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Hecarim Build Guide by Morr33d

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Morr33d

Cloppity clop, I dominate Top!

Morr33d Last updated on November 4, 2012
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Hecarim vs. AD


Hecarim vs. AP

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: 19

Honor Guard

Defense: 11

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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The way of dominating top with mighty Pony of Doom!

Thanks to Searz for the awesome guide format! You can find it here.
Welcome to my (Hecarim) CUTE PONY OF DESTRUCTION guide. I'm known as Morr33d on EUNE. First of all, I'm not a pro player, I'm hovering around 1500 ELO bouncing up and down and I play toplane in Mobafire Mercenaries. I've been abusing Pony a lot lately - he's beast both in ranked and normal games since people have generally no idea how to play against him and they assume he's going to jungle most of the time. Even pro players like Saintvicious, HotShotGG and Voyboy are starting to realize his powers and dominate with him on 2k+ ELO.

Hecarim has huge sustain in lane and great sustained damage once he gets his Glacial Shroud. In the late game his W heals monstrous amount of health, you heal about 1000 hp throughout the fight, and this amount is further amplified by your resistances, this makes Hecarim very good damage soaker. Hecarim is very potent solo top champion who is sharing his role with Malphite as a counterpick to autoattack based champions, packing the same amount of CC while having a lot more sustain and DPS.
WARNING: This is by no means short guide, so be prepared for throughout analyses and wall of texts!

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Pros / Cons



+ Very tanky in mid/late game
+ Great sustained DPS
+ Great sustain thanks to his W
+ One of the best initiation ult
filler filler


- Farm reliant
- Not so strong against AP
- Pushes the lane with Q
- People don't love him enough :/

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Runes for Solo Top

Main rune set

Greater Mark of Strength
As Hecarim is an AD tanky DPS, he definitely wants to run these marks to help his early game damage and lasthitting as well.

Greater Seal of Resilience
As for any solo top champion, you want to run armor seals, as they help you with mitigating the damage dealt by both champions and creeps, even enabling to freeze the lane without losing more than 50 health per wave with the 19/11/0 masteries.
Greater Glyph of Shielding
As Hecarim should be mainly used against AD champions, we don't need the early magic resistance, although it's possible to swap these for Greater Glyph of Magic Resist while facing champions that packs mixed damage early game ( Jax).

Greater Quintessence of Swiftness
This one should be obvious, as mobility is the key factor nowadays and your passive scales out of movements speed. Coupled with boots of speed as your first item it it will provide you roughly +7 AD which is on par with AD quints.

Other runes worth considering

These are some runes that can be worth considering, though as long you pick Hecarim against AD top you should stick to the main rune set.
Greater Mark of Desolation Greater Mark of Desolation
These marks can be used as well since Hecarim's Rampage deals physical damage, but Greater Mark of Attack Damage are prefered since they help you the same in dueling and they enhance your lasthitting as well.

Greater Quintessence of Strength
These runes are solid replacement for movement quints, although I still prefer higher mobility over about +4 damage difference early game.
_____ Greater Glyph of Warding
As I already mentioned, Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is really good choice against AP/hybrid characters.

Greater Quintessence of Warding
These ones are the option when you are forced to lane against AP character - although I would avoid using Hecarim against AP top, not because he can't handle such a lane, but more because he shines much more in other roles. When somebody picks AP character after you lock Heca, you can try to get jungle and let your teammates counterpick.

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These are the go-to masteries for solo top, the 19/11/0 setup also known as Rincent masteries (named after Rincent who popularized this setup in his Kayle guide) which I slightly modified for Hecarim. Since our cute pony deals nice mix of AD+AP damage (AA+Q is physical damage, W+R is magical) and scales really good with CDR, going 19/11/0 instead of 9/21/0 (Taking Armor penetration in offense) is the option.

These one sacrifice damage for mana and health regeneration + reduced CD on flash. This is the only setup comparable to 19/11/0, but I think the benefits from Vigor and Meditation get irrelevant too quickly to choose this setup over the first one.

