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Trundle Build Guide by Haedrix

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Haedrix


Haedrix Last updated on January 22, 2013
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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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Introduction to Trundle


Trundle tends to be considered a Jungler and fulfills that role well. What most people don't know is that he is actually an AWESOME Solo Top. Solo Top champions and Jungle champions are usually interchangeable, as similar kits are needed for each roles. There are many Solo Tops who are also great Junglers like Udyr, Warwick, Olaf, Jax, Cho'Gath, Malphite, and so on.

Trundle is also very versatile in what roles he can fulfill for his team and can lane successfully against almost any match-up. His kit gives him the ability to shutdown enemy AD Bruisers, keep up in sustain against Tank Solo Tops, or focus on being an immovable object in the Laning Phase that no one can push out of Lane. His natural Tenacity / Movement Speed steroid and terrain-creation / slow ability makes him very hard to gank after Level 3 as well.

I have listed various different Build Paths. All of these are situational depending upon your lane opponent, your team composition, your role in the team, and the length of the laning phase. Trundle is very versatile, as mentioned above, and doesn't need these specific items. He has many viable choices for items (which I will go into further detail about in later sections of this guide) and the Builds are just rough guideline examples of synergistic itemization.

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Pros / Cons


  • Naturally high Health Sustain due to his Passive Decompose
  • Increased Tenacity built into his kit from Contaminate
  • Movement Speed buff for Increased Mobility from Contaminate
  • AoE Slow and Terrain Creation via Pillar of Flith
  • Strong Last Hitting potential even under his Tower because of Rabid Bite
  • Makes enemy AD based champions weaker in Lane because of Rabid Bite lowering its target's AD
  • Natural Damage Steroids from the Attack Speed buff on Contaminate and the AD Steroid from Rabid Bite increasing his own AD after use.
  • Pillar of Filth can block off paths and trap opponents. It can be used to block and slow enemy Junglers trying to gank you. It can also be used against your lane opponent when your Jungler ganks to slow them, usually causing them to blow Summoner Spells or die.
  • Defensive steroids from the Instant Heal + Armor / MR buff from Agony. Used to become Tankier in team fights by targeting the enemy Tank OR used to assist in Turret Diving your opponent in Lane.
  • Armor / MR debuff on selected enemy via Agony, severely weakening a target.


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For the Nightmarish Sustain Solo Top Trundle, I focus on flat defensive stats and increased Health Regeneration. These Runes are based upon the assumption that you are facing a Magic Damage based opponent.

9x Greater Mark of Magic Resist
9x Greater Seal of Defense
9x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
3x Greater Quintessence of Vigor

This set gives you 19 flat bonus Magic Resistance, 24 bonus Armor at Level 18, and +8.1 flat bonus Health Regeneration per 5 seconds. This will give you good damage reduction and sustained healing.

You can also craft a Rune Set focused on the High Sustain theme but against AD based opponents. Just trade the flat MR runes for flat Armor runes and trade the Armor per level runes for MR per level. You would do this against a Tanky Bruiser top that won't be putting out a lot of damage against you or who won't be trying to trade with you, just out sustain you. Examples of this situation would be Laning against champions like Volibear, Dr. Mundo, or Garen. This rune set would be...

9x Greater Mark of Armor
9x Greater Seal of Armor
9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
3x Greater Quintessence of Vigor

These runes give you 21 flat bonus Armor, 24 bonus Magic Resistance at Level 18, and 8.1 flat bonus Health Regeneration per 5 seconds.

For the AD Bruiser / Tanky DPS Trundle build, I focus on flat defensive stats and early damage. These runes are assuming that you are facing an enemy AD Bruiser or a champion with a weak Laning Phase that you wish to shove an early advantage against.

9x Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9x Greater Seal of Armor
9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
3x Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

These Runes give you 15 flat bonus Attack Damage, 13 flat bonus Armor, and 24 bonus Magic Resistance at level 18.

