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Hecarim Build Guide by jpaul2077

platinum

Paul Chung's guide to Hecarim Top Lane

By jpaul2077 | Updated on October 20, 2019
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Runes:

Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Inspiration
Biscuit Delivery
Time Warp Tonic
Bonus:

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

Spells:

1 2 3
Offensive Summoners
LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #15 in
Jungle Role
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Ability Order Skill Order

Threats & Synergies

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

About me

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 s8 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!
If you like the guide please check me out at twitch HERE !
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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

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • 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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Runes

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 broken rune in my opinion. Getting HP back for 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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Spells

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

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 Righteous Glory 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/or Guardian Angel. Youmuu's Ghostblade can be considered as your second item if you are winning lane very hard as your damage will sky rocket witht he lethality and MS bonus. If the enemy has a Malzahar/Warwick you should consider a Quicksilver Sash for the cleanse effect. Usually I end up going Triforce into Tabis (AD top laners are more popular than AP), into Righteous Glory > Spirit Visage/ Sterak's Gage > into Deadman's Plate / Randuin's Omen / Thornmail. Items are always situational depending on the enemy team comp and the dynamic of the game itself but I would have to say Trinity Force is a MUST in all Hecarim item builds.
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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.
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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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Summary

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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Conclusion

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