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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.
This is my first guide. I felt the need to make one after seeing the recent Udyr guides and how they seem to cater to play styles that don't really benefit Udyr. This is the build that I use and is fairly common. Sorry if the items section is a little confusing. Just purchase items in the order that I put them. I'll explain them a little later on.
Udyr is a jungler and as such I've used "general jungler" runes.
Armor Penetration - The marks give a fairly good amount of armor penetration. They were nerfed, so some people have chosen to go for attack speed marks instead. I personally feel that the attack speed increase from runes isn't drastic enough to make them worthwhile and in the case that I do want bonus attack speed I replace my Magic Resist Glyphs with Attack Speed Glyphs.
Armor - These seals, alongside your initial purchase of Cloth Armor gives you a nice amount of armor which helps with jungling, especially if you're starting at the Blue Golem camp. Armor is also useful because of Udyr's role in the team. He is the bruiser/beefy DPS/off-tank. His job is to run into fights and sit there hitting people while soaking up damage. Having armor helps him do this a lot easier.
Magic Resist - MR glyphs aren't useful in the jungling stage. As I said regarding the armor, Udyr's role in the team requires him to be getting hit with spells and attacks. Having some bonus Magic Resist helps him out with this.
Health - Flat health quints were nerfed as well, but I still like having them. It makes it a little bit less risky to start at Blue Golem if I should choose to. They're just generally nice to have and use them with a lot of characters. If you want to you can swap them out for Armor Pen or Attack Speed. I personally wouldn't, but that's just how I play.
The one point in Smite is obviously because you are jungling and using Smite. The bonus gold helps you farm a little bit faster which is always good.
A lot of the defense tree contains a lot of useful masteries for bruisers and beefy DPS characters. Armor and Magic Resist bonuses straight off the bat are great. I take the bonus Dodge and the Attack Speed Boost On Dodge mastery. This is because of Udyr's passive Monkey Stance, which increases is attack speed and dodge with every ability he uses, stacking up to three times. This means he dodges fairly often and as a result the speed boost can both help him chase and escape. Some people take the 2 Reduced Damage from Minions mastery, but the Harden Skin mastery does the same damage reduction, but from all sources, not just minions. I then max out the Health mastery to give myself something like 124 bonus Health right at the start when combined with my Health Quintessences. I also take the increased AP/AS mastery. They aren't extremely useful, but the AS increase becomes a little bit more noticeable when you go into Tiger Stance.
The Utility tree has some masteries that are basically MUST-HAVE for junglers. I start with the Ghost mastery, since I use it as my chasing and initiating ability. I take the regen mastery over the respawn mastery. It's really up to you. I can't recall a time where I could've saved a game if I had respawned a couple of seconds sooner, so I prefer to go with the mastery that will keep me out on the field longer. After that I take the Bonus XP % mastery. This is a must have for junglers since you are essentially getting less XP because there are less minions dying around you. With the bonus you can also level up just from the Blue Golem camp, which is really nice, because you will lose a lot of HP fighting it. The increased buff time is also nice because it allows you to keep the buffs for a much longer time, making your early game a lot easier.
Some people put less points in the Defense tree and more in Utility. I don't know where they put them exactly, but I enjoy the Defense masteries on Udyr, so I'm not concerned with changing them.
As a jungler you will typically be starting with Cloth Armor and 5 HP potions. There are alternatives, but usually they will require you taking a different jungling route.
When you get enough gold upgrade your Cloth Armor into a Madred's Razor. Usually I will upgrade the razor into a Wriggle's Lantern because the free ward is nice to have. You can always sell it off later and replace it with a Madred's Bloodrazor which will be really helpful if the enemy team has a lot of HP.
Around the same time I get Wriggle's Lantern I buy basic boots. They will be upgraded into Mercury's Treads most of the time. On the odd situation where the team is basically entirely Attack Damage and has only one stun, go ahead and get Ninja Tabi, Ionian Boots or Berserker's Greaves. Ninja Tabi is usually the best option, just because Udyr already has a decent amount of Dodge due to Monkey Stance.
