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Tryndamere Build Guide by SpawnOfHell

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League of Legends Build Guide Author SpawnOfHell

SoH's Tryndamere Guide - Critical King

SpawnOfHell Last updated on March 16, 2014
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Team 1

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Top Lane
Ranked #14 in
Top Lane
Win 50%
Get More Stats

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.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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New Build

This doesn't really count as an update, aside from a minor change in terms of starting items. The Doran's Shield nerf didn't really hurt Tryndamere since he was never particularly reliant on it, so it only helped him by nerfing the competition a little. However, I've removed it as a viable starting item. In its place I've added Doran's Blade as a viable start, something I probably should have done a lot sooner.

More importantly, I have been been testing a slightly different build (3rd build in cheat sheet) which was recommended to me that I've made some alterations to. It's meant to be a build to handle the current meta where bruisers are extremely strong. I would like to see some input from other players regarding its strength versus different team comps.

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Thanks to other MobaFire users

This guide began as a solo effort, but in recent times I have taken assistance, both direct and indirect, from other members of the MobaFire community. As such, I believe it is right to dedicate this section to them:

jhoijhoi: Her guide to Making a Guide is detailed, easy to follow and largely what I used to produce the guide below. Also the neat borders used within the guide were hers.

cyberskull: For the first professional review made upon this guide which inspired a lot of the changes on it.

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About Me

Hello. I'm SpawnOfHell. I'm known as Artemius I in game. I play League of Legends more competitively rather than recreationally and achieved Diamond ranking at the end of Season 3. I'm not a pro level player, but I've played the game for about three years now and have quite a bit of experience. My main roles are top lane and jungle, and my main is Tryndamere - The Barbarian King.

I am currently at Platinum rank in NA solo queue, and Tryndamere is my most played and best performance champion.

Word of caution: This guide is quite intensive and goes in depth on a champion I feel is surprisingly complex in gameplay. This is not a quick guide for people who are just entering games. I encourage you to be prepared to take a good amount of time to read through all the detail within the guide.

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Tryndamere was one of my earlier champions when I first started playing League. He wasn't my first champion, nor was he my favorite at the time, and I remember very early on when his viability was unstable but he was despised by most lower level players due to his incredible snowball potential. So, for those who may not know much about this champion: who is Tryndamere?

Tryndamere is a melee AD carry. He is one of the rare melee champions who can viably build full damage, and not burst damage in the sense of assassins, but sustained damage. This is due to the power of his mobility and his ability to become a tank for a valuable few seconds in dire situations thanks to his ultimate, Undying Rage. He's a great champion for players who want to have high damage while being more survivable by a ranged AD carry.

This guide primarily focuses on playing Tryndamere at top lane, where he is able to farm and build his items quickly, but he is also playable as a jungler, though this is not a preferred role for him.

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+ High damage output
+ High mobility
+ Can temporarily become invincible
+ Strong split pusher

- Very item dependent
- Purely physical damage
- Reliant on luck early game
- Squishy (fragile) without his ultimate

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Atk Speed

Attack speed runes are preferred over attack damage or armor penetration because they help Tryndamere's early game fury generation. He only has one damaging ability and relies on autoattacks to deal damage, so flat AD is not as useful on him as on AD casters. Since Fury generation only scales with attack speed, these give Tryndamere the best early game.


These are the only seals used by most players because physical damage is high in the early game especially at top lane. They reduce harass from AD based champions and minion aggression which is important for melee champions. Because Tryndamere is required to autoattack do deal damage he will attract minion focus which is also reduced by these runes. The above factors combined make armor seals essential. They also reduce damage from jungle camps allowing you to clear safely.

Scaling MR

Because magic resist increases at a slower rate than armor does (and for other champions doesn't increase naturally at all) there comes to a point where you will take more magic than physical damage. Therefore these are more of a mid game investment rather than early game. That said, they can still be useful as some top laners have certain abilities which deal magic damage (e.g. Shyvana, Dr. Mundo, Rengar) so the defenses won't go to waste.

Life Steal

The reason these runes are so good and preferred over damage runes is because they give you lane sustain before you buy Vampiric Scepter which relaxes the need to use Bloodlust to sustain. In addition, they scale well into late game as your damage output increases unlike most runes which feel less effective. On Tryndamere, life steal is even more powerful since every critical strike you do doubles the amount of healing you normally get.


I take one attack damage quint just for the slight damage advantage early game for my level 2 all in, which can make a big difference as the effectiveness of AD is doubled whenever you get a critical strike. I personally feel two life steal runes are sufficient for the early game before you get Vampiric Scepter and so I favor the extra damage. You can forgo this for another life steal rune if you favor sustain over damage.

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The offensive tree has a variety of benefits for a champion like Tryndamere. Armor penetration, attack speed, extra damage and even a useful attack speed buff that synergizes with his tendency to get critical strikes.

Junglers will obviously prefer the jungle-specific masteries Tough Skin and Bladed Armor in the defensive tree for extra jungling power.

Offense vs. Defense

Tryndamere is a very offensive champion. His kit encourages having as much damage output as possible, and my masteries enforce this aspect of him. I have tried defensive setups, and while they are a lot safer, giving you an easier early game, they lower your kill potential greatly. This is not how I feel Tryndamere should be played, as he is much stronger when given an opportunity to snowball and carry. Defensive masteries do not support this way of playing Tryndamere at all, and therefore I would not recommend them unless against a very difficult matchup in lane. Even then, I would still go offensive in case you manage to somehow have a chance to get ahead.

Remember the creed of Tryndamere: Kill or be killed.

