Hecarim Build Guide by jpaul2077
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+14 ability power or +8 attack damage, adaptive and +5.5% attack speed
Hi! My name is Paul Chung (yes that is my actual ign). I hit Plat 2 on Season 5 playing almost exclusively Hecarim Top, Hit Diamond 5 S6 maining support, and now Hardstuck plat in s7 not being able to play much due to military obligations haha. Hecarim is definitely my favorite champion in the game. I got sad that there weren't any high elo guides on Hecarim Top so I took the responsibility in trying to create one!
Hello everyone! The navy had my hands full with deployments and whatnot so I never really got the chance to update this guide! Nor did I play hecarim for a bit due to the meta of S6 and S7. However, preseason is here and I am playing Hecarim top once more and it feels pretty good! Need more experimenting but will update the guide accordingly as I do!
Introduction to Hecarim
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 lane with his insane mobility. His usual job in team-fights is to hard engage the enemy team and pressure killing their Carries. His Ultimate lets him instantly get on to their back-line and get some good Damage off while they are feared.
Why Hecarim Top?
Yes, Hecarim is currently played 90%+ as a jungler so why should I play him top? Because it's fun. I won't sugarcoat it folks, compared to a lot of other top laners Hecarim is very weak. But, playing Hecarim top lane offers you the element of surprise. Not many play Hecarim in the top lane, so chances are your opponents will not know what to do against you!
Pros / Cons of Hecarim
- Great at Snowballing
- Able to one shot carries with combo
- Out-trades most melee top laners
- Team-fight Changing Ultimate
- Hard to play as when behind
- Needs triforce to do damage
- Has a hard time against lots of kite/range
- Doesn't scale well into late-game
Sorcery Tree: Take Phase Rush for the haste (very good for trading in lane), Take manaflow band to help offset Hecarim's mana problems early game, Take Celerity for the Extra Movement Speed (4% is super good!!!), and finally Scorch for that extra oompf while you lane.
Precsion: Take Triumph so you survive those clutch 1v1's and get some extra gold and Coup De Grace for that extra damage!
This offers more overall Tankiness while still providing that valuable Scorch in laning phase as well as the 4% movement speed from celerity.
Alright guys, the masteries has changed because the meta is shifting. With champions like Maokai and Ryze in the top lane, it is important to win the short trades in lane. Therefore, to maximize damage we are now going 18/0/12.
Specific reasoning for certain masteries:
natural talent over vampirism: More damage. You already have sustain through your w, if you utilize that correctly you really don't need any more sustain other than corrupting pot.
Double edge vs Feast: More damage.
Then why not go 12 in cunning? 2% increase in damage when opponent is isolated vs reduced cd on ignite and tp? Its more damage in the long run to go 12 in Resolve vs Cunning. TLDR: More Damage.
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.
The Lv3 Cheese
Alright guys, this is a Lv 3 cheese strat. 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. 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 heavy ganking jungler (ie. Elise, Lee Sin, Kindred, and Nidalee). If the answer is yes, you can kill, and no, the jungler is farm heavy, then by all means go for it and PRANCE on em'.
Teleport and Ignite.
Teleport is basically a requirement for all top laners now.
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. Usually your E is enough of escape tool but if you do want another defensive summoner
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 Ninja Tabi for reduced physical damage from basic attacks (Quinn and Graves top), or Boots of Swiftness for more mobility. After boots and Triforce, or if you are behind in lane, you want to go for a defensive item, usually Frozen Heart or Spirit Visage. Eventually you do want both for that 40% Cooldown Reduction (that is the maximum by the way so don't get anymore cooldown reduction items afterwards). For your offensive items you should really only need these two: Sterak's Gage and Maw of Malmortius. Youmu's Ghostblade is an interesting item that allows you to snowball super hard and one **** their adc and other squshies. I recommend going this item if you have a tank front line i.e. alistar supp and volibear jg, and if you are winning lane by a large margin. If you're behind however, this item will not help you at all. Your job is an offtank initiator, you really don't need more than 2 offensive items in your inventory to do your job and 3 is really pushing it. In any case, to finish your build off there are many options you can choose from as it will differ from situation.
Need more initiation? Dead Man's Plate.
Need more peel? Locket of the Iron Solari.
Getting crushed by a triple ADC Comp? Thornmail.
Keep getting caught by mages? Banshee's Veil.
Need a second life? Guardian Angel.
Need a single lane permanentlu pushed? Zzrot's portal
Adc's and Yasuo's are being annoying? Randuin's Omen
Malzahar, Warwick, and Skarner wants to keep ulting? Mercurial Scimitar.
General direction in lane
Neutral/even lane against non-scaling opponent:
T-force into what ever you see fit for the situation from my recommendation of items listed above.
Even lane HELP I'M VS NASUS/GANGPLANK:
Alright, dealing with a hyper carry (laners with extreme scaling into late game)is difficult as hecarim. Obviously, the only thing you can really do in lane is deny farm and ask for ganks, right? Wrong. See being a hyper carry means you need a certain amount of resources to get to that level. To get those resources you need time to farm for gold/exp/stacks/you name it. But that means you can extend their time in lane and look to roam mid and tp bot. Your goal should not only be to chip away at that timer against your opponent, but also help other lanes win to help you. TL;DR help your teammates help you.
When winning super hard vs a tank/bruiser:
Triforce into boots, get sterak/maw depending on opponent's kit and build defensively after.
When winning super hard vs a realtively squishy team (1 tank or none at all):
Triforce into Ghostblade or Maw depending on the opposing carry, build a defensive item into GA to remain a threat after the initial engage in a team fight.
Losing lane super hard:
sheen into defensive items (frozen heart/spirit visage/etc) and farm it out. Focus on taking all the gold you can take and playing correctly during team fights. While hecarim does lack damage without items, fearing a carry out of position could be the difference between winning or losing that crucial teamfight. Also, when behind, don't try to force flanks. You don't have enough stats for you to flank effectively since you don't do as much damage/ aren't as tanky and most likely teams will just kite you and kill you off before you can even attempt to do so. Playing correctly into the game's tempo is key when gold deficient as a bruiser.
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.
Your sole goal in teamfights should be 2 things.
1. Looking for a good engage opportunity
2. Making sure enemy champs don't kill your carry
This is the standard role of an offtank in teamfights. You look to kill the enemy carry as you to significant dmg while having tanky stats, but at the same time you have to be wary of enemy champions thing about the exact same thing.
When blind picking hecarim in ranked keep in mind: you will probably get counterpicked, enemy laners might go for defensive champs, and generally jglers will want to gank you since bad hecarim players will waste e in lane. However, Hecarim is a great counterpick to champions who need time to scale aka Nasus and Vlad, as he is one of the best lane bullies in the game and he can slow down the enemy from scaling very effectively while pushing advantages for his team on the map in other lanes and objectives. When thinking about picking hecarim into a champion think about 2 things. Whether you can trade favorably with the enemy laner, and whether you can snowball into the enemy laner. Hecarim can easily 1v1 their counterpicks with jg help, but make sure your jgler knows that you need a gank!
Hecarim is a fabulous pony with a low skill requirement and great for people who want a top champion they can pick every game (he isn't banned 99% of the time), 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 homeguard tp gank. He also does well against Garen and Fiora, 2 "op" top lane picks, and Irelia, who is also very common in the top lane.
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