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Hecarim Build Guide by Mikuroo

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Mikuroo

Hecawin - Literal Solo Queue Stomp, an in-depth way to play

Mikuroo Last updated on October 3, 2012
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General / Carry

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: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello, this is Mikuroo with my Guide to Jungling as Hecarim in solo queue. Note that the assumptions are you cannot rely on your teammates, and that they will not carry you. This is Solo queue after all. This guide will only focus on the jungling aspect of Hecarim, and will show you how to build and play on a random team, so you can carry them to victory. Hecarim is one of the strongest, if not the strongest snowball jungler in the game, which makes him very scary when he has early kills.

Hecarim is all about mobility, and getting the enemy team scattered and out of position, so that your team can pick them off. Even beginners know how to focus an isolated champion, which makes the game a very simple walkthrough for your team, when done correctly.

So what are the downsides to this? Hecarim has a relatively weak early game. He is invadable and doesn’t really do much damage, so you need to make sure the enemy doesn’t take too much of an advantage out of that. He also has no real long term disable or slow. After his initial knockback and fear, he really has no way to hinder the enemy. Against a champion like lee sin or jax, this won’t be enough.

Overall, Hecarim is a high mobility champ which leads him to help all the lanes because of his speed. Even when ganking a warded lane, his speed boost and ultimate will end up in a successful gank. So without waiting any longer, I hope you enjoy reading the rest of the guide! I ask you politely to read majority of it before voting, in case there are any misunderstandings. I also hope you learn at least one tiny thing from it. I will start with the cheat sheet explanations and then go on to the more complex parts of Hecarim.

Note: This guide may look a lot like my skarner guide and have sections copy pasted. This is because these two junglers play almost the same, apart from obviously their skills. They are the same type of jungler and therefore share characteristics.

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The masteries I use on Hecarim give him tankiness and mobility. I take all the masteries that give me movement speed, because not only does that make him faster, it gives him a bit of attack damage scaled off of his passive. I take the tank masteries because I build hecarim as a tank late game, and they help a lot. Nothing in the offensive tree really stands out, and they are nowhere as good as what I can get from utility and defensive.

summoner’s resolve - That extra gold income will help you in the early game so that you can buy your wards, or your gold per 10 items. It doesn’t really make a huge difference, but there isn’t anything better to take for 1 mastery point.
Hardiness - 6 armor is a lot for only 3 mastery points. This is a must for any jungler in the game, as well as any tank.
Tough Skin - Taking less damage in the jungle is very important, because we are starting with Boots of Speed, and every health point counts. You really don’t want to die while ganking.
Durability - This is a lot of health, while it isn’t needed, we need these 4 mastery points for the follow up on the next mastery level. Don’t get me wrong, these 4 points are worth it, the 30 hp for 1 point is just the cherry on top.
Bladed Armor - The return damage on creeps basically increases your attack damage by 6 for the early game. By only using 1 point in this mastery, it is definitely worth it.
veteran’s scars - 30 hp for one point is pretty ridiculous, and the more tanky you can get the more useful you will be. This is a must, and I would be curious to why you would skip it.
Initiator - Any mastery that gives movement speed is a must on a jungler, especially hecarim.
Enlightenment - Cooldown reduction is always good, and shortened cooldown on your ultimate is very useful before you get your full build. This means more successful ganks.
Juggernaut - This is the final mastery and makes you very tanky for just 1 point.

summoner’s insight - It is better than anything we can get for one point in the utility tree, and a decreased cooldown on flash isn’t all that bad.
Expanded Mind - Early on we may have mana issues once blue buff runs out, but not enough to take the mana regeneration masteries.
Swiftness - anything with movement speed, once again, we must take.
Runic Affinity - The increased buff duration is better than anything you can get for 1 skill point.

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The runes I use on hecarim are the standard runes for most junglers. Taking attack speed reds for faster early clear, armor yellows for tanking damage, magic resist per level glyphs, and movement speed quints. Are there any other viable runes? Let’s see.