Despite this, there are very rare situations where a 9/21 mastery page can be a better option. If you're against a lane where it's almost impossible to retaliate to, such as Renekton or Teemo, the defensive masteries such as Perseverance will help you stay alive. However, keep in mind this is another issue as forcing you to go 9/21 is a counter in itself since you'll lose out on quite significant late game scaling.

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Summoner Spells


Ghost is essential on Tryndamere. Unlike most champions he has no need for Flash since he already has two ways of gap closing to his target - Mocking Shout and Spinning Slash. However, he has very few ways to stick to an opponent, as he only has one form of crowd control. Ghost allows Tryndamere to stay on his targets by outpacing them, which he needs to do in order to deal his damage through autoattacks.


Tryndamere has high snowball potential. If he gets even one kill's worth of a lead on his opponent in lane, he becomes this unbearable bully who can both outdamage and outsustain most opposition. Because of this, Ignite is good at increasing your odds of getting an early kill in laning phase. You are encouraged to play aggresively as Tryndamere, and Ignite will often land you kills you wouldn't have gotten otherwise.


If you're laning, ignore this spell. If you're jungling, don't you f**king dare go without it. Smite is non-negotiable when jungling. Not only does it increase your speed, but it also gives you safety when securing your buffs, dragon or baron nashor . In addition, if you get ahead of the enemy jungler in levels you will generally have 100% safety when securing anything as your Smite will be stronger than theirs. If you do not take Smite while jungling, you are putting your entire team at risk of losing global gold from epic monsters and this can easily cost you the game.

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Battle Fury

Battle Fury heavily affects the way Tryndamere plays and builds. Unlike other passives which usually serve as a bonus, Battle Fury has massive influence on Tryndamere's kit and power. It provides him with up to 35% critical chance scaling with his Fury, which is huge in terms of artificial gold, but also in raw power. This is what gives Tryndamere huge early game power as he has a chance of dealing double damage to opponents right at level 1. Unfortunately, this relies on a random factor, which is why Tryndamere can be unreliable. However, you are highly likely to get at least one or two impactful crits in lane which can immediately change the way a lane is going. As a jungler, this allows Tryndamere to have quite a fast clear, though this relies on you being lucky enough to get critical hits off.


I'll use one word to define this ability: Restraint. Proper use of this ability separates a good Tryndamere from an average one. Bloodlust is an amazing sustain ability, but it comes at a hefty price, as it burns all his Fury resource. As Tryndamere's early strength is dependent on his Fury, this means it is often best not to use it while laning. And yet, it is his most important ability as it provides him with free attack damage that is boosted further when he is low on health. This ability has perfect synergy with Tryndamere's ultimate, as it rewards you for being low on health through extra damage and a burst heal. Remember though that the heal is a last resort, not freely abusable sustain.

Mocking Shout

An immense AD debuff when maxed and a decent crowd control to work with. The 'back facing' mechanic is stupid, but you need to remember about it. This is your best friend when you're ganking lanes, since most people will run away forgetting about the way this ability works. Don't always save it for the slow, especially in jungle fights. Losing 20-80 AD can easily give you the edge against AD champions such as Riven. This ability becomes very useful in teamfights as it lowers the damage of an AD carry significantly and they usually won't notice due to how small the visual effect is.

Spinning Slash

This is a very strong gap closer thanks to its low cooldown, long range and quick speed. It outranges Flash, which is a great advantage against champions who rely on it to escape. The value of Spinning Slash is not in its damage but in the mobility it grants you. It is an effective split pushing tool as you can use it to clear waves and get it back quickly simply by getting critical hits off. Late game you can get it back quickly as you'll get crits most of the time giving you great escaping potential while split pushing. THe nerf to it has diminished its power somewhat but it is still a very powerful ability.

Undying Rage

This ability defines Tryndamere. Everyone knows of his ability to be a huge pain by defying death for a whole five seconds in which he can put out enough damage to slaughter an enemy. This is what makes Tryndamere viable as a glass cannon, as it is basically the most powerful defensive steroid in the game. However, you must know how to use it correctly. Do not use it solely to survive. The value of this ability is to allow you to remain in combat, not flee from it. Remember that while this ultimate is doing its job, you are essentially making potentially thousands of damage vanish into thin air. Abuse it. Do all you can in a fight through its duration if you think you can achieve something. Once more: kill or be killed.

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Skill Sequence

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

As Tryndamere, you always want to max out Bloodlust first. It gives you a ton of free AD at lower health and becomes a decent heal at max rank. When we have level 5 on Bloodlust we can start using it for sustain as the healing is quite significant at this point and our items can make up for the damage lost from fury consumption.

Spinning Slash is a powerful ability for level 1 fights. It gives you extra damage, but also if you're able to win engages, it allows you to keep up. As long as the enemy isn't right next to his tower, you can use this to counter an enemy Flash and use Ghost to potentially pick up a kill, likely first blood.

Mocking Shout is a powerful ability, scaling much better than Spinning Slash with rank. Taking away 80 AD from an enemy, or the whole enemy team in a teamfight, is huge. The slow also becomes quite significant with ranks as well, and can make you difficult to escape. In any case it's a better investment than a slight boost in damage and a small decrease in cooldown from Spinning Slash.

Against AD heavy lanes such as Riven, you can get rank 2 Mocking Shout instead of Bloodlust at level 4 for a stronger debuff at the cost of some sustain while still maxing out the ability by level 9. It's not a bad idea if you're having trouble handling their damage.

