Udyr Build Guide by ScienceXReason
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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.
Hello, I am ScienceXReason. I am a great fan of the manbearturtletigerphoenix that we know as udyr. I consider him my main, having well over 300 games with him under my belt. He's a very difficult champion to master, but through time, dedication, observation, and dabating, I have learned much. Lacking an ultimate, he doesn't have an ability that will "tip the scale" in team fights, but this does not make him weak compared to other champions, in fact, he is surprisingly powerful when used the right way. He has amazing chasing potential, and his movement speed with Bear Stance can allow him to move right past the tanks and destroy their squishy backline.
As a warning this build requires jungling and as such, i do not recommend this guide for solo queuing. Imho, i find the solo queue to be filled with belligerent ****s, that have no sense of teamwork, and this guide requires a lot of it to be successful.
February 8th, 2011 - Added guide to Mobafire
March 8th, 2011 - Updated builds after testing new things. Still no Tiger non-golem start, should have it up in a couple of days.
June 22nd, 2011
- Updating for 220.127.116.11 patch after a long string of no changes to Udyr.
- Refocused guide
- I felt that the guide was becoming too big and deterring readers, I also felt that i was starting to be dishonest and giving false information about playstyles I did not keep myself well enough updated on. Tank builds will remain, however i have combined them into their DPS soak counterparts.
- Information felt bloated and too spread out, so certain sections have been merged and compacted.
- Will be adding videos once recording help can be found
-updated for 18.104.22.168
-Changed laning section
October 31, 2011
-some tinkering with example builds, nothing much to report
December 05, 2011
-Updated for Jungle and Mastery changes
-fixed typos i could find
-Updated old data
June 1, 2012 *FINAL*
-large changes to build
-Final notes at bottom
Udyr Archetypes Within this Guide
Udyr is a champion famed for his high versatility, and his ability to adapt to his enemies. Knowing this, a single build of Udyr is just not reasonable. A cookie-cutter build is not viable either as each game demands that you adapt to your enemies. In this guide, i will be showcasing 2 playstyles for Udyr, Phoenix-Tiger and Laning Tiger.
This is the type of playstyle that I prefer to use. Utilizing Phoenix Stance's extremely potent early-mid game DPS, and high farming/jungling capabilities, you can output very high amounts of DPS throughout early-mid game. However, because phoenix "peaks" out during this time, precautions are made to ensure your DPS is maintained, and even improves as the game get longer. This solution is found in the use of Tiger stance. How this is done, is explained in the "Phoenix-Tiger" section of the guide.
Unfortunately i feel as though this playstyle has lost viability. The fact that tiger has to burn more mana than phoenix for jungling has a large impact and slows you down greatly when forced to turtle for mana. With the new jungle, you have to be more aware of ganking opportunities, and be ready for them at any time, tiger just can't do that. Due to this, i have removed this section of the guide. However, Laning tiger is still viable, given the right conditions.
An archetype whose outcome depends upon the enemy team's choice of top lane composition, Laning Tiger Udyr cannot be stopped when the right conditions are met. Using the brute force of Tiger stance to deny the enemy farm, and the sustain power from Turtle stance, This playstyle quickly snowballs into nuclear killing machine.
Entering a stance grants Udyr 10% attack speed and 3% dodge for 5 seconds. This effect can stack.
A decent passive that becomes more important as the game goes on and you have mana to maintain stacks. It caps at 3 stacks totaling 30% attack speed and 9% dodge bonus.
Persistent Effect: Udyr's attack speed is increased by 20/25/30/35/40%.
Activation: Udyr gains an additional 15/20/25/30/35% attack speed for 5 seconds after activating Tiger stance. While active or for 5 second after Activation, Udyr's next attack deals 170% his attack damage plus 30/80/130/180/230 over 2 seconds as magic damage.
The larger part of this skill comes from the activation effect, not the persistent effect. The DoT that this skill can deliver has the potential to be devastating. The facet of this skill that makes it dangerous is pre-loading. You can maintain the on-next-hit effect of this stance for 5 seconds after changing stance out of it. This can result in massive spike from 2 consecutive tiger DoTs in close succession.
