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Trundle Build Guide by Khazem

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Khazem

Competitive Solo Top Trundle

Khazem Last updated on June 14, 2012
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Team 1

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

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Disclaimer: This guide will only be about solo top Trundle. He is also very viable in the jungle (and probably more common) but I will not be talking about that in this guide.

Hello and welcome to yet another solo top guide! This time I will be covering Trundle, one of the most underrated top lane champions in the game. He's been one of my favorite champions for a long time now, having played a ton of matches on him I've never gotten bored of him.
Trundle is a very strong pick against a lot of bruisers due to his ability to steal their attack damage and defensive stats, making him very strong in duels and damage trades.

Trundle is a tanky bruiser who also deals quite a lot of damage and has a lot of pressence in teamfights. He can be used to initiate teamfights with a well placed Pillar of Filth followed up by using Agony on a tanky champion to make himself even more tanky. He is also strong in poke comps due to his amazing disengaging abilities.

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Pros / Cons


+ High sustain. Has a very strong passive that will allow him to sustain in lane really well.
+ Damage without the need of items. Due to his ability to steal some of the enemies attack damage, you can do a lot of damage without really having damage items.
+ Very hard to gank. With a combination of a speed boost and a very nice slowing ability that can completely block enemy movement he is very hard to gank in lane.
+ Not very item dependant. Due to his abilities to steal enemy stats, he's not very dependant on items and will always be an asset to his team.
+ Strong duelist. His entire kit is extremely strong for dueling. Steals enemy AD with his Q, has a steroid with his W and steals enemy defensive stats AND life with his ultimate. All in all a very strong dueling kit.

- Can have mana issues. Since you generally don't really build any mana regeneration or mana items, he can get in trouble with mana if you're not careful.
- Bad auto attack animation. This is something you might notice when playing Trundle. His auto attack animation is pretty annoying and slow for a melee champion.
- Slow farmer. This his is only real weakness in lane. He can't really clear waves very quickly so can't always put too much pressure on his lane.

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There are 2 different mastery setups I like to use. As you may have guessed, it's a defensive and an offensive setup. The one I will explain more in-depth will be the defensive setup, as this is by far the most commonly used (and overall better in my opinion).

Offense Tree

Tier 1 - 3 points in Brute Force are pretty self explanatory. A point in Summoner's Wrath for the small AD boost when Ignite is down. You can also go for a point in Butcher to make last hitting a little easier.

Tier 2 - 4 points in Alacrity to get down to the armor penetration in the next tier

Tier 3 - Weapon Expertise for some much needed armor penetration

Defense Tree

Tier 1 - I grab everything in this tier except for Summoner's Resolve . The armor and magic resist will always come in handy, Tough Skin actually helps quite a lot when trading blows with your opponent near enemy creeps.

Tier 2 - Durability to get down to the next tier mastery.

Tier 3 - Veteran's Scars for a nice early game health boost. a points in Indomitable as a filler.

Tier 4 - Initiator and englightenment. The movement speed comes in very handy to synergize with Contaminate and cooldown reduction is just a very good stat on Trundle.

Tier 6 - Juggernaut , pretty self explanatory.

And the alternative offensive setup looks like this.

A few points:

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Greater Mark of strength: For easier last hits and stronger early game trades.

Greater Mark of Resilience: Can be used against strong melee champions such as Renekton or Riven.

Greater Mark of Warding: Good when laning against AP champions.

Greater Seal of Resilience: The only seal you'll ever want really. You need the armor for a better laning phase.

Greater Glyph of Warding: Helps against some of the champions that deal both physical and magic damage ( Yorick, Poppy, Udyr, etc) or just for laning against AP champions

Greater Glyph of Shielding: If you don't need any early game magic resistance, these are the better choice for a stronger lategame.

Greater Quintessence of Swiftness Useful for a lot of things. Helps with avoiding ganks in the early laning phase, synergizes well with Contaminate.

Greater Quintessence of Strength: Work well in an offensive setup as they scale better into late game than armor penetration runes (if you build a Last Whisper.

Greater Quintessence of Warding: Good for laning against AP champions.