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Item Build

Starting Items

Doran's Blade is a strong item if you're going to do a level 2 all in as the extra health makes it harder for the enemy laner to win a trade against you. It does demand you remain in lane for longer if you want to buy a Vampiric Scepter on your first back, but supposing the all in works it won't be too hard to get the 300-400g needed afterwards. If you are able to remain in lane for long enough, Doran's Blade may give you more lasting sustain than a Long Sword start is capable of.

Tip: Autoattacking 60 times in lane gives you the same amount of sustain 300 health from 2 more Health Potions can.

Tryndamere's strong early levels encourages an offensive setup. Long Sword is a good choice, particularly as it is possible to begin with another extra potion with the price change. As every point of AD on Tryndamere is potentially twice as effective due to critical chance, this gives you a lot of early game power. It also gives you acceptable sustain due to life steal runes.

Doran's Shield is a viable alternative on Tryndamere if you feel that the opposing lane can win early engages and is likely to force them (e.g. Renekton) as it gives you the means to survive while playing passively. You lose out on a lot of kill potential, but it is a much safer choice than Long Sword. Unfortunately, building this slows down your build and contributes little later on, but sometimes it can be worth it if it means staying in lane for longer.

Doran's Shield took a reasonably notable nerf, and while a good thing overall for Tryndamere since it reduces the early power of most tanky top lanes, it's also become a less than optimal item on him now that it doesn't provide him with as much safety versus hard lanes. You could still get it against a Teemo top lane or something, but it's no longer a great item on him.

Core Build

This is a core item on almost all Tryndamere builds, and for good reason. It gives Tryndamere several stats he really wants: attack speed, critical chance, movement speed as well as a bursty passive, all for a reasonable price of 2500 gold. This thing makes your mid game monstrous. Once you have this, you can put out some serious damage in small trades with your opponent, especially if you get a crit with the passive proc, you can really pack a wallop. Late game this item becomes inferior to Phantom Dancer but until you have a full build you should hold on to it.

Once you have this, you can sustain well in lane without having to burn Bloodlust often to heal. You might still have to use it if you're being zoned or the lane is too pushed up, but otherwise, life steal takes care of your health just fine. I generally don't see a need to upgrade this into anything immediately, so hold on to it.

This is the item everyone wants to have when they play Tryndamere. Since his kit revolves around doing massive crit damage, Infinity Edge is naturally a favorite choice. However, you should take care of your early game essentials first with sustain and attack speed, which is why I wait until I've finished Statikk Shiv and Vampiric Scepter. Once you have this, though, you're set for the mid game.

Options for Boots

If you're fed, buy this. If you aren't, you might still want to consider this so long as you're not behind. It'll give you a bit extra DPS along with Statikk Shiv if you feel you won't need too much defense. If you're having trouble surviving or handling crowd control, though, you might want to consider Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads.

Good for the early game. I almost always buy this if I'm against someone like Jax or Rengar top lane, since these two in particular beat Tryndamere if he doesn't have this. Don't underestimate the damage these boots can mitigate, though be aware that they aren't as effective against AD casters like Renekton.

I usually don't buy this, since Zephyr provides tenacity as well and I rarely notice the loss of magic resist from not buying these boots. However, if you feel you want to pass on Zephyr in favor of something like a Guardian Angel late game, this is a fine choice. It's your own call on whether you want early tenacity or not.

Post-Core Items

With the current state of the metagame, you'd best be prepared to rush this item after your core build pretty much every game. Unkillable bruisers such as Shyvana and Dr. Mundo are the metagame, and often you'll need to respond to them rather than the enemy carries since these champions will likely be going after yours in return. Last Whisper is an essential item to buy when fighting against bulky, armor heavy opponents.

There are situations where you'd pick one over the other. Usually you'd go for Blade of the Ruined King for the powerful active, but sometimes you just want more damage and The Bloodthirster provides. I usually feel that I have plenty of damage as it is and therefore I'll go for Blade of the Ruined King for the slowing power, but The Bloodthirster has great synergy with your critical damage at this point. The decision here is between damage vs. utility.

This can be quite the game changer in teamfights. It's an unpleasant thing for people to see Tryndamere with a Guardian Angel considering his ultimate already makes him difficult to take down, and this item certainly makes you that much more difficult to handle. This is best against burst team comps with less sustained damage since you'll be able to survive the initial burst then revive while they've blown their most powerful abilities. It also gives you some more survivability too. Just be careful as the revive can easily be wasted if you get caught alone or some situation like that, then the item becomes a lot less useful.

Wonderful item, gives a huge chunk of attack speed, movement speed, tenacity and even a bit of AD. The bit of CDR isn't really noticeable, but it's a nice addition too. Anyway, Zephyr suffers from a rather weak build path but is a great item once finished. It's the only offensive item which provides tenacity - perfect for Tryndamere. If you feel you're being held back by enemy crowd control rather than being burst down, buy this instead of Guardian Angel.

This is absolutely the last item you should be getting. Phantom Dancer doesn't provide the mid game power of Statikk Shiv and is more expensive, which is why it's not part of the core build. However, once you've hit late game Statikk Shiv's passive falls off and therefore you should replace it with Phantom Dancer if you have the gold and the game goes on long enough. It gives 10% more attack speed and critical chance in exchange for the passive and 1% movement speed, which is a worthwhile trade.

Alternately, if you chose Berserker's Greaves of the three options above for boots you can replace them with Phantom Dancer supposing you have the gold, and only really miss out on the enchantment (usually Enchantment: Homeguard). It's your call whether or not you feel you need the immediate boost when recalling.

