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Udyr Build Guide by Shadow Palm

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Shadow Palm

AP/Caster Udyr: Tell me I can't

Shadow Palm Last updated on October 1, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

Guide Top

Ok, Ap Udyr. . . Wait, What the Heck?

How Could I???

Udyr was one of my first champions and remains to this day one of my favorites to play. Ever since I bought him, I have laughed at, scoffed at, and made fun of the idea of AP Udyr. That is why I set out to construct a functional and destructive Caster build for a most unlikely subject. And with how fun it is to make Chaos style builds that make you look twice, how could I resist?!?!?!?!

Why is it Possible?

Udyr has 4 abilities: Tiger Stance, Turtle Stance, Bear Stance, Phoenix Stance. These give him incredible versatility, but make it difficult for him to focus on 1 style of fighting (having 1 each of dps, defensive, utility, and caster style skills). He has only 2 skills with AP ratios (turtle with a .5, and phoenix with a .25). At first glance you would think that is really bad news for a caster, and you would be right.
However, with the right item set, you can turn his .25 conversion ratio into something that will cause fear in the hearts of your foes. Phoenix Stance has 2 parts to it, and is the reason why this build is even plausible. For 5 seconds after activation, you deal damage per second in an AoE. While active, you deal a surge of damage every 3 hits to all enemies in a cone in front of you. Are you seeing anything here? With 40% CDR, you can keep Phoenix Stance perpetually going for you, dealing LOTS of damage over time in an AoE and with enough attack speed, you can make those 3rd hits really start to hurt.

What does it take to be a Caster?

A caster generally has most of their skills with AP ratios, and usually relies on their abilities for a vast majority of their damage output. An example of someone with good AP ratios but isn't a caster is Nidalee or Evelynn.
For a good Caster, you generally need most of the following:
    A Nuke
    Crowd Control
    Sustained Magical Damage
    Multi-Target Spells/AoE
Good examples of casters with these are: Morgana, Vladimir, Veigar, Fiddlesticks, Ryze, Cassiopeia, Malzahar, Annie, and Brand. This is by now means all, but each of these has at least 4 of the 5 things listed above. Now let us compare this to Udyr:
A Nuke - - Nope

Crowd Control - - Bear Stance carries with it a stun, that can hit everybody. . . Over and Over and Over.

Escape/Shield/Heals - - With 500Ap, Turtle Stance will block about 450 dmg. Throw that on every 3.6 seconds and that is one hell of a shield.

Sustained Magical Damage - - Starting at level 9, Phoenix Stance will passively deal 100 dmg AoE as long as you keep refreshing it. It only goes up from there. Try to have something that is more sustained than permanent is.

Multi-Target Spells/AoE - - Phoenix Stance active does AoE damage, and every 3 hits, a Dragon's breath for your friends. See how they like roasted chickens.

Considering the movement speed bonus from bear stance, this build can run without boots, giving room for one more game changing Item.

Unexpected Strengths

Endgame, here is what we are looking at:
615 AP (+62 AP when you activate Phoenix Stance)
40% Cdr; 3.6 second cooldown on an ability that lasts 4-5 seconds hmmmm
Turtle Stance shield is doing 560 if you do it right after Phoenix Stance. (530 otherwise)
Passive Phoenix Stance deals about 225 dmg per second AoE.
On 3rd hit (every 1.5 seconds) of Phoenix Stance does 370 dmg in a Cone.
Every 2 seconds (or every stance change) lich bane makes you deal an average of 800 dmg on one target (then 150 dmg per hit afterwards).
Casters' biggest fear in a fight: silence. Caster Udyr doesn't care.

Let's look at some fighting figures (no lich bane proc so we can see the strength of the actual build):
Bear Stance stun. Pop Phoenix Stance and just attack. You are providing slows after the stun so you have them 3-4 seconds at least. 3 seconds = 6 attacks +1 from bear. (150 dmg each) no resistances;
In AoE: ~1400
On target: ~2450 (1050 dmg. +1400 which hit hi too)

Average non tank damage resist ~ 35% endgame =910 AoE / 1600 Target

These are some pretty good figures for a caster, wouldn't you say?

Guide Top

It's Hammer Time.

Now that we have decided that a Caster Udyr is both possible and effective, I am going to get into the nitty gritty aspect of this guide: gameplay.


Typically, as Udyr, I enjoy being able to initiate, chase, and escape with relative ease at all levels. These are not benefits shared by this squishy build. As a result, you can't very well take mid lane (being melee with no jumps makes this too dangerous), and going 1v2 is too dangerous, so your options are to either jungle, or to lane 2v2. Jungle Udyr is common, and I don't usually play it, so I will allow the reader to decide how to do that.

Laning 2v2

Ideal laning partners are people who have a nice stun or slow with entries. Prime examples are Pantheon, Leona, Alistar, Singed, etc. stacking multiple stuns on 1 or 2 targets gives you loads of damage with phoenix even early game.

I start with Turtle Stance and an Amplifying Tome so I can avoid early damage, and keep my mana up. I then grab 2 levels in Phoenix Stance and then 1 in Bear Stance and Turtle Stance. From there, R>E>W and Tiger Stance doesn't matter. This gives you the low mana costs to pop abilities constantly, keeping mana up with the Fiendish Codex and Turtle Stance. Play defensive in the beginning, and when your ally is ready to move in, pop bear, then phoenix after the stun. It is important to make sure you get lots of creep kills, so use phoenix to clear waves quickly. I find that a turtle/phoenix at lvl 9 will clear a creep wave and leave you with about the same hp as before, so clearing waves/ pushing will be really easy. The key, is to gank as much as you can once you hit level 9. This is when you have lots of damage with phoenix and are building towards Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

Team fights are where you shine. Wait until your tank initiates, and pop Turtle Stance, Bear Stance, then Flash in and Phoenix Stance. From here, pop Turtle Stance whenever your shield runs out then jump right back to Phoenix Stance. This will maximize your damage output, and keep Rylai's Crystal Scepter slow on the other team, as well as keeping a nice, hefty shield in between you and death.

