Warwick Build Guide

[6.17] Master tier guide to Warwick!

Uploader Sinickle
Updated 6 months ago
22,534
100%
Runes
  • 9
    Greater Mark of Attack Speed (+1.7% attack speed)
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Scaling Health (+1.33 health per level (+24 at champion level 18))
  • 9
    Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction (-0.09% cooldowns per level (-1.67% at champion level 18))
  • 3
    Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction (-0.28% cooldowns per level (-5% at champion level 18))
Masteries
18 Ferocity
5/ 5
0/ 5
1/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 5
5/ 5
0/ 1
1/ 1
0/ 5
5/ 5
0/ 1
1/ 1
0/ 1
0 Cunning
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 1
12 Resolve
0/ 5
5/ 5
1/ 1
0/ 1
5/ 5
0/ 5
1/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 1
Skill Order
Q W E R
Hungering Strike
Hunters Call
Blood Scent
Infinite Duress
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

Hello! I am an NA master tier Warwick main with over 1.0 million Warwick mastery points. After extensively trying out a variety of builds and writing a program to help me develop these builds, I believe that I have found the best itemization paths for Warwick. As for gameplay, I will do my best to explain how I go about playing Warwick in master tier. However, I think that my builds are the "most perfect" part of this guide, so I encourage you to check that section out if you don't have the patience to read everything!

But now, to talk about the champ for a little bit.

Is Warwick right for you?

Part of why I love Warwick is because everything I want to do in a game is something that is needed for Warwick, and everything I hate doing in League is something that he doesn't need to do.

---------------------REQUIRED SKILLS---------------------

  • Accurate decision making -- Ulting at the wrong time will get you killed rather than the enemy.

  • Rapid decision making -- Often times enemies will put themselves out of position for just a fraction of a second. If you don't capitalize on these short mistakes, then you aren't utilizing the strength of Warwick's zero cast-time ultimate.

  • Calm mind -- Often times your lanes will be 0-10 before you're level 6 and there's nothing you can do to win the game, and it is because you picked Warwick instead of a strong early game jungler. Often times you lanes are 0-6 before you're level 6, and they will all be yelling at you. but the game is still winnable and you still have to win. If you play Warwick then you have to get used to playing from behind.

---------------------NOT REQUIRED SKILLS---------------------

  • Mechanics -- You do not need much mechanics to play Warwick well. If you can attack and move at the same time with high AS, then you have enough mechanics to play Warwick well.

  • A great understanding of pressure -- Warwick has really awful gank potential without ult, and amazing gank potential with it. So usually when you gank, you are going for the kill. And after you've gotten a kill, both you and the enemy know you can't do anything for like 90 seconds, so you aren't going to really gain anything by showing up in their lane.

What are Warwick's strengths and weaknesses?

---------------------STRENGTHS---------------------

  • Super strong ganks post 6 -- A while ago someone did a lot of data mining and released a lot of statistics. One of them was that Warwick has the highest winrate of any champion in the game if both teams are even in gold when they hit level 6. Warwick's ult is a CC, a gap closer, and does a lot of damage, which sets up his E.

  • Super strong duelist -- With his ult Warwick can 1v1 almost any champion in the game. Even without it, most melee champs will have a hard time fighting Warwick, especially mid or lategame. Unfortunately Warwick doesn't have a good way to get to an enemy without his ult, so this superiority in dueling usually just means that the enemy can't engage upon you, rather than that you can run up to them and kill them.

  • Lands every ability, always -- This is super helpful if you're playing vs Fizz and Zed and Yasuo. All their "outplay potential" is totally lost upon Warwick's kit.

  • Versatile builds -- it took me a while to realize this, but Warwick can be played very successfully as a bruiser, tank, or burst assassin. Based on what the game calls for, you can build and function completely differently.**

---------------------WEAKNESSES---------------------

  • Can't function as a primary engage. -- No matter how you build him, Warwick isn't going to be a primary engage. Warwick's ult is easy to interrupt if he starts the fight off with it.

  • Terrible pre-6 -- Games are often already lost by the time Warwick reaches level 6.

  • Struggles if his own team has too much tankiness and not enough damage. -- No matter what your team's tanks do, Warwick is still going to be an easy target for the enemies to focus. For this reason, Warwick can't be expected to be one of the only sources of damage on his team.

Early game you are going to want to farm until 6!! You can consider going for a gank if the enemy is overextended/low health, and you are level 4 and have red buff.

Preferred jungle route is gromp -> blue -> wolves -> wraiths -> red buff -> krugs -> recall and buy skirmishers -> gromp -> wolves -> wraiths -> krugs -> run to gromp without recalling.

Save a smite charge for your first gank. Don't kite camps as you clear jungle (aside from your very last hits on the camp).

