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Tryndamere Build Guide by Reginald Mbufu

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Reginald Mbufu

Tryndamere: Late Game Massacre (Updated)

Reginald Mbufu Last updated on August 30, 2011
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Ability Sequence

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

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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First things first, I'm not Reggie. I'm Reginald Mbufu. Two completely different people. Now that that's cleared up, let's talk about Tryndamere.

This build is pretty much the only build I use whenever I play Tryndamere. It accounts for almost everything you need as a Trynd, yet it doesn't spread yourself thin where you aren't good in ANY area, you're just ok. This build is perfect for a Tryndamere, because it serves the exact purpose he is supposed to have: late game annihilation.

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Pros / Cons


    Extremely high damage output
    Invincible if skills are used correctly
    Can hugely change the game if your build progresses past Infinity Edge
    Very fun to play
    Makes kids rage

    Very squishy
    Extremely item-dependent
    Almost useless early game
    Early game kills need a lot of team coordination
    Makes kids rage

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Rune Choice

Greater Mark of Desolation: Armor penetration runes. Quite simple really. More armor penetration means more damage.

Greater Seal of Armor: Armor runes. This is to aid with early game survivability.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Magic resist runes. This is also to aid with early game survivability.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation: More armor penetration runes.

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Summoner Spells

I chose Exhaust and Cleanse and here's why:

Exhaust can work in three ways:
1) It can slow a target so you can catch up to it.
2) It can slow a chaser so you can get away.
3) It reduces the target's attack damage by 70% and their Ability and Item damage by 35%. Imagine that. How useful would that be when you're 1v1-ing somebody and you think you might lose, when BAM! Pop that Exhaust, he'll be dealing no damage to you, you'll pummel him, and guess what. He can't run away because his movement speed has been slowed by 40%!

These 3 reasons make Exhaust a must-have summoner spell for ANY melee dps (that's not jungling, of course).

I take Cleanse with Tryndamere, and heres why:

It's quite simple actually.
Tryndamere gets faceraped by CC.
Cleanse removes CC.
End of discussion.

A little tip though, make sure to not use Cleanse if you get stunned and there's only 1 enemy by you. You can 1v1, it's ok. Even if it's a 2v1, they won't do enough damage to you to kill you that fast (your Mercury's Treads makes it shorter). Only if it's a 3v1 or more do you use the Cleanse. And that's if you have no possible way to escape. As in, if you try to escape and they slow you. THAT'S when you use Cleanse and book it.

Optional Summoner Spells:

Flash: I used to take this spell with Exhaust all the time. But then I realized how much better Cleanse is for this champion than Flash. Because essentially, his Spinning Slash is just another Flash that deals damage and has a much shorter cooldown. But, if you like Flash ganks or you really like this, you can take it.

Ghost: You CAN take this. This is actually a pretty good spell for early game ganks. Since late game your movement speed will be 484 anyway, the Ghost becomes useless, unless you feel you need 614 movement speed to get away from somebody (additional 27% of 484 makes it 614). Again, I'll leave this one up to you. I feel Cleanse is more important, but if you like the movement speed for the early across-map ganks or to chase better, go for it. Keep in mind, however, that you have Exhaust if you really want to chase somebody. **This is also a must-have summoner spell if you decide to jungle as Tryndamere.**

Smite: Take this only if you decide to jungle as Tryndamere. Though my guide doesn't include jungling yet, I strongly recommend you take this if you decide to jungle with him.

Ignite: I really don't like this on Tryndamere, but that's because my team usually never gives me any problems with giving me the early game kills. However, if you find yourself unable to land kills early game, you may choose to take this to seal the deal on some of those ganks that leave the enemy with like 2% health.

What summoner spells to never get with Tryndamere:

Clairvoyance: Support's job.
Clarity: Stop.
Fortify: Tank's job.
Heal: NEVER. You have your own heal.
Rally: Why does this even exist?
Revive: No thanks.
Teleport: I don't believe in carries having Teleport.

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The key to this build is my item choice (as is every build). I've seen my fair share of builds and I've tried out most of them. A lot of them stuck with me and actually helped to contribute to this build of my own. In my opinion, here's how your purchase order should be. Now let me explain what I chose and why I chose them.

Phantom Dancer: That first Phantom Dancer's purpose is to be a primer. To set up your champ for the ultimate carnage once your Infinity Edge comes in. It gives you a nice 55% attack speed boost, along with 30% crit chance, and my favorite part, 15% movement speed boost. This movement speed boost of the phantom dancer is what really helps in my opinion. Early game, movement speed like this can help you ensure so many kills.

