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Hecarim Build Guide by Jertharold

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Jertharold

Hecarim, A shadow in the Jungle (Jungle/ Solo top guide)

Jertharold Last updated on April 24, 2012
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solo top

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Jungle Role
Ranked #20 in
Jungle Role
Win 48%
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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: 12

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello everyone reading this guide. This is my first guide and it is simply a composition of what I have been using for Hecarim since I started using him. It has been about 100 games now and I feel that I understand him very well at this point. I will cover my jungling paths, item build, runes, masteries, etc. Please use this guide to simply direct you along proper Hecarim jungling.

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Pros and Cons


-Very mobile
-Clears jungle quickly
-Good CC
-Can escape from most ganks
-Heals with W



-Slow early game
-Squishy early game
-Passive does not grant very much AD
-Items are very important to him

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Offensive Tree:

I take 1 point in Summoner's Wrath for the improved movement speed bonus from Ghost which leads into his passive. This also allows for fast ganking and easier chasing. I take 3 in Brute Force to increase the amount of damage Rampage does early game. After these 2 I lead into Alacrity so that the 10% armor pen from Weapon Expertise can be obtained.

Defensive Tree:

I take 1 point in Summoner's Resolve for the gold game early game. Late game this point will not be as necessary and will probably be best put else where if you plan on a long game to happen. Taking only 1 point in Resistance and 2 in Hardiness is also dependable. If the enemy team is heavy on AP then move the points to Resistance and vise versa if they are AD heavy. Tough Skin is very handy early game for any jungler and I recommend 2 points in this for the reduction of damage as well as the fact that getting this leads into Bladed Armor which increases jungling speed by a little bit. Taking the 4 points in Durability makes you much tankier early game along with the addition of vetran's scars.

Utility Tree:

I have 3 points in Good Hands but these points can easily be moved to Expanded Mind to increase your mana regen so that you are less reliant on blue buff. The only difference between the 2 is that late game Expanded Mind will be less useful. Now taking a point in Improved Recall is VERY handy early game because it allows for quicker buy times. But it is only a second, this second can put you far ahead of you competition and that one second should never be underestimated! Taking 4 points in Swiftness is a must for early game ganks and late game chasing. Lastly I put the last point in Runic Affinity so that the time period in which I can gank, with buffs, is much larger.

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Quintessence of Lethality

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
The runes I have Picked are directly related to his melee heaviness. Taking Movement speed runes give him a tiny bit more power for early game jungling as well as good power when ganking because you can out run them.

I choose armor pen. runes over movement speed simply for damage vs tankier players because i already move fast enough with Trinity Force, Devastating Charge, and Ghost. Taking these over speed runes is usually a better move since it is so little movement speed and you will get no armor pen otherwise. I tend to take movement speed quintessences with my AD carry build simply to help ganking and to help keep up so that Rampage will stay stacked at 2.

My seals and glyphs and marks are either aimed at defense if I am planning to off tank or offence/movement speed if I am planning to be closer to an AD carry.

Alternative builds that I have found to work well are:

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

This build is good because you gain more armor pen. than my previous build as well as gaining the movement speed to keep up with your enemies. What you trade for these runes is AD. In the the long run this is better, as far as early game ganking goes the AD runes will go farther. I usually choose this rune build in ranked games because those games will last long enough where the AD is less necessary since we will actually reach late game.

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Summoner Spells

Best in my opinion:
Smite: I always take smite due to the fact it greatly increases jungle speed and it is nearly impossible early game to take on the Blue and Red buff monsters without it.

Ghost on the other hand has been more argued
"Why use ghost when you have Devastating Charge to increase speed??"
"You have no unit collision already anyways!!"
Well in response to these things I would like to point out that Hecarim's passive allows him to gain a % of this movement speed increase as damage and when ganking you can run in so fast it doesn't matter if it is warded by ghosting and using Devastating Charge at the same time! Plus the knock back E provides makes it very easy to dispatch them while ghosting.

Flash (and why I don't take it):
Flash only covers a short distance and is only truly useful vs Jarvan's ultimate. But considering you can charge away with Devastating Charge and only Rammus or another Hecarim can keep up with it there is really no need for it. While there may be scenarios where you need to flash out of a turret or over a wall, you can just out run any pursuers. If they cut you off it means you have not been warding enough or were not being map aware. If you do get caught in a pincer move just execute yourself on a turret so they don't get the kill.

Cleanse: I would only use this on against a team with lots of debuffs (example: swain) or has lots of CC that will mess up your ganking (exmp: taric, riven, veigar) In these cases i can see dropping ghost for cleanse.
Ignite/ Exhaust: If you feel confident that you will not need ghost for ganking because Devastating Charge has yet to fail you then these abilities have some viability. Ignite can finish off a runner and exhaust will keep the runner with you.