Greater Mark of Attack Speed: These give you attack speed and faster clear time early game. For most junglers, the early clear times are the most devastating, so this helps hecarim.
greater mark of desolation: Hecarim does not rely on his auto attacks for his damage, so these marks would not do much.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage: These may seem good, but hecarim does not really rely on his attack damage. His Rampage scales horribly, and even worse against neutral monsters.

Greater Seal of Armor: I don’t see any other runes that are better than these. Every jungler needs that extra 13 armor for taking less damage in the jungle. There is no exception to these runes.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: These give you that hard to find magic resist, because apart from force of nature there aren’t really any good magic resist items that suit hecarim. We take the glyphs per level because early game we shouldn’t be taking too much magic damage.
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed: These can be used if you are really finding your early game to be that hard. The magic resist per level glyphs are honestly better, but these glyphs could help you as well.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Movement speed quintessences are the most viable because they give you more roaming power. Adding up to a total of 4.5%, these are really worth it when we think of our other choices.
greater quintessence of desolation and Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage are talked about in the marks section, and I share the exact same opinion. These are pretty much useless.
Greater Quintessence of Gold: These are slightly viable, because they give hecarim more roaming power. You have to worry a bit less about clearing camps and you can focus on ganking. However, I still prefer the swiftness quints.

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Summoner Spells

This summoner spell is generally used on hecarim because it gives him that extra punch through Warpath and gives him a much stronger initiate then Flash does. Both spells are viable and can be used, however, Ghost is the preferred summoner spell. If you feel like Devastating Charge is a good enough ghost for you, by all means take flash. I’ve pulled off some pretty good Flash Devastating Charge’s into my team, but its rare and you need to keep an eye out for people out of position.
There is no arguing on not taking this as jungle hecarim. you could probably pull it off, but you would be really low and be in danger if the enemy invades. Also, you have no buff control and your team will constantly be in fear if you ever do dragon/baron. Smite is the best all around summoner spell for hecarim, early game (clearing neutral minions), mid game (Securing dragon and clearing camps) and late game (baron). I would advise never using it late game, because you never know when a baron opportunity could come up.

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Skills and Skill Sequences

The skilling order is relatively simple. In our early game, we are looking for the most damage possible for faster clears, some kind of sustain, and a ganking ability. Therefore, we must get at least 1 point in Spirit of Dread and Devastating Charge before level 6. All our other points should go into Rampage for it’s low cooldown and reliable damage spell.

Most people start with Rampage, but i find it better to take a point in Spirit of Dread first for a couple of reasons. By the time you get blue buff, you will have 1 point in Rampage and one point in Spirit of Dread anyways. So it doesn’t matter which one you take first.

Spirit of Dread allows you to take less damage when you have a proper leash. It does around the same damage to wolves, but you take much less damage. Remember that it also heals off of your teams damage, making it heal for quite a lot. Because Hecarim doesn’t have any hard sustain or shields, he needs that early game health. However, if you are not getting a leash for some reason, then take Rampage first.

This is a pretty mediocre passive at best. It scales horribly into the late game, doesn’t really give you much damage to begin with, and doesn’t give you any utility. However, there are those times where you get creep blocked and really wished you had this passive, so just hope that your enemies get creep blocked and it will all be worth it in the end if your team gets a lead. I would not recommend attempting to get your enemies creep blocked to make big plays, unless it is the only option. Early game, this gives you a nice chunk of ad that helps you clear faster.

This is your main damage spell and your spammable reliable damage. It hits everything in a small radius around Hecarim, so remember it is not just in front of you. Honestly speaking, this skill is pretty horrible and scales really badly, but it can help you continuously proc trinity force. Also, it has no cast time and can be used while chasing an enemy down for continuous damage, even when they aren’t slowed. Also, the cooldown gets reduced by quite a lot when you hit it consistently in a row. So you may want to use it to kill the last minion in a camp before moving on so that you can do more damage per second. However, I don’t really mind at all about this because there is not a noticeable difference in clear time and you should only do this if you are deciding to be a try hard.

