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Hecarim Build Guide by jpaul2077

Top Paul Chung's guide to Hecarim Top Lane

Top Paul Chung's guide to Hecarim Top Lane

Updated on April 4, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author jpaul2077 Build Guide By jpaul2077 102 16 629,221 Views 9 Comments
102 16 629,221 Views 9 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author jpaul2077 Hecarim Build Guide By jpaul2077 Updated on April 4, 2021
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Runes: Standard

1 2
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Biscuit Delivery
Time Warp Tonic

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
Offensive Summoners
LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

About me

Hi! My name is Paul Chung . I am a Diamond top laner that used to play quite a bit of Hecarim in the past in the top lane, I onetricked it in season 5 and it was my most played champion by far. I got sad that there weren't any good guides on Hecarim Top so I took the responsibility in trying to create one!
If you like the guide please check me out at twitch !
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Top Hecarim in a Nutshell

Hecarim is an Offtank Lane Bully. He looks to win lane through out-trading his opponents with his Q ( Rampage), and then push that advantage in other lanes with his mobility through ganking. Hecarim excels at diving the opposing team's backline. His ultimate ability lets him instantly get on to enemy carries and get some good Damage off while they are feared for CC.
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Why you should trust me

I mained Hecarim in season 5
I hit platinum 2 with most of my games played with Hecarim in top lane.
Just to prove I'm not pulling things out of thin air.
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Why Hecarim Top?

Yes, Hecarim is currently played 90%+ as a jungler so why should I play him top? Hecarim offers a very unique laning experience most champions can't provide. He excels at beating melee match ups with his Q, which lets you harass without taking minion damage. Hecarim is also very good at making cross map plays with his E and Ulti which are both very good gap closers and tools to both engage and make picks. If the thought of being able to skirmish 1v1s effectively while running super fast towards a helpless squishy target and hunting them down is enticing to you I would recommend playing Hecarim! Although, due to the current popularity of Hecarim you may find him picked/banned often if you are not first pick.
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Pros / Cons of Hecarim

  • Great at Snowballing
  • Able to one shot carries with combo
  • Out-trades most melee top laners
  • Opponents may make mistakes due to not knowing the match-up, Hecarim isn't a commonly seen top laner
  • Item/Gold reliant
  • Countered extremely hard by popular meta picks (ex. Darius, Kled)
  • Has a hard time against lots of kite/ranged poke
  • Doesn't scale well into late-game
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Here I will explain all the Reasoning behind the Runes you should take for Hecarim Top.

Primary Runes:

Conqueror hands down is the best rune for Hecarim. Hecarim can stack conqueror very easily in lane thanks to his Q. Other runes have their upsides for sure, but in terms of Raw DPS (not burst) nothing can be conqueror. Due to the nature of Top lane being very isolated from the rest of the map, being able to Duel 1v1 is very important. Also when you split push later in the game, being able to threaten the enemy team into a 1v1 will be very important as well. A split pusher who can't 1v1 is pretty much useless as they will never draw pressure from more than 1 member. Hence, for 99% of the time you play Hecarim Top you should take Conqueror.

Triumph is a very good rune to take. Getting HP back after a take down can save you from a lot of situations where you could possibly die whether it be a teamfight or a 1v1. Dying has a lot more consequences with the introduction to Shutdown Gold. Shutdown Gold puts a bounty on you if you are Outcsing your opponent/ have more kills. So basically, if you are doing better than your laner, you will accrue a bounty. If the enemy carry gets this bounty, and completes a powerspike item before a crucial baron team fight, that could determine whether you win or lose the game!

Tenacity. This is free mercury treads, without having to build it. It's the best to take on Hecarim as a champion who doesn't rely on attack speed for DPS, and doesn't need lifesteal thanks to sustain from W. Also for lifesteal to be good, you need to build a lot of AD. Hecarim's AD scaling with many of his abilities are not very good, and as a champion who focuses using abilities to trade rather than auto attacks if won't be very effective. If the enemy team has champions with 0 hard cc, I would consider attack speed runes but even then I think Tenacity might be better because many champions still have soft CC such as slows/blinds/silence etc.

Last Stand. As a brawler you will be fighting a lot. Fighting means trading blows, trading blows mean losing HP. Therefore Last stand is a FANTASTIC rune for Hecarim! You will find that the amount of times you will be below 60% HP, as opposed to the enemy champion being below 40% will be far greater. As Hecarim usually builds a lot of Health items, I would recommend not going cut down.

