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Pyke Build Guide by Vapora Dark

Support Sink 'Em All - In Depth Pyke Guide Season 11

Support Sink 'Em All - In Depth Pyke Guide Season 11

Updated on September 22, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark Build Guide By Vapora Dark 888 63 3,569,403 Views 59 Comments
888 63 3,569,403 Views 59 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark Pyke Build Guide By Vapora Dark Updated on September 22, 2021
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Vapora Dark's Featured Video

-Table of Contents-

I am Vapora Dark, an EUW ADC player who's been Master tier every season since season 5. Vicious Skittle is a friend of mine who's been too busy to keep up with MOBAFire in recent times, and so I've taken on the task of keeping his guides updated. I hope I can do him justice and that you will benefit from this guide just as much as if he were still maintaining it.

Hi, I am Vicious Skittle. I am a Diamond tier player on EUW whom in Seasons 4/5 peaked at Diamond 4/2 respectively. I've been playing Pyke since before he was released on the PBE and he is without a doubt my favourite champion in the game to play.

Pyke is a very unique champion in that he's a support but doubles as an AD assassin whose kit revolves around taking kills. Converting all HP into AD makes him very squishy after the first 10 minutes or so even though he has the highest base HP in the game. Designed around snowballing hard with pick potential a Pyke player must understand when he can all in and kill someone for the benefit of his team. His ultimate is not only an execute but a reset meaning he doesn't fall off when it comes to teamfighting like a lot of other assassins and proper utilization of his hook/stun/execute will differentiate the bad Pykes from the good ones.


+ High Damage (for a support)
+ Highest Base HP in the game
+ Assassin Support
+ Stealth and a hook
+ Threshold Execute that resets

- Low Utility (for a support)
- Cannot buy HP
- Items are in general more expensive
- Feast or Famine
- Greedy Playstyle

> >
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Passive: Gift of the Drowned Ones
Gift of the Drowned Ones
Pyke's health cannot be improved except through growth (per level), instead he gains 1 bonus attack damage per 14 bonus health.

Pyke also stores 30% - 81% (based on level) of the damage he takes from enemy champions as Grey Health on his health bar, up to 80 (+800% Bonus AD) with a maximum of 60% of Pyke's maximum health.

When Pyke is unseen by enemies, he rapidly consumes his Grey Health to heal for the same amount.
The passive basically is there to force pyke into buying damage. 1 AD per 14 HP is okay but you really don't want more than 1 item to convert. It's not there to make hybrid builds viable, it's solely to prevent a tank Pyke from abusing his ultimates execute.

The Grey health is basically half of Tahm Kench's E. It's designed to allow you to trade easily and take some poke. A point to note is that it's easy to trigger by using Ghostwater Dive so if you're in a hairy spot with some grey health then you can get some health back from pressing W.
Q: Bone Skewer
Bone Skewer
Cost: 70 Mana
Cooldown: 14 / 12.5 / 11 / 9.5 / 8s

First Cast: Pyke charges for up to 2 seconds, increasing Bone Skewer's range while being slowed by 20%.

Second Cast: After a brief delay, Pyke hurls his harpoon forward, dealing 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 + 60% bonus AD) Physical Damage to the first enemy struck, pulling them a fixed distance towards him and slowing them by 90% for 1 second.

Releasing the ability within 1 second causes Pyke to thrust his harpoon forward in a line, dealing 115% damage and slowing enemies by 90% for 1 second. The stab deals (86.25 / 143.75 / 201.25 / 258.75 / 316.25 + 69% bonus AD) Physical Damage

If Pyke is interrupted during the charge, or the charge completes without reactivation, Bone Skewer is cancelled and the ability is put on full cooldown but refunds half the mana cost.
Your bread and butter pick skill. A hook on any champion is a force to be reckoned with and Pyke is no exception. It deals solid damage, and even more if just doing the short stab, which is perfect for when you're trying to burst someone.

Additionally, hitting someone with either the stab or the hook will cause them to be slowed by 90% which is massive. It's also a fixed distance hook meaning if you point blank someone with a charged bone skewer you'll fling them behind you like a singed. I max this first as the base damage is high and the CD goes down per rank.
W: Ghostwater Dive
Ghostwater Dive
Cost: 50 Mana
Cooldown: 12 / 11.5 / 11 / 10.5 / 10s

Active: Pyke enters camouflage and gains (40% + 1.5% per 1 lethality point) bonus movement speed decaying over 5 seconds. Attacking or casting abilities immediately ends camouflage.
A very simple stealth ability. What makes this unique is that it's on a support and that it has no cast time. That means as soon as you press W you instantly go into camouflage with the MS boost. However the duration is *very* short at only 5 seconds and the MS boost decays fairly quickly. You'll be using this mostly as an in combat smokescreen or a setup for lane ganking/getting past wards. It also has great escape utility thanks to the fact the stealth is instant and greatly increases your movement speed.