Greater Quintessence of Resilience: Good for laning against strong AD champions.

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Summoner Spells

Flash: Good to have for escaping or chasing.

Ignite: Increases kill potential in lane and adds to your damage in general.

Ghost: Synergizes well with Trundle's movement speed and makes for a great chasing and escaping ability.

Teleport: Helps you get back in lane faster if you need to or help your team out in other lanes.

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Decompose: Whenever an enemy unit near Trundle dies, he heals for 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6% of their maximum health.

Range: 1000 (estimate)

Gives Trundle a ton of sustain. Gets very strong later in the game and can actually save your life on occasions.
  • Dying neutral monsters will activate Decompose, even if their killer is an enemy.
  • Decompose does not activate on destroying structures.

Rabid Bite: Trundle enhances his next standard attack to instead bite his opponent, dealing 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 physical damage plus 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 % of his attack damage.
This attack increases Trundle's attack damage by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 for 8 seconds, with his opponent losing half of this amount for the same duration.

Cost: 40 mana
Cooldown: 4 seconds

Trundle's main damage ability. This ability makes Trundle very strong in 1 on 1 trades with AD champions. Also very useful for last hitting under your turret.

  • Rabid Bite resets Trundle's attack timer on cast.
  • Rabid Bite's cooldown does not begin until the enhanced attack buff is used or expires.
  • Rabid Bite moves Trundle slightly closer to the target upon attack.
  • Rabid Bite's debuff does not stack. Applying Rabid Bite to an already debuffed target will only refresh the duration of the effect.
  • Rabid Bite's damage buff does not stack. If Trundle uses Rabid Bite on a different target, he will not gain the damage buff twice.

Contaminate: Trundle infects a target location with his curse for 8 seconds, gaining 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60% attack speed, 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% movement speed, and 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% crowd control reduction while standing on it.

Cost: 60 mana
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Range to Center of AoE: 900
Radius of AoE: 1000 (estimate)

A great steroid. Can be used offensively and defensively. Can be used for dueling, farming, engaging and disengaging, escaping and chasing.

  • Contaminate has no cast time.
  • Contaminate's bonuses do not linger and immediately expire when Trundle leaves the area.
  • Contaminate stacks multiplicatively with tenacity, giving 42 / 43.75 / 45.5 / 47.25 / 49% crowd control reduction.

Pillar of Filth: Trundle creates a plagued beacon at a target location for 6.5 seconds, which becomes impassable terrain and slows all nearby enemy units by 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45% while they are in the vicinity of it and for 1.25 seconds after they leave the area.

Cooldown: 23 / 20 / 17 / 14 / 11 seconds
Cost: 60 mana
Range: 1000
Pillar Radius: 125
Slow Radius: 375 (estimate)
Sight Radius: 1200 (estimate)

Another great ability that can be used both offensively and defensively. It can either help you escape a gank by placing it between you and whoever is chasing you, or you can use it offensively to catch someone out of position and place a pillar in front of them or simply to chase.

  • Pillar of Filth will grant you vision of the target location for its duration
  • Casting Pillar of Filth on top of a person, causing that person to get moved aside does not interrupt spellcasting

Agony: Trundle immediately steals 100 / 175 / 250 (+0.6 per ability power) health and 15 / 20 / 25% of their armor and magic resistance from his target. Over the next 6 seconds the amount of health, armor, and magic resistance stolen is doubled.

Cooldown: 80 / 70 / 60 seconds
Cost: 75 mana
Range: 700

This ability makes Trundle deceptively tanky. Either use this on a tank to make yourself tanky and survive teamfights, or use it on your focus target to focus them down more easily. Can even be used in lane for sustaining purposes.

Ability Sequence

  • Max Rabid Bite first for the damage output and to win trades in lane
  • Max contamination second also for better trades and to escape ganks more easily.
  • Get points in your ultimate at level 6, 11 and 16.

