.|
General Offensive Items
|ww||Hextech Gunblade: I like this item because it is a great hybrid item that just adds to your already staggering sustainability with lifesteal and spell vamp. It has a great active ability that is a 700 range nuke in case that one enemy remains just out of your Hungering Strike reach. I think the AP is wasted on Warwick because your Q will still likely do more damage with 16% of the opponents health, and the ability will only deal the greater of the two, not the sum of each. For that reason and it's high cost, I do not include this item in my Warwick build, and I don't see too many others out there with it. I will say however, that this item will proc spell-vamp for your on-hit magic damage from Wit's End, Madred's Bloodrazor, and Malady and can actually accumulate to a very large amount of healing. Give it a try if the game lasts a very long time and you need something to replace your Malady (a weaker mid-game item).|
|ww||Ionic Spark: I like this item on Warwick or any fast attack speed champion like Teemo or Xin Zhao. For 2300 gold it provides a strong 50% attack speed base as well as a 4th hit proc of 110 magic damage arcing to up to four targets that synergizes well with the mpen of this build. The only reason I do not take this item in my core build is because it takes up an item slot that needs to be filled by tankier alternatives such as Frozen Mallet and Banshee's Veil. With Hunters Call and our other attack speed items, we've already reached very high attack speeds and there really isn't a need for the redundancies because it's simply outclassed by the other magic DPS items in our build. 2300 gold is a fairly decent bargain for the whole package, but not the unique passive alone. Get this item if you chose to replace Malady although I don't fully recommend it.|
|ww||Atma's Impaler: Since the recent change to warwick's ultimate Infinite Duress, this item will be much more effective on him when coupled with Warmog's Armor due to the new 2.0 bonus attack damage scaling on the ability. I recommend you get this on the more tanky initiator build as it will grant a lot more bite to your ultimate when you decide to leap on a squishy target to begin the teamfight. One of the most cost-effective items around because of its passive, you should really pick this up if your team lacks a tank and you've already built into that role. "Atmogs" is already a typical combination on many tanky DPS champions, and there's nothing saying warwick can't be a part of that group as well should you chose to do so. Update: Riot finally got around to nerfing this item and they did so in quite a substantial way. Now the passive multiplier is only 1.5% of your maximum health so that equates to 15 less AD at 3000 HP. This item is still good, but I think this nerf pushed it out of my build now.|
|ww||The Black Cleaver: I love this item on Warwick because it adds 55 attack damage, 30% attack speed, and a beautiful on-hit effect that reduces the enemies armour by 15 per hit, stacking up to 3 times. With one Infinite Duress, you will activate the maximum reduction of 45 armour completely gone before the enemy is even released from your suppression. This effect lasts 5 seconds which should be more than enough time to either kill the target completely or chase him far enough that you can easily attack enough again to reset the stacks. When coupled with the other items in our "debuff bruiser" build, we'll be reducing the enemies' armour and attack speed to really give our team an advantage.|
|ww||Nashor's Tooth: This item is deceptive for a number of reasons. On paper, the stats it gives seem incredible: solid AP, moderate attack speed, mana regeneration, and that incredible 25% cooldown reduction. Yet why does no one get this item? The reason is that it's stats have relatively no synergy on most champions with the exceptions being perhaps Teemo or Kayle. The AP doesn't increase the damage of your autoattacks, the mana regeneration is unnoticeable late-game, and the CDR is easily achieved other ways, especially for a jungler who can readily take blue buff. Simply put, this item doesn't have room in those sacred six item slots.|
|ww||The Bloodthirster: I tend to not get this item because I dislike snowball items and stacking items in general. They require you to survive to retain your stacks and sometimes death is either inevitable or you get focused down and it's out of your control. I often see players with Bloodthirster getting killed in a teamfight and then spending the next 10min farming a random lane to get their stacks back, leaving their team a man down in the event of the next teamfight at middle, baron, or pushing the base. Get it if you think you're indestructible, but there's really no room in my build for it, and it doesn't synergize as well with your ultimate as Wit's End for example.|
|ww||Infinity Edge: This item is perfectly suited for your AD carry and will likely be his first large purchase. You also can benefit from it's effects as 80 attack damage will really make your auto-attacks hurt, although you must understand that Infinite Duress does not apply crit, because that would be overpowered. It's expensive and you should probably start opting for defensive items around mid-game. I really don't think that this item is good on warwick because he is not crit based in the least and overall The Black Cleaver is a better B. F. Sword option for him because of the armour reduction stacks and attack speed bonus.|
