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Warwick Build Guide by RockingGeckoProductions

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League of Legends Build Guide Author RockingGeckoProductions

Breaking the Chains - Warwick Anti-Mid

RockingGeckoProductions Last updated on December 20, 2012
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Jungle Role
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Who Are You?

Hello everyone, my name is DMMike. I've been playing League of Legends for about 13 months now, so I would not call myself experienced at all, but I have a firm grasp on the mechanics, champions, and strategies of the game. I am the leader of a ranked team called LoLBroeken with which we practice and play on a weekly basis, and I am their jungler. I also have a youtube channel called RockingGeckoProductions, which you can find here, and we currently in the process of starting streaming sessions over at twitch.

I recently discovered a key tactic to win when fighting lower-level opponents (1100-1300 ELO): Do something unexpected. That's what brought me to this idea, and this guide is the first one I write in a series called "Breaking The Chains; Disrupting The Meta".

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A current trend is the anti-mid; picking a character like Lee Sin, Jax, or Gangplank who can shut down an enemy mid by zoning them or killing them. These are fairly risky picks which work not only because of how the champions work, but also because players don't know what to do with weird tactics.

In line with this I present to you MidWick. I don't mean AP Warwick, or even Hybrid Warwick. What I mean is an anti-carry: you outlane the enemy because they can't kill you.

Does it work, you ask? Well, it is risky, but if you pay attention and know what you're doing, you can destroy the enemy AP Mid.

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When To Pick MidWick

Having said that, when do you pick Warwick? In general if you are an early pick he is a safe bet: people will generally assume you'll go either toplane or jungle, so they cannot really counter you. However, you of course have to match Warwick into your team composition as well. Since you will be lacking Magic Damage with a Warwick mid you'll need a teammate to compensate for it, or the enemy can just stack Armor to resist your team.

MidWick works exceptionally well against gank or assassin characters since he can survive their bursts and make sure they never have the opportunity to get out of lane to gank. However, you need to be weary of characters like Fizz who can easily apply Grievous Wounds, since this will ruin half of your effectiveness: your sustain. Because of his massive sustain, though, he is also quite good against poke-champions.

Because MidWick focuses on Magic Resist and sustaining through bursts and poke, he's a bad pick against AD characters.

Good Against

Bad Against

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Pros / Cons

    Great sustain
    Safe pick
    Even if you fail, you have utility
    Great counter to many mids
    Great single target damage
    Before your first back you are squishy
    You lack Magic Damage mid
    Quite Mana-intensive
    Terrible pushing power

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Masteries, Runes, and Spells


You want to shut down the enemy AP carry not by outbursting them, but simply by outlasting them. For that, you need a lot of defenses, specifically MR and Health. Furthermore, you still want to farm up to the best of your abilities. That is why I chose these masteries: the 9 points in the first tier of Offense give you last-hitting powers and the ability to use your Hungering Strike a bit more often earlygame (which you will need to survive). The 21 points in Defense are all tailored towards surviving poke from both basic attacks and abilities.



Rune-wise you should simply get some MR blues, and the rest is really up to what you want. I find that getting some AD and Armor will help you with your poke, zoning, and surviving the laning phase and ganks. Flat MR blues along with a Null-Magic Mantle will give you a starting MR of 69, which means you will get 41% damage reduction from all spells from level 1 on.

The reason I take flat AD over hybrid penetration runes is that you want to press your advantage early on. AD will simply give you a stronger earlygame than penetration will, and you need every little edge you can get to stop the enemy carry from overtaking you.

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage


You need Flash for both engages and disengages. You might want to Flash over a Caitlyn trap to jump on her using Infinite Duress, you might be able to sneak up on someone by Flash-ulting. You can use it to dodge crowd control that will kill you when you get ganked. Exhaust just complements the rest of your build so well since it'll reduce the little damage the enemy already does by a further 30%.

Here are some other options you might consider, and why I think you should not pick them.

You are not an offensive mid character. While it may help you pick up a kill or two, you will not have the safety of Exhaust when you get ganked. Since you have no natural escapes, Exhaust is a preferred spell over Ignite because you can use it both offensively and defensively.

If you want to outlast the enemy mid, what's better than Heal? Well, it may help you survive a single burst, but your sustain is already massive from Hungering Strike and Eternal Thirst. While the spell itself might be useful, it doesn't really complement your kit all that well.

There's no denying that Barrier is a powerful and useful spell, but I have the same problems with this spell as I have with Heal. It does not compliment your kit since it just gives you some extra effective HP. If you want one either way, pick Barrier over Heal.

The difference between Ghost and Flash is mostly in its uses. If used as an escape, Ghost is better if they have no CC and you have no walls to jump over. For engage, Flash simply puts you within range quicker as you don't have to run through enemy lines. Flash works better with Warwick's kit.

Teleport would be extremely useful for MidWick, but has the same problem it has with almost any characters: You can't really miss your Flash and Exhaust. The benefits of being able to teleport anywhere unto the map simply don't give you a bigger advantage than suppressing the enemy carry does.

If you're dying to the enemy AP carry mid or to ganks, then Revive simply won't save you. The point of MidWick, and why he is pretty risky, is that if your enemy starts snowballing there will be little you can do to stop them. You can't let them do that, so Revive simply doesn't have a use.

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Your Role

Before we go into how to play MidWick, let's go into what your role is in the team. You are the anti-mid, and your role is to make sure that the enemy AP Carry is shut down. This is especially useful if the enemy's picked a champion mid that is only useful when fed, like a Katarina or LeBlanc. If you manage to shut those characters down, then you will effectively be fighting 5v4. You will do this by constantly pressuring the midlane and by being a general nuisance to the enemy.