The key is to remember that you are squishy and don't have lifesteal to regain lost health. So don't take damage if you can help it. Caster Udyr isn't a burst mage, but is a king in a team fight, so stick with your allies. You can turn the tide of a fight almost as effectively as a fiddlesticks ult, but if you get into a tight spot, you are SOL as far as you are concerned. Play smart, and you will rack up kills and assists.

pushing lanes

as AP udyr, you can push lanes like a beast. Phoenix makes quick work of any creep wave, especially when your AP more than doubles it's damage, and with lich bane, you can push towers like crazy. Just remember that Phoenix Stance active gives bonus AD as well so you will hit harder even against towers.

Because a large amount of your damage comes from Phoenix Stance procs, attack speed is needed. This also helps you push hard.

Guide Top

I don't jungle, but you can.

If you want to Jungle with this build, it works. (just like jungling with standard phoenix udyr). Just look at any of the jungle guides. You may need to grab razers to help in the jungle, and sell them later, but I personally don't prefer to jungle with this build. (sorry, I just don't)

Guide Top


Core Build

The basis of what you want is given from Nashor's Tooth, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Lich Bane. This will give you additional sustained damage through Lich Bane, slows with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, and the CDR from Nashor's Tooth, as well as mana, regen, attack speed, and a nice chunk of AP to top it off.

Supplemental items

Malady gives a little AP, and some MPEN, but most of all a large attack speed boost as well. for only 1800gp this is really nice and easy to grab.

Guinsoo's Rageblade this gives you atk dmg, ap, and attack speed. because you attack alot, and pop stances constantly, you keep the stacks up, and keep the damage flowing.

Rabadon's Deathcap since you are grabbing AP, this is just a cherry on top. Get ALL the Ability Power!

Build Order

I start building straight for Fiendish Codex, and then Stinger. From there, I get Sheen for the constant procs, then build straight for Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
After this, I finish Lich Bane, then grab the recipe for Nashor's Tooth. From here, I go straight for either Guinsoo's Rageblade or Malady (which ever I need more). Grabbing Rabadon's Deathcap when I just need damage, and nothing else (usually last).

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Summoner Spells

The summoner skills I take are Flash and Teleport. Teleport allows you to get to where you need to go easily throughout the game, and makes leaving lane and jumping right back into the fight really easy. Flash is essential as it gives you a way to jump into the middle of a fight, guns-a-blazin (or wings-a-blazin if you prefer. . . you know? cuz it's a phoenix? nevermind. . .). Anyway, popping Turtle Stance then Bear Stance, Flash in and stun then throw Phoenix Stance is a great way to pursue a kill, or join a team fight. You get there with lots of initial damage, a shield to soak up punishment, and turtle is already off CD when you get in there (nifty, huh?) so Flash is the way to go IMO.

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I take standard caster 9/0/21 masteries, for a nice 9% CDR which gets you to perma stance changing (cd on stances < 5 seconds) and just Util stuff to make you able to use flash more etc.

Guide Top


In it's execution, Caster Udyr is simple, but effective. Play smart, and you can expect to destroy the enemy team. And while they are wallowing in their defeat at the hands of a melee caster, you can politely inform them: *Tea-bag*

Enjoy, Try it (I would suggest in a custom first so you can get the hang of it, as it is really weird to play at first), and rate!

Guide Top

Additional Information

Why not Sunfire cape?

A very valid question was asked in the comments, and I will post it here: (and thank you Downsite for asking it)

Downsite wrote:

Somebody may ask why not simply buy an Sunfire Cape?
What would U answer

First, thank you for the question, it is very valid.
Here is my answer:

Sunfire Cape gives 35 magic damage a second. in order to equal this with the Phoenix Stance passive, you would need 140 ap.
as Guinsoo's Rageblade is least necessary item, it would be the most likely one to swap out. So let's compare.

Stats of Sunfire Cape per second-->
+35 AoE
+450 HP
+45 Armor
Stats of Guinsoo's Rageblade per second--> 93*1.3 = 120 AP so:
+30 AoE
+35 per hit on target
+30 AoE every third attack (1 1/2 seconds)
+32% atk speed
+120 Dmg on Lich Bane procs
+60 Shield on Turtle Stance
Offensively, Guinsoo's Rageblade is better. The passive dmg/s isn't as good (barely), but the overall damage is much greater.
Defensively, there isn't as much, but the constant bonus to Turtle Stance is nice.

The choice in the end is yours, but I prefer to run without Sunfire Cape. It is a valid item though, adding a little bit more survivability, at the cost of offensive stats.

No Boots?

Vieke wrote:

Ermm.. I read the guide, and one thing really stood out, which blew the idea of AP Udyr (or atleast this version) out of my head. I'll citate: "Considering the movement speed bonus from bear stance, this build can run without boots, giving room for one more game changing Item."
I mean really? no boots?
No downvote though

In a build where I want to stack ap and attack speed, boots can be a detriment. Generally, Udyr's Bear Stance allows him to chase almost anyone, with it's movement speed boost matching that of Ghost at lvl 5. The ability to perpetually keep the buff from Bear Stance along with the 3x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, gives around the same movement speed as anyone else with tier 2 boots (if not a little more). Therefore, because of this, I do not NEED boots, and can instead get a more useful item which will improve the fighting capabilities of the build instead.

And no, I am not mad. Thank you for the comment.