I max this ability last as it's pure utility.
E: Phantom Undertow
Phantom Undertow
Cost: 40 Mana
Cooldown: 15s

Active: Pyke dashes, leaving behind a drowned phantom.

After 1 second, the phantom returns to Pyke, dealing (95 / 125 / 155 / 185 / 215 + 100% bonus AD) physical damage and stunning enemy champions it passes through for 1.25 + 0.1s per 10 lethality points.
A solid reverse skillshot that deals good damage and has a solid stun attached to it as well. The mobility it offers is great in any situation, but because the stun is like a Jarvan IV E Q combo but Pyke is the flag it's incredibly powerful. You're able to flash as the phantom is flying towards you extending the range, you can buffer the ability during the throw animation of Bone Skewer, the dash is instant so it's easy to use from Ghostwater Dive and it has good range. The downside is that the base damage scales poorly (starts really high, scales badly) and the stun duration doesn't increase per level. However its damage is more important than the lower W cooldown.

I max this ability second for the extra damage. Pyke is an assassin after all.
R: Death From Below
Death From Below
Cost: 100 Mana
Cooldown: 120 / 100 / 80s

Active: Pyke strikes in an X-shaped area, executing enemies below 250 - 605 (based on level) (+ 80% bonus AD)(+1.5 per 1 lethality point) health while dealing the same amount as physical damage to enemies not within the threshold for execution.

If Death from Below hits an enemy champion, Pyke will blink to the center of the X. If an enemy champion dies inside the X, the assisting ally is granted full kill gold and Pyke gains the ability to recast it within 20 seconds at no cost.
An AoE Darius/Urgot ultimate that scales per level instead of per rank that can give assisting allies bonus gold? Yes please.

You'll usually be wanting to save this until the enemy is low enough to be killed from it as it's a pure execute (to ensure death, the execution first deals 100% current health as true damage, then, if the target is still alive, increases by additional cycles of true damage in powers of ten from 10 up to 10^6, for a maximum bonus damage of 1,111,110. Therefore being a 100% kill unless the target is invulnerable like Taric or Kayle). The reason it's fine for a support to get an ultimate based around taking the kill is because of the gold it gives to an assisting ally, meaning your precious Vayne can't cry you stole her kill because she gets the same gold/xp. More importantly though is that it resets, meaning you can single handedly wipe teams if you can hit multiple people whilst executing them as it can reset indefinitely (like Darius).

One of the downsides however is that it has a hefty cooldown at early ranks which is why we take Presence of Mind. Important to note though is that it gains damage when you level up, not when you put points into the ability. This means the difference between a level 10 and 11 Pyke isn't gargantuan like the difference between a level 10 Zed and 11.
This summoner spell is one you should always take and the one you'll always see. Flash has a billion and one uses, from flashing in to get a kill, from flashing away from danger, flashing over walls and flashing over abilities. This is something you should be very familiar with by now and it's something you should ALWAYS have. There is never a situation where you don't take flash.
As an assassin/kill based support there is only one option you can take. Ignite ups your kill pressure by absurd amounts and lets you get your target that much closer to your execute threshold. It also has the benefit of grevious wounds which is situationally useful against specific champions.

Resolve & Precision

Your job is to create picks and assist in dealing damage to get targets low enough to execute them. As a champion with no innate defence in combat, the staggering resistances Aftershock will offer you are incredible for your get in and stay in playstyle. Not to mention you have 2 ways to trigger it.

Whilst both Demolish and Font of Life scale with your maximum health (which is a bad thing for Pyke), in the current meta based around getting several turret plates Demolish is actually pretty powerful. You can't use Shield Bash so we never take it.

Bone Plating
Pyke doesn't need extra resistances after 10 minutes thanks to Aftershock and your base stats, and Second Wind is a lot less useful because of your passive Gift of the Drowned Ones that leaves only 1 option. Bone Plating is great because it helps with one of Pyke's biggest weaknesses and that is early poke pressure. Whilst your passive can help a lot with poke, before you get a lot of attack damage and some levels you can still easily get poked down. Bone plating helps prevent that.

As a pick based support, your summoner spells are incredibly valuable. You'll also need to cast them a lot to help facilitate getting said picks. This means by default they'll be on cooldown a lot. Being unable to consistently buy defence boots, the tenacity/slow resistance this rune offers is really potent.