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Starting Items

Boots of Speed
The usual starting item. Makes for safer early laning, good chasing for more killing potential at low levels and allows for 4 Health Potions at level 1. (Buy 3 when the game starts and wait near the fountain for 35 gold for a 4th)

Cloth Armor
Can be used when laning against heavy AD opponents. Allows you to buy 5 Health Potions (or 3 Health Potions and a sight ward)

Regrowth pendant
Can be used in an easy lane if you want to run double gold/10 items. Viable, but not always recommended.

Offensive Items

Doran's Blade
I get 2 of these in my early game to replace the usual Wriggle's Lantern. Doran's Blades are much cheaper, give you enough sustain, a nice health boost and almost just as much damage.

Frozen Mallet
Definitely my favorite item on Trundle. Combined with his amazing chasing abilities, enemies will not be getting away from you if you have this. Also gives you a nice health boost which you definitely need.

Trinity Force
Great all around damage item for Trundle. Being a pretty big investment though, I only recommend going for this when you're dominating your lane and when your other lanes are doing fine as well. In most other situations, you'll need to be more tanky.

Last Whisper
Great item to counter high armor targets. Becomes a good buy once at least 2-3 enemy champions have over 100 armor.

Wit's End
Synergizes very nicely with a Frozen Mallet and the attack damage you're getting from Rabid Bite.

The Bloodthirster
Works very well with Rabid Bite and gives you a ton of sustain in teamfights.

Maw of Malmortius
A great item against magic damage. Has saved my life more times than I can remember.

Atma's Impaler
A decent item to get if you reach a high health pool. Not as good anymore after the nerf but still definitely viable.

Madred's Bloodrazor
Good last item if you want more damage.

Defensive Items

Spirit Visage
A great item for Trundle overall. The passive works with your ultimate and passive, the cooldown reduction is great on Trundle and the extra health is also very useful.

Force of Nature
Great item against heavy magic damage. The movement speed synegizes well with Trundle's kit. If enough time and gold, replace your Spirit Visage with this late game.

Randuin's Omen
The item I usually go for if I want armor. Just another tool to make sure people are not going anywhere when you're on them.

Aegis of the Legion
Good and cheap way of getting some tank stats and giving your team a nice aura. You can get this when your support/jungle isn't going to.

Frozen Heart
Works best if you're building a Warmog's Armor. The armor is amazing, the passive is amazing and the cooldown reduction is amazing.

Guardian Angel
Good pickup if you're being heavily focused. Goes well with The Bloodthirster to sustain through fights and be very hard to kill.

Quicksilver Sash:
Useful against heavy CC teams or teams with a supress ( Warwick, Malzahar, Skarner)

Warmog's Armor
Synergizes well with the free stats you get from Agony. Makes you very very tanky.

Doran's Shield
Good early game item to buy if you're having trouble in lane, or against champions like Olaf and Irelia.


Mercury's Treads
Good against heavy CC and/or double AP comps.

Ninja Tabi
Against auto attack heavy comps. Good against a lot of bruisers in lane, especially the likes of Riven or Irelia.

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Gameplay - Laning Phase

What item do I start with?

This is the first thing you should be thinking about. When going top lane, this depends on who the enemy top laner is, but also very important, who their jungler is. For example: If they have a Vladimir going top, you'll always want to go for Boots of Speed and 4 Health Potions, regardless of who the enemy jungler is. You need the mobility against a ranged champion for both last hitting, closing the gap and escaping.
If the enemy top laner is a Riven, ideally you want to start with a Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions to reduce incoming damage and to be able to win trades more comfortably. However, if the enemy team has an agressive early game ganking jungler, such as Lee Sin, Nocturne, Rammus, etc.. most of the times it's more benefitial to start with Boots of Speed because you'll be way more difficult to gank. If the enemy jungler is more of a farming jungler and not likely to succesfully gank you for the first few levels ( Warwick, Shyvana, etc) you can go ahead and start with a Cloth Armor.

If you're up against an easy lane, with a weak ganking jungler, you can even start with a Regrowth Pendant and go for an early philosopher's stone and Heart of Gold.

Boots and FOUR health potions?