|ww||Last Whisper: This item is more suited for your AD carry and no one else, you simply don't deal enough physical damage to make it cost-effective and the percent penetration is really only useful late game anyway. This item will not affect your ultimate or your Q and certainly not your magic damage proc items. So with that being said, don't get this item, leave it to your AD carry like Ashe or Caitlyn.|
|ww||Tiamat: I've seen lot's of debate over the usefulness of this item and I'm going to explain exactly why it is never worth the money you spend on it. It grants 50 attack damage, a wonderful statistic for the price, as well as 15 HP/5sec, and 5 MP/5sec. Seems like a great item already, and I haven't even gotten to the passive yet. The passive splashes 50% of your attack damage to surrounding targets. Would be great if it weren't a 185 range... I'll put it into perspective, Warwick's Hungering Strike has a 400 range and that's pretty small. The bottom line is everything about this item looks great on paper, but the health regen is wasted on Warwick, the mana regen is negligible anyway, and the splash damage is only effective if the enemy team is literally so close they're pushing each other out of the way from unit collision. I wouldn't recommend this item.|
|ww||Executioner's Calling: This is an interesting item for a few reasons. It provides a fairly notable amount of lifesteal and critical strike chance for the price, a very affordable 1350g. It also has a unique passive that deals 4 magic damage per second for 8 seconds as a proc on hit effect. We like proc oh-hit effects in this build but the problem is that this effect has a maximum of one stack, meaning 32 damage is the most you can do in 8 seconds, not that great. It's active is why players would purchase this item, because it can reduce the enemy's self healing by 50% just like Ignite. I honestly think that Riot should make it a component of some stronger item because critical chance and lifesteal is an interesting combination, but it's just too weak to stand alone in a build for the long run. I believe it should be similar to Bilgewater Cutlass and build into a larger, more frightening item. For Warwick however, it's just not essential.|
|ww||Phantom Dancer: Attack speed would be good if you didn't buy one or more of my core attack speed items and the crit chance is never a bad thing, especially if you went with Infinity Edge as well for that DPS build. That being said, Infinite Duress is out main damage ability, and it cannot crit, so keep that in mind. 15% movement speed will stack with your Blood Scent but I personally think there are better items on Warwick that would synergize with your abilities more, especially since this is mainly a DPS item involving autoattacks and armor penetration, something this build does not emphasize.|
General Defensive Items
|ww||Randuin's Omen: Another good tanky item that at least one champion on your team should own. The 75 armour is a great bonus as well as the 350 health and 25 HP/5sec. The unique passive is good but a 20% proc isn't quite frequent enough to warrant this item on Warwick instead of your all-purpose tank, especially when you need to soak up a large amount of attacks to make it worthwile, something you should definitely not be doing with any build but Tankwick. Very useful active in large teamfights if you can hit multiple enemies. If you decide to build this item, pick up the Heart of Gold component first and keep it long enough to benefit from the gold per 5 passive, it will help reduce the time for your expensive itemization.|
|ww||Thornmail: Probably one of the most interesting passives in the game, this item will not only grant 100 armour, but also will return 30% of the unmitigated damage you take back to the attacker. When i say unmitigated I emphasize that this returns 30% of the attack damage they WOULD deal before your armour reduces it. So it is actually possible to be dealing more damage back than you receive with this item. Great item if the enemy team is stacking two or more AD DPS champs and you like to watch that Master Yi or Tryndamere melt his own health away while you don't have to do a thing. More suited for tansk such as Rammus, Shen, and Galio with taunts.|
|ww||Quicksilver Sash: One of the most underrated items available, this provides a large amount of magic resistance for the cost as well as an active cleanse that will get you out of all the CC that Cleanse does and more. This item is on a 90 second cooldown and can remove DoT spells like Ignite and Children of the Grave, suppressions like Nether Grasp and Impale, stuns like Cryptic Gaze or Enchanted Crystal Arrow, and those horrifying 3 seconds of puncturing taunt and Terrify.|
|ww||Soul Shroud: I suppose that you could benefit from all the stats this item confers, but I think it's better suited in early-mid laning phase on your support champion. The bonus 520 health is always a plus (although easier received from Frozen Mallet and other recommended items), and your teammates would certainly appreciate an extra 12 mana per 5 seconds regeneration to stack with their own. 10% cooldown reduction is cool, but this build doesn't focus on getting that magical 40%, so don't think it's really essential because of that. The mana regeneration is also more effective in the laning phase and on champions with higher mana pools to begin with, something Warwick definitely lacks.|
