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Hecarim Build Guide by Manglador

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Manglador

Hecarim - The Fourth Horseman

Manglador Last updated on April 27, 2012
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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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Introduction (Read First)


General jungle guide, not much to say here. DON'T BLINDLY FOLLOW THE ITEM BUILD IT IS A GENERAL IDEA. Obviously things will be different from game to game. This isn't a guide on how to jungle, I'm assuming if you want to jungle you already know what you're doing to some degree.

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Pro and Cons

  • Fast, very fast.
  • Strong early game burst.
  • One of the best Trinity Force champions I've seen.
  • Ultimate is AoE fear, very strong.
  • Speed is his only way out.
  • Not a tank but will probably need to initiate.
  • Might need to tank, may not do as well as a normal tank.

I know I list some things about tanking or being a tank as bad things but I feel Hecarim's kit is meant to disrupt but not as much as a tank and his POSSIBLE damage output is too high to build him as a tank. Beefy DPS to me is the way to go.

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Masteries, I know, same as what Phreak uses. But you know what? I like them, they take the good jungle stuff from each tree along with Straight damage reduction in Defensive and armor penetration form Offensive. Honestly not much else to explain here. You can use standard 21/9/0 jungle build or even 0/21/9. It's personal preference and I prefer to use the hybrid set up from Phreak.


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Greater Mark of Attack Damage x9
I like these over Armor Penetration runes. Give me stronger early game and the loss for late game is nearly unnoticeable. If you like to gank at level 2 then pure AD runes will help immensely.

Greater Seal of Armor x9
Standard armor seals for jungling. Reduces damage from AD and from jungle minions.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist x9
Standard magic resist glyphs. Reduces magic damage from casters and on hit effects. (As of right now on the guide they are per level, the guide making part of Mobafire is broken and does not have flat magic resist glyphs.)

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed x3
Not only do junglers like to use these for clear time and ganking but they synergize amazingly well on Hecarim. They allow for not only better ganks and faster clear times thru speed but they add bonus move speed giving you more attack damage with your passive. The bonus to your AD also increases clear time thru faster killing.

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Summoner Spells

Choice Options:
Standard for preventing buffs from being stolen, dragon/baron kill secure. Jungling MUST HAVE.

Nice alternative to flash for some people. On Hecarim on the other hand it's amazing. It's not only a nice escape tool but a DPS cooldown. The bonus to your AD is just too nice to pass up. Can't flash over walls? Ult if the situation is desperate enough.

Some-what nice options:

If you REALLY don't like Ghost for whatever reason then by all means enjoy your flash. Can use to hop over walls without blowing your ult. Can put you ahead of an enemy for positioning with
Devastating Charge or Onslaught of Shadows.

Anything Else:
Honestly you don't have too many choices for jungling. Giving up Smite for something else is just stupid and not having a defensive option is dangerous. Exhaust can be used defensively but it can be Cleansed off and is only good against one person.

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Ability Explanation and Sequence

  • Passive: Warpath Ignores unit collision, more AD from bonus attack speed.
  • Q: Rampage Cleave, shorter cooldown after use, stacks up to two times. Spam for damage
  • W: Spirit of Dread AoE magic damage, heals you per unit hit, heal capped for minions.
  • E: Devastating Charge Speeds you up increasing slowly over time, knocks enemy back when you attack them next. Great utility.
  • R: Onslaught of Shadows Fascinating skill shot. Fears those you run over, does damage along the way, you can stop where you want along the path, more damage projected past you to end of the skill shot.

Lets first talk about Hecarim's passive, Warpath. Just like Fizz's passive it allows you to run thru units instead of being forced to run around them. This can allow you to cut thru minions and not have to worry about being blocked or slowed while chasing or running.

Why should we care about unit collision? If you attempt to gank top lane and someone like Jax is there and he Leap Strikes to a minion on the other side of the wave then you usually bump into every single one along the way trying to get to him. But with Warpath you can simply pass thru them and catch up in no time.

Running? Yes running. If you get ganked while in lane and you're near two waves of minions duking it out you get to run thru them but the enemy has to move in between. This can slow someone down significantly.

Hecarim's Q Rampage is a pretty simple ability. It's a cleave so it hits everything nearby. It's also on a 4 second cooldown with 1 second taken off everytime you hit an enemy unit with it for a short time stacking up to two times. This allows for a nice cleave every 2 seconds. Also, with Trinity Force, you get almost guaranteed proc on cooldown for it. I'll explain the almost part later. Max first for damage output.

