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Hecarim Build Guide by HandOfTheArchon

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League of Legends Build Guide Author HandOfTheArchon

Hecarim Solo Top [In-depth] (Patch 3.8)

HandOfTheArchon Last updated on June 12, 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: 17

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 4

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Hi guys, HandOfTheArchon here, this is my Hecarim guide! - Here to give you insight on how I play Hecarim and how playing the way I play can improve your game with him as well. It took me a long time to create this guide for all you guys so please bare that in mind and give a reason before you -1 my guide, but i will welcome all feedback, positive or negative. Now without any further ado, thank you for taking the time to read my guide, and I hope it helps or gives you new ideas on how to play Hecarim.

Note: I am not going to link or post any videos that show unbelievable scores because that won't always happen and I don't want to mislead people, everyone plays differently and what might work for one person might not work for another. The only videos I will put up are tutorials and perhaps an example of how the preferred build's sustain works.

About the Author

Hi, I'm HandOfTheArchon and I play on the EUW server, I've been playing League of Legends since season 1 on and off because I'm a casual gamer, recently coming back in season 3 in February. I've tried every role in the game and can say that I can play ADC, Mid or even support, but my main is solo top. This is my most favorite area and my best for I am an inexperienced jungler and I dont like the support style of play. While playing solo top I have played various champions and have found that my favorite selection consists of Malphite, Vi, Darius, Garen, Mordekaiser, Jarvan IV, Nasus, Pantheon, Zac and of course Hecarim. Solo top is most definitely my best spot to be in and my main, I also usually play off-tank but can go full tank depending on team composition.

Introduction to Hecarim

Hecarim is one of the coolest and funnest champs I have ever played and I have been using him quite a lot recently. I like the insane movement speed that you gain from E and I enjoy kiting enemies using Devastating Charge which is also a great tool for mobility around the map, setting up and avoiding ganks/ escaping. Rampage is a nice tool to harass enemy champions and farm, especially when you build mana and CDR items, max early for harass but be careful not to overuse as it can quickly reduce your mana. Hecarim's passive Warpath is really nice and adds mobility, Spirit of Dread is really nice when scaled because it can give you a nice sustain and Hecarim's ult Onslaught of Shadows is the cherry on top with its mass fear and kiting/ escape potential. Also most people see Hecarim going jungle so most people would be surprised to see that you have gone top if your team has another champion that is viable at solo top, thus the enemy team may select the wrong counter for the wrong top, allowing you to benefit from not facing a counter champion.

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Pros & Cons

  • Can jungle/gank effectively
  • Good sustain early and late game
  • High mobility
  • Can escape ganks well
  • Great gap closer
  • Very fast
  • Great CC
  • Mana is less of an issue late game
  • MS scales well with Hecarim
  • Can tower dive early

  • Large model
  • Often focused
  • Slowing Hecarim can be punishing
  • Takes time to master
  • Requires more mana for roaming
  • Spamming Rampage can deplete mana pool
  • High build cost

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Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
  • Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: This rune allows Hecarim to get around the map even quicker to setup ganks, roam and escape ganks, this also scales well with his passive Warpath which increases attack damage for a percentage of your MS. This will undoubtedly make Hecarim the fastest champion in the match and allow you to get your boots at a later stage if you want to rush The Black Cleaver or Spirit of the Elder Lizard first. These will replace the need for Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage because your attack will increase as you level up from your MS and you'll be faster overall which is greater than the flat attack damage you gain.
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage: These runes give Hecarim a much needed attack damage boost which your not getting from your masteries, Rampage does little damage early and you will find it hard to farm without these, however if your against tanky champs you can always swap these for Greater mark of armor penetration, either mark allows you to harass more and farm well or better depending if you start with Hunter's Machete or not, but getting the Long Sword allows you to make your mind about which item you want to build first between Spirit of the Elder Lizard and The Black Cleaver. Also, most champions at top will be using Greater Seal of Armor runes and the ARpen you get from greater mark of armor penetration will allow you to ignore some of their armor, so these runes may be a more viable choice but it's really player preference and these aren't set in stone.
  • Greater Seal of Armor: This rune is useful against most AD champs and will allow you to survive for longer combined with Spirit of Dread against top laners because with Hecarim you have to get in close to harass and he has a large model so its easy to poke if the enemy champion is ranged or has ranged abilities. Most champions will be using either Greater Mark of Attack Damage or greater mark of armor penetration so these flat armor runes would be the best choice either way, unless of course you are facing a pure AP top such as Ryze, however this doesn't happen often and you must keep in mind what champion the jungler is using.
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: These runes are used typically when going top because most champs you face are primarily AD champs and if they deal magic damage such as Akali it will only be later on of which your runes will have scaled enough to be close to the benefit of using flat magic resistance runes, however if your enemy champion is AP based, then you can swap these for Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. The scaling runes are also better mid or late game when the APC's are dealing heavier damage because you would be getting more MR than the flat MR runes by this point.