Yes, you can start with 4 Health Potions and Boots of Speed without having to go down in the utility mastery tree for extra gold. When you buy your boots and 3 potions, you'll be left with 20 gold. To get another Health Potion, simply wait at the edge of the buying range untill the minions spawn and you get to 35 gold to buy the 4th Health Potion. Because you have boots, you'll have plenty of time to make it back to your lane in time before any minions die.

(Maximum buying range for the blue side)

(Maximum buying range for the purple side)


So when you've determined what item you're starting with, you can go to your lane. (or help your jungler with the wolves/blue buff)
When last hitting at the start of a game, try and last hit as late as possible. If you do this better than your opponent, your lane will be pushing towards your tower and set you up for some nice free farm, while the enemy top laner is putting himself in a dangerous spot.

When laning against an AP champion, make use of the lane brushes to stay near your creepwave at all time. Come out to last hit and get back in there, this will allow you to last hit properly without eating too much free harass. Build an early Hexdrinker if needed.

When laning against a melee/bruiser, you can actually start trading with them from the start. Just make sure whenever you engage, you open with a Rabid Bite immediatly, giving you an advantage in the trade from the start. Don't use your Contaminate to trade for the first few levels, it will cost too much mana and you might need it for escaping a jungle gank. Also avoid using Pillar of Filth in the laning phase for the same reasons, unless you know it can net you a kill.

When going for a kill, open up with your Agony to reduce your opponents resistances over time, start doing damage with Rabid Bite and auto attacks. When they attempt to escape, chase them down with Contaminate and coninue auto attacking. If they still have a Flash, make sure you use Pillar of Filth after you've forced the Flash. Don't forget to use Ignite for extra damage and to reduce any possible healing/regen.

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Top Lane Match-ups

Difficulty: HARD

Probably one of the toughest match-ups for Trundle. First off, she is an AP champion, so reducing her attack damage with Rabid Bite doesn't hurt her too much. She also has a ton of sustain and more gap closers than you have escapes. She deals more damage in short trades and in longer skirmishes. She's just a straight up counter to Trundle.

Difficulty: MEDIUM - EASY

Not too hard of a match-up. Irelia has a weak early game, you don't. Irelia scales well, you do too. First few levels, try and agressively trade with her, you should always come out ahead (just make sure you don't take too much creep agro for too long). At 6, your ultimate is what makes you stronger than her in a 1v1 fight. Use it wisely. In general, engage her in short bursts with your Rabid Bite. When she activates Hiten Style, just get away from her, use a Pillar of Filth if needed and wait it out. When her Hiten Style is down, you're free to go to town on her.

Difficulty: MEDIUM

The most important thing in this lane is to never underestimate Jarvan IV's damage. He shreds your armor and can hurt really bad. Abuse the fact that he doesn't have any sustain and engage him in short bursts. When he goes agressive on you, make sure you hit him with a Rabid Bite. When you hit level 6, this lane shouldn't be a problem anymore.

Difficulty: MEDIUM

Can be quite tricky as Jax deals a lot of damage. He'll be looking to harass you a lot with a W-Q combo. When he does jump on you, just strike back with your Rabid Bite and chase him down for a bit. Pre-6, you'll come out ahead of these trades provided you can get enough auto attacks in. After 6, he's much harder to trade with due to his ultimate so try and avoid that all-together.

Difficulty: HARD

Another very difficult match-up. Being both an AP champion (usually) and having a range advantage over you, this isn't a lane you'll be looking to win, rather look to survive and farm. Buld magic resistance and play the lane safe. Even if you lose your lane, you're still a huge pressence in teamfights.

Difficulty: MEDIUM

Same thing against most bruisers: your abilities work great agains this guy. Make sure to try and avoid his Q and you'll always win the trades. He does have a LOT of sustain so keep the pressure up if you're doing well. At 6, you should have an advantage if you use Agony well.

Difficulty: HARD

Another one of those AP champions that's very hard to deal with. His shield is just really hard to get through and by the time you do, you'll likely have received more damage from him. Build a lot of magic resistance and sustain to deal with the damage and never try going in on him when he's got a lot of shield. Ask your jungler for ganks - Mordekaiser is usually very vulnerable to ganks. Once you start getting an advantage that way, you should be able to deal with him. If you're not getting ganks, play the lane safely. If you're careful enough, you shouldn't die in this lane.