Your role is not to get kills; it's to keep the enemy from making kills. Also, as always when you're playing Warwick, you're in charge of keeping jungle control, especially regarding Baron and Dragon, since you can so easily solo them. This makes you scary for the enemy at any point in the game when you're missing: you might be taking a buff. If your team can pressure the enemy and keep them locked down, you can easily take the objectives.

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The first couple of levels will be dangerous; until you get some regen or resist you'll be at a slight disadvantage. However, if you manage to get a Crystalline Flask and a Spirit Visage you'll be almost unkillable if the enemy hasn't been fed yet. The sustain from your autoattacks and Hungering Strike will allow you to poke the enemy champion and stay in lane for as long as you like.

Keep a very close eye on your mana, since it might as well be called mana- Hungering Strike (HA). If you are having lots of mana problems get your Glacial Shroud early on. The extra mana, CDR, and Armor should all help you both in lane and teamfights. Also, if you have a nice jungler you might get Blue Buff, but just be aware that Crest of the Ancient Golem scales your mana regen on your maximum mana, which is pretty low to begin with, so you won't get burst amounts of mana.

Your goals for the earlygame phase should be to shut down the enemy scaling and to get the following items:

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Late earlygame to midgame your focus should be on harassing and zoning the enemy AP Mid, as well as keeping jungle and objective control. Take Dragon whenever you can: between you and the jungler it should go down without any problems. Be a nice guy and buy some Sight Wards for the entrances of the jungle so your jungler can do whatever he wants. You're not that gold hungry anyway. If you can go without blue buff, do so. MidWick is not about dominating his lane, he's about giving a global advantage, and you don't necessarily need kills in order to do that. That doesn't of course mean that you shouldn't get blue buff if you're having mana problems or need the CDR, it just means that you should see if you could do without.

By now your sustain and defenses are high enough to continually zone the enemy, assuming they didn't get kills. Basic attacks and Hungering Strike should be able to keep the enemy low, and once they fall below 50% your passive should be enough to start chasing the enemy down. Don't be afraid to towerdive if you have Infinite Duress and Hungering Strike up if you think you can burst the enemy down: the only way you won't survive that is if you were too low anyway or if they have massive crowd control.

At the end of midgame you should have such an advantage that the enemy AP won't do any damage to you. If not, then check their build since they probably got a ton of Magic Pen items. If that's the case, go for some health items maybe.

Your goal should be able to have the following items, or at least most of their components:

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Once the laning phase is completely over and everyone starts roaming and teaming up, your job will be to shut down the enemy carries. If you did your job, then the enemy AP should not be much of a threat, so focus on the enemy AD. Wait until they use their crowd control and then go in on the carry with Infinite Duress. If your team initiates at the same time you should be able to sufficiently bring the enemy carry down before the real fight erupts.

Dragon should still be a priority, but now Baron also comes into the picture. If you have your midgame items you should be able to easily take on Baron by yourself, so let your team pressure the enemy while you shake your fists at the big purple monster (no, that's not a euphemism). If they come for you you can simply fight for Baron, and since he shouldn't be able to damage you more than you can heal up, you should be at full health. If they don't come for you you can simply take Baron. Just remember to clear any wards so they cannot snipe the thing.

You still have poor pushing powers, but your sustain is still amazing. Don't forget that your Blade of the Ruined King can drain movement speed, so if you want to get within range of the enemy carry use it to drain the fastest champion nearby. You will also be able to take down towers easily, so you can splitpush while your team keeps them busy.

Now that you have your four core items, namely Mercury's Treads, Spirit Visage, Wit's End, and Blade of the Ruined King, you can choose what to do with your last two slots. What you pick should depend on what you need, of course:

Hextech Gunblade provides you with everything you need, but I can still not wholeheartedly recommend it. Only get this item if you're really far ahead, because it is fairly expensive for the utility it offers.

This item is good in two situations: 1. You have a Magic Damage heavy teamcomp and you want to shred the enemy's Magic Resist, or 2. You have also built Hextech Gunblade. If you have not build the blade, the item becomes much weaker because it scales on AP.

Wriggle's Lantern will give you even better buff control and will allow you to quickly take your objectives. Good if the enemy is disorganized since you will simply have the buff down before the enemy comes close.

The increased damage will help early on, so if you want to build this item, build Sheen early on and finish it later. The slow remains powerful, but the damage is only really good early on.

There should be no reason for you to get this: the extra magic resist is wasted on the high amount you already have, and the enemy AP carry is supposed to be shut down by you anyway.

Getting Spirit of the Ancient Golem will give you buff control, health, and tenacity. If you need tankiness, then this is a great item, especially since the tenacity means you can get your Boots of Mobility with Enchantment: Alacrity

This option is good if nobody else in your team has it. Even though you don't deal that much damage on your own, the stats are overall good on Warwick. The Cooldown Reduction is overkill at this point, though.

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Overall Tips

Especially if you're facing someone like Katarina who needs to use AOE attacks to actually poke you, don't be afraid to autoattack creeps to get your health back. You are not going to push the lane, and once you do start pushing the lane the game will have reached a point where you want to do that anyway since you want to keep the enemy mid mid.

Should you get ganked, take a quick look at the enemy's health and resistances: if you can land a Hungering Strike to get someone low enough to trigger Blood Scent, hit them. The extra movement speed will probably help you more than the running itself would have done, so it is usually worth it to go in for the poke.

Don't forget to ward. Unless the enemy is low on health (in which case you can see them coming anyway), you don't have any escapes. Something you could also do is not have your Blood Scent on so the enemy won't know when they trigger it. If they come into your lane with missing health, simply turn it on and run away.

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    Edited and clarified items
    Change scaling MR to flat
    Added stats
    Started pimping the guide
    Expanded on Runes/Masteries/Spells
    Revamped late-game items
    Added a personal introduction