Spirit of Dread is just an amazing spell. Sadly it scales off of AP but if it was AD it would be way too overpowered. For the next 4 seconds you damage all enemies in an area effect around you gaining healing equal to a certain percentage of the damage dealt. That healing is capped for minions tho making it more effective against a group of champions but it's still not useless against minions. I find this spell can save you if you're running while low if you simply pass thru a group of enemy minions. Also I personally like Sunfire Cape with it, a decent amount of magic damage when combined to every enemy in a fight. Max second for sustain and damage output in fights, team fights especially.

A great utility spell, Devastating Charge can help with ganks, runners, luckers and picking off the carries. It speeds you up increasing with the longer it runs. On your next attack if the buff persists, you knock the enemy forward in the same direction you were running. Positioning with this is KEY. For ganks especially. You don't want to head to top then enter thru the river and knock Warwick towards his own turret, that's just pushing him to get away.

Instead, enter from behind him putting yourself between him and the turret, then charge in. Make sure when you collide you will actually be facing down towards your team mate. Most people will make a dash for the bush turning your approach to an angle and if you come in wrong you could just simply knock them into the bush and gain next to nothing. Run perpendicular to the wall changing angle as they run so you come from the side and knock them the right way. This is mainly a utility spell altho is does do a little damage. Take it at level 2 for early gank or at level 4 for a later gank. Max it last.

Hecarim's oh so devastating ultimate Onslaught of Shadows. The damage on this is amazing along with the massive amount of utility that comes with it. Where to begin. The damage it does it along the path of the skill shot even if you stop short of the end of it. The damage will be where you charged along with ahead of you to the end of the skill shots limit.

The fear. Where you land in a small area will cause all champions standing there to be feared for one second. But it's a different kind of fear, you don't just run aimlessly around for one second, you run away from Hecarim for one second. For positioning you want to land barely on the other side of the enemy (the AD carry for example) so they run away from you and towards say your team. This can be key to landing a quick Devastating Charge. Hit E getting it ready before you ultimate in and charge towards the enemy. Ultimate in a way that puts you on the OTHER side of your target, fearing them towards your team. Right click as you fly by so Hecarim locks onto them. After you land you will run in a straight line (unit collision ignored with Warpath) and knock them ever closer to your team. Not only is an AoE with AoE fear an amazing initiate tool that gives you a good head start to a team fight but the positioning you can pull off to land a Devastating Charge can be key to rendering the enemy AD carry useless and/or dead.

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Items (Core)

What to start with as jungling. Cloth Armor and Health Potion x5. Hecarim doesn't do nearly enough damage to jungle with Vampiric Scepter so don't even bother trying.

Build this into the obvious Wriggle's Lantern. Good for sustain once you can survive with lifesteal for jungle farming. Proc helps for faster kills on buffs and dragon. Decent stats for early game ganking. Will be sold later for a more powerful item. Free ward every 3 minutes for 3 minutes.

Boots of Swiftness Very interesting choice for Hecarim seeing as they are the only boots with 3 movement speed on them as opposed to 2. This is like having boots with AD on them for Hecarim. While all boots do give movement speed these give more movement thus a greater offensive gain. The extra speed also allows for better angling with Devastating Charge.

Trinity Force This thing I don't usually rush on anyone but for Hecarim the synergy is just perfect. It has:

  • Health: better survial.
  • Mana: Self explanatory
  • 30 AP: While not your thing, two spells still scale from it.
  • 30 AD: More your type of thing, two spells scale from it and your auto attacks do more damage.
  • 30% Attack Speed: Personally I don't think attack speed is needed on Hecarim but it never hurt to have some.
  • 15% Crit Chance: Really not your thing but a lucky crit is always fun.
  • 12% Movement Speed: Movement bonus = more AD
  • 25% Chance on hit to slow: Always nice, Phage procs. Red makes up for lack of consistency.
  • On spell use increases base attack damage by 150% for one attack. Sheen proc but better. This is where spamming Rampage comes in great handy. You have a great amount of uptime on the proc.

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Items (Situational)

Here are some items I find myself getting some games but not so much the next. A few things that can change from game to game.

Force of Nature This is thing is quite amazing. Hecarim has a decent amount of health on his own before a Giant's Belt so the regen from it is quite noticeable. The magic resist is pretty obvious, if they have 2 or 3 casters then this will really help. 8% movement speed I always found weird to be on Force of Nature but with Hecarim that just means more AD.

Atma's Impaler Even after the nerf it's still quite amazing. Hecarim has 2.1k health early to mid game without a Giant's Belt at about the same time Shyvana has only 1.4k roughly. Hecarim has a naturally high health pool. This makes Atma's Impaler really good even before a Giant's Belt item. Also the armor will help against any AD enemies. The crit is almost useless but 18% is still 18% more than you had before.