This skill is really good throughout the game, but shines in the late game. It gives you enough sustain to clear your camps, and also does damage. We max this skill second because of the increase in stats it gives. This skill does aoe damage in a circle around hecarim, but more importantly heals hecarim for damage done to anything in the circle itself. This is the thing that makes spirit of dread good late game. When you rush into a team fight, any damage your team deals to the other team heals you for 30% of any damage. This does not get reduced by aoe spells, and is basically a crazy overpowered Will of the Ancients. This spell works especially well with burst champions, because you heal for insane chunks of damage. You may think that Ignite counters this spell, but 15% of any damage your team deals is still pretty crazy.

This skill is really insane. It offers full utility on just 1 skill point, and the only thing that increases as you level it up is damage, which is so minimal we don’t even care about it anyways. It gives you a positioning skill that hardly any champions have, and because you will be so tanky you can push whoever you want away from their team. This skill isn’t just used offensively, you can use it to run away from very tricky situations, because of the insane speed boost ending at 75%. Use this skill to go wherever you please, and initiate whenever you please. Max this skill last because it stays the same from levels 1-5 anyways.

Your ultimate is pretty insane and fits the skillset of hecarim perfectly. While it may seem pretty lame, the fear duration doesn’t really mean much to the skill. Of course, it would be a lot better if they increased the duration, but that isn’t the point. The range on this skill is broken. You can get away from anything over walls (You can jump over any wall in the game), as well as chase. But late game, this skill will be used to initiate without being stopped. Once you fear the whole enemy team, your team can rush in and quickly focus a target that you knocked closer to them with Devastating Charge. With this skill, however, you have to be careful that you time it properly, so that the enemy is feared in the direction you want. More importantly, you have to land it, because it isn’t a total aoe fear, it is kind of in a rectangular shape. Max this spell whenever you can, because of the reduced cooldown as well as extra damage.

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Before I start talking about items, I would like to point something out. A good hecarim should build 40% cooldown reduction. Also, hp is worse then resistances on hecarim because he has a heal. These heals have a really short cooldown if you have 40% CDR. Buying resistances will turn these health points into (technically) twice or maybe three times of how much it actually is. So keep this in mind when buying items with hp.

: These are my preferred starting items. They give me ganking power also sustain. You can also start with to build later into your philo stone, but only if you can gank any lanes because they are too hard to gank.

philosopher's stone : These items are essential, as I already explained. They give you the stats you need and also apply more pressure on the opponent. Why? They give you more roaming potential. If you don't build these, the opponent will know you have to spend more time in the jungle and can play aggressively.

mercury treads: These are my favorite boots. You can buy boots of mobility if you feel that confident, but I would rather buy these because you WILL be a future target due to your oracle's elixir. These also give you the early bit of magic resistance that I don't buy until way later.

: Honestly, Hecarim doesn’t need a oracle’s this early, because unless the enemy has insane 3000 ELO map awareness, you will be so fast with Devastating Charge and your ult anyways, it will barely matter. However, you should always get this sooner or later. If it’s a really annoying bot lane like corki janna, I would advise getting this earlier though.

: A pretty good item, by rushing this item you get trinity force procs that hit really hard. You also get more movement speed, and health. This is a core item in any game with hecarim, however, you can choose to build it later if you really need that frozen heart.

: This is again a must. Everything on this item belongs to hecarim. The armor gives him the ability to turret dive with ease. The mana lets him not run out as fast because you should be giving blue buff to your mid. The cooldown reduction means more damage and more ults. And finally, that passive. Do I need to say more?

shurelya's reverie: This is also a must. Shurelyas + hecarim who is the world’s best initiator already = Biggest Douchebag plays. This adds sooo much pressure to the game because your ganks just devastate anyone. Do not leave your support alone to get this. Double Shurelya’s wins games, because your whole team won’t always be cramped up as 5. An honorable mention goes out to Warpath for shurelyas, because you get a bit more damage.

