Dr. Mundo Build Guide

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Dr. Mundo: The Quintessential Guide

written by Spooghett

Dr. Mundo Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction to Dr. Mundo

    I'll begin with the information Riot has given us about Mundo.

    Mundo Attributes:
    Heal, Farmer, Tough, Slow, Tank, Fighter, Melee

    All of these are accurate in some fashion. But let me stop right here and say that Mundo is NOT a tank. True tanks have damage mitigation through skills on top of their high health, and the best tanks have an ability that can initiate a fight (read: Rammus or Shen). What Mundo can do is take a load of damage and dish out a lot of damage from melee range and at range with cleaver.

    This makes him a Tank-ish DPS character.

    Ideally you do not want to be the only difficult to kill character on your team, or else you and your team will have a difficult time winning. Alternatively, playing Mundo with 2 or more tank-ish characters is also not the best choice for team composition.

    Mundo shines with another tank-ish character on his team like Garen or Singed. He also works well when you have a couple dps characters who can survive in team fights like Warwick or Jax. Basically you want to mix Mundo into a team where his survivability will help, but his lack of burst damage won't hurt you.

    The other attributes are all accurate. Mundo is an amazing farmer with high survivability. You will run away from team fights with ~10% health after your initial AoE and Melee smash-fest, only to return in 30 seconds with almost full hp to clean up. He's difficult to kill, and if your opponents are focusing on you, then most likely you are winning the team fight.

  • Abilities

    Adrenaline Rush
    Adrenaline Rush is a fairly significant passive. It increases your staying power as your health pool grows, and it will be growing quite a bit. This will keep you alive in the laning phase longer than your opponent, and give you the advantage in gold and experience throughout the game.

    Infected Cleaver
    You must be a master with the cleaver to master Dr. Mundo.

    The cleaver is easily the most important part of success with Mundo, and its also really the only ability he has that requires skill.

    Cleaver has enormous utility throughout the game:

    Harassment: Cleaver is a harassment tool during the lane phase. As you regen health faster than your opponents you can continually pester them with accurate cleavers. Keep in mind that good players will position themselves behind minions or will dodge perpendicular to your shot if you telegraph your intent to throw (usually by running in every 4 seconds throwing and retreating). Don't do this. Show your cleaver often, but remember you are losing hp every time you hit a minion, and even more when you airball a cleaver.

    Chasing: Eventually you will wear down enemies with cleaver hits, and they will run away. This is when your skills will really pay off. Try to position yourself where the enemy has few options and play the angles. Low health enemies will rarely turn back to dodge when you are chasing with Burning Agony on. Throw cleavers through walls, predict where running enemies will be. Remember hitting one cleaver makes the next one that much easier.

    Last Hitting: If your lane opponent is skilled at dodging and positioning to avoid cleavers, use them to last hit minions. Mundo is essentially ranged if you are good enough with cleavers. You can aim to one side of a bunch of minions to target the low hp one on the end, or if a minion might die before your cleaver reaches it, try to hit the champion behind it. This combined with your strong attacks and burning agony's last-hitting capability you should be able to outfarm any melee champ, or at least keep up with most ranged champs.

    Hitting Invisibles: Twitch and Eve hate playing against Mundo for a number of reasons, but this is one of them. Often times they will invis with low health, then retreat to a safe place to recall. In their haste to escape, poor players will take direct routes to towers, or try to find a safe bush. When they run away, predict their escape path and toss a cleaver, if you hear the squish, you've found your enemy. You even know where they are/were and have them slowed, so keep tossing and chase them with burning agony until they die and complain. Remember to check bushes often with cleavers. This is very valuable in protecting yourself against ganks when on the side lanes.

    Burning Agony
    Burning Agony is amazing for a number of reasons:

    Farming: First and foremost Burning Agony makes farming a breeze. You will crush waves of minions with this spell lategame, and it will give you a lot of extra last hits even at its lowest level.

    Last Hitting: As pointed out in another guide, Burning Agony makes for a great last hitter. If you ever hit a minion thinking you are going to kill it only to leave a sliver of life remaining, you can double-tap W to turn this on and off dealing one tick of damage. Surprisingly you will get a lot of use out of this during the beginning of the game.

    Chasing: This spell combines well with Cleaver and Masochism when chasing. You're most likely moving faster than your enemy (due to cleaver slow or sadism haste) and are swapping between cleaver hits and masochism attacks while your enemy burns. With a good lane partner and an overeager opponent you will surely be contributing to kills during the laning phase.

    Watch the cooldown on this spell when chasing, I've often made the mistake of turning it off mid chase only to watch my opponent escape because I tried to save a little hp.

    Masochism is a relatively forgettable ability. Don't get me wrong it will be used often, but the damage increase is simply not enough to get excited about. It costs very little health to cast, so it should always be in in teamfights and while chasing. Helps last hit minions and overall just gives Mundo a bit more DPS in melee range. Use it whenever you are towering, and note that it adds more damage the more hp you are missing, so delay that sadism for a few seconds if it helps you knock down a tower.

    Sadism makes Dr. Mundo the nightmare he is.