If you are running Laning Tiger, you should always be maxing this skill. However if you run Phoenix-Tiger, it is not always the smartest idea to max this skill. The AD scaling of the skill does not change with rank, and the ATS boost/rank is a pitiful 5%/5%.
Persistent Effect: Udyr's attacks cannot crit, but he restores 10/12/14/16/18% of his damage as health and 5/6/7/8/9% of his damage as mana.
Activation: Udyr gains a temporary shield that absorbs 60/100/140/180/220 (+0.5 AP) damage.
One of the biggest things to take note of about the turtle shield is that it IS affected by your resistances, meaning that 220 shield will block 550 damage with a resistance of 150.
As of the 22.214.171.124 patch, the steal from Turtle Stance is no longer based on raw damage before reduction and is now calculated post damage reduction. Consider it lifesteal w/ mana
Persistent Effect: Udyr mauls his target with such force that they are stunned for 1 second. This effect cannot occur on the same target for 6 seconds.
Activation: Udyr gains 15/18/21/24/27% increased movement speed for 2/2.5/3/3.5/4 seconds.
This is your Swiss Army Knife of stances. Initiation, interruption, chasing, fleeing, this stance has its uses in just about every part of the game. However, it is important to note that movement speed has a soft cap at about 500; this means that any additional movement speed past this point will give diminishing returns. With boots, bear stance will bring you very close to this soft cap, making the use of ghost less effective. It is also important to note that ranking bear stance has no effect on the duration of your stun. However despite all these faults, movespeed has become a MAJOR issue for Udyr. Many of the recent champions that have been released feature some mechanic that gives extreme mobility for escapes and positioning advantages. In order for Udyr to keep up with this trend of hyper-mobile champions, maxing bear stance along with a Shurelia's Reverie is required.
Persistent Effect: Every third attack, Udyr engulfs enemies in front of him in flame, dealing (40 / 80 / 120 / 160 / 200) (+0.25 AP) magic damage.
Activation: Udyr sends out pulsing waves of fire dealing (15 / 25 / 35 / 45 / 55) (+0.25 AP) magic damage each second to nearby enemies for 5 seconds. In addition, Udyr's ability power is increased by (15 / 25 / 35 / 45 / 55) and his attack damage is increased by half of that amount.
This stance is rather self-explanatory. The larger part of the DPS of this skill comes from simply staying in this stance. Every third hit releases a burst of AoE damage. Unlike Tiger Stance, the majority of damage comes from being in the stance, not activating the stance.
Udyr and the Latest Patch
In this section of the guide i would like to address my thoughts on the latest patch and how it will affect Udyr. I added this section because the 126.96.36.199 patch had quite a large affect on him, and i would like people who don't read the patch notes (why you wouldn't is a mystery to me >.>) to know how it will affect their gameplay.
Hasn't been a change to Udyr for months. However, there are some things i would like to see in the future.
1. Giving back the Tiger particle when Udyr attacks buildings in Tiger stance. It just makes Udyr seem scary and badass.
2. An Increase to Udyr's mobility. The latest slew of high mobility champions have made Udyr, who used to be a mobility king, feel out-dated. Personally, I would like a mini-dash effect on bear stance, something like Zealot Charge on SC2, that would only work when you stun, and the range would be small, like Riven dash small.
Only 4 are worth mentioning as far as Udyr is concerned.
Ghost - Useful for the synergy it has with bear stance, but it will put you past the soft cap. At rank 5 bear stance you lose over 50% of the effectiveness from ghost.
Smite - A must if you are going to be jungling
Flash - Has great uses offensively and defensively. It can make up for the lack of dash that Udyr has when ganking. Great choice for Laning Tiger. It will make landing both the stun and pre-loaded Tiger DoT much easier. However, you need to take into consideration the long cooldown of the spell.
Exhaust - A great way to keep enemies from dealing damage or getting away. Use this if you are laning and don't need smite.