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Summoner Spells

Although it got nerfed, Flash is still one of the best summoners spells available on Summoners rift. Some may argue about Ghost being better, while this may be true later into game when you are tanky enough to chase for long time and your passive finally starts to give you AD from movement speed, Flash is better for getting out of sticky situation quicker (like towerdiving pre-9) and of course, YOU CAN FLASH OVAH DA WALLZ! CAN YOUR GHOST DO THIS? HMMM? HMM? Not to say you got built-in ghost in your Devastating Charge.

Ignite+Flash is probably the most used combo on top, since it provides extra damage to win the fights and because top lane is known to snowball really hard, having this extra damage by your side can change the favours really quickly.

In organized games, post-six Hecarim teleporting on bottom lane can quickly score 1-2 kills with Devastating Charge + Onslaught of Shadows. Not reccomended in SoloQ, since you sacrifice Ignite which is great tool for lane domination and you can't rely on your mid/jungler keeping your lane so your tower doesn't get destroyed while you are trying to get back there.

For those of you who prefer Ghost over Flash. Ghost is really good on Hecarim considering his passive giving AD out of bonus movement speed.

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Some people were sad about this passive, complaining that it doesn't give enough AD etc. Well, to be honest, this passive is actually really good. It provides you with ability to walk through creeps and champions (No more OMGWTFCREEPBLOCKOMFGIDIED while you dive), which would be really good alone, but this innate offers AD as well! When starting with boots + 4 potions, you get +7 starting AD, which is as much as you would get from AD quints, and late game when you have your Trinity Force and Boots 2, you will get 30+ AD from your movement speed alone, which is worth more than 1100 Gold.

Tips and tricks:
  • Nothing too spectacular about using this passive, although you can try this fun tactic by SivHD (Reverse Support Hecarim)


Rampage is a great source of sustained AoE DPS and has 0 seconds cast time, what means you can cast it while running without interrupting! The not-so-nice part about this skill is you need to get 2 Rampage stacks to get your cooldown reduced to 2 seconds (which can and should be reduced even more by CDR), but it's still awesome! The low cooldown on this skill makes it an excellent way to proc Sheen and because it has lowered damage against minions, you don't have to be afraid too much about pushing your lane, especially on lower ranks of this skill.

Tips and tricks:
  • Try to obtain those 2 Rampage stacks prior trading in lane - your DPS will be almost doubled.
  • It costs barely any mana and you can spam it all day long after you get your core, so don't be afraid to spam your Q!,
  • Your Q should proc Sheen everytime it's off cooldown, so try to sneak up autoattack after each Q cast.

Spirit of Dread

Spirit of Dread is yet another source of AoE damage and offers sustain as well. This ability greatly enhances your dueling capabilities. On early levels (~ level 6) you heal for about 70-100 health every time you pop this spell while surrounded by minions and enemy champion. This ability is what makes you amazing soak in late game - it heals for 30% of EVERY damage dealt to your enemies in AoE (AD carry just critted for 660? Here's 200 health on plate served warm with pony meat!).

Tips and tricks:
  • Try to get as much enemies as you can get into AoE. Sometimes it may be wise to use W prior to jumping in with your ultimate.
  • Spirit Visage enhances the amount of healing done by this ability while providing CDR, Health and MR, this item is a really good option for mid-late game when you are forced to tank a little more.

Devastating Charge

This spell is mainly utility stuff - So I get one point early and max it last. This spell is capable of delivering huge burst, so you may want to max this over Spirit of Dread if you absolutely dominate your lane and want bigger burst.
Tips and tricks:
  • Try to use this right after you arive from your ulti and knock the squishy even further to your team.
  • It does proc Sheen and deals damage to turrets, so it can do huge damage to turrets similar to Nasus Siphoning Strike.

