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Hecarim Build Guide by Downmagic

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.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Downmagic

AP Hecarim Viable

Downmagic Last updated on May 1, 2012
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello to everyone reading my guide. I have tried Hecarim many different ways since he has come out and never really felt that he was a very strong champion. Compared to Fiora or Nautilus, Hecarim's sustain and early game was really weak. That was until I started playing Hecarim as an AP Mid Champ. I'm not claiming that this build will work at top Elos, but it is definitely a viable build to make Hecarim a scary AP carry in normal games. (Note I will slowly upgrade this guide if it gains popularity with more pictures and possibly videos. All feed back will be considered when updating the page).

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Pros / Cons

-Massive burst damage from R + W
-Tanky for an AP Carry
-Good sustain in lane
-AMAZING maneuverability
-Ability to avoid ganks can make up for any problems you may have with warding

-High cool downs on spells
-Aoe can cause lane to be pushed making ganking harder
-Your team may be dumbfounded by how awesome you are, or refuse to let a hecarim go mid
-Can have early mana issues if going on the offensive too much

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Hecarim's Abilities

Hecarim the mighty AP nuke presents to you his following abilities

Warpath: This is Hecarim's passive. For our AP purposes, the strength of this is the ignored unit collision. This means no more tripping over minions when attempting to gank or getting ganked!

Rampage:(q) This spell causes hecarim to strike out at anyone within a close range of hecarim. It has a very low cooldown. The more you cast it, the lower the cooldown gets. For our AP purposes, this will mainly be used to help proc Lichbane to get the extra damage boost!

Spirit of Dread:(w)This will be your main spell as an AP Hecarim. This spell creates a circle that surrounds Hecarim. It will deal strong aoe damage which will also heal Hecarim for 10-30% of the damage dealt. Note that there is a healing cap for minion's, therefore learn to keep enemy champs in it as much as possible for maximum life gaining/harass. Mastering keeping enemy champions within range of this spell is essential to mastering this build.

Devastating Charge:(e) This spell increases Hecarim's speed over time. The main use as an AP is the maneuverability this will provide to escape/engage ganks. Use this spell when ever going back to the well or coming alive for death. It will help get you back to lane. Note that having to use Hecarim's Ultimate or Ghost to escape ganks can cause problems. Try to keep this spell off cooldown unless needed. Also Hecarim can use this ability to smash an enemy champion towards your team or away from there tower.

Onslaught of Shadows:(r) This spell is Hecarim's bread and butter. It has a very large range and allows Hecarim to engage fights from a far distance. This spell has two effects.
  • Casting it will cause riders to run through the length of the Ultimate and deal initial damage
  • Hecarim will dive towards where ever the circle in the ultimate is. When landing he will deal bonus damage and fear all nearby champions. Always attempt to get as many champions within that circle as possible for maximum damage.

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The following masteries shouldn't be too much of a surprise for AP mid champs. I will help clarify a few of my choices on the utility tree though.

Improved Recall I take this over Summoner's Insight As this build does not use flash. If you decide to take Flash, take Summoner's Insight instead.

Meditation I take this over Swiftness. This may seem surprising, but remember we are not focusing on Hecarim's passive AD from speed as an Ap champ. Hecarim can have early mana issues and this mastery choice helps to alleviate that problem.

Runic Affinity. Due to Hecarim's high CD's, you will be wanting a blue buff as often as possible. Do to your close range and your Rampage getting red buff isn't bad either. However always leave red buff for your AD champs. I would only take red if it is from the enemy's jungle and none of my AD champs are around.

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Summoner Spells

There are several choices you have for summoner spells, but my main choice would be

: Adds to Hecarim's passive, which as an AP isn't as important, but any extra damage helps. The stronger benefit comes from being able to gank/join team fights from a far distance in a short amount of time. With this standard build, you can reach 715 movement speed by casting ghost and Devastating Charge and watch hecarim zoom across the map. With hecraims Devastating Charge you dont often find yourself in a position where you will die, even if you do get ganked you can cast ghost and will most likely be fine. Worst case scenario you can cast your ult to get away (Remember your Ult has a long cool down so this is very undesirable).

: Hecarim has a scarey amount of burst damage, ignite ensures that the enemy cant heal through it, as well as hecrims Spirit of Dread is a damage over time so they work together. Solid Ap Mid spell always.

Other options for mid would be
: I think with hecarim getting his Devastating Charge at level 2, being ganked shouldn't be a problem. If you need flash you are most likley just over extending yourself or putting your spells on CD too often. Ghost is a superior choice and allows you to leave lane in a hurry.

: There is a lot of reasons that Hecarim might need to leave lane. Its a quick and easy way to get back and keep on CS'ing. In top lane I would recommend this over ghost, however Hecarims Spirit of Dread and Q can push a lane and then he can dash back to lane pretty quickly with his Devastating Charge. This spell is a valid choice if you are having issues with sustainability.

I would not recommend any other summoner spells for Hecarim.

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Skill Sequence

The skill sequence at first glance can seem confusing.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

To give you an idea of what kind of damage Hecarim will be doing we will assume he is at max level + full build.
The grand total amount of damage is 3220

I know this dosen't take armor into account, but that is 3220 damage over the maximum period of 4 seconds (This is only taking into account 1 proc of lich bane as well) The majority of the damage is also AOE, so this is not limited to one champion, while nuking the enemy's AP Carry you can effectively take out half the life of surrounding champions.