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Masteries: 17/9/4


I invest 17 points into the offensive tree for the extra damage and ARpen in case I want to use Greater Mark of Attack Damage instead of greater mark of armor penetration. Also the CDR is useful if you want to spam Rampage more often and its always nice to use your other abilities more often for better sustain and damage, the added mana you get from Iceborn Gauntlet or Frozen Heart allows you to do so without having to go back to base to replenish your mana. Further more I put 1 into Summoner's Wrath because is scales your main summoner spells and allows you to get an extra 5 AD an AP while Ignite is on cooldown. The increased speed from Ghost scales with your passive Warpath and gives you even more mobility to escape ganks, close gaps, and setup ganks.

However, you can swap these masteries for a more tankier approach and go for 1/22/7.

Masteries: 1/22/7


Again I invest 1 in Summoner's Wrath for the scaled summoner spells Hecarim is best suited to. This time slightly tankier due to the 22 points in the defense tree, better suited for higher sustain builds. The extra 2 points in Meditation allow you to stay top and farm/ use abilities move often i.e. Spirit of Dread for better sustain. I replaced the CDR from Sorcery because you get more CDR from the high sustain build so it became obsolete. The 1 point in Mastermind allows you to use your summoner spells more often, allowing you to use your Ghost or Flash to escape ganks if Devastating Charge is on cooldown, or in case you might need both if your pushing hard.

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Summoner Spells

Useful Summoner Spells

Ghost is the best choice for Hecarim as it scales his attack damage from his passive Warpath. Also used in conjunction with Devastating Charge allows Hecarim to move very quickly to escape ganks, setup ganks or close gaps. Using these together also gives you more of a chance to kite the enemy to push him away from the tower and toward your creeps/ jungler.

Flash is another viable choice for Hecarim because it can allow you to get away from ganks in some cases quicker than Ghost, it's even more viable when your on low health or the enemy jungler has a gap closer of his own/ stun. However using Flash means you won't get the added AD from your passive and you won't be able to move around as much, thus less likely to close gaps, escape ganks, setup ganks, and help team mates.

Ignite is the best second choice for any damage dealing champion that isn't playing support because it can be very useful to finish off enemy champs and stop champions with life gaining abilities such as Sion, Dr. Mundo, Vladimir etc. Also the extra 5 AD and AP while on cooldown can be helpful early game.[

Alternative Summoner Spells

Exhaust can be useful instead of flash because it can slow enemies and reduce their damage output in case your losing the fight, your being ganked or you want to kill them before they get to their tower in case your low health or you don't want to risk it and finally, if they have a movement utility of their own, it can help to stop them.

Teleport This can be helpful if you think you might struggle on your lane and are against a heavy harass champ and need to back more often. Also can be used to help team mates and gank so you can come back from a no win situation or defend a tower.

Barrier This could be helpful if your against a heavy AD champ and want to go toe to toe/ neck and neck, however this can be very risky and its probably better if you choose a more mobile summoner spell like Flash or Ghost. Also this could help to survive a gank but is probably more useful early game than late game, wouldn't pick this often.[

