Build Guide by Haelstrom
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Magewick of the Tundra by Arthandas.
(Behold, old Magewick game footage! Starring Novalmauge as Magewick, myself as Tiamat Pantheon.)
Start Thy Journey, young Magewick.
A while back, I was playing with some new friends to LoL on a low level account. Well, that's when I saw this Warwick go solo mid. This had me deathly curious - "Why would you ever do that?"
Watching closer, I saw this fellow had some AP items. Needless to say, he died a rapid, agonizing death that likely made the poor fellow cry. However, I could never shake: "Warwick.. Ability Power?"
..The stupidity of it was so profound, there simply HAD to be something to it.
I began ramming my hammer onto the steel to forge the keyboard needed to have the balls to create such an epic build. "Yes Haelstrom," the spirits told me, "You have done well. You have forged.. a champion."
MageWick was born.
And for some time, Haelstrom slew many a scrub with Magewick, as did many of the believers. However, posers like Vladmir emerged, attempting to rob us of our street cred. Some fools even considered, absurd as this may sound, that Magewick wasn't viable! Something we could not stand for.
Riot sagely responded by delivering to us Magewick's Hat as an item, giving 155 AP and +30% bonus AP. War changed. Warwick changed. And our legacy.. begins.. anew.
Magewick? What is it?
Warwick has just one ability with an ability power ratio, his Q - Hungering Strike, which has damage that works as such: Flat Magic Damage: 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+1 per ability power), or 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20 % of a target's HP (excluding jungle neutrals), whichever is higher.
That % statistic is wonderful early game, since otherwise, your Q would be even weaker than it already is early on. However, quickly your AP will go beyond the % amount. The name of the game is to get as much AP as you can above that 20% late game mark, because Hungering Strike is a very low CD, low mana nuke that heals you for the amount you hit. Thanks to Deathcap, reaching a respectable AP amount is easy.
Your goal is to use your summoner spells, (eventually) Death Fire's Grasp, and your Q to offload as much damage as possible in quick intervals. You excel at kiting and 1v1 fights, and are a surprisingly good solo mid pick since this build allows you to last-hit and keep healthy through the harass your opponent may try to inflict.
Your Q will go from an annoying bite, to a fireball of epic proportions that will make your opponents frown. I have had Magewick games where I would be at 1/3 health, hit Q on an arrogant opponent, and be back at full while they're half health -- and at that point, it's already over.
In team fights, Magewick contributes in a sort of risky poke-play, DFG'ing an appropriate target and Q'ing the rest into oblivion. Strategic use of his ult can really be devastating too; a great example was a game today, where a Miss Fortune was about to Flash out of a friend's Nunu ult, and I managed to ult her that split second before she was going to do it, trapping her in his ult and ensuring her death.
Finally, chasing fleeing opponents: because you hold off on boots for so long, Magewick's mobility can be suspect at first (although certainly not horrible thanks to our MS quints, mastery, and ranks in his E.) However, once he levels his E properly and especially once he has his boots, your opponents will find escape terribly difficult.
Meanwhile, his E from solo mid has quite nice range, allowing riskier junglers to get detected at its max range and possibly screw them over. The fact he can help a jungler gank the enemy solo mid with ease if they over-extend, can hold his own in lane against virtually any opponent, can farm decently, and ends up becoming a surprisingly lethal burster makes Magewick a deadly adversary that, best of all, will often be underestimated by his opponents.
I take a 9/0/21 build on Magewick. In the offensive tree, points in Archmage's Savvy and Archaic Knowledge help him scale better and inflict more damage all game long, and Sorcery helps compound his CDR runes so his Q is as spammable as we can get it. (With DFG, his Hungering Strike is at around 3.81s CD.)
We go deep into the utility tree, nabbing various masteries to help Magewick level effectively, keep his mana going pre-Tear of the Goddess, keep his mobility respectable, reduce his ability cooldowns even farther, and reduce his summoner spell cooldowns. Ignite will be up more often which is very useful, and Clairvoyance will be practically spammable, allowing you to help your team avoid ganks, spot likely targets for ganks, spy Baron or Dragon, and other fun things.