: In my opinion this is the best option for magic resistance because it helps you carry your team, while making you tankier as well. I would rather buy this than Force of Nature, unless their enemy ap mid is doing insanely well. Otherwise, I find it a waste to spend so much money on an enemy who isn’t that important.

: This item is really cheap because we would be buying heart of gold anyways. However, if your solo top built it and your support build it I would suggest not buying it and buying something like guardian angel instead. Do not feel impelled to buy this just because you already have heart of gold.

wriggle’s lantern: I really don’t like this item on Hecarim, but it one of the more viable optional items. This is because it helps you snowball harder, with Attack Damage and faster clears. The one issue of this item is it is not efficient at all. Buying philo stone and heart of gold is soooo much better in the long run. So when is this item viable? ONLY BUY THIS ITEM WHEN THE ENEMY JUNGLE AND TOP ARE BOTH BRUISERS, and if you get an early kill or a couple early assists. You buy this item mainly for wriggle’s procs and the armor, so If you aren’t using the armor it’s a waste of money.

: Like mentioned early, if the enemy ap mid is fed you really need this item. You cannot tank if you get bursted, and your Spirit of Dread cannot sustain you if you get bursted. Also, this item gives you movement speed so it’s not even a bad buy if the enemy mid and top is ap.

: I don't usually build this because it should only be built when those ap casters are a really huge threat. You will have these games once and a while so be prepared to build this. I also don't like it because hecarim scales better with resists, and building hp makes me cringe.

: This item can be built when the team is balanced. Again, this doesn't happen much so keep your eyes peeled for when it does. The passive isn't the best on hecarim, but it is useful.

: DON'T BUILD THIS OR I WILL CRY T^T it mostly offers you health, and a bit of armor. The damage is barely noticeable in your ganks and all in all this item is trash.

: If you actually have to buy this, the other team is probably like 800 elo. FOCUS TANK FTW?!!?!?!??!

: I have built this a few times and I don't really like it. However, you never know. Don't build it unless you actually need the attack damage and the magic resist early. If you're going to build it late, don't build it at all. This is because the shield does not scale late game, it stays the same. Build it into a Maw once the time comes.

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Trinity Force

There have been many comments about rushing this item as carry Hecarim, so I created this section to clarify my reasoning, and hopefully you can test it out as well. The whole point of building trinity force is because hecarim cannot carry by his own. He has little crowd control to a long duration extent, and can only do a few things before the enemy is free to run away. What does rushing trinity force do? It gives you more damage, and phage procs that help you chase.

The benefits of trinity force make it easier to snowball your game to victory. Once you start getting kills, you can easily gank lanes without disturbance, and you will snowball the rest of your team to victory.

So why is rushing trinity force bad? You will not be as tanky, but this is not a huge problem to a smart player. Sure, you won’t be able to rush into battle mid game and tank all the damage, but you will be able to input more damage, and your team probably will too, because your ganks got them more kills/assists.

Some people say trinity force is useless until fully built. This is wrong. The stats from phage, zeal or sheen all help you in a way, especially the phage. You will have faster clear times and more time to gank, like the snowball jungler you are. This is why I rush trinity force. Because it CAN carry solo queue, unlike other items. If you want to test your luck and play with random people as a full tank, be my guest. You could have a decent team and everything would be ok. But this build solidifies that chance when played properly.

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Sorry these pictures are using Nunu, Taken straight from my counter jungling guide. These wards are universally good and you should regularly do so. Check out my counter jungling guide for more information on jungling awareness. ALL SCREEN SHOTS ARE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF BLUE TEAM. IF YOU ARE ON PURPLE JUST SWAP IT AROUND. Note that these ward placements give the maximum amount of vision, especially on the buff itself.

Red Buff Ward

Blue Buff Ward

Defensive Ward

Another thing you should know is if your team doesn't ward, you really need to buy wards for them. Because if they get ganked, you getting mad at them won't make them any better. Sure, they may buy a ward now, but it won't be worth the death. Just tell them to snatch up a ward or two the next time they recall.