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  • This is Hecarim's passive and increases your attack damage for a percentage of your MS. This is a great passive to have in conjunction with summoner spells like Ghost and skills like Devastating Charge. Also your Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed scale up your attack speed by a good amount early game giving you an edge of attack damage and MS.
  • Rampage is Hecarim's main tool of destruction and farming, this skill has a low cooldown which gets even lower if you use it consecutively, provided you are hitting an enemy minion or champion etc. This ability may have low damage to begin with but allows you to farm well by finishing off low health creeps and with your superior MS you can use Rampage consecutively while chasing, but be cautious, giving chase and spamming this ability too much can easily deplete your mana early game, but late game this becomes less of an issue. Also this ability scales well with your core items and maximizes their potential.
Spirit of Dread
  • This ability gives Hecarim a high amount of sustain throughout the game and scales amazingly with the core items and makes you nearly impossible to kill late game. This is especially useful during solo top because you will find that you won't have to go back to base too often and can farm at your own leisure depending on the enemy champion.
Devastating Charge
  • This skill is more of a utility because it allows you to move around quickly, closing gaps and setting up ganks and escaping etc. The MS increase doesn't scale as you level up and is not a primary source of damage for Hecarim, it is therefore better to level Rampage and Spirit of Dread first. Don't forget the MS increase scales your attack damage from your passive so make sure to hit your enemy just before the four second marker and try to get behind the enemy if possible to push him away from his turret or towards your creeps/ jungler.
Onslaught of Shadows
  • This ulti is a great CC and allows you to dive into the enemy team which usually secures the team fights if your team is ready to engage after you, however missing this ult will land you in a bad situation and will not make enemies fear away from their turret unless you run behind them with the ult, remember that Hecarim can choose how far he runs with his ult so if your low you don't have to run behind them into their tower etc.

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Skill Sequence

Off-Tank Skill Sequence


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

  • Rampage is maxed first because it the main tool of damage and is the main farming tool for the off-tank build. This ability scales well with the core items.
How to use Rampage effectively:
  • Rampage only uses little mana but has a short cooldown which means it can be spammed, however spamming this early game will deplete mana quickly so use it with caution. Late game this becomes less of a problem.
  • Rampage should only be used early game to finish off minions or harass, also you can spam to your hearts content when chasing champs but make sure to auto-attack in-between to maximize damage output.
  • Spirit of Dread is maxed second because it gives you high sustain and allows you to farm better, also stacks well with core items.
How to use Spirit of Dread effectively:
  • Spirit of Dread should only be used when you don't have full health to maximize it's potential unless your being attacked/ attacking and need its sustain.
  • Spirit of Dread deals a small amount of magic damage in an area over 4 seconds and the range is bigger than your Rampage, this means if your ignite is on cooldown and you can't quite reach your enemy before they reach their tower, then leaving this ability until this moment can allow you to finish the enemy off without getting too close to their tower or tower diving and finishing with an auto-attack/ Rampage. This won't happen often because if your opponent is good you will have to use your sustain more often than not, however if your winning your lane comfortably then you can save it until it's needed.
  • Devastating Charge is maxed last because it's more of a utility and the movement speed does not scale as you level up and it doesn't scale as well with your core items as your other abilities and isn't the primary source of damage as stated before.
How to use Devastating Charge effectively:
  • Devastating Charge is a great gap closer and gives you high mobility, allowing you to escape ganks and setup ganks. This means that you must be patient and plan ahead when using this ability because wasting it can leave you almost helpless and unable to contribute when it counts, also unable to push enemy champs away from their tower so you can finish them off.
  • Timing this ability well can allow you to maximize it's damage, make sure not to try and hit the champion around the 1-2 second mark. Also be careful not to accidentally target a minion or the front of the enemy champion because this can reduce chances of a successful gank/ kill or one altogether.
  • Onslaught of Shadows is maxed at levels 6, 11 and 16. This is obvious because it's Hecarim's ultimate and allows you to fear enemies, moving them away from towers, and to escape ganks/ set them up.
How to use Onslaught of Shadows effectively:
  • Onslaught of Shadows Can be used in-conjunction with Devastating Charge to run behind the enemy with your ultimate, fearing them, then pushing them towards your team or away from tower. Be sure to wait a couple of seconds before using Onslaught of Shadows after activating Devastating Charge to maximize damage.
  • Onslaught of Shadows can be used to escape risky situations because of it's large range, however be careful not to use this in a situation where your team will need your help in order to win the team fight, in other words, don't run unless it's absolutely necessary because your ultimate can turn team battles around from a losing situation.
  • Onslaught of Shadows can be used without moving Hecarim into the enemy team or behind them if you don't want to get hit be the turret or get into a bad situation. Remember that your ultimate will always move its full range and you don't have to run into the enemy team if you know you won't be able to survive, also take into account that the enemy team won't move towards your team if you don't run the full distance behind the enemy champions.
  • You can either use Onslaught of Shadows to initiate onto the enemy team to fear them all and provide your team with a big advantage, or you can save it until your tank has initiated if you have one. But keep in mind if your tank makes a mistake by initiating, don't try to be a hero, and remember to keep in mind that you should only use this if your team is close enough to make full use of the situation, fearing the enemy team and being the only one dealing damage is a wasted opportunity for your team and can be punishing late game.