Clairvoyance combined with ranks in your E can really be detrimental to an enemy jungler's routine, especially if they're having a shaky time at it early on. Its uses cannot be stressed enough.
We start with a Doran's Ring, since it gives HP, mana regen, and AP. Once you're comfortable able to afford Tear of the Goddess around the 995 gold mark, back and get it ASAP; you'll be spamming your Q constantly, and can safely spam your W since it has such a small mana cost to help further build your Tear's mana and help with last hitting minions. You get this now so your mana pool is decent later on -- otherwise, Warwick's mana pool is dismally limited.
With Tear, you can comfortably harass with your Q, slap minions with your Q when you take harassment, and of course - last hit like a boss.
You want to save up for the Rabadon's Deathcap ASAP. It may seem expensive (ergo why if you bluepill before you get the whole thing, don't hesitate to buy its components) -- but it is tremendously worth it. Sans any AP at all, that hat gives you 201 AP; it is huge glue to this build and gives your Q ability a massive leap in use.
By the time you can afford your Arch-Angel's, you should have quite a bit of mana built up off that Tear you bought earlier -- the % bonus from the Hat also greedily eating the Arch-Angel's newly contributed AP power.
Next, you'll want Spirit Visage. It makes your Q's health regain even more effective, gives you some much loved magic resistance, and best of all - it's pretty cheap.
Death Fire's Grasp is your next pick (Fiendish Codex first if you can't build it in one go), to more or less cap your CDR and make that Q more spammable, give you a significant amount of AP and make your already long gone mana problems 100% non-existent, and as an added bonus: it gives you a new nuke in your arsenal. You'll have a lot of AP by this point, DFG and your Q will do work on just about everyone.
Game should be wrapping up around the DFG's purchase, but if you find it dragging on, consider a Rylai or a Zhonya's Hourglass. Rylai gives you some bulk, AP, and even more amazing chasing power -- but if you're getting focused, starting to die more, you can jump to the Hourglass for its flat (nice) 100 AP, welcomed 50 armor, and of course: the good 'ol Zhonya active. If you get one, sell the Doran's Ring and get the other obviously.
Also, keep up on Blue Potion once able. It's damn cheap and will give you what CDR you need until DFG. Even after that, it's basically free AP.
ALTERNATE: "Build #2" I call it, the AP Magewick Deluxe, is the 2nd item build listed.
You sacrifice some of your utility (Zhonya's, Deathfire) in exchange for raw Q badassery. You get CDR boots so you can spam your abilities more to build mana to make those Arch-Angels da best.
Has been surprisingly potent from solo mid and has won me several games of late, I recommend giving it a try. After all,
Quadras as Magewick are just the best.
ALTERNATE PATH: Jungle Magewick.
Jungling with Magewick is still entirely doable (I just feel he is a stronger laner now thanks to Deathcap.) Still, if you wish to jungle:
-Cloth Armor / 5 Health Potions.
-Swap out one of your summoner spells with Smite. Much as I love both Clairvoyance and Ignite on Magewick, you'll want Smite -- speedy jungle is good jungle.
-Take 1 point out of your Deadliness talent in the Offensive tree, and put that in the Smite talent.
If you want to continue jungling for a bit, nab Madred's Razor. You'll certainly jungle more effectively, but keep in mind this'll nix your mana creation early game for Tear, which is really useful. So it is a double-edged sword. Still, whether you do or don't buy Madred's, move on to Tear and progress as usual from there. After Deathcap, it's really up to you what AP items will benefit you best (Rylai? Hourglass?), but you need to jump up on your AP fast.
Just to see if you're paying attention, R>Q>E>W (except 1 rank of W at level 4; if you have a huge turret pushing comp that's just smashing lanes left and right, R>Q>W>E, but usually R>Q>E>W is your bread and butter).
Plain and simple.