Sunfire Cape Health, armor and a nice AoE. The AoE doesn't do that much and a lot of people say it needs a serious buff. While that may be true I still find this item to be helpful in team fights. It's just more AoE damage you're doing along with the 4 seconds Spirit of Dread is running for. Also, more health always helps and the armor does protect once again from those pesky AD champions. Also a decent AD boost if you decided to get Atma's Impaler.

Maw of Malmortius Now one of the things I really get this for is the Hexdrinker shield. Times you would buy a Hexdrinker would be to counter an annoying burst damage mage or someone who has a delayed spell that can pick off runners like Vladimir, Ziggs or Zilean. In the end why not upgrade to Maw of Malmortius for more AD? Also the lower you get the more AD you get and if you find you're initiating a lot then the AD bonus will be bigger. While it's not nice to run with low health there's no reason NOT to upgrade if you got Hexdrinker. The 55 AD (wow!) is reason enough to upgrade. The shield is also a step up from Hexdrinker.

The Bloodthirster Honestly the time I bought this I was 20/5/16 and sold Wriggle's Lantern for it. I wasn't sure what to get because we were owning so hard. I find if you've been fed and like more damage out put then this is a good choice. This is also the only thing with Lifesteal on it that I would get. Aside from Wriggle's Lantern at the start.

Thornmail This is nice it really is. A lot of people think it's weak and worthless but I've watched so many AD carries kill themselves on it that I think it's worth it. If you're fighting team right click then this is a worthy investment of only 2k gold.

Randuin's Omen This is great if the team has 2 right click carries that are well farmed and maybe a little fed. Initiate with onslguth of shadows and pop Randuin's Omen. Whole enemy team (at least those in range) get feared then slowed and take a huge hit to their attack speed. Good for shutting down the fast and the auto attackers.

Mercury's Treads if the enemy team has a lot of CC then I highly recommend getting Mercury's Treads over Boots of Swiftness. A small AD loss is worth the huge tenacity gain.

Frozen Mallet Decided to go top and not jungle? Can't hold onto red? Can't bring yourself to farm red? Then Frozen Mallet is a great substitute. 700 health (wow!) and the slow make this an amazing choice. Combined with Atma's Impaler you can also gain a decent chunk of AD.

Frozen Heart If you want to go really tanky and they have a good couple of auto attackers that like to hang around then this item can help a ton. It also comes with a decent amount of CDR but I feel Hecarim doesn't really need it especially if you have blue buff. The armor helps a ton against AD champions but the aura is what's super important. Huge attack speed reduction to enemies around you.

Warmog's Armor Unsure what to get? Feel like the caster kind of hurt but you're still owning hard? Nothing wrong with more health. This is the highest health item you can possibly get. Also works well with Atma's Impaler.

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Phantom Dancer

  • 15% Movement Speed. Huge chunk of speed which makes for a decent amount of AD.
  • 30% Critical Strike Chance. While not you're thing that's the most Crit on one item you can have as far as I know.
  • Cost efficient. Pretty cheap for the huge stats you get.
  • 55 Attack Speed. Really not your thing, but it's still more than you had without it. Hecarim is not an auto attack champion tho.
  • Hard to fit into the build. Even while playing I didn't know what I would give up for this. Wriggle's Lantern MAYBE but I still feel The Bloodthirster is a much better choice.
  • While you do get bonus AD from the movement speed the other two stats really aren't for you. And the bonus AD you get just doesn't seem worth it for one item that brings almost nothing else to the table.
  • No defensive stats. Something you would give up would more than likely be a defensive item. Your defensive stats would be taking a large hit for a tiny amount of AD and some movement speed while you're already crazy fast without it and hit like a truck too.

I don't like Phantom Dancer. Personally I find it is a terrible choice for Hecarim. But since this isn't a rant or call out I brought myself to make a pros and cons list.

This is how I view Phantom Dancer. If you don't agree I understand and you can feel free to try it out yourself and see how you like it.

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A Few Final Thoughts

I like Hecarim a lot. He's beefy and can do plenty of damage. He has a unique playstyle and a very unique passive. And sorry for the funny looking Phantom Dancer section I can't get the code quite right. I'll get eventually tho.

I know that the guide is text heavy with not many pictures (Mobafire ones only as of right now) but I will be adding positioning screen shots and explanations if I can find the time. My schedule is pretty packed as of right now.

Lastly a thanks to jhoijhoi for the amazing guide:
It helped with organization and coding.

Good luck jungling and have fun cutting down the enemy team.