Warwick Build Guide by Khal
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
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.
-Hungering Strike (Q) now heals for 80% of damage dealt, down from 100%
This will certainly effect his lane sustainability, but fairly modestly. For most matchups, it probably won't be that noticeable, but against some of the heavy harassment champions (Annie, Cass, and Brand), it could be a big deal. I'll be testing it.
Warwick, in Mid or Solo top?
Yeap. With very few exceptions, warwick in a 1v1 lane with the proper build, can out Harass, out farm, and out level the opponent. The self heal from hungering strike allows you to stay in lane from L1-11 without a single trip back, while forcing your opponent back 2-3 times, or they die.
As an added bonus, blood scent makes ganking you tougher, as the person will become visible unless they have 51% HP or more. Once ranked up, you will be able to see a low hp character throughout their entitre jungle when standing in Mid. Your team (and you with ghost) can then gank the ganker!
Newb Wolf, get in the jungle!
You are going to cause trouble on your team during champion selection if you don't communicate. So be VERY clear, you are not jungling and would prefer Mid or 1v1 top. Give your team the chance to pick a jungler! Most people see Warwick on their team, and auto-assume Jungle. Work with your team, don't demand anything. Always be polite, and most people will let you do it. There are some very narrow minded players who might Que Dodge, but for the most part, your in game performance will judge you a Troll or a viable teammate.
Even if they refuse to let you 1v1, you will do fine in a lane, just less likely to see as much farming. Work with your team. In a 2v2 lane, you can take a good bit of harass, so soak if possible for your lane-mate.
Why not build Ability power for Magewick?
Here's a chart of Various HP targets and the AP needed to do the same damage as the 20% from Rank 5 Hungering Strike.
2,000 HP target = 125 AP
3,000 HP target = 325 AP
4,000 HP target = 525 AP
5,000 HP target = 725 AP
So while getting 325 AP isn't too hard to cover most targets, the AP does nothing for your Ultimate or auto attacks. Sure, you can build a ton of AP and rape some face with Q, but while waiting for the ability to come off CD you are auto attacking for pathetic damage. The only real purpose of your ult becomes to CC a target. I find this untenable and useless. What if you spent the gold on things that help you between cooldowns, but still do good Q damage?
Don't be a one-ability zombie. Your build should have synergy with all the abilities at your disposal.
When you launch yourself with your ultimate, infinite duress, all on hit effects trigger for full damage (unlike your AD, which is reduced). With Malady, Wits End, and Red buff, you are talking about a sizeable amount of damage even to a full HP character.
When you are auto attacking between Q swipes, , you are doing good damage.
Since you are building Magic penetration, Q hits harder and heals you for more. Your on-hit effects all deal Magic damage as well (Wits End, Malady, MBR, etc). Red does True damage.
Here are a few games I played recently, stiched together so yes, they are out of order, etc. I hate playing the same champion over and over, so I don't have a consecutive list to show.
Procwick vs Lanewick
So after Dreamhack in June of 2011, this guide has gotten a lot more attention. I wrote this guide in April of '11 after playing it for a few months in early '11. Neat. There are very subtle differences in Lane vs Proc warwick. They build nearly identically, most notably Proc uses Malady, Lane does not. The mastery build can be 9/0/21 or 9/11/10 depending on how tanky he needs to be (picking up the Armor, MR, dodge, move speed from dodge masteries in defensive tree). I'm going to do some testing to see how different it feels building without Malady, but my initial impression is of course Procwick will be more offensively focused, with Lanewick building more defensively.
Also, you normally see Lanewick from Dreamhack in the top solo lane, where I actually like Procwick in Mid. The reason I like being in mid is warwick is very good at helping your team in your own jungle when it gets invaded, as well as helping with dragon control.
1v1, Mid or Top
From the opening creep wave, you are being tested by your opponent. Know how they harass, anticipate it, and counter hit them with Hungering Strike. Your range is smaller than ranged carries and casters, so your positioning is important. Dance around the wave, run in to last hit with melee attack or Q, but try to save Q for hitting your opponent for the first few levels. It becomes incredibly frustrating for them to trade pokes and find themselves in worse shape for the exchange.
After you've established your dominance with pokes, you can start using hungering strike for creep kills and topping off your HP. Remember the bigger minions (every few waves) give about twice the gold, get the kill shot on those with Q to avoid losing it.
You have amazing staying power in these types of lanes, so take advantage of it and Last Hit creeps like a pro. You don't have armor penetration, so you hit softly. Practice! Practice some more.
Don't forget about your passive Eternal Thirst. Auto attack a full HP minion a few times, then go for last hits and counter harass.
Don't stand still too long. I find myself dancing around the minions and the enemy constantly. One of my favorite tricks is watching someone come in for a harass shot on you, you move away a second or two, then move towards them and sneak a Hungering Thirst on them. Most people don't react fast enough after their shot lands to move away.
Pay attention to the items your opponent has. Most ranged carries with Tier 2 boots can poke you without being in danger of being hit by your Q, so if you see them upgrade boots, you need to get your own.