Do not get:
Teleport: This ability is only handy when laning because currently when using it you will be seen through fog of war and even if the ward is in a bush! this makes it worthless!!
Clarity: you should have blue anyways!!!!!!
Clairvoyance: you aren't a support...
Promote: What would you even... just don't...
Revive: this only has potential in a game that lasts an hour because the rez timers will be about a minute and ten seconds...

Usable, but not as good as the others:

Heal: if you are having MAJOR issues with staying alive or if you like to heal right before (or during) a gank to add some power.
Surge:Nice boost of damage and increase to your AP, but this is not really that handy because it has a VERY obvious indicator and you can just be avoided for its duration.

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Warpath (Passive): No Unit collision and gains a percent of bonus movement speed as AD (25% at 18)

Rampage (Q): Cleaves nearby Enemies dealing damage. Every Attack gives a stacking buff that reduces the next swings cool down by 1 second (up to 2 stacks).

Spirit of Dread (W): Creates an aura around Hecarim that deals magic damage over time. Hecarim is healed for a percentage of the damage dealt to enemies.

Devastating Charge (E): Movement speed increases over time for 4 seconds. If an attack is made during this time the unit is knocked back.

Onslaught of Shadows (R): Summons a group of spectral riders and charges to set location dealing magic damage to enemies Hecarim collides with. After Hecarim finishes his charge he sends out a shock wave terrifying enemy units. (Spectral riders move full distance)


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

As you may have noticed he has many AoE abilities. This means while ganking he does a considerable amount of damage to anyone in the lane (if they are close together). This also means he can clear minion waves very quickly with his Rampage and Spirit of Dread.

His mobility comes from his Devastating Charge and the movement speed it brings him. This can be used for various strategies and positioning Hecarim for team fights (chasing a carry).

What many people do not understand about Hecarim's ultimate ability is that the terrify comes when he finishes his charge, rather than when he hits them. This means you can charge through enemies and not fear them. So what ends up happening is that people who are new to him will always charge the max distance or to the farthest player. To get the terrify on as many people as possible target the middle of their group so that the ring is hitting as many as you can. This will terrify them and send them in all directions splitting them up.

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Ability order

Some of you may look at this guide and say "Why Rampage?? Why not Spirit of Dread for the heal?" to you I say, this heal has a cap! even if you max it the heal still caps after a certain amount of damage. While Spirit of Dread is a very good minion clearer it is also not as powerful as Rampage when ganking (or so i have found). But you may argue that it increase with leveling it. While it is true, wriggles should keep you healed anyways! If you are having health issues then you are doing something wrong. This being said I always max Rampage first and W second.

Since Devastating Charge is a speed boost and only increase in damage per level up, not in speed increase, it is not as good when ranked up first. This being said 1 point at level 4 is all that is needed.

Your ults damage is very high considering it is magical. This means level it at 6 11 and 16 ALWAYS!! Not only is the damage relatively high it has an amazing terrify that can change the flow of battle in the blink of an eye!

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Spirits Vs Cleaves (indepth)

Many guides I have looked through recently have said "rush Spirit of Dread to level 5" and as my guide clearly shows, I prefer Rampage! And here is why.

Rampage rank 1: 50 damages (25 to minions) CD: 4 seconds (decrease to 2 seconds after 2 swings of Rampage)
Spirit of Dread rank 1: 20 damage every second for 4 seconds up to 80 damage (+80% of AP) CD: 14 seconds

What this means is that at rank 1 in 14 seconds of time attacking jungle creeps you would do either 80 damage with Spirit of Dread and heal for 8 damage + melee swings to 60 health (no AP) or 175 damage with Rampage at rank 1 over 13 seconds. This means that what you gain from Spirit of Dread over Rampage is simply sustain in the jungle, but you lose almost HALF the damage rampage deals.

Now obviously at level 2 you will have both and at level 3 you either take one or the other (or try to get an early gank with a charge). Now the data looks something like this.

Rampage rank 2: 85 damage per swing
Spirit of Dread rank 2: 125 damage and 90 healing vs creeps, 15% healing otherwise.

This means that your damage is still not even that close to rampage at level 1, you gained 45 damage and 30 more healing, which is still 50 damage less. Or you rank up Rampage and get an increase of damage to creeps of 85 (175 >> 255) but not only that, you should start ganking soon. This means that Rampage will be hitting for 510 damage over 14 seconds and over 5 seconds (considering ganks are not that long) it will hit for 255 (which is still more than Spirit of Dread!!!)

As you work your way up you will be following one or the other to level 5, once you get here it is mid game and you need to know damage out put as well as healing done.

Rampage rank 5: 190 a hit
Spirit of Dread rank 5: 260 damage over 4 seconds, 30% healing.