I get a Catalyst next. I like the HP and Mana from it and that it restores a significant amount of both on Level Up. Upgrade it into a Banshee's Veil as soon as possible. This is a really useful item on Udyr. This is because Udyr, when ganking relies on Bear Stance and essentially running at people to stun them. He can easily be shut down by a stun or a slow. This will usually be what people throw at you first. If you block it with Banshee's Veil then they are as good as dead.
Because of the nature of Udyr's spell kit Sheen/Triforce is really useful on him. Stance Dancing is the act of quickly changing between Udyr's stances. He can do this about every 1.5 seconds and as a result maximize the Sheen/Triforce effect. I tend to get this after my Banshee's Veil, but if you find you aren't getting slapped with CC all the time you can try to rush it before Banshee's Veil. It will drastically increase your damage output and as such it is extremely useful on Udyr. The % chance to slow, increases move speed and crit chance are all icing on the cake.
After that I start building a Randouin's Omen. This is nice because of the large amount of armor and the decent HP it gives. It's active effect, an AoE slow, is really useful when chasing targets. In a similar utility you could get Shurelia's Revery to give your entire team a Movement Speed boost rather than give your enemies a slow. It doesn't have as much HP and lacks the armor of Randouin's Omen though, which is why it's not as common Udyr. Another alternative is Youmoo's Ghostblade which gives Udyr more damage, more armor penetration and a nice Move Speed boost. In conjunction with Bear Stance it's great for initiating a gank. In a team fight scenario is allows for nice damage output.
That said, Randouin's Omen is usually the best choice because of Udyr's role in team fights, which requires him to get hit a lot.
After that I enjoy getting Atma's Impaler as a final item. Gives some more armor and increases Udyr's damage by a percentage of his HP, which is really nice since Udyr is a fairl HP heavy character. You could swap Atma's Impaler for a Fire Cape. It gives a nice chunk of armor and HP and the AoE damage per second it emits is good when you're standing in the middle of a team fight.
Also, as I mentioned before, by late game it's usually a good idea to sell Wriggle's Lantern and buy a Madred's Bloodrazor because people will start having high HP at the end of a game.
Feel free to buy what you feel what you need, but keep Udyr's role in mind. He is sitting in the middle of a fight punching people. He needs 4 things Damage, Health, Armor, Magic Resist. Penetration and life steal are both nice on him as well, but not entirely necessary.
Start with Phoenix Stance. It deals AoE damage and increases your AP/AD. It allows you to clear jungle camps very fast and has great damage output when you start going for ganks.
Turtle Stance is one of Udyr's most importance stance's. At level 5 it's a 240 damage shield that is available every 3 seconds. For this reason it is top priority and I max it as soon as I can.
Early on you will be swapping between Phoenix and Turtle. When you get Phoenix to rank 3 stop upgrading it. It loses effectiveness throughout the game and even at rank 5 has minimal damage output at level 18. Ad Udyr you aren't spending money on Ability Power and Magic Penetration, so there's not a whole lot of point in using it as your main damage ability. It's great for clearing jungle camps and holding a lane for a short period of time early on. After that it's almost useless.
Put a point in Bear Stance at level 5 or 6 when you decide to start ganking. I leave it at that until I get Tiger Stance maxed out. The stun doesn't increase, only the movespeed buff, but because I'm usually using Ghost when ganking, and when you're in the middle of a team fight the movespeed isn't too useful, considering 3/5 of the enemy team will be standing right beside you.
Tiger Stance becomes your main damage skill and is very good. Your first hit after activating it will deal about a 500 damage bleed on the target and give you a highly increased attack speed. The attack speed buff is useful for killing towers very quickly and once you get Madred's Bloodrazor the attack speed helps you melt enemy champions quickly.
Smite you are obviously taking because you are jungling. If you can somehow jungle without it, exhaust is a good replacement. There are jungle routes that can be taken which will allow you to jungle without smite, but generally it's a little more risky and slow even when you get Madred's Razor. With the Smite mastery you get an extra 5 gold every 75 seconds I believe, which is a little bit useful, but really it's less useful than the 1 Gold Per 10 Seconds mastery.
