Tryndamere Build Guide

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Tryndamere - In-Depth Twisted Treeline Guide [dps] v1.0

written by Danjen

Tryndamere Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    There are two types of Tryndamere players: really, really good ones, and really, really bad ones. There is no middle ground; where do you stand?

    If you're the former and consistently manage games with a 10/2/x KD spread, you probably don't need my guide. If you're the latter, know that Tryndamere is one of the hardest, and most undervalued heroes to play. Mastering him takes a LOT of time and dedication, and is not for the feint of heart.

    In any case, I hope my guide will provide you with some food for thought. There is a lot of information presented here, and you may find it daunting, but if you're serious about playing him, read on, and read every. Single. Word.

  • Theory: Strengths and Weaknesses

    You're still here? I'm glad my intro didn't scare you off. Don't tell the guys that left that they're nothing but a bunch of scrubs. :-)

    Anyways, down to business. Here's what Tryndamere does, and does not do:

    o Very high burst damage, possibly among the highest in the game.
    o Very strong against champions without a lot of "hard" CC effects, such as stuns, fears, and silences.
    o Excellent farming and jungling at mid level onward.
    o Powerful self heals with virtually no downtime between fights.
    o One of the most potentially broken ultimates in the game, offering full damage immunity for 6 seconds.
    o The manliest hero around. Period.

    o Incredibly item dependent.
    o Not very resilient, especially if focused.
    o Very, very poor early game and laning phase, especially if against a ranged character.
    o Very susceptible to CC effects.
    o Does not tank. If someone calls you a tank, slap them. They do not know what they are talking about. Just because you can reduce damage and heal yourself, does not make you a tank.

    So, do you have a rough idea of what Tryn is about yet? You should have gathered that he is capable of incredibly high burst damage, but is also incredibly fragile: a glass cannon. Tryndamere is best played as an assassin, farmer, or nuke. This guide will show you how to play him right, so you can minimize his weaknesses, and maximize his strengths: kicking ass and taking names!

  • Theory: Abilities

    Battle Fury
    Type: Champion Passive

    As your HP dips, your crit chance increases. This is normalized such that 10% of your HP missing becomes 5% extra crit. Your ultimate lets you be (relatively) safe at 1 HP, meaning you can get a whopping 50% crit out of this! However, don't go out of your way to trigger this; use it as a bonus, rather than a crutch. Ideally, you'll want to hover somewhere between 60-80% of your life for maximum benefit and safety.

    Bottom Line:
    Great source of crit, but do not rely on it.

    Type: Normal Skill (Passive, Activated)

    This is one of the most important skills to have. Critting or killing a unit awards a stack. Each stack increases your base damage, as well as crit damage. Basically, the more you hit, the harder you'll hit. Alternatively, you may remove all bloodlust stacks to heal some life. It's not much early on, but around level 3, ESPECIALLY with some AP, you can begin healing at least a third of your life. This is great, as it nullifies any downtime you might have. The AP scaling is rediculous on this skill, at 1.5!

    Bottom Line:
    Stops any downtime you have, and makes you a wrecking force in battle. Get to know when to use its healing effect.

    Mocking Shout
    Type: Normal Skill (Activated)

    Get this skill first, if you plan on doing an early gank with your team. This is your ONLY form of CC on Tryn, so you must learn to use it well, especially given it's huge cooldown. Now, it only slows them for a few seconds, and only if their back is turned. However, if you spinning slash into them, they're going to run away from you, or else you'll wreck them. So, this creates an opportunity to use it and continue the chase. Alternatively, keep popping this when and if you lane; it greatly reduces their attack damage at low levels, and the slow is very annoying, even if you don't chase them. At higher levels, it isn't really used, since most characters will have non-attack damage based damage, so it really limits that aspect of the skill. However, in team fights, this skill is invaluable, as it essentially increases the life of your team, or slows their runners. Look at it this way: you want to use it to either lower their attack, or slow them. Focus on what is best for the situation and use it accordingly.

    Keep in mind that this can work through walls and bushes, but if you're hidden when you activate it, it will give your position away. And here's a secret that nobody seems to talk about, either: the skill can ONLY be used when an enemy is near you. If nobody is near you, the icon is dark. This means you will always know when someone is near you when the skill is on cooldown. If you're running solo towards a bush, and the icon suddenly lights up, there is someone waiting to jump you! You can then decide to spin into or away from them.

    Bottom Line:
    This is a very useful utility skill, and only needs one point.