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Laning Phase

In order to avoid the walls of text I formerly had for general gameplay, I'll keep this concise and in bulletpoint form:
  • Be familiar with the level 2 all-in: shove the lane for an exp lead over your opponent, take Mocking Shout at level up, and try to kill the enemy laner with full Fury. If you're lucky with the random number generator, you'll get enough crits to get an easy first blood.
  • Learn who you can level 2 all-in against. Vladimir is cake, for example. Most champions you can all-in, but don't try it against someone like Gangplank or Renekton.
  • Tryndamere has a horrible crit animation. If you have a habit of animation cancelling, you'll hate it, because its windup is twice as long as his normal attack. Be prepared for a possible crit with every attack.
  • Don't use Bloodlust to sustain until at least rank 3, and when you have at least one item with critical chance. Zeal is a good example.
  • Use Mocking Shout whenever an enemy champion tries to engage on you to cut their damage.
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How to use Undying Rage

Undying Rage can be surprisingly difficult to use optimally for such a straightforward ability. Here are just some personal tips on how you should be using it in most situations:

  • It's always better to use it a little too early than to be too late and not use it at all. Remember that this means the difference between life and death, so never hesitate. That said, don't use it when you're clearly not going to die and get used to knowing how much damage you will take before you need to use this. This will become a matter of habit with time.
  • Never use Bloodlust midway through Undying Rage, it cuts your damage and is pointless since you're invincible anyway. Only use it before you ult so you get your Fury back or when the duration is about to expire.
  • If you're turret diving, try to time it so that it goes off the moment when a turret shot that would kill you is about to land, but if you play at about 150 ping like I do consistently, you might want to consider a bit earlier.
  • Don't use it then disengage halfway through the duration, unless you're using it purely defensively. If you're in a teamfight scenario, chances are you've already been Ignited or otherwise would die anyway, so might as well make the best of the time you've got.
  • Your effectiveness in teamfights drops massively if you don't have your ultimate ready for whatever reason, so try not to waste it. That said, don't be stingy and get killed because you didn't want to ult. Try to find a balance.
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Split Pushing

Tryndamere is a viable niche pick at high elo because of his ability to split push lanes quickly and safely while killing anyone who tries to stop him. Learning how to do this efficiently will allow you to perform well with Tryndamere at higher tiers of play.
  • When to split push:
  • When your team can defend and siege well. A Ziggs/ Dr. Mundo/ Jinx team comp would be an optimal situation to split push, as they would be able to defend or pressure towers even without your presence.
  • When your team can contest Dragon or, if late game, Baron Nashor . Not always safe since the enemy can do the same, but if you're doing your job right you could force two or more opponents to focus on you allowing your team to take those objectives. Note: Do not do this if you are the jungler, aka the Smite carrier of your team!!!
  • If you absolutely, definitely 100% cannot win teamfights, but the enemy team can't push well enough for whatever reason. This is otherwise known as a desperate measure, but as long as you can do this safely you can buy your team time to either farm or catch someone out of position while the enemy team is trying to deal with you.
  • If you have one lane that has lost all its outer towers up to the inhibitor, pushing that lane can give you and your team some breathing room from the passive minion push. This isn't the best situation to be in either, but if it's only one lane this can be very helpful.
  • When NOT to split push:
  • If the enemy team can siege or defend well. The same example comp as above can push objectives way faster than you can even with your team defending, so you're just making things harder without being there to put pressure on them.
  • When you or your team lacks vision and you can't respond to enemy champions coming to stop you in time. This one's simple. If you get caught and die, you either lose more towers than you took down or you lose other objectives such as Baron Nashor . If you're going to split push away from your team you need to know where the enemy is so you can retreat ahead of time.
  • If your teammates aren't grouping, are in the enemy jungle without adequate vision, or otherwise out of position. I hate this situation, and it's more their failing than yours, but it will happen. When it happens, just give up. If they get caught and lose two or more people you're almost guaranteed to lose a tower without you there as well. Don't take the risk.
  • If an enemy champion has a global or long-ranged teleport. (e.g. Shen, Pantheon) This one isn't so bad and you still can still split push given the right conditions, but if they come to stop you then ports to their team to a 5v4, it's not good for your team unless they have disengages like Explosive Cask or can somehow win that 5v4.
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Teamfighting with Tryndamere isn't as straightforward as diving the carries if both teams are remotely organized. Here is some advice regarding teamfighting which I recommend taking to heart:
  • You do more raw DPS than most ranged carries. Keep this in mind. There's nothing wrong with focusing the enemy frontline if the enemy ranged AD carry is doing the same, since you'll be doing more damage overall than they will. Combine this with your own AD carry's damage and you'll find you make an effective anti-frontline.
  • Remember that your ultimate is your trump card, not your initiation. Try to hold off using it as long as possible until you are definitely about to die. The longer you live, the more damage you'll put out compared to doing all your damage within the timespan of Undying Rage.
  • Only ever dive carries if they are stronger than your own and the enemy is doing the same thing. This is a strict set of conditions, which is why diving carries is usually a bad idea. You can slaughter carries easily, but if you get peeled by crowd control you will become useless.
  • Remember that Mocking Shout equals to -80 attack damage for every champion you're in range of. It's not just a slow. If you have to disengage from a fight with your ultimate on cooldown, you can at least provide utility with this massive debuff.
  • When at 1 HP and ulting, all damage put on you is effectively wasted, so even if you can't attack due to crowd control, you're probably still making up to thousands of damage vanish into thin air. You can effectively function as a tank so long as your ultimate is active.
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Tryndamere can function as a relatively strong jungle carry who uses the jungle as his source of income while applying occasional pressure with decent ganks. It's not an optimal role, but it does provide safe farming with a variably greater chance to snowball.