Mercury's Treads: I love this item. I honest to God, love this item with all my heart. I do not see why anybody would get Berserker's Greaves when the choice of Mercury's Treads is so obvious, especially for champions such as Tryndamere and Xin Zhao. Especially with this build. This build gives so much attack speed that another 25% isn't going to do much. Why get another 25% attack speed when you can have a kickass passive such as reduced CC. See, CC is the worst enemy of almost every melee dps. And if there's an item that gives you magic resist and reduced duration of stuns, slows, and taunts, I want it.

Infinity Edge: Most people look at Infinity Edge as an end game item to ensure victory. However, I see it as an early-mid game item. It gives you 80 damage you could really use to compliment your attack speed at the time, and 25% crit chance to help with your extra 30% crit chance from the Phantom Dancer and the 10% from your passive. Of course, with a 65% crit chance, it must help to have Infinity Edge's passive: Critical hits do 250% damage instead of 200%. Now that's kickass. Tryndamere is a crit-based champ. All of his attacks should be critting and hitting like a TRUCK. And this is what Infinity Edge gives.

The Bloodthirster: This item is pretty much self-explanatory. When fully fed, it gives the most damage in the game, while giving you 25% life-steal. What's better than extremely high damage output? Healing from that extremely high damage output.

The Black Cleaver: This item took me some thought to include in my build. I had to debate between Last Whisper, this, and a 2nd The Bloodthirster. This was my reasoning: You can rule out the 2nd The Bloodthirster because though it will give MUCH more damage, it won't be necessary due to the armor pen of Last Whisper or the armor reduction of The Black Cleaver. Then came the tough decision between getting Last Whisper or The Black Cleaver first. Armor pen or armor reduction? I went with armor reduction, and here's why. First off, you have about 25 armor pen from your runes, which help a lot. Second, most people don't get armor in the hundreds. And if they do, The Black Cleaver would still be better. While Last Whisper penetrates 40 PERCENT, The Black Cleaver basically penetrates 45 armor STRAIGHT. As in, it reduces their armor by 45 (when the stacks are maxed out, which, with your attack speed, will always be the case). Let's take somebody who has an armor of 50 for an example. If you had Last Whisper, you would penetrate 40% of that. That would be 20 armor. So he would be treated like he has 30 armor. Now if you had The Black Cleaver, his armor would be reduced by 45. That means he would be treated like he has 5 armor. With your armor penetration runes, that's a ridiculous amount of damage you're about to deal. Now, disregard any tanks in the situation. If you're smart, you shouldn't be 1v1-ing any tank ANYWAY. Of course, the extra 15 damage The Black Cleaver gives over Last Whisper and the 30% attack speed seals the deal.

Last Whisper: The reason for this isn't some hidden meaning. It's plain simple: armor penetration. The bane of Tryndamere is armor. So what do you do? Penetrate that armor! I've given some that to adding this as a main part of my build and I've decided to do so due to armor pen, and due to the fact that you will actually still have 90% crit chance when at full Fury. Before the rework to Tryndamere, two Phantom Dancers was ideal to get full crit chance. But now, it's a waste of gold. You could be dealing a lot more damage with Last Whisper.

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Situational Items

Second Phantom Dancer: If you're having a blast and you're annhilating the enemy team, you can take this if you like. This is only to be taken if the enemy has literally NO armor though, due to overlapping crit chance when taking this item. Replace Last Whisper with it.

Frozen Mallet: If you find yourself dying a lot and you really can't help it, you can take this item. This is especially necessary if your team has no tank (which apparently happens a lot in normal games) and your team needs a beefy character ( Tryndamere has one of the highest, if not THE highest base HP amounts in teh game). If the enemy team is mostly comprised of AD carries that are way too fed, you can exchange The Black Cleaver and Phantom Dancer for the Frozen Mallet and Atma's Impaler.

Banshee's Veil: This item is very crucial if you're up against fed casters such as Veigar, Brand, or anyone that has a stun combo. See, people always view this item as a controversy for Tryndamere because it gives mana, but well, honestly, who gives a damn? Are you going to skip out on an item that literally COUNTERS any fed caster that has a combo because you don't use mana? Imagine if Veigar, LeBlanc, or Brand missed ONE spell from their combo. They would be toast. Another thing. Karthus's ultimate...imagine if Requiem didn't hit you because your Banshee's Veil saved you. Same thing works for any snares or stuns (you don't have to worry TOO much about slows because you'll have such high movement speed that you'll still be running faster, you'll be up to normal speed again because of the tenacity from Mercury's Treads, and you can use Spinning Slash to buy yourself some ground if they actually happen to be catching up before the slow wears off). CC like that could most definitely render you useless (if your Cleanse is in cooldown).