My best piece of advice is to remember you are NOT a tank. Don't initiate large (4v4 and 5v5) group fights with your ultimate. You will die. However, I will say initiating Ganks and small group fights is normally successful as long as they don't have something to break your Ult (stuns, knock ups/backs, etc). If you see someone out of position from their team, jump them!
Keep poking with Q before the fight engages if you have the mana pool or Blue buff, but you are mana dependent, so keep yourself in check below 60-70% mana until the fight engages.
There are so many uses for your Ultimate other than killing someone in a team fight, so don't hesitate to lock down someone diving a teammate, Katarina's Death Lotus, Nunu's Absolute Zero, etc.
Most of what I say for 1v1 applies in a duo lane, the primary difference is focusing your harassment on 1 champion, even if that's a tank. Poke poke, and you will get the killing opportunity in the L1-6 game. You need a good understanding of the CC capabilities of the enemy team. Dodging skill shots, or intercepting them to protect your squishy.
You are a tremendous damage soak in your lane, so try to keep the enemies harassing you over your lane-mate. As always, don't over extend your lane allowing a gank opportunity from the enemy team / jungler. Pay attention to Minion kills for yourself and your teammate as well. Don't starve your ally!
When in a 2v2 lane, I find myself going back to buy Sorcerer's Shows before buying Malady. The extra movement speed feels more important when negotiating minion waves with 2 enemies and bushes so close.
Greater Mark of Insight x 9
You're dealing primarily Magic damage, so this is a no brainer and mandatory
Greater Seal of Clarity x 9
As an AD fighter, you get a small mana pool and low base regen. These are a must for staying power in your lane. (edit, fixed the guide at top, had the flat mp5 runes listed by mistake)
Greater Glyph of Force x 9
While we are not focusing on AP with items, the AP / level glyphs give us better early - mid game damage/healing on Hungering Strike.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude x 3
Levels 1 and 2 can be a little touchy, so I find the extra 78 HP useful. If you find yourself doing well with this concept, I'd substitute Magic Pen Quints. But again, the HP for the first 2 levels is good.
I take a standard caster build of 9-0-21. I take Flash + Ghost, so picked up their improvements.
Some people prefer changing the HP/MP regen in tier 1 utility to less time spent dead. Either way, I have no gripes.
Very straight forward:
Infinite Duress(R) > Hungering Strike(Q) > Blood Scent(E) > Hunter's Call(W)
I break this rule around L12 to take 1 point in Hunter's Call, to help with team tower pushes. I wouldn't take it at L11, but missing 1 skill up in Hungering Strike would be worth a Tower kill. Only do that if you have a teammate in lane on the tower with you.
Doran's Ring is a perfect item for you, start every game with one.
Malady. Buy the Amplifying Tome first if you have to go back. Please note, if your opponents in lane have their Tier 2 boots, you will need to buy yours before Malady most of the time. There comes a point where you are unable to counter harass without them.
Sorcerer's Shoes are a no brainer, as you are dealing a lot of magic damage.
For the next items, I build based on what I am laning against for the priority. If I am having a good game, I build Wit's End next. If I am getting too harassed, I build survivability with . If you cannot build it outright or cannot decide which to buy first, buy first as it's used in both items.
Build the other from above.
From there, I build based on what damage I am taking, counter items, etc.
Banshee's Veil if they are packing a lot of CC and/or magic damage
Sunfire cape for AD carries
Guardian Angel if I am being focused in team fights
Frozen Heart or thornmail to counter fed AD carries. If you aren't getting Blue buff on your team, then I highly recommend Frozen heart for the Cooldown reduction.
I finish out the build by selling Doran's ring and getting Madred's Bloodrazor. If you find yourself dominating, I would get this before one of the defensive counter items listed above.
Just such an amazing ability, I have a hard time not taking this ability when I play these days. Avoiding ganks, initiating a gank, etc.
While not as good as flash to get you out of sticky situations, ghost allows for rapid lane changes and arrival at team fights. When coupled with Blood Scent, you can engage a low health target very swiftly. Great for counter jungling as well.
A staple finishing move for a lot of carries, but I find myself rarely unable to finish a champion with the extra run speed from Blood Scent and a little tower diving =)
Certainly a good spell now that it also decreases Ability damage coupled with the slow. If no one on your team has it, and you see a Yi and Tryndamere in a ranked, I would consider it.
In some odd team makeups I could see this being useful, but not normally.
Nope, you have hungering strike
Useful on support champions and with premade groups, but nothing I'd consider on a carry
Lanewick, Battlewick, etc
I just thought I'd give some attention to this, as it got a lot of buzz during Dreamhack and EU qualifiers for Season 1 Championship.
Fundamentally, the early game is identical. However, instead of building Malady, it's Wits End with more Defensive items than I list (3 instead of 2). If your team needs a tanky dps, feel free to play with this rune page / mastery page.
I'll dig up a good guide for it, I think there are some in mobafire too.