If you are red side, ask your bot lane if they want gromp. If they say yes, your jungle route should be:
Krugs -> Wraiths -> Wolves -> Blue -> Gromp -> recall and buy skirmishers -> wraiths -> red -> krugs -> wolves -> gromp -> wraiths

If you are worried you will get invaded at level 2, I recommend warding the buff you expect to get invaded at and doing the nearby small camp instead. If the enemy jungler doesn't come by during that time, it is probably safe to then do that buff.
(for example: You are vs Nidalee. You do gromp -> ward blue -> wolves -> blue -> wraiths, etc)

Although Warwick is perfectly capable of soloing dragon (as early as level 3) I dont recommend doing it during these levels since it will take a really long time, so there's a high risk that the enemy jungler will just coincidentally walk by you, see you're doing dragon, then kill you and take the dragon.

Now you have your ult and can do stuff!

I think that mid game is usually about ganking lanes and taking objectives, so I'll talk about that here.
When Warwick ganks, he aims to kill. You are going to want to identify which lanes you have a really high chance of killing if you go to gank (they dont have good gapclosers to get away from you, and your ally is capable of assisting in the gank to some extent)

When dragon is up it is best to gank bottom side or mid. If the gank goes well you can go for dragon afterwards. I prefer to only do dragon if you are able to win a teamfight in the case that it breaks out.

If you don't think it is safe to do dragon, then, then you can try taking the turret in the lane you just ganked. Only do this if you and your ally are healthy/otherwise not in danger of being killed by the enemy team as you hit the turret.

If you can't do either of those things, then just go and farm your jungle until your next ult is up. You still will usually not want to be trying to fight if you don't have your ult up. The exception to this is that certain counterganks are a good idea, at least to scare away the enemy from killing someone on your team.

When you are ganking someone, try to only use your ult if you have to. And try to hold it for a while in certain situations. Ideally you will not have to use your ult, and you can just run and gank another lane. Even if you do have to use your ult though, you will sometimes burn the enemy's flash by holding onto your ult for a bit (just be careful that you don't give them the opportunity to actually escape by flashing away. Try to recognize which situations it is where you can hold your ult and which situations it is where you have to use it right away.)

Using your ult outside of teamfights

Later in the game people will stop staying in their lanes, and will often be traveling in groups. How you play at this stage of the game depends very much on how you built.
The more damage you have, the more capable you are of killing someone without any assistance from your team. With my burst build you can look for assassinations. This is the standard tactic you probably did a lot before level 30, where you stand in a random bush in the enemy jungle because you know an enemy will walk by it. Then when they do, you kill them.

Be sure to only try to make a pick if you have good vision of the enemy team though! Often times if the enemy has put themselves in a "dangerous" spot, it is because they have allies nearby to back them up if they are in trouble. Ulting one of these people will probably get you killed (although with the burst build you might manage to kill them anyways)

If you are looking to make a pick by yourself though, you should definitely be checking the map right before you use your ult, and making sure that you aren't about to ult into a group of 5. Having good ward coverage is a huge help if you are trying to use this tactic.

For more conventional/less cheesy tactics though!
You generally aren't going to want to engage a teamfight with your ult. This means that if the person you are planning on ulting is standing next to the rest of their team, you almost certainly shouldn't ult them to engage a fight. The exception to this would be if you have more allies near you than the enemy has near them (if your team of 5 fights their team of 4, you should win even if you engaged with Warwick ult)
The other exception is if the person you are planning on ulting is far enough away from their enemy team that they will be dead before their team can respond.

Outside of those cases though, Warwick's ult doesn't really function as a good engage spell. Since he goes a pretty far distance with his ult, and it puts him in the enemy team, Warwick will be taking much more damage than the person he ults if his ult is used to engage. The enemy team doesn't have to walk forward to attack Warwick, but Warwick's team has to walk forward to attack the person he ulted.If your team does not have any good engage champions, then throughout the game you should be looking for isolated enemies that you can pick off with your ult.

Teamfights

Often times lategame is determined by teamfighting. I super encourage you to plan out what you are going to do in a teamfight, before you are actually in a teamfight. How you are going to play the teamfight should depend a lot on your build, on your team comp, and on the enemy team comp.