Onslaught of Shadows

One of the best, if not the best AoE initiation ultimate ability. It's basically Malphite's Unstoppable Force, but with Flee (similar to Fear) instead of Knock up and stun. This spell has 1.2 AP ratio, so combined with Spirit of Dreads 0.8 ratio it's not that bad to consider Hextech Gunblade as luxury item.

Tips and tricks:
  • Don't be afraid to use this spell as an escape mechanism - you can jump over the walls with ease and you are immune to CC while travelling.
  • Try to position the circular part behind the target you want to isolate - characters affected by Flee run exactly away from the champion, unlike fear, so you can easily split their AD/AP carry from the rest of the team.

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Skill Sequence

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

This is the most optimal solo top skill order - even though you must still react to the game and change your build accordingly. It provides the balance between the damage and sustain and you can dive with ease once you hit level 6. You shouldn't really deviate from this build, unless you are either really behind or ahead.

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

This build is good when you are severely set behind and you just need to farm up the lane - I suggest running triple gold per 5 ( Philosopher's Stone, Heart of Gold and Avarice Blade) and hope the game will drag over 35 minutes. You can use it also against AP opponent who knows what he's doing and is denying you with everything possible.

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

This build maximizes the burst potential of Hecarim - I suggest using this only if you are dominating lane by like 20 CS and 2 kills before 10 minutes, because you sacrifice all your sustain for damage, and even then, it's very risky.

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Item build

This is the general build for early game against AD, you should basically win the lane after obtaining these items if you were even to this point. You can also buy one or two Doran's Blade, but I feel that Chain Vest helps you dominate the trades way more that Doran's Blade. Regarding the boots: Tabi's are of course really viable choice and I'd suggest to build them, but lategame you want Mercury Treads and if it's possible, it's better to obtain them during the lanephase than selling Tabi's to buy them later in the game.

Item Sequence

Health Potion

Health Potion

Health Potion


Mercury's Treads
This is the build you should opt for if you are forced to lane against AP - don't be afraid to throw in one or two Doran's Blade here as well if you feel like you can take over the lane. 20 AD, 160 Health and 6% lifesteal is no joke early game. As you build enough resistances, you should invest into Bilgewater Cutlass, as it helps you chasing those pesky ranged ******* and lifesteal (and sustain generally) is the way to go against AP when you reach that point where they can't burst.

Starting items

+ 3x
Boots of speedHealth Potion
There's no other item you want ever start on with Hecarim than Boots of Speed. Providing you with AD, +50 movement speed and 450 health in potions to spare this is by far the best starting set of items that any top laner can buy.

The absolute core

Glacial Shroud+Sheen+Mercury's Treads
Those are the items which are the absolute must and you will eventually get them every game, no matter what. They provide you with the mix of resistances, CDR, damage and a lot of mana so you can abuse your Rampage.

Core extension

Frozen Heart+Trinity Force+Maw of Malmortius
After obtaining these three items, you will be steamrolling tank of death stomping over your enemies with ease. But don't expect to finish this build most of the time since it's SO DAMN expensive.

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Reasoning behind the items and additional item choices

Frozen Heart
I believe this item is the only and absolute core on Hecarim. The reason is simple: this nice little jewel offers you everything you may possibly want.
The mana you need to spam your Q? Check.
The armor to dominate top? Check!
Cooldown reduction so you can spam your Q even more? Check!
Seriously, Frozen Heart can easily aspire for the best item in the League (read this article by DiffTheEnder from Why Frozen Heart is the best item in the game? to an idea about how awesome is this item).
Combined with your already amazing anticarry capabilities you just destroy all the autoattack based champions ( Jax, Tryndamere, Fiora and basically any AD carry maybe except Urgot).

Trinity Force
Trinity force is the "Jack of all trades, Master of none". Despite this, you are one of the few champions that utilize every aspect of this item to it's fullest. AD, +% Movement speed and mana should be obvious. The phage proc helps you with chasing as you already have great mobility, sheen proc adds a lot of damage coupled with your Q and AP is utilized by crazy ratios on your W and R.
All in all, Trinity Force is the second big item you want to get almost every game.

