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Hecarim Build Guide by The Real Fake

Jungle platinum

Top/Jungle [9.23] - In-Depth Hecarim Guide (In-Progress/Cons

By The Real Fake | Updated on December 6, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Hecarim
    Top Lane
  • LoL Champion: Hecarim
    Jungle

Runes: Conqueror (Lane Dominant)

1 2 3
Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Sorcery
Nimbus Cloak
Celerity
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2
Ignite/Ghost
LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost

Ghost

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #15 in
Jungle Role
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Ability Order Skill Order

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

Top/Jungle [9.23] - In-Depth Hecarim Guide (In-Progress/Cons

By The Real Fake
Who is Hecarim? Why should I pick him? Back to Top
Hecarim is a champion who revolves around mobility and speed. He is the BIG FAST. He snowballs hard, and likes to trample upon all opposition. The reason why he snowballs hard is that he power spikes hard early/mid game after one item (Triforce). His mobility allows him to take the map by storm, spreading his lead across the map. He can gank/roam to other lanes, slay enemies, quickly help push waves and destroy towers. After asserting dominance in the lanes, a sense a of fear is established. Now your advantage is not only from raw items, but psychological. Due his ability to traverse ground quickly, he is amazing at punishing and picking off poorly positioned enemies. The terror of Hecarim’s map presence causes any sensible enemy not to over extend. This often leads to you helping your lanes gain priority which can result in easier rotations for objectives. Hecarim is a champion for those who want to overtake their completely and gain absolute control of the map early to mid game.

Pros & Cons Back to Top
PROS
+ Extremely mobile (Great map presence)
+ Snowballs very hard (Takes a lead and runs with it)
+ Fantastic at cleaning up fights
+ Easy, healthy and fast jungle clears
+ Versatile in team role (Beefy diver/mobile splitpusher/assassin)
CONS
- Weak very early (Weak to counter jungling)
- Painfully hard to catch up when behind (Expensive core items & Item reliant)
- Teams with a lot of slows/peel/disruption is your worst nightmare


Summoner Spells (Top) Back to Top
BEST SETUP TOP RIGHT NOW IS IGNITE + GHOST - Hecarim is no longer as strong top after his direct nerfs a few patches ago, as well as top lane meta shifting. Ghost + Ignite helps you completely steam roll laning phase and snowball you super hard (quite cheese, but you gotta do what you can to win). You want to get ahead so you can stay relevant as top lane currently feels too negligible and isolated, if you get ahead by yourself you can start roaming and assisting in objectives.

Teleport: A great pickup on Hecarim as his ganks are very good. Teleport can allow you to make cross map plays but it can also allow you to return to lane after you roam. It is also one of the best summoner spells late game as it allows you to split-push and regroup with your team for objectives/team fights. It also acts as a safety net for early game, if you do mess up in lane and need to back, teleport makes sure you don't miss crucial xp and gold.

Ignite: A very powerful kill tool for lane, it gives you a true damage burn and reduces healing - which is underrated. The healing reduction can assist in killing certain match that heal a lot in combat like Dr. Mundo , Singed , Darius . It also helps reduce healing from conqueror .

Ghost: If you want, you can replace one of the following summoner spells with Ghost. This is because Ghost has very good synergy with Hecarim due to his passive . It allows him to burst/fight better by having basically a 10 sec AD boost. It also allows him to stick onto targets better. He is not reliant on flash as his ult can function as an escape tool, and his mobility from E and ghost also allows him to dodge easier and escape.
Summoner Spells (Jungle) Back to Top
For the Precision/Sorcery rune page, I usually take Challenging Smite + Ignite . This setup works well because the mobility lost from not going Chilling Smite is somewhat replaced by Nimbus Cloak .

For the Precision/Inspiration rune page I tend to go Chilling or Challenging Smite + Ghost . The logic behind second setup is by going Magical Footwear , you lose the speed you get from boots early. Therefore by bringing Ghost you can somewhat make up for it.