Pretty standard caster stuff with a twist. Mana regen yellows keep you frosty mana-wise so you can keep mashing that pretty Q button and show Vladmir who's boss. CDR blues are self-explanatory. Magic penetration reds are also self-explanatory.
Finally, due to Q's not so vast range, your kite play, your postponing of buying boots, and all that good stuff that makes you a legend -- move speed quints are very nice to have.
Pros / Cons
+Magewick is da best.
+Can be a surprisingly lethal sleeper weapon.
+Pretty damned fun once you get the hang of him.
-If team focused, it's not pretty.
-Your Q is amazing.. but you need to estimate how well it'll sustain you. Your Q will not, a fed Kassadin with 20 Mejais 20 Leviathan and over 800 AP, save you. (Unless you're somehow equally fed.) Trust me. I found out personally.
+/-Requires "balls of steel." I'm serious. You aren't brave, you will fail with Magewick, that is no joke. Lots of hair-raising clutch moments, and unlike Vladmir, you are lacking a cute little flowery blood pool.
- Stay mobile. You move a lot faster than it seems thanks to E, and once you finally have your boots (although I've finished games so fast I couldn't even get them before), you'll be surprisingly nimble. Dodging a skill shot and then Q'ing a wanker's face as they walk away is just hilarious.
- Remember, W is still very useful. Low mana so it's good for farming Tear. It's good for last hitting. And the best use: tower destruction. Pop this with teammates and watch a turret explode (and once you have some serious AP, you can just devour turrets.)
- DO NOT INITIATE A TEAM FIGHT WITH YOUR ULTIMATE. You are not tank Warwick. There are exceptions (like doing this with Zilean ult on, isolating people who over-extend, etc.) -- but on average, as Magewick, you want to save that ult since it's not what the AD variant uses the ult for. My Nunu ult example is perfect; you use Magewick's ult for its CC more than for its damage (although it still hurts.)
- Careful when Ignited. Ignite may or may not ruin your day.
- Magewick is still a very scary ganker. Learn to toggle his E and utilize Clairvoyance right for optimum effect -- junglers, brazen lanes, and fools will die to your Magician Justice.
- You still jungle at a plenty okay pace, so if you need to snipe Golem, don't fret the speed.
- Clairvoyance is the damned best. Use it like crazy. Clairvoyance Baron, Golem, suspicious bushes, common choke-points -- Clairvoyance so your global ult team-mates can get an easier shot, Clairvoyance enemy spawn at start and say "I SEE YOU!" -- learn to love this spell. It will save you, your team, and not just a few times, games.
- More as I think of it.
That's it for now. Carry on, Magewick brothers and sisters.
Common Complaint Addressal.
Some people refuse to even give Magewick a second glance. And I feel these people are denying themselves a (personally) pretty fun experience out of misnomers.
Still, Magewick's understandably not for everyone, so let's address the common critique.
"1. His Q deals 20% damage by default. gg" It doesn't deal 20% until level 5 of Hungering Strike, and by that point, you should be well past the 20% threshold of your opponents' HP in AP + base damage, reliably and consistently.
I.E. fairly early on, it's common for me to have around 350 or so AP without buffs, team auras, etc. So let's say 350 + 275 (base) = 625. Most squishy champions hover around the 2k mark in health, less if they go glass cannon; even bulkier characters likely won't be past the 3k range yet at the stage you have your initial core AP items.
To make this argument work, your opponent would need absurd amounts of health in relation to your AP to entirely negate the 1:1 damage ratio health gain your Q yields. Some tanks will get there at a reasonable pace, but besides the "why focus the tank" adage, to beat out a standard Magewick's AP progression, it would require extensive health focus which *most tanks don't do in favor of EHP (i.e. armor/magic resist.)
2. "I prefer team fight utility."
While not as team-worthy as Tank Warwick, to claim Magewick has no team fight use is silly. Ignoring E for helping pinpoint stragglers and W for easy DPS champ support (as well as lightning turret blitzes), Magewick is capable of delivering significant damage output while, very importantly, keeping himself alive.