Tiger and Phoenix
There is an ongoing debate about which stance is better, Tiger? or Phoenix? The fact of the matter is that the two stances are incomparable. The time where each stance has the strongest effect is different.
Phoenix has the highest damage during early-mid game due to its high flat values on damage. Because it also has a lot of AoE effect as well, it makes for a great farming and lane pushing skill. This allows for players to farm up quickly off neutrals, creeps, and kills, propelling you ahead for the mid-game due to an item advantage. However, because of Phoenix's poor scaling (+.25AP on activation effect and persistant), it is smarter to just stack attack speed to make use of the persistent effect. but this also scales poorly due to the fact that there is a hard cap on attack speed.
Tiger on the other hand has poor base values, but high scaling on a stat without a cap. This makes Tiger extremely potent for late-game, but the single-target nature of Tiger stance makes it poor at farming, but strong for taking towers.
Most people think that Tiger and Phoenix are mutually exclusive, that if you decide to use one stance, the other is instantly useless because Tiger scales off AD while phoenix scales off ATS. This assumption is wrong. You must consider the fact that Udyr is an Auto-Attack champion, regardless of playstyle. The best way to increase your AA DPS is to hybridize AD and ATS. This is why Tiger stance has an ATS steroid, and why Phoenix stance has an AP/AD Steroid. Using items of both types along with both stances will, in the end, be best for your DPS overall. Using phoenix as a farming tool will also make it easier to obtain items that improve Tiger as well.
Looking at Udyr's cooldowns and playstyle, he looks like a prime candidate for the use of a Trinity Force. Good news, he is. Bad news, knowing when to get it, takes knowledge and experience.
The Trinity Force has an outstanding effect on Udyr's DPS, there is no doubting that, but some things must be accounted for before you should even think about getting it:
1. Base damage
The bonus damage passive of Trinity force is based on your base damage, nothing else. This essentially means that it is based on your level, as your base damage only increases when you level. Until you have a high enough base damage, other, cheaper, items will be able to do more than the trinity force can.
Do not EVER ignore getting survivability to finish building a Trinity Force. Without survivability you will not last long enough in team fights to be of any use to your team, meaning you will die quickly, gain no gold and experience, and in the end delay the completion of the Trinity Force even more.
3. How will building it effect your game?
This is not about imagining having the completed item, but about building the individual pieces. Each piece is rather lackluster until the recipe has been completed, so you must think about what order you are going to build each piece, when you are going to need to fit survivability items in-between (you will, don't ever think otherwise), and how far back will this pull your DPS when compared to other items. Having a strong item for end game is pointless when you just feed the entirety of early-mid game. If you are having a tough game, go without the Trinity force for a while, focus on digging your way out now before it's too late.
The Damage Gradient
This is a simple concept that goes by most people unnoticed. Udyr deals most of his damage through abilities during the early-game, but relies more on pure auto-attack damage as the game goes on. This fact means that if a game ends within the first 20-30 minutes, most likely, the majority of your damage will be magical. However, for games beyond that point, it is more likely to see Physical damage taking the majority.
Runes with Reasoning
Phoenix scales best with ATS. It will increase the rate at which you achieve your 3rd hits, meaning much greater DPS. The use of ATS runes will also greatly increase your jungling speed which brings you to your peak during early-mid game that much faster.
Flat armor runes allow you to jungle, that 13 armor it grants you is enough to survive golem, and reduce enough damage to sustain well.
Udyr, however, has a weak 1.25 mr/lvl. This makes you very susceptible to AP burst champions. The use of mr/lvl glyphs more than doubles your mr/lvl gain. This provides some much needed survivability during teamfights.
greater quintessence of Desolation-
even though Phoens and Tiger deal magic damage, the majority of your damage will be physical, the extra 10 Armor pen can help you out. Plus, it improves your jungle speed more than ATS Quints.
greater mark of desolation-
Tiger Udyr Thrives on his Physical Damage, the Dot that is applied is just a VERY nice bonus. Having a good amount of Armor Penetration will increase the damage of your auto-attacks. Sheen & Trinity Force damage is calculated as physical as well, so the ArP will increase this damage as well. The marks will increase your jungling speed, but not as mush as ATS runes would. because you would surpass the armor of most neutral creeps.