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Jungling: The basics

The jungle is where there are neutral monsters which you kill for gold. This role is here because it gives the solo lanes more experience and gold. It also takes advantage of the sitting gold in the jungle. At first glance, it doesn't seem like much, but the respawn is very short and the jungle can be used with certain champions to obtain a very efficient creep score as well as experience. First, let's go over the basics.

A normal Jungle Route:
Wolves > Blue > Wraiths > Golems
You should have your teammates damage your wolves for you when your killing them, and then leash your blue. This is because you will take way too much damage if they don't. After this you can do whatever you want.

Wolves, Wraiths and Golem timers: around a minute each, it really doesn't matter though. With my set up, you should be looking out for ganks and only return to the jungle to do a full clear. Rinse, and repeat.

However, the more important parts are buffs, dragon and baron. Buffs respawn in 5 minutes, dragon respawns in 6 minutes and baron respawns in 7 minutes. I recommend you type them down in chat after killing any of them.

Also, make sure that you clear your small camps enough. If you leave them there all the time, you are wasting potential gold. Return to the jungle enough so that you don't waste gold. However, don't waste your time walking around in the jungle or waiting for a camp to respawn.

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Jungling: The mindgames

Above this section was the normal route that most junglers run. However, good junglers are not predictable. By doing the above jungle route, you are susceptible to invasions, or getting counterjungled. For example, if I get a good leash at blue, I will almost always head to the enemy red jungle side. If it was a really good leash, I will pull THEIR red buff into the bush and kill it with smite (only if I didn't use smite on my own blue due to a very very nice leash). Otherwise, I usually go steal their big golem. If it is a champion I can duel I will wait in their red buff bush and kill them while they try to take it.

It's stuff like this that really messes with the other junglers head. If you constantly counter jungle his wraiths, he might start wasting a lot of time and waiting for you there when your somewhere else. Or he might catch you there with his mid and kill you easily. It's all just a big game of "can I outplay the enemy jungler"?

Putting pressure on the map is a great way of beating your enemy jungler. For example, if you kill an enemy champion, suddenly he will be behind in lane. You put pressure on your enemy jungler because he now has to help his laner get back from your laners lead.

Another way of putting pressure is simply not showing yourself until a perfect gank appears. Since you have not appeared on the map yet, your opponent's don't know what your doing, they don't know where you are, and they don't know where your going. Always remember: The moment you show yourself on the map, all pressure is released. If you gank top lane, mid and bot know that they can relax, or play aggresively. They can do whatever they want because you can't be in 2 places at once. Also, the enemy jungler is free to do whatever he wants. If he is behind, he'll farm his own jungle. If he's ahead he'll counter jungle the **** out of you.

A general rule of thumb is: If one of your buffs is up, and you haven't warded it, don't gank a lane that is very far away from it unless the enemy is so overextended it's not even funny, and you will get a guaranteed kill. Because if you do so, and the enemy jungler is decent, he will steal your buff.

Pressure isn't the only thing you can create. You can create panic. You can make the other team mad. Use manipulation to get what you want. If you just killed the enemy top lane 2 times in a row, diss the enemy jungler in all chat. If you just killed that enemy lee sin in his own jungle, diss him in all chat. Make them lose their patience, and eventually they'll lose their whole jungle. Ward his jungle so you know where he is, and wait for him to gank so you can counter gank the same lane. It makes people panic when someone is always one step ahead, beating them at everything.

And that's your role. To beat the enemy jungler and win as many of your lanes as possible. I don't know if I've scared you, but I have to say one thing. Jungle is the role that takes the most knowledge in the whole game. As much knowledge as all the lanes combined. And before you hate on me, let me point out I said knowledge, NOT SKILL. All lanes take skill, but jungle takes the most knowledge, so I hope your up for it.

