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Warwick Build Guide by jaelerin

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author jaelerin

S6 - Call of the Wild

jaelerin Last updated on January 26, 2016
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 18

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 0

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 12

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Warwick gets a bad rap for offering weak lane pressure from the jungle and being "useless before level 6". (I've had people tear into me just for picking him in champ select.)

These is due to many players misunderstanding his strengths and weaknesses and therefore not using them effectively.

With this guide, actively gank all the lanes and get your devourer sated quickly, and actually be able to share blue buff with your team.

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+ Best jungle sustain in the game
+ Solid Fighter that can do a ton of damage and survive
+ Flexibility to emphasize either damage or defense
+ Powers that are great team buffs
+ Works well with on hit effects and attack speed.

- Mana problems
- No CC other than Infinite Duress
- Melee with no gap closers other than Infinite Duress

Each of his weaknesses can be mitigated with this build. By using Hungering Strike much more strategically, the mana problems are greatly alleviated. Running Stalker's Blade, Blade of the Ruined King and Boots of Mobility - Furor helps cover for the lack of CC and gap closer. The rest of this guide details how.

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Summoner Spells

You are jungler. You need this. However, there are some points to using it effectively. Once you have Stalker's Blade, save all your smite uses for enemy champions and dragon/herald/baron. You will have plenty of sustain with Eternal Thirst and Hunters Call and will no longer need it in the jungle.
This is a standard spell, and I do run it a lot. It can be used effectively for escapes or closing in for kills. Because of Boots of Mobility - Furor and Blood Scent however, it is not a mandatory choice.
I find this as a good alternative to flash in many cases. It offers even more map presence, and Warwicks great sustain means that being able to teleport from a gank top to counter gank bottom immediately can be remarkably effective. As long as Hunters Call is off cool down, just showing up and popping that can make a massive difference.

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Now, on to the meat of the guide...

This is not a common order for abilities:

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

The reasons for this ability set start become clear once you start thinking about what Warwick's strengths and weaknesses. Warwick is all about on-hit effects and using Eternal Thirst for sustain. One major weakness is constantly running out of mana.

Hungering Strike

Warwick's main strength is his on-hit bonuses and Q does not help or work with those in any way. The "standard" build that makes Hungering Strike primary emphasizes the weakness and provides no synergy with the strengths. This causes early game Warwick to be weak and very blue buff dependent because of serious early mana problems. This problem is not inherent in Warwick, it is directly caused by most players' massive over-reliance on Q.

Only use Hungering Strike when you have an active blue buff or are killing an enemy champion.
Using it in the jungle early (without blue buff to fund it's massive mana costs) results in running out of mana quickly and far too many recalls.

I'm not saying that this power isn't good. The damage as % of maximum health is fantastic... against champions... when you have your Frozen Heart and enough mana. In other words, Hungering Strike is great late game.

Hunters Call

Hunters Call, on the other hand, is one of the most underrated powers in the game. Warwick's main strength is his on-hit bonuses. Attack speed cause these to fire much more often and therefore his W adds wonderful synergy to his kit. At 40% CDR and rank 5, every 9.6 seconds you can give yourself 80% attack speed and your allies 40% attack speed for 6 seconds. It is on for 6 seconds and off for 3.6.

Think about that more closely. When Warwick hits level 9, you are offering your ADC (and all other nearby allies) a 40% attack speed bonus. That is like giving your whole team a full extra attack speed item. A well timed W can be a massive buff to your ADC or Top during a gank. To top it off, this amazing power only costs a flat 35 mana (1/2 to 1/3 of the cost of Hungering Strike), meaning that you can spam it throughout jungle clears and ganks without running out of mana.

Finally, remember to use this for hitting towers. An early "unsuccessful" gank in a more pushed lane that resulted in no kills but was enough to force a recall... is a perfect opening. Clear the wave with your allies and then use it once you all start hitting the tower and it will add incredible amount of damage.

Blood Scent

Blood Scent is a huge team buff. Obviously, it can be great to close distances with the speed boost.

At higher ranks, the range covers large portions of the map.

Do not underestimate the power of tracking weakened opponents through the jungle so your teammates can finish them off. No more bush juking and narrow escape recalls. Even if you are close to death after a team fight or counter gank, it is incredibly powerful to hang back, but close enough to track weak enemy champions for your teammates to hunt down.

Also remember, you can turn it off. This is a wonderful trick to sneak up on weakened lane opponents who expect to get warned that you are approaching. Just remember to turn it back on again.

Infinite Duress

Infinite Duress, of course, his keystone, but there are some tricks to using it effectively.

First off, DO NOT use Infinite Duress for team fight initiation.
- You waste the healing because you are still at full health
- You only lock down one person
- You open yourself up to getting interrupted
- It won't one shot-them, and now you have lost your gap closer when they jump away or knock back

With this build, Warwick is tanky enough, and has enough sustain to be able to run in and get initial hits. I've seen too many people jumps in right away in a team fight and get stomped by the enemy team before his ult even finishes.

Save it for a moment when it counts: once your team is engaged then jump on their ADC or peel their assassin off of yours. Using it after engagement, you not only shut down the biggest threat, you actually take advantage of the healing this ability offers.

That being said, it is useful to open with this power to setup an early-game gank or hunt down single enemy champions.