High Sustain Skill Sequence


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

  • Spirit of Dread is maxed first because it provides the best potential for sustain for the high sustain build, if you want to go AP. However you can swap Seraph's Embrace for Ravenous Hydra and go AD but this depends on player preference, both items are useful, just depends on how offensive or defensive you want to be.
  • Rampage is maxed second because it has the most damage potential for a short amount of time, while the build may focus on AP, if you decide to swap it around to focus on AD, then you could always max this first instead.
  • Devastating Charge Is again more of a utility and you won't gain much damage from it, it's better to level the other skills first.

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Starting Items

Standard start: sight ward x2 or Against heavy AD: x2 sight ward

sight ward x2
Boots of Speed is taken to add extra AD coupled with your AD runes or ARpen runes. You can buy a Long Sword on your first back after you gauge your opponent and their item choice, leading to The Black Cleaver. The health pots are used for extra sustain early laning phase and the sight ward to ward of junglers.

sight ward
Cloth Armor is taken if you are going against heavy AD champions like Fiora, Riven or Xin Zhao etc. This allows you to survive longer while using a Health Potion whenever you need to. Because Hecarim can survive a while early game and has a large model therefore prone to ganking, I decided to include a sight ward into the starting items instead of getting Health Potion x5, however this is player preference, if you are new to Hecarim then you can always go for 5x Health Potion. Cloth Armor can be built into Ninja Tabi early or saved for Randuin's Omen mid/ late game.

Core Items

Hextech Gunblade provides Hecarim with a huge amount of sustain coupled with a large amount of AD once you have bought and upgraded Sheen to Iceborn Gauntlet or Trinity Force. This allows you to repeatedly spam Rampage while slowing enemies with your auto attack every 2 seconds worrying less about your mana.

Sheen can either be built into Iceborn Gauntlet or Trinity Force, either item scales well with Hecarim's abilities. You can either go for the tankier approach if you need more armor or you can go for the balanced approach with more health and increased MS etc. The passive from Sheen is very useful early game where you can spam Rampage and activate the passive to deal extra damage with your auto-attack.

Spirit Visage is a great item for Hecarim because it gives him extra health, MR, CDR and a better sustain, all of these are great on Hecarim allowing you to use his abilities more often, allowing you to use Spirit of Dread more often for its sustain and Rampage for more repetitive damage.

Core Items Vs. AD

Sunfire Cape is a great item for Hecarim because its passive plays well with his AOE Spirit of Dread, the armor and health gained are very useful against most AD champs and I usually get this every game.

Iceborn Gauntlet provides you with a nice amount of armor and scales well with your abilities. The unique passive spellblade allows you to slow multiple enemies after using an ability and then using your auto-attack. This can help to chase down those faster champs like Kassadin, Ezreal and Nidalee.

Randuin's Omen makes you unstoppable against AD champions that rely on auto-attacks because it slows their attack speed and gives you a big boost in health and armor. Also the passive allows you to slow champions within an area further helping you to chase down those pesky champs.

Core Items Vs. AP

Maw of Malmortius is a great item because it gives you a decent amount of MR and it's passives give you +1 attack damage for every 2.5% of maximum health missing and a shield that can absorb a large amount magic damage, this is very effective against APC's, getting Maw of Malmortius provides you with a good offensive and defensive weapon, a must for Hecarim against an AP team.

Twin Shadows is an underrated item for Hecarim and not many people I have seen use this. It's great because it gives you a MS increase as well as MR and AP. The passive allows you to scout and/or slow the two nearest champions allowing you to gain a degree of map awareness and chase down those faster champions like Kassadin and Nidalee who both play AP.

Spirit Visage is one of the core items of this build and should be bought every time you use Hecarim regardless of the enemy team's composition because of the advantage it gives you with your sustain, taking this every game will help a lot.

Alternative Items

Frozen Heart can be used instead of Iceborn Gauntlet if you want to upgrade your Sheen to Trinity Force, giving you more armor and CDR, also slowing the attack speed of surrounding enemies which would be useful against a heavier AD team.

Trinity Force is a good item to get instead of Iceborn Gauntlet because of the offensive capability it gives Hecarim compared with Iceborn Gauntlet, however you may have to swap one item for Frozen Heart in order to gain what you may have lost from not buying Iceborn Gauntlet.