    Spinning Slash
    Type: Normal Skill (Activated)

    You will be using this skill constantly, so listen up! Without AP, this skill has fantastic damage as you level it up. By level 9, you should be wrecking any minion waves that you come near. However, it has great AP scaling at a 1:1 ratio; one AP in, one damage out. With a few simple items, you can get this doing 700+ damage a spin in the lategame. On a two second cooldown. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Just note that the damage is very good, every crit lowers the cooldown by 2 secs, and when it's at level 5, the cooldown base is just 8 seconds.

    You'll want to use this when jungling; again, you'll be wrecking any creeps in a spin or two. Use it to harass when laning early on (if you're careful), especially against ranged characters. Spin in, smack them a bit, and spin out; you're gonna take out half their life or more, depending on your crits. Combine with mocking shout, and between the two of them, nobody is getting away from you, especially if you use items or spells with slow effects.

    One final thing to note is that it does go through terrain, so you can spin through walls on Twisted Treeline to escape or set up ganks. Seriously, play a practice game, and figure out where you can and can't spin through before trying it in a real game. Do be aware, however, that others can do the same (such as Shen), or with the Flash spell.

    Bottom Line:
    Whether attacking, running, or harassing, use this skill, and use it well.

    Undying Rage
    Type: Ultimate (Activated)

    Knowing how and when to use this skill can make or break you as a Tryn player. If someone foolishly fights you in melee, you can bait them by allowing yourself to be wounded. Then, pop your bloodlust stacks to heal, and throw out your rage to immediately restore the stacks and continue the punishment. Another use is to escape ganks: activate your rage, spin through the terrain, and consume your bloodlust to heal back a bit of life. If all goes well, you should be well on your way back to your base. In team fights, if they stupidly decide to focus you (well, you ARE squishy), this can buy your team 6 more seconds of fight. As a bonus, this skill has one of the coolest sound effects in the game when you activate it. :-)

    Bottom Line:
    Learn when to use this for maximum effect. You'll recognize these situations the more you play.

  • Pregame: Runes

    Greater Mark of Malice
    +8.37 crit%

    Between these and your passive, you should have enough crit to get you through the game, without having to rely solely on a ton of +crit items. Between the two, you're gonna start with about 20% before items are factored it (if you float around 80% life).

    Greater Seal of Vitality
    +9.72 life per level (174.96 at level 18)

    Tryn is very squishy, and has a poor early game. Therefore, these help immensely, as it increases his overall survivability early on, especially as you roll into the mid- and late- game. Note that the HP/level benefit surpasses the flat +HP runes at around level 8.

    Greater Glyph of Celerity
    -0.45% cooldowns per level (-8.10% at level 18)

    Why not? Having huge CD reduction is great for any hero. Especially in Tryn's case, since you want to be able to heal consistently early on. As above, these equalize with the flat +CD runes at level 8 or so.

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
    +97.2 life

    For the same reason as the seals: Tryn is just too damn squishy early on, and these give him the extra oomph he needs. As soon as you hit 21 or 30, the extra 30 life each quint gives you is very noticeable, and it does make a difference. Other builds might want to focus on +crit damage% runes, but not here. You want to survive your laning phase.

  • Pregame: Masteries

    Every successful Tryndamere build I've tried wants 21/0/9 - mainly offense, a bit of utility.

    If you've followed all my advice so far with runes and spells, I would highly recommend this build.

    There are, of course, a few other builds you could do, as well. For example, if you were stacking AP, this might be a good base to work from; it hits all the +AP effects in the offensive tree, as well as Ignite and Rally, for really stacking the AP up. Unfortunately, some testing proved this build to not be very viable in the slightest.

  • Pregame: Spells

    Before branching out and trying your own thing, ask yourself these three very important questions:

    o Will the spell increase my early game survivability?
    o Will the spell help me kill champions?
    o Will the spell still be useful lategame?

    If the spell in question does not fulfill at least two of these roles, don't use it. Personally, I swear by Exhaust and Ghost. Lacking CC effects, Exhaust really helps Tryndamere out here. Same with Ghost, as it allows you to escape a gank, or keep chasing. Make sure you pick masteries that improve your spells!

    Recommended, see above.

    Recommended, see above.

    Healing helps a bit, but it just doesn't scale well into even the mid game, plus you've got a much better ability in the form of bloodlust (and life leeching your crits).

    Not really useful.

    Could be interesting in a pure jungling build, but I personally skip it since it doesn't help me kill or survive.

    A handy spell to have, but since Treeline is so small, you don't really need it.

    Cleanse is definitely desireable to take, as it will clear any negative effects on you (including the ever-deadly ignite at low levels).

    Hahaha! No.

    See above (my friend told me of a Tryn player who took both this and Fortify... it was painful to even consider.)

    Can be spicy, since it will let you keep hurting them as they flee. Get them under 1/5th of their life for best effect.