  1. Do they have someone who is countered by your ult? -- squishy champions who have to go melee range are almost all countered really hard by Warwick's ultimate. If the enemy has a Fizz, Leblanc, Katarina, Master Yi, Zed, Rengar, or other similarly functioning champion, I recommend you save your ult for them and use it on them as soon as they have put themselves in a dangerous spot. These champions tend to be very hit or miss in teamfights, so it is important (and easy) to make sure that they miss.
    ProTip: certain champions like Rengar and Katarina have a combo that is faster than human reaction time. -- if you try to ult them as soon as you see them, it may be too late. Instead, try to guess where they are going to pop up, and hold your cursor over that spot and mash your R button.
  2. Identify the damage dealers on your team. -- Does your team's damage come from your backline or your frontline? If it comes from your backline, you will want to protect them or fight with them. If it comes from your frontline then you will want to fight with your front line. Fighting with your frontline -- Most front line champions are countered by cc and being kited. It is MUCH harder to kite two people at once though. Try to target the same person as the rest of your frontline. Land a CC on one of the enemy squishies at a time where it will help the rest of your frontline reach that person.
    Playing around your backline -- Identify what the enemy team needs to do to kill your backline. If Fiora is going to wreak havoc on your backline, then ult her when she is ready to do that. If they have a Malphite and a Brand, then don't ult the Malphite (he isn't going to be killing anyone on his own, and even if you ult him he's probably going to survive.) Instead you should ult the Brand right when he is about to kill your entire team.
    Zoning with your ult -- this technique is extremely important when you are the only frontline on your team. If you are in the middle of the enemy team taking 100% of the focus, you will probably die. However, you can essentially zone enemies out of the fight by sticking around your backline only slightly in front of them.
    You don't need to deal with the enemy if they aren't a threat. They are only a threat if they are close enough to you or your allies to hurt them. Similarly, your ult isn't so threatening if you are all alone. If your allies can hit the person you are ulting though, you are a huge threat. If you stand near your allies, then the enemy will be unable to hurt you without coming in range of both your ult and your allies' attacks. From this position you can also usually be auto attacking the enemy frontline.
    When the person you want to ult walks into range, use your ult on them! With this technique you are basically forcing them to either be useless or position themselves so that you can get off a perfect ult on them. Unfortunately this technique is much more difficult to do if you have another frontline champion, since they are probably just going to rush at the enemy.

I'll talk about why I didn't go certain items that people seem to think are amazing on Warwick.


This item is sort of outclassed by Wits End on Warwick. Wits End is just so cheap, and the magic shred ends up totally destroying squishies. Wits End is very effective against squishies, whereas BotRK is mostly effective against tanks. Warwick will be ulting squishies usually though, so Wits End favors him more. When it comes to dueling, Warwick has no issue fighting tanks even if he doesn't have BotRK.
Although you could run both Wits End and BotRK, I find that having so much DPS doesn't help too much if you are squishy. If I were to build BotRK, it would be as the 6th item in the bruiser build, after you already have your two tank items.

  • Warwick has no mana issues as long as you aren't wasting your mana by using Q in the jungle.

  • The tank stats are very cost inefficient.

  • I have enough CDR from my runes (and running CDR runes + Randuin's is better than Frozen Heart + tank runes)


    Same issues as Frozen Heart with the stats being bad. However, Gauntlet's slow is also not so good on Warwick. If the enemy isn't running away then you don't need a slow on them really. However, if they are running away, it is really hard to land a Q and then an auto on them, which is required for this slow to work. Frozen Mallet or even Rylai's have a much more accessible slow.


    This item is pretty similar to Wits in that it provides some tank stats, burst and DPS. The math is just largely in favor of Wits End. Also, Attack Damage isn't a very valuable stat on Warwick compared to attack speed. Attack Speed allows Warwick to get more hits of his passive, other on-hit items, and Fervor of Battle. It also is similar to Blade of the Ruined King in that it is stronger lategame. Due to BotRK's life steal synergy with Warwick's ult, it isn't as if Titanic is a much better tank item either.


    Rageblade doesn't stack from Warwick's ult. It doesn't give much damage to his ult either. For DPS, BotRK basically outclasses Rageblade. If you build Rageblade after Bloodraor, BotRK, Wits End, you won't get any AS from Rageblade since you already hit the AS cap. You'd also be way too squishy. There are just so many reasons I think this item is an awful purchase on Warwick.


    The stats aren't so good on this item, so you have to make good use of the slow for this item to be worth it. In theory it should be great, but whenever I've tried it, I barely even noticed that I had a slow on my auto attacks.
    Randuin's Omen also has a pretty good slow, and that item has amazing stats, so you dont even need to make good use of the slow for that item to be worth it.

August 18 2016 [6.16]

  • Guide is created.

August 30 2016 [6.17]

-Nothing has changed.

If you have any questions then feel free to ask them here, or to message me on Reddit (reddit.com/u/Asinick) or to add me in League NA (IGN: Sinickle)

I look forward to keep adapting this guide to whatever item/gameplay changes RIOT introduces, and I plan on sticking with Warwick and updating the guide once he is reworked as well!

Comments coming soon!
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