  • Your first clear is entirely dependent on how lucky you are with Battle Fury and RNG. If you get a lot of crits you'll plow through the jungle, but otherwise you'll be rather slow while taking a lot of damage. There's nothing that can really be done about this other than improving your odds with attack speed runes.
  • As in lane, don't use Bloodlust to sustain yourself in the jungle without first having ranks in it and items to make up for lost Fury. You'll actually take more damage jungling since you'll have to fight the buffs for longer.
  • You want Red Buff. I usually take all of them before late game unless my ranged carry is snowballing really hard. It increases your power dramatically. Blue Buff can be donated freely, you don't need the mana regen nor the CDR too badly either. Take the first one for experience though.
  • Don't dedicate yourself to trying to gank lanes. There are better picks for jungling if you're going to do that. Instead, focus on farming the jungle while ganking any lane which overextends too hard or countergank whenever necessary. Remember, you're using the jungle as a safe venue for farming as opposed to trying to farm against an opponent in lane.
  • Wriggle's Lantern isn't as useless on Tryndamere as it is on every other jungler, but it's still a pretty bad item since it doesn't do much except help you farm. Unless you somehow manage to accumulate 1350 gold before your first recall, don't bother with it and go for Spirit of the Elder Lizard instead. It takes too long to make up for its own cost and doesn't make you that much faster.
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Other Tips

There are, of course, other things to know about Tryndamere which isn't really covered in any specific category. These things are usually mechanical or general knowledge based, and are listed below:
  • Spinning Slash has a strange hitbox which allows you to damage champions in front of you while spinning away from them. You can use this for a bit of harass damage in lane.
  • Directional spells which make champions turn in the cast direction count as a factor with Mocking Shout's slow. Try to make sure the champion you're chasing doesn't have those types of spell up as they can mess with your crowd control.
  • The importance of maintaining Fury becomes less strict the more items you buy since you can recover it very fast with your core build. Don't worry about sustaining with Bloodlust late game.
  • Since almost all your damage comes from autoattacking, you can't ever 'run out' of damage per se. If you manage to disengage from a teamfight with your ultimate and the fight's still going on, retreating in the jungle to heal then returning to the fight restored can have devastating results.
  • You should put yourself in the mentality to deal as much damage and contribute as much as possible, not simply to get kills. This is a team game, and you must play your part to win. You shouldn't focus on getting killing sprees as much as just causing the enemy team as much pain as possible, even if you die for it. There is another carry in your team. Remember that.
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Below will be my take on matchups against Tryndamere at top lane. Keep in mind: I will not make number ratings like most matchup sections. I don't like giving people a potentially wrong impression on their opponent if they've never faced them before. I will make a judgment on which champion I feel has the advantage, but nothing specific.

If I'm missing a champion, it's one of two reasons: I don't consistently see them used as a top laner (e.g. Elise) or I just forgot. If it's the latter, do make a comment on it.

Advantage: Tryndamere
Aatrox is a top laner with great sustain and respectable amounts of DPS and crowd control. He can be a tough opponent if allowed to snowball, but he has a weak early game. You can all in him with Long Sword start at level 2 and probably take his passive Blood Well down. He can poke with Blades of Torment but you do much more raw damage in trades so you can beat him when you're in his face. However, he is a nasty champion to deal with since he effectively wins all close trades by sustaining with Blood Thirst, so I'd only all in if you're somewhat sure you'll get either a kill or his passive.

Advantage: Tryndamere
Cho'Gath is generally an easy opponent due to his pre-6 lack of innate tankiness and his mana issues. If you let him build, for example, a Frozen Heart, Ninja Tabi and Randuin's Omen then he becomes a problem for you, but while in lane you do much more damage than him and arguably sustain better too. If you ward well, I'd actually recommend shoving his lane so he's forced to use abilities to farm at his tower, as a manaless Cho'Gath is zero threat. Play aggressively, punishing him for farming, and don't be afraid to pick fights. Make sure to keep him from stacking up Feast, but don't be reckless trying to kill him.

Advantage: Darius
I had a tough time rating this one. I actually believe a skilled Tryndamere can beat Darius 90% of the time in laning phase, but that requires you have full knowledge of both champions and pick the precise moments to engage, and make sure not to be put behind. Overall, it's much easier for the Darius player to just roll your face. The important thing to do against Darius is to be aggressive, because if you don't he'll just wreck your health with Decimate and zone you all day. He has no sustain so while it looks like he wins trades, your damage will stick whereas his can be sustained off. Just be prepared to use your ultimate at higher health in response to his ultimate Noxian Guillotine.

Dr. Mundo
Advantage: Dr. Mundo
Eh, this one just comes down to how well you can dodge Infected Cleavers in lane. You have the sustain to keep up with him and you have more damage than him in a close-up fight. I just put him at an advantage here because he has safe poke and performs better if he's put behind as opposed to you. Dr. Mundo has a weak pre-6 laning because he has negative sustain but after level 6 you'll feel like you're making no progress because his Sadism heals off all your damage and comes back the minute after for a repeat performance. Focus on farming, but try to force him to ult by damaging him now and again, this will make him less safe and make things much easier on you.

Advantage: Tryndamere
I'll make an exception just this once; do not try to level 2 all in Gangplank. This is literally the only stage he'll likely beat you because of his double autoattack from Parrrley and Grog Soaked Blade passive giving him huge early game damage. I strongly recommend starting with Doran's Shield to handle his early harass. Past that, he has mana problems, can't sustain himself as well as you can, and his level 6 peak in power is laughable compared to yours. Keep in mind even if he uses Remove Scurvy to remove Mocking Shout's slow the AD debuff remains, use that to your advantage.