Maw of Malmortius
Maw of Malmortius is the last of the core extension items, as it rounds up your overall tankyness with magic resistance while providing a lot of punch. As a bonus, you can utilize the passive really well thanks to your W as you can be low enough and still fight. The shield is awesome addition to your W as well, helping to survive huge burst which you can heal up later.

Hextech Gunblade
Hextech gunblade is really good luxury item choice as well, as you are again one of the few champions who can use every aspect of it. All of your spells except E proc spellvamp, you got 2.0 combined AP ratio on your skills and the Hextech Gunblade, Bilgewater Cutlass part is awesome for the anticarry part of you and of course, the bonus damage is always welcome.

Sunfire Cape
Sunfire Cape is a great addition to your AoE presence while providing health and armour. At one point of the game you must decide between this and Randuin's Omen. Get Randuin's if you need to shut down the enemy carry even further or get Sunfire if you want bigger source of AoE damage.

Shurelya's Reverie
Shurelya's Reverie
Shurelya's Reverie is a team-oriented utility item which is pretty good on Hecarim - but you should only get this if you were getting Philosopher's Stone during the laning phase, otherwise rely on support/jungler, as they should be the ones buying it. It can be obtained if you are dominating the game and you have to chase early before your supp/jungle has it.

Randuin's Omen
Randuin's Omen is still really good item even after it's nerfs and nerfs to Heart of Gold. You should only buy Warden's Mail as the stand-alone part of this item - Heart of Gold is not really worth it anymore on Hecarim.

Last Whisper
Last Whisper is to be obtained once enemies starts to stack armor (3 and more target having over 120 armor) and when you are carrying the game. I don't really get this too often, I rather get a little bit tanky, but it's still item to be considered while building DPS Hecarim.

Force of Nature
Are they running double AP comp? Here's your answer! The biggest MR bonus out of game, a lot of HP regen and you get +% movement speed on top? Could you love it even more? The only reason this item isn't core is because you often get enough MR with Mercury's Treads and Maw of Malmortius.

Spirit Visage
Spirit Visage isn't much of a luxury item as the rest of the items here - it's more of a mid-game counter to AP and a boost to your tanking capabilities. I tend to buy this item late game if I have I free slot, 1500 gold and I can't afford any other bigger item before the last push/baron.

The Brutalizer
The Brutalizer is amazing when you return to base with 1400 gold early game and you are looking forward to dominate your lane even more. CDR, AD and ArPen, those are the stats that enable Hecarim to stomp this enemy lane (combined with the skill build n. 3 Hecarim packs a helluva punch!).

Warmog's Armor+Atma's Impaler
Prior to the Atma's nerf (health to AD ratio lowered to 1.5% from 2%) this used to be the cookie cutter build of every bruiser.
(Yes ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present you the Metagolem!)
Unfortunately (or fortunately?), Atmogs isn't that strong anymore so I'd rather stick to other items (that 15 AD nerf @3k HP really hurt its cost efficiency).

The Bloodthirster
You are so ****ing fed that you don't know what to do with your gold? You died like once last 30 minutes and you are roflstomping the enemy team? ROFLSTOMP EVEN MORE! Get your Bloodthirster today with a nice price tag of 3000 gold! We will provide you with 100 AD and a ****ton of lifesteal so you stay immortal as you've been till now!

Guardian Angel
Really good item to the late game or when you are snowballing. When you die in GA and you have your Onslaught of Shadows off cooldown, there's a really high chance you will make it out alive when you respawn even when you are surrounded by enemies (remember, you are immune to CC while travelling).

Doran's Blade

Doran's Shield
Doran's items should be mentioned in every guide (maybe except for supports lol, but still sometimes Doran's Ring may be viable on them) since they are probably the most cost efficient items you can buy in League. They help early game a lot, but don't get over the edge with it since they don't build into anything useful. Ideal number is even number of them and 4 is too much.