Guardian Angel is a nice item to get if your the main DPS on your team, which means you will be focused more often than not, aside from the fact that Hecarim has a large model and is more often that not the initiator and dives into enemy teams with his ultimate. Guardian Angel gives you extra armor and MR, as well as a nice passive that revives you upon death once every 5 minutes. However I would probably get a different item against a mixed team like Runic Bulwark which benefits the whole team and gives extra health.

Athene's Unholy Grail is a very nice item coupled with Iceborn Gauntlet or Frozen Heart because it allows you to keep spamming Rampage because of the mana regen and amount of mana, I usually get this against an AP team.

Other useful and viable items

Ravenous Hydra This item is great because it provides your basic attack with an AOE attack that can couple well with Iceborn Gauntlet and is usually rushed after building gauntlet. This item makes Hecarim deal insane AOE damage and makes his sustain even more OP when you buy Spirit Visage and/ or Hextech Gunblade. However I don't usually get this item because I might need to go tankier.

The Black Cleaver is a great item against tanks, especially if your facing a tank top lane. This item gives you CDR and ARpen allowing you to reduce the enemies armor repeatedly, even more so if you spam Rampage, this item is really nice on Hecarim but I only buy this when I'm against a tanky team.

Spirit of the Elder Lizard can be rushed early game instead of The Black Cleaver because it gives you a good amount of damage and sustain early game, however late game this becomes less viable. Since patch 3.8 this item has become less viable because it won't help your farm at lane.

Situational Items

Runic Bulwark is a great item to get if your support isn't building it. I find it better to use than Locket of the Iron Solari because it benefits all nearby champions and minions with armor, MR and health regen. I feel that this is better than providing a small shield to all allies because it makes your whole team tankier.

Spirit of the Ancient Golem is a great item to get if your enemy team has a lot of CC and heavy AD because it provides you with tenacity and health, and allows you to build Ninja Tabi to deal with the AD instead of buying Mercury's Treads for the tenacity bonus, any needed MR or armor can come later in the game. However since the 3.8 patch I wouldn't recommend this item since it no longer helps your farm at lane.

Mercurial Scimitar is a nice item to get if your enemy team has high amounts of AP and CC because it provides you with some MR and an activated ability that removes all debuffs and increases movement speed for 1 second, allowing you to escape dangerous situations. Also you can still get the Mercury's Treads for MR and tenacity.

Zephyr is similar to Spirit of the Ancient Golem because it gives you tenacity and allows you to get Ninja Tabi against heavy AD teams. However it gives you a more offensive capability instead of better sustain that Spirit of the Ancient Golem provides.

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In order to farm well with Hecarim you need to level up Rampage and Spirit of Dread first because of their AOE damage and the short cooldown of Rampage. As Hecarim you can auto-attack the minions that are taking the least damage from your team's creeps, then through careful precision you can time Rampage perfectly to finish off enemy creeps that your minions and yourself have targeted. However at lower levels Rampage will deal a small amount of damage so you must wait for the minion's health to be very low, this could lead up to a creep stealing a last hit from you, also, spamming Rampage can lead you to losing track of all the enemy creep's health and end up missing the last hit and/ or giving your creeps the last hits. Whereas if you wait and keep an eye on your enemy creeps and not spam Rampage early game, you should be able to clear creep waves most of the time, getting all last hits. At mid game when you have bought a few items and leveled Rampage and Spirit of Dread, you should be comfortable with just running into the enemy creep wave spamming these abilities and usually killing most, if not all the creeps, this is due to the higher damage of your Rampage, the lower cooldown, and the damage from Spirit of Dread which is useful at finishing off minions with very small amounts of health left, that they may die from 1 more attack from a creep. Spirit of Dread can be useful at finishing off those minions that are close to the enemy turret on very little health or targeting those minions that are on very small health that are being attacked by your minions and your auto-attack is being used on another minion on small health and your in-between cooldowns with your Rampage. If your creeps are too far away from the enemy turret and not being hit by it then Spirit of Dread can reach those minions under the turret without you getting into range of the turret.