Seeing as you will be in lane, and solo top, this bonus armor can be the difference between you and the other melee in the lane being killed. If you are willing to play a bit more on the passive side AR/lvl runes will work fine as well.
Udyr, however, has a weak 1.25 mr/lvl. This makes you very susceptible to AP burst champions. The use of mr/lvl glyphs more than doubles your mr/lvl gain. This provides some much needed survivability during teamfights.
greater quintessence of Desolation/ / -
The reason for more ArPen is the same reason you use ArPen reds, the reason for flat armor is the same for the yellows. Movespeed is an extremely important stat to have, it makes it much easier to get superior positioning.
Concerning Builds and Item Choice
Udyr is a champion known for his versatile nature in a team, if you want he can be a tank, he can be a DPS soak, If you play him the way I do, occasionally, you can be tankier than most tanks while still dealing more damage then most tanky DPS and can rival a carry. how you build him for each match is up to you, but there are things that you should take into account.
1. Your team composition
If no one in your team has any beefy tank, you should fill that role, as fun as being a DPS champion is, having a tank in your team is more important. This occurrence is prevalent in solo queue, where everyone wants to be 'that guy' that carries the team to victory. Playing a tank is being an unsung hero, but what you bring to the team is more important than being a 5th DPS or carry, you are the wall, the foundation, the very core of your team. You are the martyr that must be willing to sacrifice their life so that others may live. Do not be ashamed of such a position.
2. Enemy team composition
When that loading screen pops up, or throughout the draft, that is the time to get a general idea of what is needed in your team. If you see a tryndamere, focus for mid-game damage, before tryndamere becomes too powerful. If they have too much damage for one tank to handle, fill in the second tank position.
3. Items and Versatility
Udyr also has a very large selection of items that benefit his needs, use this to your advantage. Udyr is one of the few champions that I would say has absolutely NO CORE BUILD, everything is situational and depends completely on the needs of the team. If the enemy has a lot of hp, bloodrazor. Your team needs someone who can take down towers fast, Trinity Force. Your team lacks magic damage, malady/bloodrazor/phoenix.
Tanking and Soaking
What is the difference between a Tank and a DPS Soak? In my eyes, it comes down to what your priority is in a team fight. Tanks want to distract and disable an enemy team to take damage away from a carry. A DPS Soak wants to deal as much damage as he can while having enough survivability to be able to withstand a decent amount of damage so that he can continue to deal more pain. Tanks and Soaks often have similar abilities, so much so that some champions can choose which they want to be on a per game basis. Udyr is one of them.
For Udyr, the difference between being a tank or a DPS Soak can simply be playstyle. As far as items are concerned, you don't have to change WHAT items you get, but WHEN you get them. A simple change in order can be all that is required, however, if necessary you can still change which items you get due to Udyr's high flexibility.
With playstyle it comes down to how many people you are stunning. When tanking you want to stun as many people you can get you hands on, while using the Tiger DoT to boost the damage along on the current focus. You want to be as much of a nuisance as possible, disrupting channeled ults, interrupting combos, and being a general pest.
Jungling (vids currently unavailable)
Wraiths > Blue(smite) > Wolves > Wraiths > Red(smite) > Mini Golems > Gank > Shop >Idle/Gank
Mini Golems (smite) > Wraiths > Wolves
This is essentially the best jungling path i have found since the new jungle was introduced.
The Idling path is essentially the path you should take while waiting for a ganking opportunity by killing the three camps in this order smite will always be up for the mini golems and you should end up healing overall, keeping you in shape for a gank, while still getting some income.
Looking at Udyr's kit, Phoenix stance, by far, has the highest early-mid game damage. With this is mind, Phoenix is ranked early to ensure good damage output during these phases of the game. The need for higher mobility will likely take precedence, so sacrificing 2 ranks of phoenix won't slow your jungle down too much.
