Hecarim Build Guide

Horseback Riding in the Jungle

Uploader Grapermelon
Updated 3 years ago
  • 9
    Greater Mark of Armor Penetration (+1.28 armor penetration)
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Armor (+1 armor)
  • 8
    Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction (-0.83% cooldowns)
  • 1
    Greater Glyph of Magic Resist (+1.34 magic resist)
  • 3
    Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed (+1.5% movement speed)
Skill Order
1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8
9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10
11 11 11 11
12 12 12 12
13 13 13 13
14 14 14 14
15 15 15 15
16 16 16 16
17 17 17 17
18 18 18 18

Hecarim is a very durable AoE-based jungler with great damage early game and almost unmatched utility starting at level 6. Soon after he was released, people began to recognize how overpowered he was and it was not easy to get Hecarim in a ranked game. As of this guide being written (July 2013), Hecarim has received some hefty nerfs and is scheduled to be nerfed even more in the next patch. To me, this is a bit of a blessing in disguise. Now, I can get Hecarim pretty much any time I want. While he may not have the insane base stats he once had, he is still very much worth picking up. In this guide, I will try to walk you through the most recent developments in jungle Hecarim. Some of its highlights include using runes and masteries that emphasize both Hecarim's early jungle clear and ganks, allowing you to snowball lanes with relative ease. It also includes itemization that should allow you to reach your cooldown reduction cap (40%) by mid game, if not sooner. In the mid to late game, Hecarim is able to almost single-handedly win fights with a good ult. That being said, it can often be difficult to get a good ult, especially if the other team is expecting it. By having max CDR, you'll have more opportunities to get that elusive perfect ult. Furthermore, you'll drastically increase your damage by being able to spam your Q that much harder.

Check me out on LoLKing for more up-to-date info: http://www.lolking.net/summoner/na/20459231 [imgext=http://i.imgur.com/81TkbHR.jpg] I'm Grapermelon, a Diamond 1 jungle/mid player on the NA server. I started playing LoL around the time Season 2 started. When Season 3 started, I set myself a goal of becoming Diamond 1. I was placed in Gold 3 or something and have worked my way up since then. On July 7th, I finally achieved that goal. I was, of course, playing Hecarim in that last promo game. For a long time, I was stuck in Diamond 2. I just couldn't find the right champion for that final push. It was very frustrating to constantly get demoted to Diamond 3 then immediately promoted to Diamond 2. Then, after being promoted to Diamond 2 for like the 5th time, I decided to just try playing Hecarim whenever possible. This guide is an attempt to recreate the play style I used during those games. It has allowed me to win some clutch games and to maintain around a 75% winrate on Hecarim. While I may not have that many ranked games played as Hecarim, they all have been in Diamond 2 and I also have quite a few normals with him. [imgext=http://i.imgur.com/f3GdcM8.png]

[imgext=http://i.imgur.com/o1w0foG.png] Marks of Armor Penetration are very good on Hecarim because they allow him to basically do true damage to smaller jungle creeps, meaning that his Q will kill them quite quickly. I highly recommend these. Seals of Armor are pretty much the best seal, regardless of your role. For junglers, they are pretty much required so you can survive clearing your jungle at lower levels. I use 8 Glyphs of Cooldown Reduction so that, with masteries included, I start with 10.67% CDR. This will let you spam your Q harder from the beginning of the game, clearing camps faster and doing more damage during your ganks. The last slot is really up to you, but I use 1 Glyph of Magic Resist. Movement speed is good on almost any champion, but on Hecarim it's even better because of your passive so you should get the 4.5% from Quintessences of Movement Speed. This makes up for the loss of utility tree movement speed.