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Laning Phase


As a solo top it is your job to outplay your opponent by getting as much gold and experience as possible, it is important to try and get more CS than your opponent by zoning and killing him. However it is equally as important to hold onto the tower as long as possible until mid game where everyone starts roaming more, at which point, everyone may leave their tower at some point. However it is also possible for you to leave your tower while your opponent has and to gank or help out other lanes, but be mindful of the enemies position, he may just be hiding in the brush in which case you need a ward and should be using them to ward off enemy junglers. If your jungler doesn't have to come top too often to help out then you're doing a good job and fighting well for your lane. Any lane requires careful play when deciding to harass and zone your opponents, also when you decide to go back. You don't want to go back after losing track after your opponent fakes back, you should be able to tell this by identifying which brush he went in if any, how high his health was and if he has any consumables or sustain abilities. If your opponent tricks you he can advance on your turret and lead the CS on your lane while your back buying items/ regenerating and replenishing mana. However you can try to trick your opponent too by hiding in brush, hopefully he doesn't think of your Spirit of Dread sustain and doesn't look to see if you have any consumables. However doing this too often can lead to them identifying these situations are come after you, so you must be mindful of how regularly you try to do this, also keep in mind if the enemy is buying wards.

Harass and Trades

Hecarim has no ranged pokes but this is OK because most AD tops do not have pokes either, but some of them have a closing-gap ability which allows them to reach you or get away quickly. As Hecarim your closing-gap ability Devastating Charge builds up your MS so you can be quicker than your opponent but it isn't instant, its important not to activate this ability while far away from your enemy and not too close. If your far away they will have enough time to react unless you couple with Ghost or Flash. If your too close then they will most likely know it's coming because your playing aggressively. It's important to find that medium ground that puts your opponent off guard so you can harass properly, and to play passively before you execute Spirit of Dread so they don't see it coming. But if you're playing aggressively and then suddenly back off, then the enemy will now something is up and will change his style of play. It is important to maintain a style of play then suddenly change to put them off guard and not to signal your intentions. However if you use Devastating Charge too often then you may find it difficult to escape a gank and the enemy will play cautious because you keep running around the lane. When harassing you can spam Rampage to your heart's content but you must keep in mind the amount of mana you have and when to back off because of your mana level and you don't want them to counter-trade you by chasing for too long or losing all your mana and becoming a target. You have to keep up a play of passive > sudden attack > harass > retreat (with superiour MS and while their still scared of you) > then back to passive or to aggressive if your dominating your trades so you can zone your opponent.

Zoning and Wave Control

Zoning is very important in the laning phase, you can do this by harassing your opponent. Once you have reached a point by harass them continually and successfully, they will start to play cautiously and will back off a bit, this allows you to come between them and your minion wave, denying them last hits but drawing aggro from their creep wave. At this point they will likely back off just from your presence because they have been beaten in trades before and don't want to repeat themselves. As long as you keep attempting to harass while they have backed off, it will keep them at a distance because they will fear you. However it is important not to do this too often so you can't play on your advantage and lose your last hits, and become too cocky and take hits from their tower and pull too much aggro. Playing too aggressively for too often can lead to the enemy changing his style of cautious play to surprise attacks because, lets not forget, he wants to win the lane too. Also pushing the lane too hard can attract the enemy jungler. It is important to keep an eye on the minion wave and know when to freeze it or apply pressure to zone your opponent. Generally you want to freeze the lane just outside your tower's range, allowing you to have a quick retreat to safety in case of danger from the enemy jungler and it makes the enemy champion extend to get his CS which creates ganking opportunities for you and your jungler. If you manage to kill your opponent then you can stop freezing the lane and apply pressure to quickly push the tower, being mindful of the enemy jungler. Pushing the lane towards their tower may allow them to freeze the lane at their tower, however if you have managed to push to the tower then the tower will steal some of their CS and they will feel less inclined to trade with you if they have been harassed away from the tower, however if they have just came back then they will most likely attack you if your still under tower. After pushing the tower and your creep wave has been killed, it is prime time to go back and buy items/ regenerate and replenish mana.
  • Hecarim can push his lane by using AOE clears, for example Rampage and Spirit of Dread.
  • Auto-attacking the enemy champion which draws aggro to you from the minions.
  • AOE damage spells can be used to harass and do not draw aggro from minions.
  • Intercepting the enemy creep wave which draws aggro, usually done to avoid them getting hit by the turret or hitting the turret if its on low health.
  • Allowing the minion wave to hit your tower so you can look for last hits which is a quicker way of pushing the lane.
  • Repeated auto-attacks on minions to push without using mana.
  • Looking for last hits which is the slowest way of pushing and allows the enemy champion to push towards your tower (if he wants to).