Played properly, he will wreck squishies in team fights, has all the utility Warwick normally offers, and will be at or near full health when most of the fight's participants are hovering around 30~20% HP.
Also, with how he is built, Magewick helps his team before team fights even begin. 40sc (despite the Tooltip saying otherwise) Clairvoyance, ability to whether harassment from even Golem Buff Malz, and some of the easiest solo mid gank setups for a jungler you could ask for - combined with one of the best team assist tools for pushing turrets in the game.
In short, he contributes quite a bit to his team with this build, to the contrary of claims made otherwise.
"3. Sorry, I want Warwick jungling, not laning."
This is less a Magewick centric problem and more a champion perception issue - but Warwick is a champion with tremendous sustainability and surprisingly good harass. A jungling Warwick is awesome when played well, but a laning Warwick when played well is awesome too.
Don't pigeon hole a champion into an established route when he has alternate strategies that are also useful in the right situations.
Plus, think of it this way.
I'd much rather my Tear of the Goddess Magewick be in mid against that Malz that snagged Golem buff or the pro Anivia who's Q projectile is turning invisible than a random AD Carry hugging their tower cursing the Riot gods any day, personally.
Still, end of the day, it's your decision what you like to play and how.
Ignite doesn't really do much to us (if you're in a situation where Ignite is going to get you killed, you're doing it wrong half the time anyway). No, a hard counter is something that completely bones a build type in its face.
And folks, while other champs can do something similar to a slight extent, there's just one champion that'll make your life a living hell as Magewick without some tact.
Suffice to say, your Q hitting his shield = no health gained. Your major weapon against a well played Morde mid is now broken and shattered. The best you can do, is use minions to keep you healthy, and set up for a gank by a hopefully competent jungler.
Damage absorption works this way in general, but you're not going to have this issue with a Udyr mid for example.
Now, once you're past the early game, Mordekaiser's honestly not bad to deal with. But for you, he is a highly problematic early game solo mid.
Also obnoxious are (good) AP Sions. Ones that don't build properly, you'll just Q, pop their shield, /taunt in front of them, Magewick to victory -- decent ones will negate your Q at just the right time, and exploit that window to crack you over their knees. Also, they farm extremely well with an AoE burst while you have auto-attacks and single target burst.
However, downside to that, is it makes AP Sion over-extending extremely easy. And if you play it right, you can burn through their mana and stay relatively healthy to a point. This is largely a positioning game, where the better at it wins.
Still, these two enemy solo mid picks are your biggest concerns. Other solo mid picks, you can out-last, out-damage, out-perform from Sivir to Karthus to Cho'gath the Solo Lane King himself if you're doing it right.
Vladimir was released after I originally created Magewick. (Riot was clearly ripping me off. HOHO!)
The way we build Warwick's Q and the way Vladimir's Q functions are remarkably similar. Hands down the closest skills to one-another in the game. However, we simply have Vlad's Q beat, by miles.
That's right. We are the Vladimir slayers.
Warwick's Q, Hungering Strike: (Active): Strikes an enemy for the greater value between the flat magic damage and a percentage of the target's maximum health (can only do flat damage to monsters), and heals Warwick for 100% of the magic damage dealt.
Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds
Cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 Mana
Flat Magic Damage: 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+1 per ability power)
Magic Damage Percentage: 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20%
Vladimir's Q, Transfusion: (Active): Vladimir drains the lifeforce of his target, dealing magic damage and healing himself for 25% (+0.25 per ability power) of that amount.
Cooldown: 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 / 3 seconds
Magic Damage: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+0.6 per ability power)
Vladimir's got better range, and his CD with full CDR will hover around 1.8 seconds (while we'll be at 3.6 seconds.)
However, our Q has: a much better AP ratio, heals for 100% of the damage dealt from level 1 on (more with Spirit Visage), better base damage, and even if we fail at life and somehow don't have enough AP to go above the 20% threshold.. it'll still deal 20% of the enemy's life.