XI. Why Madred's Bloodrazor?
There is a lot of debate over the value of Madred's Bloodrazor in Warwick guides and I'd like to address exactly why it is a core item essential to this particular build:
This build emphasizes magic penetration to maximize the damage output from our three magic damage proc-based items with on-hit effects. Dealing the full 4% max health damage will not be a problem against most enemies that don't stack magic resistance (which hampers the rest of their gameplay if they decide to do so anyway).
With our breakneck attack speed and Hunters Call activation, we'll be at or near the 2.5 attacks per second cap (I'll use 2.5 as the number for example calculations), meaning that with adequate magic penetration you will be tearing away at 10% of the enemy's max health every second, even after your ultimate Infinite Duress and the 20% associated with it. This is all in addition to the (20 + 42) magic damage from your Malady and Wit's End as well as your attack damage after enemy armor calculations, all of that being PER ATTACK.
Why I don't take Wriggle's Lantern in every game
Wriggle's is a questionable item late game because it provides only meager stats and a small amount of lifeteal, as well as a 20% proc chance to deal 425 magic damage to target minion or pet. (Which is an incredible passive ability, but only effective on non-champions) This can actually ends up doing less damage on average to monsters and minions because of the infrequency of the effect, particularly against baron, which this guide allows you to take on entirely by yourself. It may seem cheaper and the warding every 3min is certainly helpful (although many who buy Wriggle's use that as a crutch so they don't have to buy as many wards), but overall you lose out on a HUGE amount of champion damage output imbued in Madred's Bloodrazor and that's exactly why that item is a core. If you like the item and it's passive abilities, by all means purchase it as your first major item, but please refer to my second build to see how it affects the item order and other statistics.
XII. Why AP is not Viable on Warwick
I see a lot of semi-Magewick guides out there that build a couple of small AP items and think they can make their Hungering Strike hit like a truck, but they would be wrong and naive to think so. Here's why:
You have one ability that scales with ability power and it's on a 6 second cooldown. Your hungering strike scales 100% with your AP along with a base damage of 275 at level 5, seems nice right? Well it also has the potential to deal 16% of the enemy's max health with one strike, which is 90% of the time, the option that deals the most damage between the two. I'll show you with a few calculations detailing how much AP you would need to deal 16% maximum health damage to the respective opponents through the AP component:
Enemy at 2000 HP- (2000 x 0.16 = 320 damage), (320 = 275 base damage + 45 AP)
Enemy at 2500 HP- (2500 x 0.16 = 400 damage), (400 = 275 base damage + 125 AP)
Enemy at 3000 HP- (3000 x 0.16 = 480 damage), (480 = 275 base damage + 205 AP)
By those calculations, you would need an extra 80 AP for every 500 health the enemy has in order to deal the same amount of damage as the simple 16% max health alternative. Is it really worth spending tons and tons of money on expensive AP items only to deal a small amount more damage than your Hungering Strike can deal by itself?
Edit: This section is a little outdated since the recent Jayce patch, which added a bonus scaling onto the percent maximum health damage that your Hungering Strike will deal (although not reflected in Mobafire's tooltip). This remains to deal the greater of the two however, and honestly doesn't change much in my honest opinion. You still need a lot of Ability power before you can even get it back up to the level it was pre-nerf, and spending a whole build on one ability on a 6 second cooldown still seems idiotic to me. Save it for the late night trolling.
Probably the best route for weak early gankers such as Warwick is the Wolves -> Blue -> Wraiths -> Red -> Golems -> Wraiths -> GANK. Depending on which side you start on (purple or blue) you will want your top or bottom laners to help you clear the wolves as quickly as possible, don't worry about them stealing exp because it's not nearly as much of an issue with the nerfed jungle. After clearing wolves (don't let your team last hit any of them, because losing gold is bad), you should get your middle laner to leash to the blue golem over the wall and your bot or top laner should hit it a few times, just enough so that you don't lose too much health from its attacks. This type of hard leash is not fully necessary with Warwick because of his amazing sustain, but it's a good habit to get into with any of the junglers, especially ones with less staying power.