BEST SUMMONER SPELLS ARE CURRENTLY SMITE+IGNITE - The rework of Nimbus Cloak has been a indirect buff to Hecarim. Since you now can get bursts of movement speed from using summoner spells, you can now almost always go Smite + Ignite . Although you may not get as much movement speed out of Nimbus Cloak + Ignite over Ghost , the fact you can get a bit of movement speed/extra stick from taking Ignite feels very good. Ignite grants you a lot more kill pressure and dueling early, by being able to take it with out losing out much on mobility feels phenomenal.

Smite: Quite obvious, as a jungler it helps with clears and objective control.
Ghost: Has very good synergy with Hecarim due to his passive . It allows him to burst/fight better by having basically a 10 sec AD boost. It also allows him to stick onto targets better. He is not reliant on flash as his ult can function as an escape tool, and his mobility from E and Ghost also allows him to dodge easier and escape.

Ignite: Ignite is a very interesting substitute for Ghost that originated from some high elo Hecarim's take. The thought process behind this is that Hecarim is already quite fast without Ghost , by taking Ignite , Hecarim is stronger in early game duels/fights before he ramps up. Ignite is a great summoner to help you snowball faster/better early, as well as mitigating one of your MOST exploitable weaknesses (early game). If you choose to do so, be more wary of you usage of E , as you have less mobility with Ignite.

Skill Order (Conditional Tweaks) Back to Top
What i have shown on the guide is the general skill order for both Hecarim top and Jungle. However some situations may allow you to tweak the order slightly.

At level 3 usually you want E as it unlocks an another ability as well as your only real escape pre-6. However, you can put an additional point in Q in the following situations:


Jungle: If you believe you won't be invaded and plan to do a full clear first, you can get a 2nd point in Q to greatly increase your clear speed as once you clear your whole jungle (excluding scuttle) you will achieve level 4.



Top lane: You may get an additional point in Q if you believe you won't get ganked and plan to cheese a kill/force an early back. Many people don't expect the sudden jump in from your Q damage as it goes up a whopping 40 damage per rank.

Also, instead of maxing E immediately 2nd, you may want to choose to put an additional 1 or 2 points into W to raise the healing cap off minions. The time when you may want to do this is if you don't plan on roaming as much, the increased healing cap off minions helps greatly in fights in lane as well as general sustain.

Rune Breakdown (Top) - Conqueror Back to Top
These are the most commonly taken runes for Hecarim top. Although some runes may be interchangable based off of preference.

1ST TREE - PRECISION:

Conqueror: This is a must, greatly increases Hecarim's dueling potential. This is one of the factors that is making Hecarim strong right now. You ramp this up fast, and once you have it fully stacked you dish out absurd amounts of damage. The additional AD per stack help him out, but once Hecarim has conqueror and his Q ramped up he becomes a monster. Additional AD per stack and healing 15% of the damage you deal, this is all applied to your Q which stacks up to 2 times. Each stack of Q grants Hecarim 5% more damage on Q and 1 second of reduced CD on the spell.



Triumph: The best rune for Hecarim of the three. Bonus 20 gold is small but helps Hecarim snowball, the restoration of health allows Hecarim to clean fights up fast with a breeze. Very useful for the hectic environment of solo queue.



Legend - Tenacity: Tenacity is a very good stat on Hecarim as he always wants to be able to dish out damage constantly rampaging through enemies. Helps him survive getting locked down, and reduces slow duration, which is Hecarim's biggest weakness. You use your mobility to dance around deadly abilities in combat, escape unfavorable fights, and press on in favorable fights. Another factor you should bear in mind is that since you are playing top lane, thus you often are the engage/diver/frontline for the team and thus usually take the brunt of CC abilities. Also bear in mind that top lane are often filled with matchups that have constant CC and/or slows, making Tenacity crucial for trades. Another upside about taking Legend: Tenacity is that it allows you to more freely buy Ninja Tabi, where before you may have needed to get Mercury Treads for tenacity. Right now the most popular and meta top laners are AD bruisers which are quite auto attack defendant, thus being able to go Ninja Tabi without missing out on needed tenacity helps out a lot in trades.

Alacrity is quite good as it allows you to stack Conqueror faster and auto more with a stacked Conqueror for more damage. Go this rune when enemy top lane or team just lacks CC or if you are planning to go Mercury´s Treads .