At level 6, a single rank is placed into Tiger Stance. This single point increases your damage output greatly through the use of Tiger Stance's activation. Not only is the DoT useful, but the temporary ATS buff, when switched into phoenix right after, greatly increases the rate of 3rd hits. When switched into Turtle Stance, greatly increases your regen rate. Tiger Stance suffers from diminutive returns past rank 1, the first ranks grants the highest boost to damage, but subsequent ranks offer only 50 damage and 5%/5% on attack speed. This is why only a single point is placed into Tiger stance and turtle/bear take precedence.
Turtle is then maxed to increase your survivability and lane staying power.
The remaining points come down to a per game basis. If you need that extra movement speed max bear and leave tiger at rank 3, it still does a surprising amount of damage, and the damage lost in the Tiger dot, is ignorable. If the bonus attack speed and the small boost in the DoT damage could make the difference, max tiger and leave bear at rank 3, the stun duration won't change, and the bonus movement speed is already bringing you to the soft cap. If you cant decide, simply leave both and rank 4.
Udyr and Laning
Udyr and laning, something I found baffling at first, but have grown to accept as a possible play-style. HOWEVER, this is only possible when two key conditions are met. First is that you get the top solo lane. This allows you to keep ahead on experience and the farm will allow you to be able to build both damage and survivability before teamfights begin. Second, is that your opponent in top lane is melee, enemies who are ranged will be able to poke at you at pretty much no risk, which inevitably leads to you getting zoned out.
The concept of this playstyle revolves around Tiger and Turtle. Using tiger whenever the enemy champion decides to get close to harass, and using turtle to maintain mana and counter his harassment. After the laning phase it simply comes down to building offensive/defensive as needed/desired.
Personally, I am not a fan of this build. Why? Simply because it's boring. When the conditions are met, it is easy to push back any melee who wants to farm while you are there, and they are pretty much left to twiddle their thumbs or pick daisies while you leisurely farm the day away. I have actually left the laning phase with a trinity force, wriggle's, and mercs before, with well over 150 creeps, while my opponent sat at just over 40 with 2 deaths. This way of playing just isn't fun for me.
If you were actually reading the guide, you will have likely noted my concern over the high mobility of recent champion releases. Udyr, who used to be one of the most mobile champions available is now below average. This powercreep in mobility is a major concern for me especially when these hyper-mobile champs are given hard CC, making it virtually pointless to chase or run from them without a ranged hard CC and just as much if not more mobility as they do. These changes have also forced me to change my former "rank tiger and bear as you need" playstyle because maxing bear is a necessity for the current game. On top of this, i also feel that havings at least 1 slow (phage into trinity force or frozen mallet is preferable) along with a Shurelia's Reverie to be key items for Udyr.
Here i will list some techniques to handle certain dangerous champions. and other tricks to help you survive the battles.
Take a Bullet: Turtle Stance allows you to mitigate most of the damage from single abilities. You can also bodyblock skill shots for your allies as well. While your natural instinct will be to dodge it, if you see it will hit an ally, pop turtle and take one for the team.
Running away: If you are ever put in the position that you have to flee from the battle, the combination of turtle and bear will allow you to run away quickly and stop damage as well. Another trick is to actually run toward your enemy, bear stun, then continue to run, this technique is useful in stopping single chasers, or assisting an allied champion make his escape
Hemoplague, Requiem, Time Bombs, and DoTs: We've all seen these little buggers kill allies as they flee, only to realize that they were going to die anyway, and should have stayed to deal more damage. Well not for Udyr! Popping turtle right before the damage occurs can deny Vlad, Karthus, and Zilean, that kill. You will likely take some damage, but you could possibly take the edge off just enough to save yourself from a lengthy respawn timer. If you have a dot on yourself (i.e.: Teemo/Twitch poison, ignite, Children of the grave, malefic visions) pop turtle to mitigate some of the damage. They will likely eat through your shield, but you can stop just enough of it that you can survive, and blue pill out.