Inspiration Tree:

Take biscuits for extra mana and hp in lane! Remember, biscuits restore %missing numbers so try to use it when you are running low on mana/health rather than using it when you are close to being full!

Timewarp tonic allows you to use your Corruption potion and biscuits to it's full potential! The bonus movement speed is nice not only because it makes you faster and allows you to chase your opponents more/ escape jungle ganks. Hecarim's passive gives you AD for bonus movement speed so you are also increasing your damage!
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Skill Sequence

You start your q Rampage. Its the most efficient ability start lv 1 for hecarim. Then at lv 2, you can either go for your w Spirit of Dread or e Devastating Charge. Spirit of Dread gives you sustain for trading which is really nice. Remember that your w, while activated, will give you infinite sustain when damaging champions. This is a good way to bait an enemy's all in, and then turn your w on for a surprise health boost. However, if your opponent is below 1/3 hp, it's not a bad idea to try and execute him with your e Devastating Charge. Also Keep in mind that your e is your only escape from ganks so if you know the jungler is trying to gank top side, take E. Your Ultimate Onslaught of Shadows is a massive AOE Fear/Gapcloser which allows for you to engage on the enemy carry and leave it defenseless while running around terrified. Use it to instantly get on the carry and pressure summoners and positioning.
Always Max Q first, then E, then W. Always Level up your Ultimate whenever you can.
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The Lv3 All in

Alright guys, this is a popular Lv 3 all-in strategy used by a lot of one trick Hecarim top laners. Basically you take a second point in your q at level 3. This gives a pretty significant boost to your damage output, and may lead to a surprise first blood for your opponent in lane, especially when combined with ignite. The downside to this is that, while you maximize on damage you either sacrifice safety/gap closer ( Devastating Charge) or sustain ( Spirit of Dread). It always comes down to: Can I kill this champion with the additional damage and without sustain/or a gap closing ability + is the jungler a early ganking jungler (ie. J4, Lee Sin, Kindred, and Reksai).
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Teleport and Ignite.
Teleport helps you maintain global pressure.
Ignite allows you to have more bite in lane and allows kill security to get that snowballing hecarim needs to stay relevant mid/late game. Its also a great tool in teamfights in making sure your target dies/ reducing healing. Usually your E is enough of escape tool so you shouldn't need ghost/flash but you can look to take them in lieu of tp for more lane dominance, or in lieu of ignite for a safer laning phase.
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Items for hecarim are pretty simple. To start off buy Corrupting Potion. More trading power, while sustaining. It's pretty much the best starting item for hecarim. There are two items you need to get as hecarim every game Trinity Force and boots. Boots might be self explanatory because every game, but I know there are some of you weirdos who like going 30 minutes into game without any boots so this is just a friendly reminder that you need boots. Hecarim relies on movement speed for effective roaming, initiation, and escape so they're basically 100% mandatory. I recommend either Mercury's Treads for the tenacity effect (very useful against cc heavy teams) or Plated Steelcaps for reduced physical damage from basic attacks (Quinn and Urgot top). Items are always situational depending on the enemy team comp and the dynamic of the game itself but I would have to say Sunderer is a MUST in all Hecarim item builds. Below I will go over all the legendary items I would consider building on Hecarim.

Black Cleaver - This item shines when you are against tanks. It gives you armor penetration, ability haste, tankiness, ad, and a unique passive that gives you bonus movement speed to a maximum of 30 once you damage them 6 times (which hecarim has no problem doing in a 1v1 scenario quickly with spamming Q, autoattacks, and W). I would recommend going this item 3rd or 4th item after your core legendary items as this item doesn't give you full value if the enemy champions don't have armor.

Sterak's Gage - This item should pretty much what you want to go second item every game. Hecarim is a very powerful initiator. When you build a Sterak's Gage not only are you tankier with the HP the item gives you, the item also has a unique effect of giving you a shield when you drop below 30% health which makes you even more difficult to deal with in the backline. I would pretty much build this item second almost every game as its just too good on Hecarim to not build.

Spirit Visage - This item is very good on hecarim as he can benefit from the healing amplifier to his W, and Conqueror. If you build items such as Sterak's Gage, Ravenous Hydra, and Gargoyles stoneplate this item synergizes well with those items as well. I would say this is the best MR item you can build on hecarim so anytime you are going against a magic damage oriented opponent you should always be looking to build this item at some point.