When starting at wolves, you have about 13 seconds to kill them and move on to blue buff before it spawns, meaning a little damage from your teammates is always helpful. They should ideally stick around to prevent invasions as well.
Blue buff is important for your first jungle clear because it allows you to spam Hungering Strike to keep your health at a strong level during your route. ALWAYS Smite the golem when you know it will kill it, because you never know what can happen or who can be there, and it's just a very good habit to get into. Make sure your teammates have cleared out before you kill it as well, as sharing the experience from the golem will not allow you to reach level two, which will set you back.
Kill the wraith camp next, focusing down the blue wraith before taking care of the smaller ones. Later in the game this camp is often subject to counter-jungling from either the enemy jungler or mid-laner. Pay attention to the potential of enemy wards around this area and always be on your guard for strategic invasion.
Next you will move onto your own red buff and proceed to kill it. Your Smite will be on cooldown still but it won't matter as long as you continue to spam your Q and keep Hunters Call on activation whenever possible. If you are concerned about a potential steal, leash the lizard into the brush to the side and kill it in safety.
Finish off the larger of the two golems with Smite and then easily dispatch the other one. After this you will again move onto the wraith camp which will have respawned by this point. Following the final wraith camp, you should hit level 4 and spec a point into Blood Scent for its chasing power. Turn it off before you gank middle or bottom lane if you know the enemy is weak from harass, as it will give away your position.
The best junglers in the current meta are those that can farm creeps without losing health so that they can gank at near max health to their fullest power. Warwick is fortunately a very sustained jungle with his own ability to lifesteal and you should be at or near full health by the time you gank. However, always remember that if there is any question at all, just GO BACK: DYING IN AN UNSUCCESSFUL GANK IS THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO. This not only sets you back on gold and experience, but feeds the enemy laner, making life hell for your teammate.
A well sustained jungler such as Warwick should push his advantage every chance he gets. This includes frequent ganking and pressure on lanes as well as counter-jungling (denying farm and experience for the enemy jungler). In order to really set back the enemy team, you should make every effort to be very conscious of when buffs are picked up and when they will respawn. Remember that Red and Blue buff both have 5 minute respawn timers, and if you get to those enemy camps right as they spawn, many times you can take them uncontested.
For junglers who start at wolves/blue: the second blue buff will respawn anywhere between 7:10 and 7:30 depending on their leash and clear times.
For junglers who start at wraiths/red: the second red buff will also respawn somewhere between 7:20 and 7:40 depending on leash and clear times. (Note red is stronger than blue and takes slightly longer to kill)
In the event that you mistime the respawn, place a ward and you should be able to catch the enemy jungler either taking the buff for himself or giving it to a lanemate (often blue for AP casters at mid lane), and you can either Smite steal it or ambush the enemy with the help of a teammate for an easy kill. This type of invasion can create a huge advantage for your team through buff control, gold from kills, and the psychological harm to the enemy team who will realize that their own jungle isn't safe.
Warwick is a difficult champion to gank with because he basically has no CC until he hits level 6. But you cannot wait that long to gank, or you'll be set back and your team will likely struggle to hold their lanes. This is the reason I sometimes take Exhaust, because it is a very powerful slow coupled with armour and magic resistance debuff if you took the Summoner's Wrath mastery. If you do not take exhaust, then red buff is critical for the slow it applies on hits. Try to gank lanes that are either pushed or where the enemy is already weak from harass. Keep tabs on enemy health bars in all lanes so you can know which lanes you should prioritize. I find that the double lanes are more risky to gank, especially due to higher probability of warding, but the rewards are greater if you can successfully kill or assist your carry. Solo lanes are easier to gank if your laner has some form of hard CC such as Cryptic Gaze or Rupture. The key is to use your map awareness to put you and your teammate in a position to get a kill or burn an enemy's flash, either are succesful ganks because they:
2. allow laner to catch up or get ahead in farm
A technique that has seen more use recently is called the bush gank, and it can be quite effective on lanes where your team is pushing much harder than the enemy (something that is inevitable with certain lane combinations, and not such a bad thing).