If you are farming and your opponent is not, then you will be pushing the creeps towards him. Keep these methods in mind when attempting to zone and wave control your lane. You can use your positioning to make the enemy champion push the lane by making them use their AOE abilities around your creep wave so you can control the lane to a safer area and more risky for them, keep in mind that they can do this to you as well.


Warding is the best way to avoid ganks from enemy junglers or mid laners, in the laning phase there is only a few places you will have to worry about. Usually there is only 3 places from which they can come from unless they possess an ability that allows them to travel great distances or become invisible. For example Nocturne has Paranoia which covers a huge distance across the map so keep in mind which jungler your enemy has. Destiny and Grand Skyfall can also be used by Twisted Fate and Pantheon. Be wary if the enemy jungler is a stealth champion like Evelynn, it would be useful to use a Vision Ward instead of a sight ward to spot these champs.

Apart from these techniques, there are only 3 ways of which you can be ganked from during the laning phase: Lane/ side brush, river and tri-brush.
  • Lane/ side brush is the brush that is on the edge of the map closest to your turret and often the most difficult place to pull off a gank from, but this does not mean you should ignore it. Often this brush is never warded so it is possible for the enemy jungler or laner to camp in the brush. In order to do this, they must first push the wave to your tower, decreasing your line of sight so the enemy jungler/ laner can sneak into the brush/ pretend to go back. The enemy laner can either camp there until you extend from your turret or try to bait you by running into risky positions and then retreating. However this situation isn't very hard to spot if they have suddenly changed their style of play to a more bold approach or try to bait you into trading near the lane brush after recently pushing to your tower.
  • The direct river gank is the most common method of ganking and should be warded at all times. If the enemy jungler has an ability that can move them over the wall then you should move the ward slightly closer to your lane across the wall.
  • The tri-brush gank is usually performed if you try to push the lane too hard, allowing the enemy to hide in the tri-brush and come from your side or wait until you try to invade their jungle after pushing the lane. If you are on the blue team then it may be slightly easier to avoid a gank from the tri-brush near the purple team's red buff jungle. However if your on the purple team, then it may be quite difficult to avoid these ganks. Also don't forget about the brush behind your tower, these ganks are uncommon and take patience but do happen, sometimes the jungler takes the time to run around your jungle to get there.

Accepting Jungler Ganks

In order to accept a gank from your jungler, you need to stop pushing your lane. However you need to be careful not to signal your intentions, otherwise the enemy might sniff out your jungler. You can unintentionally signal to your enemy by suddenly changing your style of play, this can be from a sudden change in aggression or passive play. You should first inform your jungler if they have a ward/ warded the brush. If your jungler has managed to move to the brush without being seen and you haven't telegraphed it, then you should try to bait the enemy or use Ghost and Devastating Charge to get behind the enemy and push them towards your jungler, or you could use Onslaught of Shadows to fear them towards your jungler. If not, you can signal your jungler to initiate if they have a stun/ slowing ability. You can use your Ignite to finish off opponents on low health and don't be afraid of tower diving with Hecarim, just keep in mind what kind of CC your enemy has when you do so.

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Team Fights

During team fights, as Hecarim you will be wanting to initiate most of the time. You can do this by using your ultimate Onslaught of Shadows to run in and fear the whole team, to get maximum effectiveness you can wait until they are all grouped up and then do it, also you can use Devastating Charge beforehand to push on the enemies further towards your team, primarily the enemy carry. After running into the enemy team you can behind to spam Rampage and activate Spirit of Dread after the fear has ended to maximize sustain. Team fights usually happen mid or late game and by this time you should have Iceborn Gauntlet or another slowing item, you should be using your abilities and auto-attacks to maximize damage and slowing potential so the enemy team can't get away. If you don't want to initiate as Hecarim you can get the tank to initiate first if you have another on your team or you can signal someone else to go in if you have small health. Alternatively you can bait the team with your large model and superior MS.

If your team is winning the fight then you can continue to give chase and use Ghost to chase down the faster champs and Ignite to finish off the ones on low health, spamming Rampage and auto-attacks throughout, to slow and deal the most damage. Once the team fight has finished you can proceed to baron/ dragon/ blue or red buff or push the lanes. Be wary of the spawn timers which increase throughout the game, if it's still early then the enemy team may reach you in time to steal dragon/ baron/ red or blue buff. It's important not to over-extend and become trapped while trying to push a lane. Try to take notice when the enemy will spawn and retreat a couple of seconds after they have spawned.