Presence Of Mind

Legend: Tenacity
With your ultimate being able to be reset and having a long cooldown early on, Presence of Mind can make it so your ultimate is practically always up. Getting a kill or 2 can easily cut off 15-20 seconds making it available way more than people expect. In the lategame once you also have some cooldown reduction you can basically cast Death from Below every fight without fear of needing to save it. The infinite mana is also incredibly powerful, especially if you don't go coin and instead opt for Relic Shield.

Legend: Tenacity is the only option you can go in precision to combine with PoM. All the other runes have little to no effect on Pyke but being able to get a free 30% tenacity after some kills is incredibly powerful for a slippery champion like Pyke. CC is his biggest weakness after all, and you can't buy Mercury's Treads often.

Offence: Adaptive Force +9
Flex: Adaptive Force +9
Defence: Magic Resistance +8

Pyke makes liberal use of bonus attack damage so you'll want to stack as much as possible from your minor runes as you get literally none from the rest of your runes. Then as your defence rune the attack damage from health is so small it's not worth it meaning you should take either resistance. With Pyke having some of the highest base stats in the game and the fact bot lane is crawling with magic damage, I would suggest to take the MR rune by default.

This chapter is currently under reconstruction following the Season 11 items rework, apologies for the inconvenience.
First and foremost you're a support, edgelord assassin or not, that makes it your JOB to keep vision control as much as you can. Keeping control wards in your inventory at every recall is a must. Warding is a very dynamic skill that comes with practice rather than being taught, there are some basics that can help with getting to grips with a major macro part of league.

In lane you'll be wanting to keep as much vision control as possible around your lane. This is to prevent ganks/roams and keeping tabs on your enemy to see when they look to leave so you can punish. In the image below there are some examples of lane wards that are colour coded to help give a grasp of where and why you ward. Blue is bottom left start, red is top right start (for new players).
As you can see, wards are very similar for both sides. You'll want to ward the lane brushes if the enemy keeps juking into them, you'll ward around scuttle if you're afraid of mid/jungle ganks or they might cheese a dragon. Otherwise they're just defencive to give your ADC plenty of breathing room, or aggressive to help create picks and oppertunties for the jungler.

Once you start roaming more than you lane, usually by about 8-10 minutes, your warding patern will now be more to defend against enemy control or to establish your own warding control by tracking the jungler/the entire teams roam potential. Warding in efficient places to capture as much potential movement as possible is a must (such as the single ward near blue buff, or the ward just infront of the raptor camp). You can flip the colours if you need a defencive ward line instead of an aggressive one.
You'll never stop warding like that as the game goes on, but once things like important dragons or baron are a focus more so than outer towers then you'll want to shift towards neautral objective control. As the game is more than likely cracked open per-se it's no longer team based warding. Instead you just need to track the enemy team to your best ability, and check around the points to counter their control.
If you haven't noticed by now, but every stage has way more than your ward limit. You can place 3 normal wards that decay after a couple minutes and 1 control wards that lasts until replaced or destroyed but isn't invisible. This means you need to ask your team to assist in warding (they all have wards and warding locations they need to do as well) and you need to be efficient as possible. For example, if your blue ward keeps getting cleared by the enemy support then it might be a good idea to instead ward closer to the wolf camp or the gromp camp. Likewise, if your wards just simply too defencive then you need to ask a teammates to come with you to get a couple of deeper wards. You'll want to do it a bit at a time, so don't go running up into the enemy blue buff without backup as that's a prime way to just die.

It's a skill you learn from playing the game a lot, but with these basics you should start to piece together your own warding style and just general understanding of when and why you ward around those places. There are also many more warding locations but they're more specific to each unique enemy (such as warding vs an Evelynn or Shaco).
Laning Phase
As a support your goal is to keep your ADC alive or to feed them so they can 1v9 after 15 minutes. The best thing you can do is ensure both happen. As Pyke you have a lot more on the feed them side of supporting than keeping them alive, as you're an assassin. This means your lanestyle is that of a kill/pick lane. Champions such as Caitlyn, Draven, Jhin, Ashe and Ezreal are good to pick Pyke with as they either can follow up, set up, snowball hard or simply won't die as easily if you can't create leads.
Fishing for hooks with your Bone Skewer is an obvious and barebones look on laning with Pyke but as you climb in elo you simply won't be able to hit as many hooks (usually). This means you'll need to become creative. Constantly weaving into the fog of war to heal from your passive and trick the enemy into a habit. If you leave sight then come back after 2-3 seconds a few times enemies will just assume that's what you do. That means you can roam, recall or initate an all in based on their perception of what you do. Going out of wish to then instantly into a Ghostwater Dive will give you a good 5 seconds to position yourself for a myriad of options. Most often you'll cast your Phantom Undertow just as you get into vision range which gives them less than a second to react before they get stunned. If they have no movement ability then it's pretty much a 100% stun. If they do, then you can roll the dice on a hook pulling them back into you for some deadly results. Keep in mind, you don't want to do this at every oppertunity. Large minion waves or simply being weaker than the enemy duo is a recepie for disaster, especially considering your escapes will be on cooldown.