I refrain from listing terrible items, as I believe anything can work out when you underline it with a thought (I've seen AP jungle Hecarim with Lichbane and holy ****, he DID hurt!). Just try to be reasonable and don't build Rabadon's Deathcap when you are going AD offtank Hecarim for example.

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Laning phase

Well, since this is solo top guide, it should be obvious for which lane you should be opting. When you are purple, you can wait in the base on the rocks right above the Nexus Turret (you can shop from there) and get your 4th pot while getting on the lane without missing a CS. Not reccomended as the blue side, since you can help your jungle with blue and relieve him of a lot damage.

Depending on your opponent, you can be aggresive right off the bat (if it's somebody who can't really duel you early game, like Akali or Jax), or wait 'till level four when you will have rank 2 of Q and rank 1 of the other two skills. Just remember to try get your Rampage stacks prior to trading.

When you are about to go back, try to push your lane under enemy turret - this way you minimalize the amount of enemy creeps dying and maximalize the number of your creeps dead (yeeee!).

Don't forget to get the wards!( Vision Ward Sight Ward) As I often say, buy a ward, save a life! You HAVE to get ward or two everytime you go back, one for river and second one for either tribrush, purple red or blue blue (huehue).

On level 6, when you have your Chain Vest and possibly Doran's Blade or two, you can easily dive your opponent as long as he's around 300 HP. Just use Onslaught of Shadows so he runs away from the turret, knock him further back with Devastating Charge while facerolling your keyboard and smashing Q. Spirit of Dread can heal you for about 150 hp while doing this, so don't forget to pop that up! Of course you should have wards in the river by this point, so you don't get whacked on by enemy jungler after your 15 seconds of fame after butchering helpless towerhugging *****. Once you destroy the enemy turret and you obtain your core items, you can move into mid game.

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Once you destroy or push enough the top turret and you have your core items, you can try roaming the map and looking for the opportunities to either collect the objectives or just force a massfight. Hecarim is a beast in massfights throughout the whole game, so abuse it! Perfectly executed Dragon fight can easily snowball a game that has been in stalemate. Just don't get too cocky and try to keep the track of the top turret so you don't lose too much CS and the turret.
Midgame ends for you when you finish Frozen Heart and Trinity Force or another luxury item.

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You are in your prime now - you are f*cking steamrolling 2k pounds heavy armored pony ready to feast on your enemies. You can survive almost every massfight while dishing out huge amounts of AoE damage. Try to still get wards if possible, to both gain better mapcontrol (as many people say, vision is the first spell cast before the battle occurs) and relieve your support of some gold stress. You should start buying elixirs if you didn't do so in midgame already and stick to your team (f.e. never farm botlane alone while Baron is up). As long as you follow these tips and your team isn't utterly f*cktarded, you should be easily winning the fights.

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Try to farm a lot with Hecarim! It's not so hard to get around 100 cs by the first 15 minutes of the game and you should really opt for this number. About 14 cs is equal to one kill in gold and even more in experience, so you should really farm everytime it's possible. If you are ending the game with less than 200+ CS, you did something wrong and you should focus more on lasthitting next time. One rule you should remember - Never miss a CS to harrass, the only reason to miss CS is to trade back or escaping from the gank.

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Team setups

Hecarim really shines in AoE heavy compositions, you can put him into teams like:
AD carry: Graves or Corki
Support: Taric or Sona
Jungler: Amumu or Malphite
AP carry: Cassiopeia or Anivia
Top: You of course!

Such a team pack a lot of CC and AoE, a single target burst may be something you lack, but you will own in massfights with ease.

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Thanks a lot if you read your way through here, my thanks goes to Searz for awesome template (which I slightly modified :P), JhoiJhoi for superduper dividers and his guide about BBcode and to Senac (or ReneSkiller on EUNE) who made me want to do this. Thank you all :) SHARE THE PONY LOVE!