IntroductionTrundle is one of those seemingly seldom played gems (like Swain) who is actually very viable at higher levels of play but nobody wants to play him for they don't understand his power. Personally I'd now rate him as one of the better junglers out there as he's fast/safe for early game routes, extremely good at roaming/dragon control and helpful at a support role late game. Accompanying this guide should be a video of a full game, which hopefully shows a bit how to play/jungle Trundle, and hopefully will be just as helpful as my other video guides. Though if it wasn't, be sure to tell me otherwise. Regardless, I've made sure that the text portion of the guide this time is more in depth due to the fact I dont personally explain it by video this time. And everyone likes to see CLG lose, so the video is a great treat if you hate em too!
MasteriesI run this setup as it gives him some extra tankyness he needs while giving him an offensive punch. While he misses out on the longer buffs, he gains more durability as he'll probably be giving away buffs to his allies anyway.
RunesFor Marks and Quints, I have a mix of armor penetration and attack speed, to try to maximize jungle clear time as most of the minions don't have above 13 armor aside from the large buff camps. Again for the rest; standard flat armor seals and scaling MR glyphs.
Smite for obvious reasons. Flash is due to the fact, if Trundle can't escape something in his W which gives him CC reduction and increased MS, ghost wouldn't save him. However, in many cases such as being trapped in dragon or baron zone, flash would be able to save him from death. Trundle also has pillar to make up for his lack of ghost or simply use his W skill to close the gap even further, but nonetheless, there isn't a need for ghost over flash.
Whenever an enemy unit near Trundle dies, he heals for a percentage of their maximum health.
While seemingly unnoticeable, this passive allows Trundle to have a safer route than most as it keeps him at a high enough hp. Also when stacked with Wriggle's lifesteal, it often allows Trundle to be near full health after a camp is destroyed. Though it's fairly weak on it's own.
Q: Rabid Bite
Trundle bites his opponent, dealing damage and sapping some of their attack damage.
The heart and soul of Trundle, this skill when used properly (as shown in the video) is one half of what makes or breaks Trundle. He'll be constantly using this spell from level 1 onwards, against the jungle minions or champion's as Trundle's damage output vastly increases when this is constantly used. This spell also procs items like Wriggle's meaning that he is significantly faster at killing dragon than almost every other jungle due to the fact he has far more chances to proc Wriggle's due to the fact he has a 2nd route that isn't affected by the dragons slow attack speed buff. Ever since that change and the cannot disable change, most physical attacking junglers have significant trouble soloing dragon without being near death or dying, but Trundle is probably the best out of the physical attackers solely because of his Q. As said in the video, time this skill correctly so it doesn't reset your normal hit as it is virtually instant hit when you use it regardless of what stage of animation you were at.
Trundle infects a target location with his curse, gaining attack speed, movement speed, and crowd control reduction while on it.
I like to put 1-2 points into this early on (pre level 11) due to the fact it's bonuses are similar to Nocturne's Duskbringer in that it's useful at roaming around the map and killing things. However, I believe past level 11, pillar becomes more relevant and it becomes more important to be able to have it up more and have a more powerful slow as the enemy teams start teamfights. However this is a solid extra skill for Trundle, use this constantly as it can easily save Trundle's life if he happens to get chance arrowed/binded as it'll lower the duration of those spells by a significant amount.
E: Pillar of Filth
Pillar of Filth
Trundle creates a plagued beacon at a target location, which becomes impassable terrain and slows all nearby enemy units.
An extremely powerful skill in the premade/teamplay enviroment, this has the power to do many things such as engage on a stray, trap a group of champions in/out and significantly hamper escapes/initiates due to the fact the slow is very strong. There are a few instances of it's use in the video, it cannot be underestimated how powerful this spell is in a premade/good team setting as similar to Anivia's wall, it often forces the enemy to be in a disadvantageous terrain if cast correctly. This is similar to Karthus Wall in the way that it's a basic immediate pickoff tool from a long range as if this is cast in front of a enemy's escape, they're going to have a hard time escaping.
Trundle immediately steals his target's health and a percentage of their armor and magic resistance. Over the next six seconds the amount of health, armor, and magic resistance stolen is doubled.
While not super powerful as it may seem due to the way the skill is applied, it is a strong tool to simply give Trundle some extra durability while he is in the front lines if there is an applicable target. This skill vastly relies on how not squishy the opponents are as casting this on a already low armor/mr champion tends to do very little as flat armorpen/magicpen would probably be doing more anyway. This spell is applied on the CURRENT armor/MR values which means if they had a defensecurl or say an Aegis user nearby who dissapeared/died, they would be losing more % wise than this spell would imply, as this spell only accounts for the armor/mr the target had when Agony was cast. This spell can also quickly heal Trundle if the need arises (karthus ult, fighting dragon/baron) as the initial health boost might be needed to save his life.
However a VERY important part of this spell is the fact that the % reduction is applied FIRST over any flat/% penetration, this means large tanks will be heavily shredded by this as I believe this is the only instance of % reduction being applied before flat penetration, meaning that the target will take significantly more damage even as a tanky champion due to the fact theres % reduction being applied before all the flat penetration.