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How To Use Tryndamere's Skills Properly

Bloodlust: This skill should be used in two ways: 1) Utilize its passive. Don't immediately heal when you have 100 Fury just because your health is less than 100%. The passive can help you farm better and can even let you do more damage against enemy champions. 2) Use its active at the right times. You should only heal when you feel like you might get into a fight soon and you need to heal so you are more prepared for the fight. Also use it when your fury is diminishing (or just get more Fury lol). The heal is necessary for laning. It helps you stay in lane so that you don't have to always port back. This is especially important during the first 6 levels because the more you port back, the slower you get your ultimate. The slower you get your ultimate, the slower you get kills. The slower you get kills, the slower you get fed. You see where I'm going with this?

Mocking Shout: This is one of the harder spells of Tryndamere to use. The main reason it's considered harder is because of the fact that in higher ELOs, people tend to turn around real quick so that they don't get slowed by it. This is why you have to time your use of it. Don't use it the second he turns around. On the contrary. Use Spinning Slash to catch up if he tries to leave. Only if it seems as he's getting away, use your Mocking Shout. Don't forget, with the masteries I recommended, you'll have exhaust AND flash. Mocking Shout should be used as a last resort slow. As for the other perk of it, which is to reduce the damage the enemy champions around him deal (by 100 at full rank), ALWAYS use it in a fight with an AD carry such as Master Yi or an enemy Tryndamere. The damage reduction helps you win the fight.

Spinning Slash: This skill should never ever be used for damage. Ever. I don't care what you say, if you use this skill for damage I will find you, take off my glove, and backhand you with it. This skill is a chasing/juking/escape spell. I mostly use it to juke or gank because you can spin through walls with this skill. So many times I see a lane with a couple split-pushers and I spin through the walls to get them, kill them both, then spin through the wall again just as the team comes to help. That's what Tryndamere should be doing, especially with this build, which gives a movement speed of 484 after the 2nd Phantom Dancer. Tryndamere should be a ganker, and this is the perfect spell for it.

Undying Rage: This skill is one of the most straightforward skills in the game, yet it is misused so often, it's disgusting. It's simple: stop yourself from dying by pressing R. Yet people seem to think that if they press R when they're at full or half health, it's a smart idea. WRONG. Undying Rage works so that you will remain at 1 HP if any lethal damage is dealt to you during the 5 seconds after your casting of it. You should cast Undying Rage when you think the next attack will kill you. This is what makes Tryndamere one of the deadliest gankers in the game; he can turret-dive anybody when he has his ultimate ready because the turret won't kill him. Undying Rage can also be used as a gank escape. You use it if you've been ganked by 4 enemies and you know your about to die, so you cast your ultimate just when the burst damage is gonna kill you and then escape from the gank with your Spinning Slash.

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Early Game

Ok, so basically the hardest part about Tryndamere is how to play early game good so that your mid-game and late-game don't suffer. What you have to do is play very passive. Just farm off of minions. Make sure to take Spinning Slash first so you can dodge any attempt to focus you down early game.

Another thing you need to do is coordinate with your team members to help gank and/or help you kill someone on your lane. This could ensure you some feeding which would greatly benefit you later on in the game.

Early game starts at Level 1 and ends at Level 9 in my opinion. This is because you have just maxed out your Bloodlust and by this time, you should have your Phantom Dancer, Mercury's Treads, and be working towards your Infinity Edge.

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Mid Game

Tryndamere's role mid game is basically to gank and decimate in any teamfights occurring. This will not only help you get fed, but also help other in their laning. Though the midgame starts at Level 9, you should start the ganking at Level 10. This is because you will have your third rank in your Mocking Shout and thus, should be able to slow better. Make sure to coordinate with your team so the gank is effective.

Another thing I like to do around this time is to ward the buffs in the enemy's jungle. Putting a Sight Ward next to the buffs can help alert our team when the enemies are getting a buff. But more importantly, it gives me a free kill. My movement speed will be so high at this point i can easily get to the buffs, steal them, and then kill the enemy trying to take it.

Mid game ends at around level 14, by which time you should have your Infinity Edge and your 2nd Phantom Dancer.

Don't just wait in the bush for hours for the perfect gank. If the gank doesn't occur within 30 seconds of you being there, leave. Go to another lane. Help someone else out. You need to get fed. Staying in the bush leaves you underfed.

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Late Game

Ok, you now have your Infinity Edge and 2 Phantom Dancers. At this point, things start to change. You're probably raping anyone who dares to 1v1 you. Though in reality, you should be with your team now that late game has started.