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Starting Items:
Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion. Even though Hecarim's W provides sustain, you will be facing a lot of ranged champions who can poke while you CS. The health pots along with W will ensure you don't have to leave lane and can keep up your CS.

The first two Items I would consider mandatory regardless of what build you want.

Sorcerer's ShoesHecarim's greatest strength as an AP mid is his maneuverability. Obtaining Boots first helps him with this. The magic penetration will also provide more damage for your AP build.

Lich BaneThe low CD on his Q along with Lich Bane gives a very nice dps boost ( and speed boost which helps keep enemies within Hecarims Spirit of Dread).

After these two items your selection starts to vary depending on circumstances.

Rabadon's Deathcap I put rabadon's cap 3rd as an ideal choice. The earlier boost to Hecrim's AP the better. However it is an expensive item and you may need to obtain MR or Magic pen earlier, in order to counter the enemy.

Deathfire Grasp I build this Item for two reasons. 1) The CD reduction helps immensly on Hecarims high CD Ult. Second his ult will throw him directly ontop of the enemy and then fear them. IF there is two enemy champions, you can Onslaught of Shadows Into them, deathfire grasp your secondary target, and then Spirit of Dread and q to finish them off in the blink of an eye. When I go in for a kill with hecarim, the fight dosent usualy last more then 3 seconds. I would recommend if your team is engaging in a lot of team fights, to push this item ahead of Rabadons, or atleast build Fiendish Codex and build it into Deathfire later. If you are not comfortable using item abilities, then you can also upgrade Fiendish Codex into Morello's Evil Tome

Void Staff The fith item is Magic Pen as it will help you cut through enemy resistance. Hecrim is more suited to taking out enemy AP carries, but the more group damage the better.

The last slot can be used to build an item to help keep Hecarim alive longer if he is getting focused. Zhonya's Hourglass Guardian Angel Banshee's Veil or Quicksilver Sash are all acceptable items.

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This is prob the trickiest part of playing AP Hecrim.

  • His Spirit of Dread will drain life from minions, but it also drains from champions. Learning position of this spell is essential for sustaining with Hecarim
  • Goal in lane should be to focus on CS unless an enemy champ is attempting to harrass you
  • Hecarim excels at counter harassing. You gain life while also trading damage. This will make a lot of champions think twice before getting within your Spirit of Dread range
  • if the enemy starts to harass you, run away. Come back and Spirit of Dread keeping the enemy champ at max range (But still within his Spirit of Dread) and as much minions as possible and then retreat. This will give you the most damage and life back.
  • If the enemy engages you i would fight for 2 seconds after casting Spirit of Dread and then use the last 2 seconds of it to run away
  • Hecrim will not do enough damage until you get Sheen or even possibly Lich Bane to win a 1v1 without his ult Instead focus on trying to slowly harass enemy champs out of lane with Spirit of Dread
  • Hecarim can be mana consuming if you are using too many spells, therefore i recommend using Spirit of Dread as your only spell, meleeing as much as possible, and using Devastating Charge only to escape ganks.
  • Hecarim becomes more vunerable when his Devastating Charge is on cooldown

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Killing Enemy Champs after Lichbane and Level 6:

This is where I start to enjoy hecarim the most. With Hecarim's Devastating Chargeand Ghost I can gank my own lane. For example if I am on purple side, I can head towards my blue, cast Devastating Charge and Ghost and come out of there jungle(near wraiths) in aproximately 3 seconds , bash the enemy champ away from there tower, Onslaught of Shadows them (which fears them) Spirit of Dread and q + melee strike(lich bane) + Ignite to get a very fast and easy kill. They will not expect you comming out of there jungle so fast. The benefit as well is when you dive them and cast your Spirit of Dread, you are gaining life while dealing this immensive amount of damage.

Now when your not ganking your own lane I would recommend saving your Devastating Charge until after you Onslaught of Shadows + Spirit of Dread in. This way you gain the speed boost to ensure the enemy stays within your Spirit of Dread range as long as possible. Note that also with Hecrim's Spirit of Dread he is easily able to push a minion wave fast, If you do this you can Devastating Charge out of your lane to get to another lane quickly. Also if your Ghost is up, you can fly through sight wards and Onslaught of Shadows in before the enemy champs have a chance to respond. In a game with a Warwick Jungler, I was able to provid our team with ganks more often then our jungler was, without losing any CS.

Last recommendations is use Hecarim to target Carrys, your Onslaught of Shadows will fear any nearby champions if used right, and you will kill the carry so fast that they wont have time to respond at all. End this by using Devastating Charge to escape and you can very well take out there carry when there is 3 of them sitting there and they wont be able to catch or kill you. In team fights, Hecarim is exceptional in taking out an enemy champion who pokes out a little bit too far. If they enter range of your Onslaught of Shadows for 1 second, that can often be enough time to get an easy kill and escape back to your team.

In team fights use your Devastating Charge To escape until your Spirit of Dread comes back off CD and then you can charge back into the fight with the rest of your team. Hecrims main burst damage is with his Ultimate and Spirit of Dread, after that you are a sitting duck, so its best to escape and let your team take a bit of the bruising before you come back in with your Spirit of Dread and then use Q to proc your lichbane.

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Now these results don't give the most accurate reflection on how well it was working. I was leading both teams in every game. The only problem is my other lanes were feeding like madmen. I even had 1 game where our Evelynn ended the game with around 20 cs. I will update this once I have had a chance to play more games.

Update on further results