Frozen Heart - This used to be the go to second item for Hecarim due to it's good stats in armor, mana, passive aura, and cooldown reduction. The item itself on Hecarim is good overall, however since it only gives armor be sure to look at the enemy team comp before building this item. If the enemy team has primarily magic damage dealers I would advise avoiding building this item.

Ravenous Hydra - This item gives all your abilities a cleave effect that does 60% of your AD in a AOE, and also gives you 15% omnivamp and some ability haste! This item gives hecarim a lot of more sustain but unlike old death's dance which also gave omnivamp, this item gives no resistances which will leave you a little squishier than usual. Consider building this when you need the extra omnivamp in fights and can afford to be less tanky.

Serylda's Grudge - This item gives you % armor penetration (which is really good for hecarim) and a powerful slow effect whenever you deal physical damage (pretty much anytime you Q or E). This item is very strong on hecarim, the slow can really help out chasing opponents that have movement steroids or make sure they can't get away. However, as with most items that have damage, this item leaves Hecarim less tanky.I would personally not go for this item until you have some tank items to effectively frontline for your team. If you are abusrdly ahead (like 3k gold over your opponent ahead) for whatever reason you can maybe go this item and look to snowball. However, you will find that most of the time being tankier and harder to kill will usually feel better than 1 shot adc and then run around waiting for cooldowns for hecarim during teamfights.

Gargaoyle's Stoneplate - This item has insane synergy when built after a sterak's gage. The shield is very nice to active after your initial sterak's shield expires, which pretty much gives you even more survivability in a teamfight one top of getting resistances per champion damaging you. On top of that, the item gives ability haste and a nice chunk of magic resist and armor which hecarim will be lacking after the usual core of Sunderer into Steraks and only boots. If you haven't tried out this item combo yet, I highly recommend doing so. It's a lot of fun diving into the enemy backline and never dying with the amount of shielding you receive.

Youmuu's Ghostblade - This item is still good on Hecarim, and its mostly because of the movement speed increase from both the active and passive portions of the item. The lethality also gives you a nice increase in damage against targets not building armor, but because this item leaves you so squishy I would advise against building this item unless you are significantly ahead.

Deadman's Plate - One of the best items available to Hecarim in the game. The armor is great, the movement speed is great, the passive damage is great. Everything about this item synergizes with hecarim very well unless you are literally against 5 ap heavy mages. You should be looking to build this item in most games as it provides a lot of value for hecarim. This item is a must when you need to reach the backline to get those slippery adc's with dashes such as Ezreal and Vayne.

Silvermere Dawn - If you find yourself being Warwick ulted, Malzahar ulted, and or Skarner ulted endlessly this is the item you need to get yourself free. I prefer this item over mercurial scimitar as this item gives stats Hecarim can fully utilize in HP, MR, and AD as opposed to AD, MR, and Crit. Usually there is no need to upgrade to the full legendary item from Quicksilver Sash, as the item itself isn't the most cost effective.
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Laning Phase

Trade effectively with w and q. Your W gives infinite sustain from champions when it is active so take use of it. Don't Q too much on the wave and you risk pushing it too far and overextending, which leaves you vulnerable to jungle ganks. Also, DO NOT WASTE YOUR E IN LANE FOR NO REASON. Your E is your only escape tool, don't waste it trying to trade and being left defenseless. Don't be afraid to use your ultimate to escape either. Against champions with abilities who can straight up negate your E with their ability (Fiora parry, Jax counter strike, Poppy W) you can run at them but don't actually target them until they use it. Hecarim E is very telegraphed so it's important to bait out spells that may pretty much stop you right in your tracks.
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Team Fighting

Your aim should either be to pick off the enemy squishy, most likely their mid or adc, or engage the enemy team. Either case, you should be always looking to flank. Looking for good Teleport and/or roaming timing will be key to winning your teamfights. Try to refrain from going in alone, Hecarim is not a pure tank so you can be taken down quickly.
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Hecarim is a fabulous pony with a low skill requirement and great for people who want a top champion who can dominate the early game, is easy to learn (Not very mechanically difficult, just know the game), and FUN. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the enemy carry become 1 shotted from a fully charged E while you run at them with full speed.
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Thank you very much taking the time to read my first guide! Your comments are very appreciated and please let me know what I can do to make this guide better! I'm sure there are many things I can improve on as this is my first guide. Keep the Pony Prancing! :D
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