At rank 5 Rampage hits for 190 and over 5 seconds will deal 570 damage and over 13 seconds it will deal 1330 damage. On the other hand Spirit of Dread deals only 260 damage and heals for 30% of all damage you deal. Now at rank 5 of both of these you will have either 2 in Spirit of Dread or Rampage. Taking the data from earlier you will be doing either 1330 + 125 and heal for 15% of that damage. This comes to 1455 and 218.25 heal (not including you auto attacks). If you have rank 5 in spirit of dread you will do 260 + 510 and 30% as healing, this damage comes out to 770 and 231 healing. So in the end you do about half the damage and only 13 more healing. So as far as a fight goes, the advantage goes to rampage because you will kill them or get them low enough for a teammate to get a kill!

One counter argument for Spirits over cleave is that the range is much shorter on cleave. This shouldn't matter since you take boots early (or at least I do to max cleave powah!!). If the enemy team has lots of CC then learn how to avoid it, unless it is Taric...

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To start you want to take a Cloth Armor and 5 (or 4) Health Potion. This gives him a little bit of survivability and healing pots keep him closer to full health for ganking or getting counter jungled.
Wriggle's Lantern is a must for almost all jungling champions. The bonus damage that it deals to minions is out right absurd. Not only that it gives you some life steal so that you have a small amount of sustain. Last but not least the fact that you get a free ward every 3 minutes! This means you can ward dragon/baron for free or counter jungle with it.

This is where choices come into play.

Since Hecarim is an item heavy champ it becomes clear early on that you need movement speed to keep up with enemy champions so that you can keep your Rampage rolling. This being said Rampage will also keep Sheen rolling and make jungling much faster.
Once you have Sheen you have to choose whether you will be tankier or squishy. If the enemy team is really bad and your team is doing well, building squishy shouldn't be an issue, go for an early Zeal. But if the other team is good or better than your team you will want the tankiness simply so you can survive team fights.
If you choose to be tankier you will want to grab Phage for the slow it gives. After this you will want to lead into a Trinity Force. Trinity Force is an amazing item for Hecarim, the speed boost from the Zeal and the slow from Phage on top of all of that your Sheen is upgraded to 150% rather than 100%.
If you are going to be an AD carry type, grab a Phantom Dancer since Frozen Mallet will be better because you will just wail on them regardless of ability spamming.

Past these item choices the items you buy will be pretty generic for off tanking or AD carry.
Depending on the enemy team change up your items for off tanking/AD carry.
Example: Malzhar >>> buy QSS( Quicksilver Sash)

End Game items:

___________________ ________


There is a lot of debate over which of these 2 is better for Hecarim. As far as stats are concerned it comes out as such.
Maw of Malmortius
55 AD
26 MR
Passive:for every 2.5% health missing you gain 1 AD
Passive:If you take damage that would reduce you below 30% max health you gain a shield against 400 magic damage


Phantom Dancer
55 AS
30 crit
15% movement speed

As far as AD goes you only gain 25% of BONUS movement speed, this means Phantom Dancer provides only 3.75 AD while MoM gives 55 AD and AD as you lose health! Plus if you are low and Karthus tries to ult you down it may save you! Not only that but after you loose 10% of your health you have already gained more AD than you would have with Phantom Dancer! While you may not gain the movement speed, at this point in the game you shouldn't need it any ways. Trinity Force will keep them close and already gives you a movement buff. And if that is not enough for you, you have Ghost already! If you don't that is fine too.

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As far as jungling goes i have found that starting at blue is best because it allows for spamming of your abilities in the jungle. This means your Rampage will almost always have a stack of 2. Your Spirit of Dread will heal you very little so just keep health pots rolling between camps.

Clearing paths:

Blue Path
After clearing blue you should go:
Wolves > wraiths > red (check bushes for counter jungling) > double golems > wraiths > wolves > B or gank (depending on your health)

Red Path
After killing red decide either to early gank mid or bot. If you decide against an early gank your path will be something along the lines of:
Double golem > Wraiths > wolves > blue > B or gank

No leash
Start at double golems, use smite on the big golem. After downing them head to wraiths, focus the big wraith first. Rampage will cleave down the smaller ones. After this clear out wolves and blue. At this point smite will be up, make sure to finish off blue with it. After clearing out blue gank top or go and clear out wraiths again.

After finishing the first run:

At this point you should be level 4 (time to start ganking!!).
You should buy boots and a Long Sword as well as a few more pots. If you have the money buy a ward or 2 so that you can ward your own jungle or start counter jungling. Your blue buff should still be up. Decide which lane is in the most trouble and go help them.