Advantage: ?
The matchup against Garen is... really back and forth. You can kill him with your level 2 all in, but past that and before you get your ultimate he has the advantage, then after level 6 you can fight him, then once he buys items you can't really kill him. Either way, I can't make a stable decision on this matchup. However, keep in mind you should always retaliate to his typical harass with Decisive Strike -> Judgment. Never ever let Garen put out free damage on you if you can help it, because he wins by playing on the fear factor. Try to find the right times to engage, and you'll do fine. Even if you don't get ahead of him, you'll outscale him late game.

Advantage: Tryndamere
Irelia can be a very frustrating champion due to her kit leaving very little room for outplay potential. There is truthfully very little to do in this lane, just farm as usual and trade whenever she engages on you. The important point of playing against Irelia is understanding her playstyle in lane is very binary; she either does more damage than you and wins every trade, or she does less and loses every trade. Therefore, this lane is determined by which champion gets ahead first. That said, I think Tryndamere has the advantage in this matchup because his levels 1-4 are stronger and he isn't gated by mana either. If you get ahead you'll stay ahead, but if you fall behind, she'll just faceroll on you and put you behind dreadfully.

Advantage: Jax
Jax is generally considered a counter to Tryndamere. He isn't really a counter outside of lane since he can't protect his teammates, but he certainly is a tough opponent in lane. If you want to beat him or at least not fall behind, you need to play to your strengths. Jax has no innate sustain and only one form of defense against you. If Counter Strike is down, he actually can't duel you at full Fury, and he certainly can't keep up with your ability to back off and heal. Save Mocking Shout until his dodge is down so you can attack him while he's debuffed. Keep aware of what he builds too - full damage Jax will lose all ins to Tryndamere without his dodge, but a Jax with counter items such as Randuin's Omen will win. Keep this in mind.

Advantage: Tryndamere
I haven't played against Jayce top in a long while, but I know this matchup thoroughly, because I used to play Tryndamere exclusively as a counter to Jayce when he was popular. The basics of this matchup is - you'll only have trouble if you get hit by his Shock Blast harass. If not, you can all in him and destroy him. The thing with Jayce is that he is very weak at melee range brawls and relies on his disengage from Thundering Blow to keep him safe while he harasses with range. However, you have three ways of gap closing to him - Ghost, Mocking Shout and Spinning Slash. The first two abilities alone are already sufficient to stick to Jayce even if he tries to disengage, and once you get on his face he is guaranteed to lose trades. He has no sustain and has trouble itemizing for tankiness, so abuse that.

Advantage: Tryndamere
Kennen can be a nuisance, but he's rarely more than that and only while you are lacking in sustain. I strongly recommend a Doran's Shield start, as Kennen commonly starts with Doran's Blade for strong early game harass with autoattacks. This is the stage where he's most likely to push you out of lane. You'll likely have trouble before your Vampiric Scepter, but afterwards he becomes much more manageable. You can try engaging him while laning, but only if he used his cooldowns are down, as he can stun you very easily with a combo and Lightning Rush away before you deal any significant damage. If you've warded well, you can shove the lane very easily in his face as he's a poor pusher, but watch out as he has strong crowd control for ganks and can stun you twice if he lands his spells perfectly.

Advantage: Kha'Zix
Be wary of Kha'Zix, as he is a very high burst champion with huge AD ratios giving him a strong early game. His very early levels are weak and you can kill him with your level 2 all in, but past that you have to be very careful. His burst wouldn't be so bad, but Taste Their Fear outranges your autoattack (even more if he evolves it), allowing him to harass you safely until you're low enough to burst. You do still win in level 6 all ins, however, so I strongly recommend forcing them, but ONLY if you have a Vision Ward, as he can use Void Assault to stall the duration of Undying Rage. A difficult lane for sure, but can be won with clever play.

Lee Sin
Advantage: ?
Hard to judge this matchup, really. The most that's come of this lane most of the time is a complete stalemate with him unable to kill you but you unable to kill him either since he nullifies your damage with Cripple. Damage Lee Sins lose to Tryndamere but I'm not counting poor itemization in this judgment. The most I can say is that killing him is usually a fruitless effort since he has mobility, AS debuff and a knockback to keep him alive, as well as build options that allow him to counter you. I usually just give up and play this as a farm lane as the most he'll do is annoy you.

Advantage: Malphite
He's a mean opponent for sure, and definitely is a counterpick for you, but it's not the end of the world if you get him as an opponent. Malphite isn't that bad of an opponent in lane, as he has mana issues and doesn't do that much damage, but he's practically unkillable as his kit supports buying armor and his Ground Slam nullifies your damage. The best you can do is push really hard and outfarm him while forcing him to lose farm to the tower while rushing your core build. He can't really respond to this, as he can't make damage stick to you, and he's a poor farmer under his own tower. If you can do this while making sure you don't get ganked with Unstoppable Force, you can build a lead up on him. Your level 2 all in might work, but you must make sure he used Ground Slam first. Don't even bother trying to kill him after he builds armor.

Advantage: Nasus
You should probably ban out Nasus if you're planning on playing Tryndamere. Not only does his Wither and natural build both hard counter you, he outscales you late game as well, which few top laners are actually capable of. If you do lane against him, the best way you can beat him is to try for the level 2 all in. If that doesn't work, push the lane to his face all day. Don't actually bother trying to stop him from farming, because you can't. Take down his tower as fast as possible, roam and push for objectives while he farms, and try to bring the game to a swift end. You beat Nasus by beating his team, not by wasting time and effort on trying to delay the inevitable.