Ghost is by and far the best summoner spell. It allows you to chase and run away. It allows you to get to places quickly if you need to. It's just all around good and I like it better than Flash. Flash will only be more useful than Ghost if you are in a location where you can jump a wall. Any other time a person with Ghost will catch up to you. Unless you have both Ghost and Flash, but that's not happening on Udyr.
You can replace it with Flash if you really want to. You can also replace it with Exhaust. I'd take Exhaust over Flash personally, but it's not really needed on Udyr because he can stun a target and deals pretty good damage for how hard he is to kill.
A lot of people start the Blue Golem. This is fine and dandy if you are in a Solo Queue Normal Game or if your team will stand guard while you start attacking the golem. If not, you will likely be ganked. Blue Golem is widely considered The jungle starting spot and the place most teams will go to to gank you.
A good way to start that isn't too predictable is starting at the Wraith camp (just to the side of your middle tower) and using your Smite on the biggest wraith while using Phoenix Stance to kill the others. From there move on to the Wolves (next to the Blue Golem camp) and then Twin Golems (beside Red Lizard, closest to the lane) You won't have a lot of gold at this point, so you can hang out in a lane for a little while to try to farm some more. Go for a gank maybe. From there go back to Blue Golem and start the jungle route all over again: Blue Golem>Wolves>Wraiths>Red Lizard>Twin Golems
Holding off on the Blue Golem will confuse any enemy junglers who may try to steal your Blue Buff when he thinks it has respawned, but because you didn't kill it when he killed his own, it won't be back up yet. It also makes you level 6 while you have both buffs, instead of level 4 when you finish the jungle route starting at blue when you can't gank effectively.
Once you get your Wriggle's Lantern place the ward by Dragon and watch for anyone on the enemy team to try to kill it. If the enemy jungler goes for it around level 5/6/7 solo, wait until he is about half health, then charge in with bear stance, stun him, switch to phoenix to increase your damage by a significant amount. When the stun wears off and he tries to hit you back, you can switch to Turtle to soak it up.
If several members of the enemy team go for the Dragon, assemble bottom and mid lanes to go for a gank.
Later in the game the same tactic will go for Baron.
Your job in a team fight is to make everything a living hell. Run around with Turtle and Bear Stance and stun everyone you can. Early in the game Phoenix Stance will help you to deal damage to several targets at once. Later in the game just focus on the carry. Udyr is a great anti-carry with his stun, massive damage bleed and the ability to soak up a lot of damage.
As the jungler it is also your duty to ward a lot. When warding you will increase your teams map awareness and allow them to increase chances for successful ganks and successful tower takedowns.
As Udyr you may not get all of the Thank You's that you deserve, but just remember you are helping your team a lot by doing things they may not bother with. As often is the case in Solo Queue (ranked and normal alike) everyone wants to be the carry and more often than not they will forget about warding, even though it is a very crucial part of the game.
Warding strategies are an entirely different guide.
Udyr is a great jungler. As a beefy DPS who can absorb insane amounts of damage he is great as an anti-carry. With Madred's Bloodrazor he can also become a great Tank-Killing Off-Tank.
People are aware of the insane potential of Udyr and as a result are more than likely to try to try to disrupt your jungling. Following irregular jungling strategies will reduce their ability to counter-jungle you. Luckily, people tend to be more fearful of Warwick than Udyr and in some cases not realize how devastating a good Udyr can be.
Sometimes when playing Udyr you have to take some risks that other champions can't take. As an example, Udyr can tower dive a lot better than other champions. His turtle stance will block a tower hit, so if you need to get a last hit on someone, don't be too fear full, just put your turtle stance up as often as you can.
Like any champion you will need to play smart to do well. Ward and keep map awareness up to prevent ganks.
Finally, don't take this guide as an end-all-be-all of Udyr. There are always different things you can do that will increase your potential. Some items or strategies will fit your play style better than mine. Always feel free to try to evolve builds to fit what you need in a champion or whatever works best for you.
Have fun with my favorite champion and don't get discouraged if you have trouble at first. He's a little strange and takes some getting used to.