You also have the option of breaking your stealth with an uncharged bone skewer, this will apply a heavy slow allowing you to way more reliably land your phantom, at the cost of being unable to hard displace them with your hook. the range is long enough that with your W's movement speed and probable early boots purchase/relentless hunter it means you'll be able to get close enough to them for the stab. If your ADC is on the ball and you both deal enough damage to get them low, then think about using stuff like Ignite to pressure them further into dying or using more valuble spells such as Heal or Flash. If you're level 6 then it becomes a lot more dangerous for the enemy lane to disrespect your kill potential, as you'll have a 100% execute regardless of if they have a 5k hp shield (looking at you janna) if their hp is below the threshhold. It'll be 190 base at rank 6, but you'll also have some AD by then so more than likely it'll be the 210 mark. You can see the threshold on their HP bar so it's not a guessing game.

Don't be scared to take kills, Pyke was designed about him being 100% fine to steal a kill with his ultimate as it has no negative effect on the ADCs income (which is very important). Whilst you shouldn't be flash auto attacking for kill steals, taking kills with Death from Below is never an issue, plus sometimes your ADC simply won't be able to kill them.

Also your only victim doesn't need to be the bot lane. Roaming up mid lane or assisting your jungler in a skirmish is easy as Pyke as you have incredible roaming potential with your myriad of mobility. Recalling and heading straight for midlane to attempt a gank is a good way to keep the enemy team on their toes, especially if you have mobis. Just always be looking at your minimap.

Overall your lane is about looking for kills/trades rather than poking or sutaining as you can only do the former and neither of the 2 latter.

At this point towers should have started to come down and you're finishing up your first item, maybe getting components for your second one. This is where Pyke truly shines. The enemy team doesn't have enough stats to easily survive against you if you're playing around an ally. Coming out of stealth with a hook and a 1s delayed stun is deadly for any champion if within range is someone who can help get the target low enough for an execution. You can then turn that kill into an objective very easily as the game will be a temporary 4v5. Even something as simple as stealing an enemy jungle camp away will do nothing but good for snowballing the game in your favour.

Make sure to pay attention to your level, whilst ranking up your abilities isn't a huge deal at all for Pyke, your base HP is the highest in the game so it's important to keep that stat up. Your ultimate also scales per champion level rather than per ultimate level. This means if you have 5% xp to rank up, go and soak some xp with a laner just to get that extra ultimate threshhold.
I should really emphasise you need to keep your vision control up. You should nearly always have 3/3 wards placed, and if you don't you should be looking to replace them. Always have pinks ready to go to let you create picks and pockets of vision denial.

As an assassin you'll start to fall off as late game comes. Even more so as a support. However because you get more kills than any other support except maybe Brand your gold should also mean you won't be weak like one. Creating picks is a lot more risky as enemies can totally flatten you with 5-6 items, seeing as how you're really squishy.

However you also have an AoE true execute which scales up to a whopping 600+ base damage at high level. This will make you a teamfighting monster, it'll be very easy for you to trigger multiple instances of your ult if you play around your carries. Just make sure to never be alone, you'll be basically unable to 1v1 anyone on the enemy team. Tanks/Bruisers will just not die, Mages will crush you in a single combo (and will probably have zhonyas), ADCs will just 3 shot you and supports will be really hard to lower their hp into execute range through their shields and heals. It's paramount to be looking for picks with your team close by at late game. A hook can change the game if you catch someone like a Viktor or Vayne with one.
Hopper is Bae
Pyke is Riot's first "Support Assassin" in the true sense of the meaning. Champions like Brand or Zyra already exist for supports who deal damage instead of directly buffing their team, but none build AD/Deal physical damage and none have a kit designed around being a support. (The 2 I mentioned were designed to be mid, but found homes bot). Pyke is an absurdly fun champion that has a playstyle unlike anything else in the game. You'll be a feast or famine champion, either winning hard from picks and control or you'll be losing hard as the enemy team won't die to yours making you a glorified stun bot with a bad thresh hook all the while being unable to keep your team alive.

Good Pyke's will easily stand out with their incredible combo potential from using their Q/W/E to create picks the enemy team won't expect. Plus getting multi-kills is always an amazing feeling, and Pyke is designed to do so.

If you enjoyed this guide, feel free to stop by my stream and watch me play some Pyke! Also much love to Hopper for creating the banners and coding the guide!
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