Advantage: Tryndamere
Olaf's greatest period of threat against you is between after level 3 and before level 6 when you get your ultimate. After you have Undying Rage, you win all-ins. Before that, his Reckless Swing is a ***** because you really have no response to it but to hit him back. Fortunately, with his new reliance on AD scalings on his abilities he is easier than old Olaf since Mocking Shout has a greater effect on him than it used to. Don't be too afraid of this lane, just watch your step before level 6 and dodge his axes.

Advantage: Pantheon
Ouch... things can get nasty in this lane. Pantheon has a lot of tools to deal with you. Double block against autoattacks, low cooldown poke and a very devastating burst combo. He has two weaknesses though - his squishiness and mana costs. If he's low on mana, you can all in him and probably kill him. Otherwise, just hope he doesn't kill you before level 6. As long as he has mana, you cannot fight him, since he can block all your initial damage by proccing his passive twice instantaneously then once more with his full rotation. Wear him out. You have to win through a battle of attrition.

Advantage: Renekton
Oh, screw you, Renekton. The alligator god just frustrates the living hell out of any top laner not named Dr. Mundo because he has a high damage rotation which is very difficult to respond to as he stuns you and disengages before you can do any damage. Don't bother trying to level 2 all in him, his Ruthless Predator is practically a free crit which also stuns you for a hell of a long time if empowered. This is one of the few lanes where I encourage you to be passive, use 9/21 masteries and Doran's Shield, because unlike other lanes which eventually can be beaten, Renekton can beat you throughout most of the laning phase. Fortunately, it's hard for him to kill you if you have the defensive start and use your sustain to keep yourself in lane. Don't ever try to start a fight against him, let him start them and do your best to attack him back when he does.

Advantage: Rengar
Rengar is a frustrating opponent in lane for the same reasons as Renekton. He has a high damage rotation which is difficult to fight back against because his followup is either a relatively large burst heal or a slow from Bola Strike. His double Savagery really hurts, and will punish you every time you get in range of the bush for him to pounce on you. The best way to beat him is to watch his Ferocity bar carefully, and engage him when it's empty and he isn't close enough to the bush to enter and juke you. Rengar lacks mobility without his friend the bush, so use this to your advantage. Just stay away from his zone of influence and you'll survive the lane at the very least.

Advantage: Tryndamere
Riven has become an easier opponent with her latest changes as Mocking Shout hurts her Broken Wings more and you don't have to wait as long for her shield to expire. To be honest though, I've always considered this lane in Tryndamere's favor. Mocking Shout affects every one of Riven's abilities, giving you a massive advantage over her in terms of damage. Your sustain with Bloodlust and lifesteal also matches hers easily. Even if she attempts an all in on you, you can fight back and deal good damage with critical strikes and then disengage with Spinning Slash. You can put an extra point in Mocking Shout instead of Bloodlust at level 4 to really mess up her damage too. Don't be intimidated by her, match violence with violence.

Advantage: Tryndamere
Shen... can be difficult. Vorpal Blade is free, safe harass on you and you can't afford to sustain all of his damage easily, and he can actually duel you early game. The reason I put the advantage to Tryndamere is because: if he ults, he's lost his tower. You can push incredibly hard if Shen leaves his lane with Stand United and probably take his turret with two, maybe even one instance of him leaving top lane. Shen has to focus more upon you rather than his team if he wants to protect his lane, which is how you can pressure him even if you can't exactly kill him until mid game.

Advantage: Tryndamere
She has high base damage, but your long term trades are stronger. You can also disengage from a fight whenever you like since her ability to gap close and stick to you are both limited. If you fight her while Burnout is on cooldown, you can beat her in trades. She can build armor to make herself difficult to kill, but she can't really threaten you nor stop you from farming. Be aware though that she is a very strong pusher and can take down your tower if you are somehow forced out of lane.

Advantage: Singed
Past a certain point, Singed just doesn't give a damn. Once he gets going, you can't kill him, and he will proxy farm all day with you being unable to push. If there's one weakness he has though, it's that he utterly falls apart to your level 2 all in. He rarely takes Flash so you can stick to him, and he is squishy without items. If you kill him there, there's not as much to worry about. If not, then this eventually becomes a frustrating endless farm lane with him killing all your minions before they even reach the lane. If he gets ahead, he just gets even worse. You must get a lead to do anything, whereas all he has to do is be a massive gassy troll. Bah.

Advantage: Teemo
Teemo is a counter to Tryndamere, but that doesn't mean you should despair if you see him. For starters, if he goes AD/DPS, he's no threat and you can laugh. Most go AP though, and that makes him a problem. His Toxic Shot harass is absolutely huge, and Blinding Dart allows him to delay your all ins before running away with Move Quick like a *****. Use the 9/21 Doran's Shield defensive start to mitigate his early game harass, and sustain against him. If he's careless, he can take a lot of damage from minion aggro since his harass comes from autoattacks, and if he gets low enough you can all in him. Otherwise, play safe and farm unless you see an opening, since his kill potential on you is actually pretty low.

Advantage: Tryndamere
Though he has bat**** insane sustain, you can all in him at any point during the laning phase. His damage output in a 1v1 is laughable compared to yours. Vladimir usually relies on poking low mobility bruisers at top lane with Transfusion, but you can engage on him any time you like through Mocking Shout and Spinning Slash and he has no choice but to either run away or die. You can easily kill him with a level 2 all in and destroy him in lane from then onwards. The only way I can see you losing this lane is if you screw up or play too passive and allow him to poke you down, but even then it takes a long time before he has a tangible advantage over you.