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Jungling: The mindset

Since all my sections have been pretty wordy, I'm going to summarize this section in point form. This section is not like the last, the last section required descriptions. However, in this section I will point out your goals for the game:

Early Game:

  • Do not sacrifice your jungle for anything unless a lane is pushed
  • Try to set back the enemy jungler
  • Gank easy lanes
  • Ward and keep awareness
  • Defend your turrets when your laner is gone
  • Go for a gank every time your ultimate is up

Mid Game:
  • Tank turrets and dive
  • Clear your jungle, but not as a first priority
  • Push lanes
  • Catch enemy champions and also clear enemy wards

Late Game:
  • Initiate with your combo to kill the largest threat
  • Push
  • Keep warding for awareness
  • Tank and peel all the damage
  • Tank turrets

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Ganking is arguably the most important part of the game for a jungler because it sets off the good junglers from the bad junglers and gets your lanes going. Anyone can run around in the jungle for 10 minutes and farm, but who would want a jungler that only farms? During a game, you have to judge whether you can gank a lane or not. If you go to the lane and wait in a bush for a long time, you just wasted that time which could have gone into farming. This sets you back.

But you have to gank sooner or later. Or else the role of the jungle is not fulfilled. You may not even get a clear gank opportunity, in fact, the higher the level of play the less likely there will be clear and obvious gank opportunities. Which means you have to find better ways of ganking. I will start with the most elementary, and go up to more advanced.

1. Running up to the lane

This is the simplest type of a gank is to simply run straight from the river into the lane. Then proceed to do whatever you want from there. The advantages and disadvantages of this kind of ganking are straightforward. It is the most predictable way of ganking, but is also the most convenient. However, it is countered by wards.

2. Lane Gank

This means to hide in the bush OF THE LANE and gank. You can do this by letting your laner push his lane so that you can sneak into one of the bushes undetected by the opponent. The lane barely has to be pushed for you to sneak into the first brush of either top or bottom. Just make sure that the fog of war covers you and keeps you hidden even from the enemy’s minions. once you have made it into the brush, you need to take the time and wait for the enemy champion to come near. He may never come close, it is a matter of patience, and you may just end up wasting all your time. However, I would have to say this is one of the best ways to gank earlier in the game because people don’t ward the bushes IN the lane that much.

3. Counter Gank

The whole point of a counter gank … is to counter your opponent’s gank. That means you have to either be there when the enemy ganks or bait your enemy into ganking your teammate while you are hiding in a bush.

There are a couple things you must consider before trying to pull this off. The first thing is you have to be sure that you can handle a 2 vs 2 with your enemies, because if they have great dueling champions you will just give them a double kill. The second thing that the laner has to think about is to what extent he should be baiting. If he does an amazing bait, but then takes 50% of his hp before you get there, you will probably lose.

4. Backdoor Gank

I rate this type of gank as the hardest because it requires a lot of things, and is very hard to pull off early game without many items. Every lane has some sort of “back entrance”, where you can walk around and gank the enemy from behind. This kind of gank gives the enemy a lot of time to react, because you have to walk quite a long ways, and may even give your enemy jungler time to respond. This kind of gank also requires you or your teammates to take a couple direct turret shots. If the creeps are not pushed up to the turret, you will take 2 or 3 hits. If it is, you are still going to take 2 or 3 hits if not more, based on how long it takes to kill the target. The one advantage to ganking like this is surprise. You have the element of surprise here, because no one expects people to do crazy **** like that. But as I said earlier, it will be challenging.

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Definitely check this guide out! It has a lot of jungle information, and I don't care if you don't vote! This information is universal, and I was just too lazy to type it up for every single guide.

You generally don't want to counter jungle a lot as hecarim though, because he has a slow clear relative to other junglers. Only when the situation appears.

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Thanks for reading this and I hope you learned at least one thing! If you have any questions feel free to PM me on this mobafire account. Of course, if you have anything to say about my guide comment below and send in your vote, whether upvote or downvote. This guide is here to help.

Have a good day, and if you actually read everything, thank you !