[title][img=skills/hecarim/p.png] Passive: Warpath[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] Hecarim has a pretty unique movespeed-based passive. This makes him synergize really well with champions like Janna, Lulu, or Karma, all of whom increase your speed. Going fast is fun on any champion, but on Hecarim it can greatly increase your damage. Because of this passive, you will do the most damage when E'ing and/or ghosting. Make sure you get in there and Q people when either is active. [title][img=skills/hecarim/q.png] Q: Rampage[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] In the past, this skill was just some extra damage in addition to your W. Now that W has been nerfed into oblivion, this skill is what will deal almost all of your damage. It's pretty much your bread and butter, and there is really no alternative to maxing this first. As much as I like having options in terms of skill order, you can't do much else on Hecarim. It takes a bit of work to master the length of this spell. You have to be almost within melee range for it to hit, so make sure you don't try to style on someone and kill them with a max range Q only to miss. It's happened before. [title][img=skills/hecarim/w.png] W: Spirit of Dread[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] This is a nice little skill that allows Hecarim to get a good bit of health back while clearing wraiths and wolves. When you are holding someone's lane, use this get in the middle of the enemy creep wave and active this then spam Q for maximum healing. In the past, it was viable to max this skill first because its base stats were so good. Nowadays, you max this second. Remember that this skill takes into account damage from all sources. That includes using smite and your teammates. [title][img=skills/hecarim/e.png] E: Devastating Charge[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] A great ability that increases your movement speed and knocks back a single enemy. However, it's much better for its utility than for its damage, so we max this last. This spell does more damage based on how far you've run, but I don't really worry about that and neither should you. Focus on knocking the enemy into the best position. That usually means running behind them and knocking them into your team. Always try to knock someone into a wall if possible (this applies more to top and bot ganks). [title][img=skills/hecarim/r.png] R: Onslaught of Shadows[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] A long-ranged jump spell that does some good AoE damage and also applies a hard CC in the form of a fear. Try to capitalize on the enemy being too clumped up, either in team fights or just in normals ganks. One of the best combos you can do late game is to ult into the enemy team and then immediately use your E to push one of their squishies into your team. Catching the enemy AD carry in this manner can single-handedly win your team the fight.

[highlight]#1[/highlight] [img=skills/hecarim/r.png] As with most champions, you'll need to level your R whenever it is available. This is your first priority. [highlight]#2[/highlight] [img=skills/hecarim/q.png] As I mentioned in the Skills section, you really want to max this before your W or E. Its per-level damage increase is much more helpful to you than, say, W's per-level scaling. This is your second priority. [highlight]#3[/highlight] [img=skills/hecarim/w.png] There was once a time when maxing this skill actually made sense, but now it is only slightly better than your E, so it is your third priority. [highlight]#4[/highlight] [img=skills/hecarim/e.png] This skill is mostly useful for its utility, although its late-game damage can be quite good on squishies. As such, it may be helpful to put an extra point or two in it before you max W. Its per-level scaling is still slightly worse than W, so this will be the last spell you max.

[item=spirit-of-the-ancient-golem][item=boots-of-mobility] > [highlight]Everything[/highlight] As you see in my 'optimal build' line, I prefer Spirit of the Ancient Golem and Boots of Mobility as my jungler item + boots combo. In my opinion, the speed and tankiness (both health and tenacity) of these two items far outweigh the benefits of any other combination. [item=spirit-stone] -> [item=spirit-of-the-ancient-golem] or [item=spirit-of-the-elder-lizard] Upgrading your Spirit Stone is your first priority as the new Hecarim (post W and R nerfs). You have two real choices. There's no question that Spirit of the Elder Lizard is a good item on Hecarim. It perfectly synergizes with his Q. But when it comes to holding someone's lane or having a drawn-out gank (several skirmishes 2v2 or 2v1), Spirit of the Ancient Golem simply gives you more presence. By the time you've bought either of these, you'll probably be around level 6. At this point, your utility outweighs your damage in ganks and so I prefer to stick around and bring that utility for longer instead of being poked out. [item=boots-of-speed]->[item=boots-of-mobility] or [item=ninja-tabi] or [item=mercurys-treads] After you've got your jungler item, the next step is boots (although I do sometimes buy a Kindlegem to later turn into Locket before upgrading my boots if I want some extra health). Again, there is no real 'correct' option here. I prefer Boots of Mobility because it allows you to move so fast that you can even surprise people with wards. This can net your team some big kills in the early to mid game. Of course, you will have to sell these to buy Ninja Tabi eventually once their AD carry starts doing big damage to you. You also have the option to just buy Ninja Tabi straight up, although I rarely do this. If you bought Spirit of the Elder Lizard and you find yourself getting stunned and killed a lot, you could buy Mercury's Treads. Or you could go crazy and buy Spirit of the Ancient Golem. Seriously, the stats these items provide are so good that stacking Butcher isn't even that bad. But I would recommend sticking to Boots of Mobility for most games. Put the team on your back with [item=locket-of-the-iron-solari] and [item=runic-bulwark] The next step is finishing your Locket. Most games, your income will probably be slowing down by this point as your mid starts to take blue and camps start taking longer to kill. You need to make the most out of your money and Locket is probably one of the most efficient items in the game (along with Runic Bulwark). [item=frozen-fist] After you're done with these two items (or one if your support builds Runic Bulwark, but most supports I encounter don't really want to!), you start to get to the luxury items. Frozen Fist gives you great utility, damage, and tankiness. However, it is a luxury item in the sense that it's much less efficient than Locket or Bulwark. I cry a bit when I see junglers build this first. [item=randuins-omen] or [item=warmogs-armor] or [item=banshees-veil] These are the last items you will buy in a game, and they can sometimes make all the difference. The standard item here is Randuin's Omen, because it offers some good stats and a great active if you find your team getting kited. Your previous items don't really provide that much MR, so if the enemy team is AP heavy and you find yourself dying to magic damage in team fights, go ahead and buy a Banshee's. The last real option is Warmog's, but I have never bought this. In theory, you should get it if the enemy team has heavy AoE damage and you find yourself dying to that alone even with your Bulwark.