Advantage: Warwick
Unfortunately, you basically lose lane to Warwick as soon as he hits levels 6-9 unless you have something like a 3 kill advantage over him. His harass with Hungering Strike which also heals him for ******** amounts makes it almost impossible to win trades and he benefits from you being at low health with a permanent speed boost from Blood Scent making it impossible to kill him. Level 2 all in against him is really easy, but unless you can press that lead he will build armor and you lose. He'll generally always have a health advantage over you and even with your ult there's no way you can beat him in a straight up 1v1. Late game he's beatable, but in lane he destroys you.

Advantage: Tryndamere
Wukong can give you a hard time if he abuses his hit-and-run potential, but you have a natural advantage over him with your sustain, AD debuff and overall greater damage. You can kill him early on, he lacks a reliable escape. He will either build bruiser tank or assassin, but neither is that big of an issue as the former doesn't have the damage to match your sustain and the latter is too squishy to do more than harass. Take note that if he uses his ultimate Cyclone to 1v1, don't be afraid of it and fight him anyway, as you can still outdamage him as long as you cut its damage through Mocking Shout.

Advantage: Tryndamere
My opinion of this matchup may change with more experience with it, but so far I feel Yasuo is a rather tame opponent for Tryndamere. He's squishy and lacks the early damage to compete with you, and you match most of his strengths such as critical strike and lack of resource. Don't get stabbed too many times by Steel Tempest as this will give him a health advantage. There's little I can say about this matchup, just force all ins on him as he loses most of the time and can't sustain the damage you deal to him.

Advantage: Tryndamere
Yorick's sole purpose in lane is to feed you infinite harass with his annoying ghouls. Unfortunately for him, his abilities eat a lot of his mana (which he usually buys Tear of the Goddess to take care of) so if he goes too aggressive he'll run dry and be no threat at all. Tryndamere counters Yorick in lane because not only does he win all ins which he can freely force at any time, but if Yorick doesn't get a lead, his ghouls actually can heal you since you can kill them for lifesteal and Fury to feed Bloodlust. The main tip against Yorick is to not ignore his ghouls but kill them, then all in him. He is almost certain to lose.

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Synergies and Counters

Who do you want as teammates of Tryndamere?

Initiators, steroids and protection. Champions like Morgana and Kayle with invaluable shields while also providing threat themselves are amazing teammates for Tryndamere. Initiating tanks with strong crowd control such as Amumu or Zac are also great to have on the team. Tryndamere also loves attack speed steroids from champions like Nidalee, Nunu and Warwick. Lastly, strong sieging and pushing champions such as Ziggs can open up splitpushing opportunities which Tryndamere excels at.

Who do you want as enemies of Tryndamere?

AD reliant champions, squishy melees who require all-in and limited mobility, squishy champions. Assassins in particular are countered by Tryndamere since he can always survive their burst damage with Undying Rage and easily kill them as they are always squishy. Anyone who relies on AD scalings to deal damage are also hurt by Mocking Shout, in particular ranged carries such as Jinx who lack the ability to either escape from nor fight Tryndamere when unprotected.

Who do you not want as enemies of Tryndamere?

Attack speed slows destroy Tryndamere. Also, any champion whose combined crowd control can hold down Tryndamere for a few seconds can really mess up his ultimate and make him useless. In addition, champions who kite very well are practically untouchable by Tryndamere and are thus counters even if they are squishy. Tryndamere also suffers from lane bullies such as Renekton and Teemo who can put him behind, though it is possible to recover.

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That, ladies and gentlemen, is that. My guide entirely worked over to make it more visually appealing and interesting, and hopefully I've done a good enough job of it.

Tryndamere has been my favorite champion for two whole seasons now, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to enjoy him for more to come and that he'll remain as the awesome, manly melee AD carry that he currently is. He's a strong champion for solo queue, and the simplicity of his kit is outlaid by the fact that it is your decisions and knowledge which make or break a Tryndamere player.

I hope my guide has been sufficiently informative, and I thank you for reading most of it, if not the whole thing through, up to this point. If you enjoyed it, I would appreciate any upvotes, and if you have any criticisms or suggestions for improvement, please do leave a comment and I will respond as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading my guide and enjoy carrying (hopefully) games as Tryndamere!


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Change Log

12/12/2012 - Guide released.
21/01/2013 - Guide has been significantly updated, with a reevaluated item section and minor changes in other areas.
20/02/2013 - Guide has been updated. Item build has changed slightly, Exhaust has been replaced by Ghost in the cheat sheet, Flash has been replaced by Cleanse in "Summoner Spells", evaluation on Tryndamere buffs added.
17/04/2013 - Guide has been updated again!
21/04/2013 - So I apparently forgot to add a 'teamfighting' section to gameplay tips which I intended to. My bad... >_< I've written it up now. I strongly recommend you read it and the linked pages.
02/05/2013 - As of right now, this is one of the most highly rated Tryndamere guides on the site. Thanks a lot, everyone! Added a laning miniguide near the end of the guide as a nod towards Tryndamere's recent competitive play by ZionSpartan, hope you guys enjoy.
28/05/2013 - Minor updates
10/06/2013 - (mostly) Laning mini-guide updated.
15/06/2013 - Updated the guide again for the jungle and Wriggle's Lantern changes.
15/01/2014 - Finally updated for Season 4. Happy New Year everyone!