To do this, walk up to the lane from behind your teammates and the minions, walking right into the bushes, ensuring that you are far enough away from the enemy minion sight radii. Remain waiting in the bush until the enemy either facechecks it thinking no one is there, or until your teammate initiates with some form of CC. If you're already level 6, with prior acknowledgment from your lanemate, go ahead and use your Infinite Duress to suppress the enemy and hopefully get a kill against the squishier or weakened opponents. This technique has been employed near perfectly by jungle Twitch due to his stealth, but other junglers can do it all the same with proper care of minion sight.
Mid-Late Game Movements:
As lanes begin to lose towers and the game enters the roaming stage of mid-late game, your ganks won't be as necessary for lane dominance and you should focus on farming your jungle, counter jungling the enemy, particularly stealing their blue and red buffs if it is safe, and catching enemies that overextend themselves to farm pushed creep waves. By this stage definitely give your blue buffs to the AP carry (something you should do for all blues beyond the first or second), because you can much more easily just steal the enemy blue. Continue to farm up and build your items and prepare for teamfights, don't leave your teammates alone and don't get caught by yourself! People just don't seem to understand that dying in this game is one of the worst things you can do, especially for no reason.
These three items are crucial for map control and avoiding enemy jungler ganks as well as initiating your own team movements to result in kills in lane or the jungle. Where to ward is also a crucial part of map control, and I will explain exactly where the best places are for these temporary lifesavers.
The two most important spots for wards are Baron and Dragon, the latter carrying more importance early game and the former being much more game-changing late game. These are also good spots to place vision wards if you have them because the enemy team is more than likely to also have wards there, and shutting out the enemy's map control is half the battle.
A Vision Ward here will allow you to maintain sight on the central river and dragon, while simultaneously preventing the enemy support or jungler from warding it for themselves. You are unlikely to destroy very many wards with this as opposed to Oracle's, but it is a strong tactic when your team intends to kill dragon in the next minute or two.
If you know the enemy support or jungler has either an Oracle's Elixir or has placed a Vision Ward in the river near dragon, place your own sight ward behind the barrier as shown because it will not be spotted by a passerby and is well outside the sight radius of their vision ward.
This is where you can expect most attempts at stealing baron to come from if you are on the blue side of the map. Ward this area to prevent any heroic Smite steals from the enemy jungler. If you started on the purple side, you'll want to ward the bush next to the enemy blue to hopefully see enemy movements with ample time to react.
The two buff camps (red and blue) are also great places to ward if you feel they will respawn soon as this will allow you to gank the enemy jungler when he is preoccupied or weak, as well as have central sight on the enemy jungle. If you were counter-jungled early by a more aggressive jungler like Lee Sin or Skarner, then feel free to ward these locations on your own side for the same purposes, ganking and buff control. Make him pay for coming into your jungle!
Second to these locations are the areas near the two wraith camps, where there are four diverging pathways. This ward will cover half the ganks coming towards mid lane as well as allow you and the mid laner to steal the enemy wraiths for extra experience and gold.
For bottom and top lanes, a ward in the tri-bush will help give away the position of the enemy jungler attempting to gank your laner. This is a common place where enemies will set up ambushes or wait for the opportunity to gank, and vision there will shut this down quickly.
Use Your Judgment:
As for other locations, there are tons of good places to put wards in the jungle and any areas where there are either choke points or divergent paths will cover the most for your team. Just be smart about your placement and try to anticipate the enemy's movements so that you can catch them in the sight radius of your wards when they come. If an enemy jungler likes to gank directly from the brush, go ahead and ward that area so that your laner can know exactly how long he stays and when he finally recalls. There are so many situational locations for map warding that you must use your judgment beyond the aforementioned crucial areas.
Oracle's and the Team:
An early Oracle's Elixir can put your team at a great advantage by eliminating enemy wards so that your team can truly dominate the map with greater mobility and preparation. While many support champions get Oracle's, the jungler is arguably best suited for it because of his nature as a roamer. I find that the 400 gold is a bit expensive and will set back your build early unless you are already ahead in farm or kills, but it will prove worthwhile if you do not die often and can hold it for more than 20 minutes. On a jungler such as Warwick, this is not a problem because of your sustain and ability to avoid ganks, so feel free to purchase this if you feel the enemy is warding often and all around the jungle and river.