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Core Items

Stalker's Blade is a key item for Warwick because it provides much needed CC. While Skirmisher's Sabre is a consideration, I have found that it's better to have the slow to help with a kill than the extra damage-over-time to help with a duel.
Again Warwick is all about on-hit effects and attack speed and this makes Enchantment: Devourer the obvious choice. Once you have Devourer, your goal is to sate it as quickly as possible; aim for Sated by the 20 minute mark. This does not mean you farm jungle for 20 minutes. Kills and assists are worth 1 stack... and you get assists easily with Hunters Call buffing your team during ganks. Also remember, Dragon is worth 5 stacks and Scuttles are worth 2 stacks.
Paired with Blood Scent, this really makes up for his lack of gap closer. The speed boost is effective until you attack or are attacked. This can help you close during a gank because, if they just run, you still have the speed boost until you close, and after you attack you can smite the enemy champion to keep them close to you. Berserker's Greaves or Mercury's Treads have their benefits, but I find the mobility to be more effective overall.
The on-hit passive fits really well in increasing damage and on-hit lifesteal. It particularly helps against tanks and other fighters because of the percent based damage. The active power adds more soft CC, along with Stalker's Blade. In short, this item fits extremely well with Warwick's kit.
This provides 3 things, all of which greatly benefit Warwick: Armor, Mana, CDR. Warwick is a Fighter and needs survivability. The mana helps sustain Hungering Strike. The 20% CDR ensures that Hunters Call and Infinite Duress are regularly available.
Spirit Visage complements Frozen Heart and provides the other 3 major benefits: Health, Magic Resist, and the final 10% CDR. The health and magic resist fill out the defensive needs. The passive benefits both Eternal Thirst and the passive of Blade of the Ruined King

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Final Item Choices

The core items fit very well together and provide Warwick with a high damage, off-tank kit. The 6th item slot is very much dependent on the match itself.

Always a solid choice. The health it provides gives quite a bit of survivability, particularly after Frozen Heart and Spirit Visage. The passive really helps out when hunting down fleeing victims.
Wit's End is a balanced choice. It offers more on-hit damage and MR. Use in games where their Mage has had a better game than their ADC and you are still effectively killing in team fights. Infinite Duress will give you all 5 stacks.
The veil is for games when you need to be more of a tank. This can happen because of your team's composition or the enemy team's mages are really tearing things up and you need the survivability more than the extra damage of Wit's End
Randuin's Omen is the mirror item to Banshee's Veil. Use this if your team needs more of a tank and the enemy ADC is the biggest threat.
Rageblade is the most aggressive of the final options. While it does add a lot of attack speed and you can get stacks quickly, the AP doesn't help Warwick as much as other champions like Jax. This is a pick when your team has plenty of tank (say Leona support and Malphite top) and you need to focus on taking down the enemy team.

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Your goal in the jungle is to abuse Warwick's massive sustain. Stay out in the jungle for a long time. Own the river and keep pressure on the enemies in lane. With good opening, a 9 minute for Stalker+Devourer & Boots is doable.

First route

Initial pass
  1. Gromp (ask for hard leash)
  2. Blue (smite)
  3. Wolves
  4. Chickens
  5. Red (smite)
  6. Golems
Important notes:
  • Use your teammate's leash to full effect and save your Smite for Blue. Hunters Call at first level gives your leash partners 20% attack speed for the leash.
  • Kill the little Golems and Chickens first. The rest of the camps kill the large monster first.See why here.
  • Start each camp using by Hungering Strike, followed by immediate Hunters Call. This will let Hungering strike come off cool down shortly after Hunter's call finishes. You will have blue buff on this first route, so mana won't be a problem. (In later clears, skip using this unless you have blue buff.)
  • Time Hungering Strike to be just after an attack. It's animation is rather slow, so you want it to fit it in between attacks and not delay attacks. Do not use Hungering Strike while Hunter's Call is active.

Following this path, you will be near full health after golems without even having to use a single health pot.
Do not recall yet

Next pass (exact order is a bit flexible depending on how pushed lanes are)
  1. Gank Top/Bot (depending on side)
  2. Scuttle
  3. Gank Mid
  4. Respawned Chickens
  5. Respawned Wolves
  6. Respawned Gromp
  7. Other Scuttle
  8. Gank Bot/Top (depending on side)
  9. Push tower (if gank successful) or Gank Mid

At this point you can consider recalling for the first time

Important Notes
  • The ganks and scuttle kill are making effective use of the time while the jungle camps respawn.
  • It doesn't matter that you are level 4 and don't have CC yet. The combination of rank 2 Hunters Call and rank 1 Hungering Strike and Blood Scent mean the good positioning work much of the time.
  • Don't overcommit or stress if you don't get a kill. Even if you don't get a kill, this makes sure the enemy lanes know you are paying attention. Put on pressure, force a Flash, and do not underestimate the impact this will have.
  • Do not sit too long at a single lane waiting for the perfect gank and do not hang out in lane after the gank. Make yourself known, get off few hits or hungering strike and do some damage. Then move on.
  • Smite the scuttles in this early game because chasing them around takes forever and gets you into some riskier positions. Later on you can just attack, but for this initial pass it is a good use of smite.
  • Blue Buff is going to run out sometime during this. Make sure to stop using Hungering Strike when it does or you will run out of mana for Hunters Call

Controlling Dragon

Controlling Dragon is key to team advantage and getting devourer stacks. Your job is to control dragon. With your sustain, you should remain in the jungle far longer than your opposing jungler. Use that time to ward jungle & river and take the scuttlers.

Kill dragon right after getting Stalker's Blade - Devourer, though you may want to gank bot first to help keep the enemy team away while you claim it. After that, pay attention to Dragon's respawn timer and make sure you and your team are there again just before it respawns. It is your responsibility to notify your team around 1:00 before dragon respawns. Then give another "ask for help" ping about :20 - :30 before.

Remember that while you can solo dragon very early, doing so opens you up do ganks from the enemy team. If/when you try to solo dragon, make sure you keep a close eye on the map for what the enemy team is doing and whether anyone is missing.