Bloodline is alright, but you already have healing from Conqueror , your W drain, and Biscuits /Corrupting paired with Time Warp Tonic . Besides the healing from runes and abilities, you may even opt for a Deaths Dance to heal from both autos and abilities. Therefore it often isn't worth taking bloodline, due to the sheer amount of healing you already have. Also grievous wound debuffs are quite prevalent now, making healing less valuable than before. Morellonomicon is a common item on mid lane mages, Ignite is taken by Top, Mid, and Support. You are better off with either tenacity or alacrity as allows you to be more free to dish out damage.



Last Stand: This is the only rune really interchangeable. Last stand is good as Hecarim gets stronger as he ramps up his Q and conqueror , and by that time you may have lost a fair amount of health. Once you have lost some health and everything has had time to ramp up, your damage increases significantly. Last Stand is better into tankier teams. Most team compositions right now have usually a bruiser/tank top, bruiser jungle, and sometimes tank support so Last stand is usually better.

Coup de Grace is also quite good on Hecarim because he has a fair amount of burst from his E + Sheen (sometimes ghost and yoummus). Once you chunk them for a good amount Coup de Grace helps you finish people off. It is great for cleaning up fights as it also gives you a small amount of AD for 10 seconds. (However this is getting removed soon). My recommendation is to go Coup de Grace into relatively all squishy teams.

Cut down is a terrible in comparison to the other 2 in general, and even worse on Hecarim as he often stacks quite a lot of health.



2ND TREE - Sorcery:

Nimbus Cloak: The reworked nimbus cloak is very strong on Hecarim with his all-ins as not only does he get movement speed (which turns into damage from his passive ), he also gets more mobility to stick on his opponent. Pairs very well with Ignite .

Manaflow Band is also a strong choice as Hecarim has a fair amount of mana issues so this rune does help.

Nullifying Orb can also be picked into AP matchups if you want. However, I feel like the rune is very underwhelming and the other two are far better in comparison.



Celerity: Amplifies the movement speed from things like your E , Ghost , and Nimbus Cloak . You move faster thus more damage.



2ND TREE - Inspiration:

Biscuit Delivery: Basically free sustain in lane, it helps null bad trades. Also restores % missing mana which is great on Hecarim. One of the things that gated Hecarim from being viable top was his mana costs as he spams Q.

Some people may swap this rune for Magical Footwear to save gold and get more ms from boots. Personally I don't prefer it due to it negating your ability to buy boots which is a very strong buy on Hecarim early. Also it gives away a lot of the free sustain, more specifically the mana sustain from biscuits.



Time Warp Tonic: When paired with biscuits and your usual corrupting start, you get the ability to have sneaky instant heals. By granting 50% of the effect of consumables you can pop both Corrupting and Biscuits during trades in lane to get a sudden chunk of your health back. Also gives you movespeed when consuming these items which also gives Hecarim a small bit of AD due to his passive.

For the bonus stat runes, always go 2 adaptive force and choose between an armor or magic resist rune depending on matchup.
Rune Breakdown (Top) - Phase Rush Back to Top
This is the secondary page sometimes taken for Hecarim top. This page is not recommended. It can and is usually taken against some matchups such as Vladimir or champs that have good disengage.

Author Insight: The niche moments where Phase Rush may have been better still does not outweigh the major damage/dueling amplification from Conqueror .


1ST TREE - SORCERY:

Phase Rush: This rune can be triggered very easily with an auto > Q > auto, or auto > Q > W. What makes this an effective rune on Hecarim is that it gives you a sudden burst of movement speed which is then converted into damage. It also reduces the effectiveness of slows for 3 seconds. This allows you to stick easier to your target.




Nimbus Cloak: The reworked nimbus cloak is very strong on Hecarim with his all-ins as not only does he get movement speed (which turns into damage from his passive ), he also gets more mobility to stick on his opponent. Pairs very well with Ignite .

Manaflow Band is also a strong choice as Hecarim has a fair amount of mana issues so this rune does help.

Nullifying Orb can also be picked into AP matchups if you want. However, I feel like the rune is very underwhelming and the other two are far better in comparison.



Celerity: Amplifies the movement speed from things like your E , Ghost , and Nimbus Cloak . You move faster thus more damage.