You may also need to run flat AD + flat MR runes against AP opponents who like to trade frequently and early like Rumble or Kennen. In this scenario you want to run the following runes.

9x Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9x Greater Seal of Defense
9x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
3x Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist

This set gives you 8.5 flat bonus Attack Damage, 24 bonus Armor at Level 18, and 24 flat bonus Magic Resistance.

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The Masteries are the same for either build option.

9 Points in Offense

  • Improved Ghost / Ignite from Summoner's Wrath
  • +3 flat Attack Damage from Brute Force
  • +4% Attack Speed from Alacrity
  • +10% Armor Penetration from Weapon Expertise

21 Points in Defense

  • +6 Armor from Hardiness
  • +6 MR from Resistance
  • +3 Health Regen per 5 seconds from Vigor
  • +6 Health per Level from Durability
  • +30 Flat Health from Veteran's Scars
  • +3% Movement Speed (when above 70% HP) from Initiator
  • +8.1% CDR at Level 18 from Enlightenment
  • +3% of Max HP and +10% Crowd Control Reduction from Juggernaut

These Masteries provide a mix of damage increase and defense bonuses and are generally good on many Solo Top Bruisers.

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Skill Sequence

As Trundle it is important to have 1 point in all 3 abilities by Level 3, to help you survive and escape from ganks / hard initiates during Laning Phase.

Rabit Bite should be maxed first. It is your damage steroid, your tool for last hitting under tower, and the ability that makes you win trades.

Jungle Trundle maxes Pillar of Filth second to improve the ability's slow therefor giving him more ganking potential. Since we are Solo Top Trundle however, we don't need to priotize it. Maxing Contaminate second gives you stronger Attack Speed steroids, better Crowd Control Reduction, and more Movement Speed with each level. This will help you in all aspects of playing Solo Top.

Prioritize putting points into Agony every time it is available (at Levels 6, 11, and 16).

Max Pillar of Filth last. If all of the lanes end early for whatever reason and team fights begin to break out everywhere, you might could consider maxing it second.

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Summoner Spells

These are my preferred Summoner Spells for Top Lane. They give you the ability to take down an enemy, even if they want to run away, and make dueling very easy for Trundle.

Sometimes you might need this ability, like if you are laning against a Jarvan IV and need a way out of his Ultimate.

I don't find Teleport to be necessary on Trundle, as his sustain in lane is monstrous and you will generally decide when you want to go back to base. It can be useful for helping your team with taking Dragon early in the game (Trundle melts Dragon) or Teleport ganking other lanes.

Exhaust provides everything that Trundle already has in his kit. He already has a slow and an Armor / MR reduction spell. However, overkill is not always a bad thing. Exhaust can come in handy if the enemy team is very Tanky and you need more defense reduction OR if you really need to focus down the enemy AD Carry.

I would not suggest running anything except these spells.

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Trundle has immense itemization variety depending on the game.

Starting Items vs AD:

Boots of Speed + 3x Health Potion
Cloth Armor + 5x Health Potion
Cloth Armor + 1 Sight Ward + 2x Health Potion

Starting Items vs AP:

Boots of Speed + 3x Health Potion
Null-Magic Mantle + 2x Health Potion
Regrowth Pendant + Health Potion

Starting Items vs Tanks:

Boots of Speed + 3x Health Potion
Regrowth Pendant + Health Potion

+ Philosopher's Stone

Heart of Gold and Philosopher's Stone are common buys for many Solo Tops. It gives them increased sustain, and the Gold per 10 passive on each item helps many Bruisers scale well into mid and late game. I would recommend building Philosopher's Stone before Heart of Gold on Trundle because of it building from one of your possible starting itmes and because it helps to solve your Mana issues in the early game. These items are not mandatory buys, but if you can tell that the laning phase will last long enough for you to benefit from them, they will help you survive and get you to Trinity Force faster.