Difficulty: MEDIUM - HARD

Poppy can give you a lot of trouble. While stealing her AD can prove quite effective sometimes, her Q will still deal a ton of damage. In this lane you need to abuse her weak early game as best as possible. If she comes close to the creepwave, engage her. Build magic resistance above anything else and try and sustain up her damage as fast as possible.

Difficulty: MEDIUM - EASY

This lane's difficulty depends mostly on what runes you're using. If you're running full armor, this lane is very easy. Just keep your Rabid Bite on him when he's looking to harass you. Abuse the fact that he has rather long cooldowns by going agressive on him in between those cooldowns. At 6, again, this lane should not be a problem due to how strong Agony is in a 1v1 with a bruiser.

Difficulty: MEDIUM - EASY

A very easy lane to actually survive, a hard one to kill. In general, you should always win this lane. Riven deals ONLY physical damage, which is what your Rabid Bite and a bunch of armor shuts down very hard. Armor armor armor... armor. Armor? Armor!

Difficulty: MEDIUM

Trundle actually deals decently with Shen when it comes to actual laning. You have enough sustain to deal with his damage and at level 6 you actually have some killing potential. Just be careful the first few levels when your sustain is low cause he can actually hurt quite bad. The problem in this lane is Trundle can't really put a lot of pressure on the lane by pushing it fast, so Shen will have a lot of freedom to help out his team with his ultimate. Just try and push the lane as much as you can.

Difficulty: MEDIUM

This lane is pretty annoying, but Trundle should do fine. Keep your Rabid Bite up when he attacks you. Be careful though cause he does a LOT of damage. Try and match his sustain by getting an early Vampiric Scepter. At 6, you should be okay to actually try and go agressive on him, just take care of his damage and pick your fights wisely.

Difficulty: HARD

Another very difficult match-up. Vladimir's constant harass will hurt and you can't really just try and survive this lane either cause Vladimir scales extremely well, especially when he gets free farm. You need to pick up a lot of magic resistance and be VERY agressive whenever you can. You have the movement speed to close the gap and you have the tools to get and stay on him, so use them. Abuse his weak early game by just running up to him and biting him as much as possible. If you can build an advantage, you can win this lane. Also try and get your jungler to gank your lane.
Make sure you don't get pushed under your tower as he will be able to harass you for free while you're trying to last hit under your tower.

Difficulty: HARD

Not much I can say about this match-up. Have not played it enough to really give any advice here. Avoid the match-up if possible.

Difficulty: EASY

Everything about Trundle counters this guy. Your Rabid Bite hurts his damage output, his constant dying ghouls heal you due to your passive and your ultimate makes him squishy as hell. Get a Spirit Visage as soon as possible and then go completely crazy on this guy.

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Gameplay - Teamfights

Trundle is a great tank/disruptor in a teamfight. He has tons of abilities that can turn the tide of a teamfight.

When engaging, use your Pillar of Filth to catch a high priority target out of position, use your Contaminate and close the gap. MAKE SURE YOUR TEAM IS ACTUALLY THERE TO FOLLOW UP. Now you can use Agony 2 different ways. You can use it on the target you want dead to make it an easier kill, or you can use it on the tankiest person on the enemy team (defensive stats wise) to make yourself able to take more hits and tank for your team.
When the enemy bruisers/assassins get to your team, you can protect them by simply auto attacking them with your Frozen Mallet, placing a Pillar of Filth in between the attacker and who you're trying to defend and place a Contaminate on the ground to help your teammate escape.

Trundle is also very strong at disengaging a fight. Slow the enemy team down with a well placed Pillar of Filth while speeding your own team up with a Contaminate. make sure to place it as far in front of you as you can, so you spend more time on the field and have a longer speed boost.

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Final Words

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide! If you have any concerns, questions or feedback, feel free to leave them in the comments.
If you like this guide, I would very much appreciate if you voted on it and left a comment, if you dislike the guide I would also appreciate it if you left a comment saying why you disliked it so that I can perhaps work on it.