Your first step in any game is setting up a perimeter around your blue buff. Hecarim is quite susceptible to level 1 invades because he does not use flash, meaning you're pretty much screwed if an enemy flash stuns you, and because his Q has such short range, meaning that to do any damage to the other team you'll have to be right in the middle of them. If you do get invaded, try to immediately go to their blue. Some junglers can recover quite easily from having buffs stolen, but at level 1 Hecarim really needs those double buffs. After taking blue you should go straight to red. Make sure you check the brush, then pull the lizard into it and fight it there. Junglers these days seem to love sneaking up and fighting you at your red, so that little extra caution can be the difference between life and death, along with your double buffs. When it comes to fighting 1v1 at your red, I'd say Hecarim is fairly strong but still loses hard to junglers like Lee Sin and Nunu. If you're playing purple side, you can immediately go top and gank. This level 3 gank has a very high success rate, even if they have a ward and flash up. Furthermore, Hecarim can win almost any 2v2 with level 3 and double buffs, so if you see a gank going down top you should use your ghost and run in to Q people. Your damage with offensive masteries and red buff here will be massive. Hecarim is one of the best responsive junglers in the game. If you bought the recommended Boots of Mobility, you should be able to get to any lane where there is either a gank or an all in going on before your teammates die. Of course, sometimes you just can't get there in time, but overall you'll find that you can either turn things around completely or at least trade a kill. From this point, you'll want to alternate between clearing wraiths + wolves and ganking lanes. If you're blue side, a good gank route can be going to their wraiths and then going top through the tri. Assuming they have no wards on this route (and sometimes even if they do), there is no real way to escape this gank. The key to ganking as Hecarim is to get behind the enemy champion and push them away from their tower. The threat of this is usually enough to make them flash, and you can then return to that lane and secure the kill. If you're level 6, you can either lead off a gank with your ult or use it after you've E'd them. Make sure you don't ult immediately if they have flash or a jump up, because Hecarim's ult is relatively easy to dodge with these escapes. One of my favorite gank paths is going straight down both lane, on either side, after you get Boots of Mobility and level 6. The enemy AD carry and support tend to clump up once they see themselves being ganked which is your cue to ult. Even if they both flash and you don't get a kill, it's still worth it.

Work in Progress

Hecarim may not be the free win that he was a few months ago, but he is still very strong and more importantly quite fun. This guide emphasizes Hecarim's early game (roughly level 3-11) damage and utility. Hecarim naturally falls off after that point as his AoE damage becomes less effective. However, you will be reaching your CDR cap at that point, meaning that your utility (R+E combo) will continue to be very powerful even if your team is behind. In the mid-late game, you can continue to make big plays. This should allow you to win games that seem all but lost.

Comments coming soon!
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