XVI. Working in the Team
Purpose in Teamfights:
As a well-built warwick you have a lot of damage potential in teamfights, but you're useless if you die and all that damage output and single target destruction is wasted. Your purpose in teamfights is to suppress the enemy carry and separate him from the rest of his team while chewing his health away with extreme prejudice. You also have the ability to devour the enemy tank if he get's a little too bold and tries to disrupt your team. He may think twice when you've taken 60% of his health in less than 3 seconds. In addition to your strengths as an anti-carry, you are also a very strong tanky DPS champion who can soak damage and peel the enemies off your own carry. Suppressing an aggressive enemy and taking a considerable amount of his health will mean you cannot be ignored while your own carry continually pumps out autoattacks. Timing is crucial and you have multiple jobs in teamfights, use your judgment as to who to suppress and when to do so because the outcome of the fight can very often hinge on this.
You really shouldn't be the first one to initiate a teamfight, especially if your team is unprepared to pounce on the enemies because you will likely end up getting focused 5v1 and laughed at while you sit and contemplate your 60sec respawn timer. Play smart, choose wisely with your Infinite Duress target, and make sure to keep your health up by dealing lots of damage and getting lots of lifesteal. If you stick to this strategy you will be dishing tons of damage, stealing buffs left and right from enemy champs, assisting on every kill, and all with virtually no net loss of health.
Warwick and Baron Nashor:
One awesome ability that this guide will give Warwick is the power to solo Baron Nashor. Baron buff grants a significant amount of ability power and attack damage as well as most importantly massive percent-based health and mana regeneration. This buff is critical late-game for outlasting the enemy in those long-range stalemates then moving into the final push and ace that will win the game for your team or the other. Often Baron is warded by good teams, and near constant surveillance will ensure that 5 champions cannot even go near the north river without notice. One Warwick however, with Oracle's Elixir can clear those wards very quickly, feign retreat, then come back and take Baron for his team in less than 20 seconds. A truly useful ability that will always keep the opponents guessing and give your team the extra advantage to win the game. Be sure to move out from under the green pool when you see it stacking up on you because Baron's abilities will do increased damage up to ten stacks, so you should hit it a number of times, then move, and repeat, while your passive Eternal Thirst should be enough to keep you at high health while doing so.
XVII. Dangerous Enemies *in progress*
|ww||Olaf: Whether in the jungle or lane, this guy is a monster who becomes stronger as his health goes down and has a ridiculous true damage ability in Reckless Swing. But most importantly his ultimate Ragnarok can cleanse your own suppression ultimate, halting the damage and crowd control while you remain in the middle of his team. A very scary situation if they have their own forms of CC. The simple way to counter him is to keep tabs on when he most recently used his ultimate, and never use your own unless you're absolutely sure his is on cooldown.|
|ww||Gangplank: Another one of your hard counters because every champion has these for balancing purposes. His Remove Scurvy will cleanse your suppression and leave you standing right next to him while he either walks away or smacks you in the face with autoattacks and Parrrley. His own ultimate Cannon Barrage is not a fun ability to be stuck in, especially if the enemy has other AoE abilities like Galio's Idol of Durand or Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy. The take home from this is that similar to Olaf, don't suppress him unless you're sure he just recently used his own cleanse ability because without the advantage of your ultimate, you will likely be destroyed by these heavy hitters.|
|ww||Alistar: The last of the champions who can cleanse your ultimate Infinite Duress, Alistar's own ultimate Unbreakable Will can release him from your suppression, leaving you severely out of position with no lifesteal, damage, or CC. In general most Alistars will build tanky and I wouldn't recommend blowing your ultimate on the tank unless there are no other squishier targets around, but especially not this one. When you build DPS Warwick there are certain things you expect to see from your ultimate, and no damage or CC is not one of those. So to avoid having your primary damaging ability cancelled, be alert as to when Alistar uses his ultimate and only initiate when it's either on cooldown or just wore off. Unlike the two preceding champions however, he's a little less deadly once he breaks your suppression, although his own CC combined with an enemy team in good position could spell death for you after your overextension.|
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