    Note its short cooldown (to be further shortened by items) and use it often. I'm not even going to advise you to save it for teamfights, because if you didn't have it when the fight started you will definitely have it when it ends. Use Sadism to heal you after jungling and speed you up so you can save an ally from a gank. Use it to chase enemies. Use it to run away. The only times you should probably wait to use this are: when you have ignite or similar heal reduction debuffs, or have more than 80% health and are in no immediate danger. Otherwise, use this ability and stay fresh for teamfights.

  • Mundo Masteries

    I play Mundo with a very defensive mastery build. Putting points into defense gives you the extra survivability to make it out of fights and heal, only to re-engage and get kills or scare away enemies chasing your injured allies. Survivability is everything IMO, if you are alive for most of the game you are winning in gold and experience, and often times that leads to netting kills, only furthering your advantage.

    I play a 0/21/9 build with a few important distinctions:

    Nimbleness: This is an awesome ability, in most games it will be unnoticeable, but there are games when you can skip Mercury's Treads in favor of Ninja Tabi, and this skill is even better.

    Hardened Skin: More HP means faster regen and survivability.

    Defensive Mastery: I like points in this instead of Ardor because most of your damage is AoE and from cleaver, this makes you almost immune to minions so you can sit in the middle of them and farm with burning agony throughout the game.

    Tenacity: Obviously this is why I go into the defensive tree.

    Ghost: I usually take this because I love having ghost, and it means I don't have to waste a mastery on the first tier.

    Awareness: This is really the only option here, but don't overlook the fact that you will level up faster and be in the lane longer than almost everyone, which means you will always be at or near the highest level in the game, and thus have an advantage on your enemy.

    Greed: I know there are a lot of haters out there, but I'd rather have ~200g per game to get me closer to items I need earlier, or provide some extra cash for wards. Its better than any other options for Mundo.

    I don't use offensive masteries because I think extra regen/xp/gold/ghost is better than crit/cdr and some wasted points. Of course if you believe otherwise, spend your last 9 points in Offense instead of Utility.

  • Runes

    There are a few viable options for Mundo when it comes to runes.

    Greater Mark of Malice (+Critical Strike Chance)
    Greater Mark of Desolation (+Armor Penetration)

    Unfortunately Mundo doesn't benefit much from Marks in general, Crit Marks give you some extra burst dps especially with Masochism, while Armor Pen Marks will give you a little extra damage on all attacks.

    Greater Seal of Vitality (+Health/lvl)

    HP/lvl Seals are really the only way to go. More HP -> More HP Regen -> More Survivability & Wins

    Greater Glyph of Warding (+Flat Magic Resist)

    Flat Magic Resist runes are really helpful early game vs. AP stacking mages. Chances are if you survive to level 6, they will be losing in the lane vs you. They need mana and items, and you can sit in a lane indefinitely.

  • Summoner Abilities

    Mundo is pretty wide open as far as Summoner Abilities go.

    Ghost or Flash
    Ignite or Cleanse

    Ghost is preferred because the mastery makes it amazing.

    The only one I always use is Ghost and that is because I put a mastery point into it.

    You could opt for Flash, but I find that between ghost and sadism I am almost always able to haste myself to reach fights on time, or to chase, in short there are plenty of reasons why moving faster will help you.

    For my second slot, I typically use Ignite or Cleanse

    If you go with Cleanse I recommend fitting it into your mastery build as well.

  • Skilling Order

    My Skill Build

    Sadism > Infected Cleaver > Burning Agony > Masochism

    You can put one point into masochism at level 4 for general use, but remember to max your other skills first.

    Alternatively you could get Masochism as your second ability and level it up before Burning Agony. You will hit harder, but its not suggested because of the farming power and AoE dps of Burning Agony.

  • Core Item Build

    Basic Core Build:

    [item_icon=Heart of Gold]
    [item_icon=Heart of Gold]

    At this point purchase one of these three pieces depending on the enemy team's composition:
    [item_icon=Force of Nature] if you need magic resistance
    if you need armor and want extra dps/farming capability
    if you are already virtually unkillable

    After this you are either finishing or adding situational armor like or

  • In-Depth Items

    As a rule tanks should not have a cookie-cutter build. Each match is different and you should buy items accordingly. Pay attention to how the enemies team is built. Watch what items they are buying, this will often determine what build you go with as you see how their Kats/Kogs/Etc are building AP or AD.

    That is the key question: Is the enemy team more of an AD threat or AP threat?

    Don't base this purely off of what characters they are playing, base it off who on their team is actually playing well. If they have a team full of auto-attacking DPSers who are all 1-3+ yet their solo Karthus is keeping them competitive with 8+ kills and stacks on his Mejai's Soulstealer, consider getting some magic resist before buying thornmail.

    With that in mind I will explain how I purchase items in a typical game.

    Starting Items:
    1) Doran's Shield
    2) Health Potion

    Reasoning: Doran's Shield gives you all of the early game necessities for a very reasonable price. You are always going to enjoy the benefits of this shield until the end of the game, where you may sell it to upgrade. Take this over other regen items because of the health and armor are better than getting a head start on a larger item.