We also have a double-edged sword CC for 1.7 seconds with suppression on it, while Vladimir simply has slow. And we are far superior on chasing down opponents, while Vladimir simply excels at running away like a girly Draculina. We are also much better at downing turrets, both by ourselves and especially with a team, than Vladimir could ever hope for.
And here's the kicker: we get to use Arch-Angel's Staff. Poor Vladdy can't do that without being laughed at. "No cost" they say, lolololol - I'm glad I have a mana pool buddy.
Sorry Vladimir. You were a cool prototype mass-production model of Magewick.
But man kind ill needs a savior such as you.
Patch v126.96.36.199 (February 1st, 2011)
As of this patch, Doran Items can no longer be bought along with a potion at level 1, and health quints got nerfed. This is actually a pretty nice buff for us.
1. We don't need health potion to stay in lane. So people who get Doran items, even with the tiny buffs Blade/Shield/Ring got, will have a harder time staying in lane against us.
2. Boots + 3 HP Potions has became more common for mid than it was before. So it'll be a little easier for the opponent to stay out of your Q range, but if you do it right, you can basically bait them to come in range to poke you and then slap them anyway. Meanwhile, they're less bulky and have to rely on their harass you'll easily get through.
3. We don't use health quints for Magewick, but our opponents (what ones did) either won't as much, or get less when they do -- and that combined with the fact less people get Doran since they can't be KOOLAID WARRIORS from level 1, means our opponents are inevitably squishier.
However. There is one downside.
4. With the mana regen change (I won't say "nerf" exactly), some champs that got mana regen runes may swap those with other runes instead. An example being.. MR runes.
Still, overall, Magewick's early game benefits pretty well from this change.
Patch v188.8.131.52 (March 1st, 2011)
Unfortunately, unlike the badassery of previous Magewick patches (Deathcap and "RUSH BOOTS" mids come to mind), this one's overall not good for us.
- Spirit Visage increased healing and regeneration effects reduced to 15% from 20%
- (Summary) Minions got their durability buffed across the boards.
The intention of this patch, from the turret and minion changes to the early game respawn timer change, was to make games end faster by basically causing more cluster****s to occur. Minions whack turrets 50% harder, tanks can no longer walk by a tower and /dance while their team jumps you, etc.
This is presumably why they nerfed Spirit Visage. Nerf to the heal it imparts = (vague logic) less sustainability = shorter.. game.
Now Spirit Visage got a small CDR nerf a patch ago, and that was so minor I didn't even list it. But THIS nerf feels a little forced, considering there's something enemies can pick at level 1 to reduce healing effects by 50% (plus artificial healing reduction by the damage caused.)
Summing it up, Magewick's Q won't heal for as much as it did prior to this patch, because Visage's contribution is reduced by 5%, and depending on the minion hit, those will contribute slightly less health as well since cannon and melee minions have increased MR.
Crippling? Not even, and this is probably the indirect Vladimir nerf QQ'ers were looking for (for those that used Visage.) Hell, with how little stat gain to gold you're currently getting off of Spirit Visage, maybe this is the way to turn it into an intermediate item to build into something super hardcore badass.
Still, overall a minor but annoying nerf for Magewick users this patch. Recap in recent Magewick history, not in order:
+Magewick got Deathcap. Large buff for the play style.
+CDR Boots were implemented. Cheap, useful depending.
?Spirit Visage CDR nerfed slightly. Had no real effect.
-Exhaust changed to instead of blind/slow, reduce damage dealt/slow. VERY obnoxious when combined with Ignite, since that can easily more than gimp our Q's gain for a decent length of time.
-Spirit Visage healing nerfed by 5%. No large impact, but a substantial nerf none the less.
-MR on melee/cannon/siege minions increased significantly enough, Q won't regain quite as much as it once did off of non-ranged minions.
+Multiple new champions with roots/knock-ups/etc. (Maokai, Jarvan.) Good synergy with Warwick.
Patch v184.108.40.206 (March 15th, 2011)
- Banshee's Veil refresh time increased to 45 seconds from 30 seconds.
gg, Magewick es #1.