The ONLY true "CORE" item for Trundle is Trinity Force. Other than that, you can build any mix of damage and tank items on him and do well. An early Sheen can also help solve Mana issues during Laning Phase.

If you lane against Yorick, you need to get:

The passive helps you kill his ghouls quickly. You don't NEED this item to beat Yorick but with it you pretty much can't lose. So it is a good buy just to fully secure the lane.

Extra Damage Items:

These items provide high end damage output if the situation calls for it.

Magic Resistance Items:

These items provide Anti-Mage properties, some more designed for Tank style play or Damage. Choose among these accordingly.

Armor Items

These items provide defensive stats against AD Carries, strong Bruisers, and enemy Towers.

Lane Sustain / Health Regen Items

Philosopher's Stone

Any of the above items will give you great Health Sustain during the Laning Phase. I would not recommend overdosing on Health Regeneration, as you need a good balance in your build between defensive and offensive stats. Spirit Visage is a great item for Trundle and increases the Health he gets back from Decompose, even if you plan on trading it for a stronger Late Game item you can still buy it early on. You can use a combination of early game items to help you counter some champions. Against Yorick for instance, you could grab a Spirit Visage and a Warden's Mail early on. These give you both Armor and MR (since Yorick has the capability of doing enough Physical or Magic Damage) and insane Health Regeneration to give you the sustain to beat him.

Solving Mana Issues

Philosopher's Stone

You need to get one of these items early on. If you buy Philosopher's Stone you can manage to 2get Phage before Sheen which many people prefer, but if not you need to buy Sheen early.

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A Look at Trundle's Passive

This is why Trundle has so much Health Sustain in lane.

Most people overlook this but here is some math to give you a general idea behind its strength.

Minion Waves being spawning at 1:30 and one wave will spawn every 30 seconds. Each minion wave has 3 Melee Minions and 3 Caster Minions. For the first 35 minutes of the game, a Siege minion will spawn with every 3rd wave, and with every 2nd wave thereafter.

Melee Minions have 445 HP (+20 HP / 3 min)
Caster Minions have 280 HP (+15 HP / 3 min)
Siege Minions have 700 HP (+27 HP / 3 min)

Trundle's Decompose heals him for 2% (increasing to 6% as he Levels up) of the maximum health of any enemy unit that dies near him. Trundle does not need to Last Hit a target in order to receive the heal.

So in the first wave alone, Decompose will heal Trundle for:

.02 x [(3 x 445) + (3 x 280)] =
.02 x (1335 + 840) =
.02 x 2175 =
43.5 HP

This is the lowest possible heal from Minion Waves, as minions gain Max HP throughout the game and therefor will heal Trundle for higher amounts.

The first minion wave with a Siege minion (spawns at 2:30) will heal Trundle for 57.5 HP.

After Dragon or Baron dies, regardless of which team secures the buff, Trundle gains a significant burst heal. This helps him turn to fight after an objective when the enemy team attempts to contest the global objective.

Decompose also makes Trundle very good at counter-jungling when his lane opponent has gone back to base or is dead.

Things like Mordekaiser's Pet, Yorick's Ghouls, and Malzahar's Voidlings will grant you healing from Decompose upon their death.

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Trundle hard counters most Bruiser Tops. He can also lane fine against Mages and Tanks, but they can prove more challenging.

Champions Trundle Counters:

Everything about his kit beats Yorick.
His natural Tenacity and Steroids make him strong against Gangplank.
Out of all the mages, Vladimir gets smashed hardest by Trundle.
The others are all just examples of champions that are naturally weak against him.

Champions that Counter Trundle

Akali counters Trundle pretty effectively. She does more DMG in short exchanges and in long extended fights. She has very high mobility after Level 6 and her Stealth makes her impossible to Turret Dive.

Teemo is a fast little bugger with a blind. His shrooms make it hard for your Jungler to gank, for you to counter-jungle, or for you to roam down to Mid Lane. Unless he plays poorly you're not going to get any kills on him, and his constant harass is strong enough to negate your natural sustain.