    First Trip Back:
    3) [item=Heart of Gold]
    4) Boots of Speed
    4*) Sight Ward

    Reasoning: You will want to return around ~1200 gold to keep up with your opponents gear, Heart gives you a piece of Randuin's Omen, extra gold, and more armor and health. The boots are obviously a necessity for returning to the tower. Grab a sight ward if you are wary of a jungler or want some added security when pushing past the river.

    Once you have these first items, you are at a critical juncture. This is when you evaluate the enemy team and determine that items will protect you the most.

    Try to save up until you can buy one staple piece of armor, or return when you can afford your boots of choice.

    Next Trip Back:
    5) or
    Depending on how many auto-attacking DPSers are on the enemy team. Almost always you will opt for Mercury's Treads because they are good in every game.

    6) Spirit Visage
    7)Key Decision: What helps you most?
    [item_icon=Force of Nature] if you need magic resist.
    if armor is needed, also provides extra damage for farming.
    when you are almost unkillable and want to press the advantage.

    Reasoning: I try to avoid finishing Randuin's Omen before one of these three pieces because I like the gold trickle from [item_text=Heart of Gold] and its a lot better when you can extend its slow with more armor and magic resist.

    Rarely, if ever, will you want to buy Thornmail but if you are being ripped to shreds by a Tryndamere or similar auto-attacking champion it can be very helpful.

    Late Game:

    By this time you should be pretty difficult to kill and have clearly identified how your enemies are trying to kill you, or what is actually killing you. You should have addressed one of your weaknesses already (ie: armor or magic resistance) and can beef up the one you have been neglecting.

    8+)[item_icon=Force of Nature]

    Generally you will finish one of these items and the game will end before you can make another. Warmog's is always better if you get it early, but don't underestimate a 1000 extra hp late game.

    Also, when deciding which MR item is better for you Banshee's Veil or [item_text=Force of Nature] consider the magic damage you are facing. If you are being constantly cc'd and cannot escape, Banshee's is a better option, but if you are simply facing a great deal of pure AP nukes, go for Force of Nature for more protection and the added regen.

    I apologize for those who wanted a short read for item build, but if you don't build to counter the enemy team every game, you are wasting gold and nerfing yourself.

  • Pros / Cons

    Can soak up damage while dishing it out in teamfights
    Can heal to full life every minute or so
    Great farming potential
    Great chasing ability
    Cleavers are useful for tons of reasons
    Can force opponents into dealing with him first

    Not a true tank
    No team fight initiating abilities
    Weak vs. ranged with a lot of CC
    Can be ignored during team fights until the end

  • Working in the team

    I'll highlight the use of Mundo in the three most common scenarios

    Laning: Early game you should be focusing on last-hitting minions with melee attacks and Burning Agony bursts. If you find yourself vs a strong ranged opponent you may need to use cleaver to last hit. You can also harass opponents here with good cleavers. Try to position yourself to force an opponent into an easy cleaver hit. Check river bushes with cleavers.

    If your partner has a stun, or some serious burst damage, let them know to attack a weakened enemy when you land a cleaver. Get into close quarters and chase the enemy with Burning Agony and cleavers with attacks thrown in. You will almost always get a kill if you are good with cleavers. There is always a point when the enemy decides it is better to run than to fight (even with tower support). When you smell blood, keep the chase up with Burning Agony and Masochism bashes accompanied by easy cleaver hits since they are almost always b-lining towards a their base. About half of my kills come from people who don't know when to run from Mundo, and don't know to zig-zag away from cleavers when they do.

    Ganking: When you finish your tower move on to ganking opponents. Your cleaver/burning agony combo can finish off low champions easily. Remember that you can chase with sadism and tower dive pretty effectively if you have no worry of being stunned/snared. Always make sure you initiate with a cleaver while hidden, it makes your ally's skillshots easier and can be followed up with stuns and then another cleaver easily.

    Team Fights: Mundo is a beast in teamfights. If it begins with both teams at a standstill and testing their range, you can get involved with cleavers. Keep in mind that you cannot take the full brunt of a 4 or 5 champion attack, and thus you should not rush in to initiate. Let your cleavers work until they back up or you can single out a stray enemy and focus fire on them. Once the battle begins, you can rush in with burning agony and masochism and begin crushing their weaker characters. Use cleaver on runners and stay in the fray. You can either use sadism at the beginning of the fight, or save it for when you are at 60% health and are relatively safe. You basically just run around and try to kill stray enemies, or slow runners so your team can finish them.

    Remember to also protect your allies with cleavers, or by blocking skillshots so your carries can escape.

  • Final Thoughts/Updates:

    Thanks for reading this guide and I hope it helps you take your Mundo to the next level.

    He is definitely a very strong champion who can affect a match in many ways.

    If you did not find this guide helpful, or have any problems with it, please leave a comment and I will try to correct it. Before downvoting let me know what you don't like about the guide and I will try to fix it. I'm only trying to provide my insights into playing this character because I have had a lot of success with him.


    P.S. Mundo Goes Wherever He Pleases

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