However, there is one time Tryndamere should be 1v1-ing anybody, and that's when somebody is split-pushing. Please. Don't let any of your teammates tell you otherwise. YOU should be killing that split-pusher. No one else. Unless you have another carry on your team, and they're underfed. In that case, go with that carry and do damage to the enemy but let them have the kill. But other than that, it should be you. You'll have such high movement speed at this point that you will be able to get to the other lane in a matter of 10 seconds, kill the pusher, and go back to your team. Why would you let somebody else do it when we know that Tryndamere doesn't lose 1v1 to anybody late game and that you can get the kill in a matter of seconds?

You should try to get your The Bloodthirster and The Black Cleaver as soon as possible. However, if you're doing what I tell you to do (with the warding of the jungle and the ganking of the split-pushers), you should have no problem getting these two items. Make sure to get the Vampiric Scepter before your The Black Cleaver.

Once your build is completed, it's game over. There's nothing they can do to stop you (IF YOU DON'T GET COCKY). At that point, it's a matter of your team being coordinated and winning the teamfights. Which brings me to my next chapter.

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Trydamere's Role in Teamfights

Tryndamere has the simplest role in a teamfight: rape face. Literally, just rape their face. Of course, it's a BIT more complicated than that, but it's essentially to rape face.

What you have to do in all teamfights as Tryndamere is focus down the enemy carry dealing the most damage IMMEDIATELY. You can take him/her out of the fight in a matter of 3-5 seconds, so do it. If they run away, DON'T CHASE (unless it's Kog'Maw, who can constantly harass your team with Living Artillery). Your job was to take them out of the fight. If they run, that means they're out of the fight. Then move onto the next carry.

Don't ever focus your attention on the tank. Let him do whatever he wants to you. Ignore him. Tanks can't deal enough damage to get you to use your ult, so just focus down the carries.

You should be attacking enemies in this order:
Squishy carries
Somewhat squishy carries
Tanky characters
The main tank

You should save the tank for last so that your team can help you take the tank.

If you happen to get focused down in the teamfight, don't get mad. The enemy team would be doing something right. It's LoL 101 to focus you down. Just use your Undying Rage, get a couple kills, heal, and book it. If you have your Vampiric Scepter, go to their jungle, take their buff (using it for the healing off the lifesteal and Bloodlust), and come back into the fight.

If you can understand how to do this, you'll no doubt succeed as a Tryndamere that's an asset to his team.

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DON'T GO OUT ON YOUR OWN: A Common Mistake Made By Almost Every Tryndamere

Every single Tryndamere I've seen gets so ballsy when their build is complete that they constantly roam and engage with 5 people at the same time, die, then leave their team without their primary AD carry in the upcoming fight. Tryndamere is a carry. He carries the TEAM. Do NOT leave your team when the whole enemy team is MIA. It never ends well. EVER. You should be with your team in the teamfights to help them by doing as much damage as you possibly can to the enemy team. So what if you don't get the kill? If you've been playing right, the ganking during the laning phase and other kills should have gotten you pretty fed so that you may be doing gud amounts of damage. Though with this build, you'd be critting for 1k damage when the build is complete. But after your 2nd Phantom Dancer, you should be officially considered fed. That's when the kills roll in. But that doesn't mean you should get cocky and engage with 5 people at the same time.

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Having said all that about not leaving your team, Tryndamere built this way is second only to Master Yi when it comes to split-pushing. This is because his attack speed and movement speed will be crazy, and so will his damage output. So he can clear minion waves like nothing, kill the tower, then book it. This is the ONLY time you should be alone when your Level 18.

You need to always be doing this if you see a lane empty or being pushed back by a minion wave. The only time it's not you who's clearing the minion wave is when a teammate asks for it so they can farm. Other than that, it's your duty to always keep the enemy lanes pushed past the last turret you killed in that lane. So let's say in the top lane, your team has destroyed the Outer Turret, make sure your creep wave is always pushing past that point. Say in bottom lane, your team has pushed all the way to their Inhibitor Turret, you need to always be making sure you keep your minion wave past the Inner turret. This is the key to a good split-pusher.

If you execute this effectively in-game, it's an almost guaranteed victory.

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Questions and Comments

Well that's pretty much all I have to say about this mad dude. Please comment any critique or questions you have about this build. I would love to hear what you guys have to say.

Also, feel free to post how you did in your match when trying this build. I'd love to see how you guys did.

Reginald Mbufu

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Updated on 8/30/11:

Changed build to include Last Whisper and moved the 2nd Phantom Dancer to a situational item. This was to adjust to the Fury system's 35% crit chance.