Shen can't really beat you in lane, but he provides global presence on the map after Level 6 and you have no hard CC to knock him out of his Ultimate.

Nidalee has strong ranged harass, making it difficult for you to farm. After she hits Level 6, she also has very high mobility which means you won't ever be able to finish her off. You can do more damage than her and out sustain her, but you won't have anything to show from it.

Olaf is a bruiser that causes a bit of an issue. His Ultimate makes him immune to your slows, your AD debuff does not affect his True Damage, he has strong sustain from his Life Steal / Spell Vamp ability, and has the potential to out damage you.

Jayce is VERY strong in lane. The main reason he counters you is because of his knock-back. He will do his damage to you upfront quickly and knock you away from him before you can even out the exchange. Knock-Backs counter Trundle in general, especially in team fights. If the enemy team has a Tristana AD Carry, Jayce Solo Top, and a Lee Sin Jungle... you are going to be pretty useless in team fights.

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Advanced Laning Mechanics

Pillar of Filth can be used to block enemy Junglers from successfully ganking you and can also be used to trap your lane opponent when your Jungler ganks.

Rabid Bite can be used to Last Hit effectively under your tower, or to push a lane.

Contaminate can also be used to help you escape ganks or straight on enemy engages due to the Movement Speed Buff and Tenacity Bonus it grants.

Rabid Bite resets your auto attack timer. This means you can hit an auto attack and immediately activate Rabid Bite for a quick one-two punch combo. If they stay in range long enough you will get another auto attack off with more AD than before. It will also lower their AD, meaning no melee AD based champion can win trades with you after you have hit Rabid Bite on them. If they sit and try to 1v1 you at Level 1, they will die to you for First Blood.

Prior to damage exchanges with enemy champions, use Rabid Bite to last hit an enemy minion. This will grant you the bonus AD making your Auto Attack + Rabid Bite hit harder when you trade with enemy champions.

Trundle has the ability to zone many enemy champions from farm. Once they realize how much damage you do with just an Auto Attack followed up by Rabid Bite they will avoid melee exchanges while they see your Club glowing from the AD Steroid. So if one of your minions appears as if it will be at last-hit-health shortly after an enemy minion is ready for you to last hit, then use Rabid Bite to last hit it and run more towards the enemy champion. They will see you trying to close in for harass and more than likely they will keep their distance, missing the last hit if they are also a melee champion.

Trundle excels at Tower Diving. His Agony makes him Tanky enough, Contaminate gives you too much mobility for an enemy to dance around a tower to avoid you, and your natural damage steroids along with Ignite will kill them fast enough for you to get in and out safely. DO NOT TOWER DIVE THEM IF THEIR JUNGLER IS MIA. Even if you have wards up, tower diving an enemy puts you in their territory. You need to KNOW FOR SURE that their Jungler is on the bottom side of the map because they may be in their Top Jungle, close enough to readily assist. If you plan to tower dive, get them down to at least 35% health. Make sure they don't have anything unaccounted for like Heal or Exhaust off cool down. Push your minion wave so they tank the tower initially. Get your AD steroid up from killing an enemy minion with Rabid Bite, wait for Rabid Bite to be back off cool down, put Agony on the enemy champion, pop your Ghost, drop Contaminate on the ground around their tower, use Pillar of Filth to trap them in an area around their tower and to make sure that they can't run in circles around their tower, put Ignite on them, and Auto Attack / Rabid Bite them to death. You should be able to kill them and get back out of tower range before you get too low.

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In Conclusion

Trundle is a very strong champion no matter where you play him. He has a lot of damage without items (a reason many people play him in the jungle) but if he is allowed to super-farm and obtain expensive items he will become a HUGE threat. He has tremendous sustain in Top Lane and is very versatile. He counters more champions than he has counters, and can Lane against almost anyone.