Initiation: For ganks during the laning phase it is okay to initiate ganks as a DPS Soak Udyr, but when team-fights begin let the tank do his job and initiate, and absorb the initial burst. If you pull the foolhardy act of initiating in a team fight, you will likely soon be twiddling your thumbs waiting for your screen to have color again. On the other hand, as s Tank Udyr, feel free to initiate team fights, just remember that while you may feel invincible, Udyr is still human. Denial does not make you immortal, no matter what Futurama says.
Beware of Bait: Due to Udyr's movement speed via Bear Stance, you may be compelled to chase an enemy through half the map to get that kill. DON'T. Know when the running in fear stops, and the baiting begins. Also, don't leave a team-fight to chase that one low Hp champion, it often ends with you getting kited, and the rest of your team dying because you left.
Oneder (props if you get the reference)
This section is devoted to the various uses of the bear stun.
This 1 second stun can end some of the most dangerous skills in the game instantly. Nunu, Galio, Malzahar, Katarina, Fiddlesticks, Caitlyn, even Master Yi's Meditation can be cut short with this trusty stance. Make sure your stun stops these ults in their tracks.
A team fight didnt end as you had hoped, and you are fleeing the scene with a low health carry beside you. The enemy Annie is close on your tail, hoping to pick off your friend. You could use bear stance and ditch your poor friend here, but possibly save your own hide OR, you can turn around and stun Annie and let your ally get a bit more distance with you close behind. I have used this tactic dozens of times to get an ally out of danger.
Using bear stun to stun nearby targets just because they are within arms reach can be the bane of an enemy team. Disrupting their natural flow with this small little stun can prevent a suprising amount of damage. Say in 5 enemy champions all have identical DPS, and throughout 6 seconds you managed to stun all 5 of them. You just mitigated 1/6 of their damage within that 6 second unit of time, do this repeatedly and you can cripple an enemy team's damage output.
Items of Note
Here is a list of items that can be taken for a variety of needs that all benefit Udyr greatly.
Ninja Tabi/ Mercury's Treads - Movement speed + damage and CC reduction
Madred's Bloodrazor - Damage, ATS and armor
Wriggle's Lantern - armor, damage, lifesteal, and wards
Sunfire Cape - health armor, damage, pushing power
Thornmail - armor, damage
Randuin's Omen - armor, health, slow, ATS slow and CDR
Frozen Heart - Armor, mana, ATS slow, and CDR
Aegis of the Legion - armor, MR, health, and damage
Guardian Angel - armor, and MR
Banshee's Veil - MR, health, Mana, and spell shield
Force of Nature - MR, regen, movement speed
Spirit's Visage - MR, regen, health, and CDR
Frozen Mallet - Health, damage, and slow
Warmog's Armor - Heath, regen
Atma's Impaler - armor, damage, and crit
Wit's End - ATS, MR, and damage
Trinity Force - ATS, damage, health, mana, slow, movement speed, and crit
Malady - ATS, damage, and MR reduc.
Shurelia's Reverie - regen, CDR, and movement speed
Quicksilver Sash - MR, and cleanse
I am sorry to say, this is likely to be my final update to this guide. Due to my academics, lessening interest in LoL, increasing interest in DotA 2, and the coming of Guild Wars 2, i simply don't have the time to keep myself up to date on trends in LoL. Because of this, i cannot say that i am giving the best quality information I can gather and publish on the guide, and it simply does not meet the standard I set for myself when I started this guide. As such, i cannot publish what i know is sub-par and have concluded that i can no longer maintain this guide.
It was nice while it lasted, and i managed to hold the position of #1 Udyr guide for 1 whole year. I am proud of what I made, but i'm sad to say that it's come to an end. I may respond to comments and questions as they come, but do not expect anymore updates.
Well that rounds off my guide on Udyr, I hope you read the entire thing and gained some knowledge on how to be a better Udyr.
If you learned anything, or just plain out liked my guide, be sure to upvote it and help me keep my #1 position longer :D
If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment and i'll try to respond as soon as possible.
MobaFire - for housing my guide
Leaguecraft - the original home of this guide
bodanger - for our many debates and mathcraft help
BYZ - we have differing viewpoints, but his insight was much appreciated
People who read and upvote my guide - You helped me keep my #1 position here on Mobafire