Scorch: Makes you do a little more damage in lane. As Hecarim you want to snowball so every bit of damage helps.

Waterwalking is unnecessary as you are not the jungler, also there is no guarantees you will have good opportunities to roam.

Gathering Storm is viable and a good safety for late game, however as Hecarim you are playing for early to mid so chances are if the game does drag out too long you will get outscaled anyways.



2ND TREE - Inspiration:

Biscuit Delivery: Basically free sustain in lane, it helps null bad trades. Also restores % missing mana which is great on Hecarim. One of the things that gated Hecarim from being viable top was his mana costs as he spams Q.

Some people may swap this rune for Magical Footwear to save gold and get more ms from boots. Personally I don't prefer it due to it negating your ability to buy boots which is a very strong buy on Hecarim early. Also it gives away a lot of the free sustain, more specifically the mana sustain from biscuits.



Time Warp Tonic: When paired with biscuits and your usual corrupting start, you get the ability to have sneaky instant heals. By granting 50% of the effect of consumables you can pop both Corrupting and Biscuits during trades in lane to get a sudden chunk of your health back. Also gives you movespeed when consuming these items which also gives Hecarim a small bit of AD due to his passive.

For the bonus stat runes, always go 2 adaptive force and choose between an armor or magic resist rune depending on matchup.

Choosing Core Items (Top Lane) Back to Top
There are only 3 strong core item sets on top lane Hecarim, two are quite common while the third set is something I have seen taken on some high elo top laners such as TF Blade. Each of them have their benefits or surpass the other core sets in a certain aspect. Each of can but used every game but some may suit the situation better.

What build should I go in my game?
- Generally always go Core Build #1.
- If there are 2 or more tanks/bruisers (that get a fair amount of armor), or if you fall behind (low gold income) then go for Core Build #2.
- If you are ahead and are looking to hard carry go Core Build (Special).

Note: These rules are not set in stone, and is really up to you what you prefer. I have listed below are some of the Pros & Cons of each build to help you decide your build.



Core Build #1
Total Cost: 6383g


Strengths
+ Best pick potential/engage
+ Best burst
+ Best for solid team play
+ Arguably easiest set to utilize well
Weaknesses
- Weakest if Righteous Glory active can't be utilized well
- Weakest when rest of team is far behind
- Weakest in 1v1/duels



Core Build #2
Total Cost: 5700g


Strengths
+ Cheapest of the three sets
+ Helps team shred tanks
+ Gets you max cdr with 2 items
Weaknesses
- Lowest raw damage
- Weakest splitpush/tower taking (Lack of attackspeed from Tri-Force/Weaker Sheen passive)
- Lowest solo carry potential/options




Core Build (Special)
Total Cost: 7233g


Strengths
+ Best in raw damage
+ More healing
+ Probably the best carry core
+ Strongest for 1v1 or 1v2 fights
Weaknesses
- Expensive as hell
- Weak/Awkward transition early to mid game, lack of raw resistances/tank (Should not be a problem when you are far ahead)
Continuing Top Build Back to Top
After choosing one of the core sets for top, the options you can go after can really be anything. You can go tank items to get more beefy, or you can get more damage to do more damage (lol). This is because once you have your core items + conqueror you will always do damage.

Some items are more ideal for Hecarim as they have obvious synergies but you don't always have the luxury to build them. It may be tempting to go for these items but build according to what you or your team needs.

Choosing Smite Type & Enchantments Back to Top
As of now there is only 2 Smite types - Challenging Smite & Chilling Smite .

Challenging Smite can be cast on enemy champions to mark them for 4 seconds, reducing their damage against you by 20%, and empowering your basic attacks to deal 48 − 125 (based on level) true damage to them over 2.5 seconds.

Chilling Smite can be cast on enemy champions, dealing 28 − 166 (based on level) true damage and stealing 20% of their movement speed for 2 seconds.



USES OF EACH SMITE

Challenging Smite is best picked when you are against a enemy jungler with stronger dueling than you early, thus by picking this you can match their early power and not let your weaker early game get abused. Best picked into brusier/dueling junglers/enemy team comps.