Skill OrderThis skill order is fairly straightforward, Q is maxed first to give Trundle any semblance of damage output as pillar isn't very useful if Trundle can't damage the enemy when they're stuck in it. It also greatly helps his jungle as it'll give him more damage and lower the damage output of enemy minions. The reason for contaminate's 2nd level is because usually at that point in the game, pillar won't be getting a 2nd cast or be used extensively at that point in the game, so I like buffing the power of W. However, past level 11 I think pillar gets more use and having the significantly lower cooldown is very strong as well as having it slow for more so I like to max it out as teamfights/ganks become exceedingly common at that stage of the game. Aside from that, level Q/Ult when you can and level W/E as shown above.
Item BuildsThe starting items should be familiar as it copies most junglers, simply in terms of durability/regeneration, it can't be beat. I'll explain each of the core items:
Boots: This is early because roaming/moving between camps/ganking is extremely hard when the enemy outruns you, and this gives you the edge as you dont really need a fast razor to do any of the camps except dragon (which is very risky pre level 6).
Wriggle's Lantern: This is core on any auto attacking jungler, it's simply extremely strong at taking out jungle camps and dragon and allows you more time to gank/roam. It also gives stats that Trundle can use, whether it be armor/lifesteal/damage or warding, Trundle uses every bit of it.
Heart of Gold: If gotten early, this'll easily pay itself out if the game goes on long enough and the health bonus is always appreciated. Personally I don't get philstone over this on Trundle as I rarely run out of mana or health due to low mana costs on skills and Trundle's passive giving him health.
Mercury Treads: The reason for this being so late is the fact that is isn't truly needed early on unless a barrage of CC is constantly being thrown at Trundle, it can be delayed for the heart of gold which will pay itself off sooner rather than later. However, these boots are highly recommended after HoG.
As for the remaining items, it depends on how the game is going, if you find yourself dying fast, you're either going in too early (aka not letting tanks go first) or you simply dont have enough durability. While your damage may suffer in the short term by not going triforce, you'll do more damage later when the enemy isn't able to burst you down instantly, allowing you more hits off than going the triforce route. However if this isn't the case, the trinity force route is very strong at dealing out damage and from there on out, it's simply a matter of surviving to get as many procs off as possible.
Below Videos is a little dated but still has handy tips as Trundle hasn't really changed much:
The video above mostly shows a entire game of Trundle play but in the following sections, I'll try to summarize what the playstyle you should be aiming for or what to do.
Jungle Route is as follows: Someone either leash blue or do it yourself (use a pot early if you do) making sure you Q+Hit correctly or you're gonna get killed and smite the large golem -> do standard route from there, wolves->wraiths->liz(smiting it)->double golem and likely healing/ganking at this point and getting nearby camps when appropriate.
Compared to most junglers, Trundle is one of the stronger gankers due to the fact his pillar at level 4 will often secure a long range instant slow on someone and either force them to ghost/flash unless your team had something to use first whereas you can pillar where they land after a flash. This allows for strong ganking on pushed on lanes or simply showing presence in that area. Trundle is also strong at taking out wards or fending off the opposing jungler as his early levels are fairly strong due to the fact Q is extremely powerful early on as it saps a huge portion of the enemy champion's attack damage. Aside from roaming around, there isn't much else Trundle can do aside from taking buffs/dragons/ganking until lanes break.
Mid GameBecause 'mid game' is so diverse, it's often mostly a farming or cleaning up period (if one team sucked so bad) as lanes break and people commence warding/roaming looking for scraps of farm. If your team does decide to teamfight, Trundle should try a pillar initiate (without being caught in a stun/snare) and divide up the enemy forces when they get close or try to engage. Trundle can somewhat tank the enemy at this stage provided his ultimate can find a high armor/mr target to steal from as it's unlikely the enemy is significantly powerful to kill Trundle quickly at this stage. However there isn't much to dwell on here aside from watching the video to see what I was doing for most of the game.
Late GameLate game, Trundle is often played defensively unless his team has a huge initiate comp or simply loves diving the enemy. It's fairly difficult for the enemy to get close due to the fact Pillar is constantly splitting their forces or Trundle ults the first diver who'll likely instantly die when focused. Most games you 'should' be picking Trundle will end up like this, both teams stalling until a pillar or say ashe arrow lands on someone then starting up the teamfight. At these fights, Trundle mostly lives and dies by his pillar and ultimate as he'll likely die if he dives in or will have trouble peeling off enemy divers unless the ally being dived stands his ground and fights.
Team FightsTeamfight wise, Trundle is often between the tank/squishies in terms of durability and is often not the first one in but like Ashe, can start a fight if a correct pillar lands. The power of pillar can't be underestimated as it can split up forces or block groups of enemies (as shown in a part of the video when caitlyn gets arrowed and her team is walled off to help) and slow down a attempted escape. His ult should be used on any tanky champions who are tanky in the way of high armor/MR as it'll greatly reduce their durability should they be focused while greatly increasing Trundle's durability. For the most part in teamfights, I find covering the squishies tends to help the most as Trundle could get cut down if he walks into a group of enemy carries.
Final CommentsHope you learned something about Trundle (otherwise go see the other Trundle guide that is featured but I haven't gotten the chance to look at) and hope to make you see how solid Trundle is at jungling/ganking/whatever. In terms of viable high level junglers, Trundle is very high up as I use him far more often now that his style of jungling is crucial against threats like Nunu. So in summary, if you learn Trundle, you have a very safe champion that works at high level play and can greatly help your team to win.