However if your team is losing the fight, you can either ping the retreat and run to safety and defend or you can try and save your team's carry by attacking the closest champion to him/ her. It's important in these situations to protect the carry on your team and keep away the dangerous enemies, so if your Devastating Charge has refreshed or hasn't been used then use it to push away enemy champs, just remember you lose the bonus MS after contact and it only lasts 4 seconds. If you haven't used your ultimate Onslaught of Shadows, you can use it to fear the enemy team, jump back in, or run to safety. Just make sure not to suicide needlessly, and remember that is better if the carry lives, if you are playing the tank. Don't forget to use items like Randuin's Omen.

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Counter champs

Hard match-ups

Nasus is a hard champion to play against as Hecarim because he can easily take away your bonus MS and take away the bonus AD you get from your passive with Wither. Also he can build around your items and tank you, farming his Q, Siphoning Strike. He also has high sustain.
Singed is a challenging top for most AD champs that rely on close quarter combat, he can just push the lane and farm away, never having to engage, and can sustain most of your attacks.
Teemo is very small and you can sometimes miss with Devastating Charge, especially when he has his MS ability up. Also your model is large and if Teemo builds AP then he can easily out poke you and zone you out.

Medium match-ups

Sejuani is quite tanky and can sustain for a while, she also has a lot of CC/ slows and this can render Hecarim extremely vulnerable to ganks and minimizes his farming and harassing potential.
Rumble can block most of your harass with his shield and can trade off the damage.
Sion has a stun that can pretty much stop you from harassing him, not only that but he has a shield and huge sustain once he hits level 6.
Shyvana can deal a lot of damage and can sometimes out trade you.
Malphite is very tanky and will be hard to kill but you can out farm him and beat him in trades. However he can work around your MS.
Yorick has high damage and sustain, he can poke you with his ghouls and deny your last hits.
Pantheon is tough to face and can deny your last hits by throwing his spears/ stunning you, while building his passive.

Easy match-ups

Riven is easy to play against as Hecarim because he has a better sustain, is quicker and can out farm her with better AOEs.
Akali is an assassin and Hecarim eats assassins for breakfast.
Talon is easily out damaged by Hecarim and his burst damage.
Dr. Mundo can easily be out laned but you probably can't kill him.
Garen can be a problem with his silence, spin to win combo but usually, you will out trade him.
Cho'Gath has nothing on Hecarim as long as he can dodge his skill shots.

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In summary Hecarim is one of my favorite champions to play at solo top with his harass and trades/ sustain and high mobility. His build may be expensive but late game he is almost unstoppable. He's a pony.

Thank you for reading my guide! :) - feel free to comment below, submit feedback and criticize, just give me a (good) reason before you down vote my build, I will be making changes throughout and there are more things to come, and I'm sure there may be some things to change or add that I have missed or made a mistake about.

Please up vote my build if you thought it was good and tell me if something needs rectifying so I can change it so others don't lose out if they forget to read the comments :D.

Note: I will be adding screenshots of the masteries and scores of the games I have played at a later date, and I will be adjusting the counter champs section all the time when I encounter different champs or if I find that I have made a mistake in one of the placements.
Hecarim Solo Top [In-depth] (Patch 3.8)

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Special thanks

A special thanks to jhoijhoi who's guilde helped me with all the coding, layout and making mine :).

Also thanks to all those in advance that comment on the build and help me to make it better for everyone who reads it, and for the reviews/ feedback :).

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Change Log

09/06/2013 - Published build
09/06/2013 - Completely removed Muramana from the build, apparently its bad. Replaced item with either The Black Cleaver or Hextech Gunblade.
10/06/2013 - Changed the name of the guide from Hecarim and Pony's cHECkmate Solo Top to Hecarim and Pony's cHECkmate Solo Top [In-depth].
12/06/2013 - After the 3.8 patch I have slightly edited the guide to explain how Spirit of the Elder Lizard and Spirit of the Ancient Golem are less viable since they don't help your lane farm. Also slightly rearranged the build order for examples against AD, AP and preferred build to favor a rush of The Black Cleaver which will be very nice with Rampage. Also changed the standard starting items from Long Sword and Health Potionx2 to Boots of Speed, sight ward and Health Potionx2.
12/06/2013 - Changed the name of the guild to include "Patch 3.8".