Chilling Smite is best picked when the enemy jungler is not as strong early, therefore you do not need the dueling power. You would then pick Chilling Smite as a provides a bit of extra burst damage as well as utility. The movement speed steal can be used to help catch up to targets or run away, as it slows them and increases your movement speed. Best picked into squishy and/or slow/disengage team comps.



Author Notes/Preferences:

For the Precision/Sorcery rune page, I usually take Challenging Smite + Ignite . This setup works well because the mobility lost from not going Chilling Smite is somewhat replaced by Nimbus Cloak .

For the Precision/Inspiration rune page I tend to go Chilling or Challenging Smite + Ghost . The logic behind second setup is by going Magical Footwear , you lose the speed you get from boots early. Therefore by bringing Ghost you can somewhat make up for it.

Personally I have no preference, I believe both Chilling Smite and Challenging Smite are very good. Both have their pros and cons and you should pick one off personal preference and/or game situation. However, I believe Chilling Smite is much easier to utilize effectively. Challenging Smite has potential to be stronger but can be underutilized, meanwhile Chilling Smite is never bad/useless.

Jungle Start Routes Back to Top
Conqueror Page Start:
Conqueror Hecarim has many various routes you can take that still result in efficient clears. This is a basic clear on Hecarim can be modified multiple ways. Some Hecarim's may prefer to rush to their level six powerspike and not even gank early/in their first clear.

The Basic Clear
  • Start at a buff (Blue /Red ) -> Gromp /Krugs (Smite ) this camp) -> Wolves /Raptors . (Start Botside for a better leash, start Topside if you fear getting invaded - since most people start bot).

  • Check if mid is gankable.
  • If yes, do a transition gank mid. Then proceed to next Buff -> Scuttle Crab -> Gromp /Krugs -> Wolves /Raptors -> Look for gank/Recall.

  • If no, head straight to Wolves /Raptors -> Buff -> Gromp /Krugs -> Scuttle Crab -> Look for gank/Recall.

Predator Page Start:
The first clear you want for Predator Hecarim is always the same because this allows you to do a crazy strong first gank. (The routes from the Conqueror Routes can also be used, but they are not as strong as this clear).
  • Always go Red Buff -> Raptors -> Krugs -> Recall (Purchase boots + Control Ward ) -> Head towards Blue side jungle . (By purchasing boots, you can now access use your Predator rune).

  • Once you head to your Blue side jungle , go Blue Buff -> Scuttle Crab -> Look for gank (mid/sidelane) -> Gromp -> Wolves . (You can usually cheese a gank with Predator , Scuttle's Speed Shrine , and your E . Also, if you really can´t see an opportunity to gank during these times, DO NOT FORCE IT)

  • After this your Raptors should respawn soon, followed by your Krugs . Therefore you should head to that side of the jungle to clear it. If possible, make a transition gank through mid. If not, just head straight straight to Raptors .

  • After this basic first clear you should really be adapting to the game state (ganking overextended lanes, securing objectives, or farming/counterjungling). This step/plan can also be implemented after your first clear of Blue side .

    Additional Note: If you are wondering why it has to be a Red Brambleback start, it is due to the Red Buff granting you a slow on autos. This then makes your first gank more likely to be successful.
Tips & Tricks (Things to keep in mind) Back to Top
  • You can cancel your auto attack animation if you Q right after the auto damage goes through, however if you Q too early/before auto damage goes off your Q will cancel your auto attack.

  • Right before impact of your E , you can Q for slightly more damage due to the movement speed buff from E .

  • When using your Ultimate (duration of ultimate animation) your E duration is "frozen" where it will not tick down. You can use your ult to buy more time to re-position yourself for a good E . You can ult behind an enemy and use your E to kick them into your team for a pseudo-Insec.

  • Your E knockback distance increases based off of distance traveled during the E duration. If you utilize this well you can knockback an enemy into your team while following them, consequentially singling out a target and also bringing yourself to safety.

  • You are tanky via your W drain, therefore you have to do damage to heal/absorb damage. Make sure to dodge vital cc and buy tenacity (or take in runes).

  • During your Ultimate animation, you can still cast spells such as Q , W , Smite , or Ignite . You don´t need to wait for full animation to be over to use abilities