As I stated above, use Devastating Charge and Ghost to gank early game so that they can't escape no matter what!
After your buffs wear off just continue jungling like normal, hopping out of the jungle when a lane gets pushed. Make sure to ward Dragon with you Wriggle's Lantern until Baron becomes more important (25 minutes or 30 in my opinion)
Once you have Wriggle's Lantern it is up to you whether or not to hand blue to your AP carry or keep it so you can gank with full mana and burst abilities.

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Red circles = High priority, place Vision Wards at these spots. If you don't have enough money early game for Vision Wards at dragon then just use regular wards. If the enemy has a Vision Ward then they will come clear out your ward and you now know it is there! To counter this you can place you ward along the inside wall and hide it from their wards view.

Orange circles = Counter Jungling placement. Putting wards here will allow you (or your team) to steal enemy buffs if they go to clear them. When placing these wards make sure to go in advance (about a minute before they respawn). After placing these you can now hide over walls and smite the buff creep right before it dies and run like no other!

Yellow circles = These wards prevent counter jungling of your buffs. Similar to counter jungling this will allow you to steal the buff over walls or kill off the champ trying to take your buff!

Blue circles = safety wards. These wards allow your bottom, top, and mid to extend a little bit more because it allows them to see ganks coming.


To counter wards it is some times beneficial to grab an Oracle's Elixir so that you can clear out any enemy wards in your jungle, in bushes, in the enemy jungle, and at baron/dragon. I suggest taking an Oracle's Elixir early if the enemy is warding a lot, this will get you 25 gold per ward you kill and they will have to go back to base and get more wards and spend more money, all the while you make a profit! But I caution buying these repeatedly because it means that you will be spending 400g per elixir. If you die often or are the focus in team fights DON'T BUY THIS ITEM you will not make nearly enough off clearing wards to even out the money you spend on these.

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Team Work

When Ganking you need to be VERY aware of the map. If you are seen your ganking will become a challenge. Also when ganking try to come up behind them so you can knock them away with Devastating Charge.

There are 2 ways to initiate so that your team can benefit.
1. Devastating Charge in and knock the enemy to them.
2. Onslaught of Shadows in and use the fear to drive them into a turret or your team.

This will be very useful early game because most champs can't handle the turret early game and if you fear them they cant help but run farther in.

Late game your ult will become an amazing tool to split up the enemy team and let your team focus their carries. Also since Hecarim consists of mostly AoEs it would be very beneficial to your team to be near more than 1 player (aka don't hit the tanks...). Since Rampage hits so hard on squishy AD carries and AP carries it is very helpful if you focus them down using your abilities in a fashion that keeps them either running away or CCed so your team can burn them.

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Solo Top

While i personally prefer not to solo top with Hecarim, i have seen it done very well from certain people. His heal from W gives him good sustain.

As far as abilities are concerned for top it is very similar to jungling. Q is maxed first because it allows for easier last hitting and quicker clearing. W is also a very good choice for maxing early, this being the case i recommend a mix of the 2 as you level rather than rushing one or the other.

Ability order:

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

Now you may look at this and notice that Spirit of Dread is maxed first. This is because versus a player its heal has no cap! You basically gain a 10/15/20/25/30 life steal buff for 4 seconds! This makes it a much more powerful tool when fighting it out at top in a 1v1. At the same time you loose that awesome rampage damage... so thats why it is so mixed together for my top build.

Abilities for solo top:
Ghost: of course, his passive still applies.
Ignite: helps finish them off if they are running at the same speed and are low. (also good vs mundo)
Exhaust: helps keep you close before you get a Phage/ Trinity Force/ Frozen Mallet.
Teleport: allows buying and returning to lane quicker.

As far as masteries go, I choose to go with a more offensive build because I did not need the survivability due to the fact minions fight each other. I stick with utility for the speed boost (which leads to more AD).

As far as top solo runes go, I would build for movement speed quintessences, armor pen. marks, armor seals, and MR per level glyphs.

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Is AP Hecarim viable?

While AP Hecarim is viable, in normal games, it is heavily reliant on being next to your target so that Spirit of Dread can do damage. While Devastating Charge can keep you close it only lasts 4 seconds and has a very long CD (24 seconds). Your ult may also keep them close (and hit them very hard) with its terrify, its cool down is very long and only a threat to squishier players.

AP items

As an AP Hecarim your item build is going to be revolving around Lich Bane because it will continuously roll due to Rampage. Past your Lich Bane you will be following a general nuke guide line for items.
While you already receive healing from your Spirit of Dread, this healing increases at 5% per level starting at 10%, with Will of the Ancients it is pushed to 50% healing at level 5.
>> >>
This is the order i would take for AP Hecarim after finishing a Lich Bane and Will of the Ancients

Let me remind you that AP Hecarim is not viable for ranked due to the fact that it has no late game potential other than its ult.

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This is still a work in progress and i welcome feed back as well as alternatives to items / builds. I am constantly updating it as i play. Leave a comment if there is anything you think should be added!