    With the Improved Rally mastery, this is definitely something to consider, as it gives a healthy boost to your AP, which can help. Plus, it helps Tryn give back to the team.

    Good for avoiding traps, ganks, and Fiddlesticks, but let someone else get it, if at all.

    Another viable option, as it increases your ganking/evading abilities. Might be taken in place of ghost.

  • Midgame: Skill Order

    I highly recommend you get Mocking Shout first. It shines the most early game, and you just need one point to be effective. Next, you'll want to get a point into Spinning Slash, as it is your escape skill, and main form of damage. Then, you want to max Bloodlust ASAP, for the sake of survivability, then maxing your ult and Spinning Slash as levels allow. From my experience, I usually level something like this:

    Play around with it, and figure out what works best for you.

  • Midgame: Itemization

    You know what? Tryndamere is probably the most item-dependent hero in the game. So, here's the thing: you want to constantly get gold. You NEED an early Avarice Blade. You want to constantly kill minions or neutral monsters, if not other players. Just constantly kill things, get the money you need to buy better stuff, and come back with a vengeance.

    Now, that said, there are a number of different ways to build Tryn, all which serve the same end: killing. So, what kind of item effects work? We'll be attacking and harassing, not tanking, so stacking excessively on armor or magic resist won't help (though its still nice to have). Instead, we'll want to focus on something from the following:

    o Attack Damage
    o Critical Chance
    o Attack Speed
    o Ability Power

    From my experience, all of these are perfectly viable to focus on; it just depends on your playstyle. Attack Damage is good, for example, because it will guarantee that all your hits will be harder, including your regular attack. A high crit chance basically doubles your damage. Attack speed is good for constantly hitting. It even helps with crits, to a degree; if your crit is 40%, and you're doing 1 attack per second, you'll critting about 40% per second. Increase your attack speed to 1.25, and you're critting 50% per second. Luckily, it's really easy to find items that increase crit and and attack speed, so it's easy to optimize both. Finally, Ability Power enhances all your effects, whether you're healing or spinning, and it helps a LOT.

    Ideally, I think you should focus on two of these stats, and stack up on them. I would recommend crit chance and ability power. Here's why: Spinning Slash has a great AP scaling of 1.0. This means one-for-one, every AP you put in, is 1 point of damage from spinning slash (minus resists, etc). This skill is your bread and butter: you use it to chase, you use it to harass, you use it to gank, you use it to escape. Furthermore, every crit you land lowers the cooldown by 2 seconds. If you can spin into someone, hit them once or twice, and then spin into them as they try to escape, you're constantly hitting, and hitting hard. They can't escape once you get this down.

    So, here's what I like to do:
    To start, I get a set of Brawler's Gloves, and 2 Health Potions. If you're ganking, make sure you chug one just as you enter battle. The reason why is so you don't waste time doing it when you need it, as you ensure a constant trickle of life as you're wounded.

    Anyways, after this, I like to build into a Vampiric Scepter, Avarice Blade, and Berserker's Greaves as money becomes available. I actually recommend getting the items in that order, as the scepter is essential to laning, since you can survive longer, with less downtime. The blade sets your gold up for later, and the greaves just help all around. "But wait," you cry! "Isn't it better to get Mercury's Treads?" Yes and no. I mean, sure, Tryn dies to CC, and it's nice to reduce that somewhat, but if you're confident that you can smack people around without dying, by all means, grab the Berserker's. In any case, by the time you complete all these, you should be around level 6-8.

    This is where the build becomes interesting / varied. Get a Blasting Wand if you can. 40 AP is nothing to sneer at, especially with Tryndamere's rediculous AP scaling. This translates to an extra 60 HP per bloodlust stack (total of 480 HP!), or 40 extra damage on your spin. It adds up, so keep at it! Afterwards, if nobody else on your team is going for it, start working your scepter into a [item_text=Stark's Fervor]. You'll be a huge boon in team fights, and Tryn can contribute something to the team for once. Once you've completed it (or an ally has), you'll want to get Guinsoo's Rageblade, followed by [item_text=Zhonya's Ring]. Yes, Zhonya's ring. The rageblade is amazing: it increases damage, speed, and ability power, so you WILL hit WAY harder in fights, and heal even more life! And, by itself, the ring adds a whopping 150 AP! That's 1800 life from bloodlust! With the right monster buffs on you, you'll be spinning through people for 700+ damage every few seconds! As a bit of experimentation proved, Zhonya's ring is a godsend for Tryn. It gives so much AP that his abilities heal and damage for so much. Plus, don't forget its activated ability! It will negate those DoTs and CC effects for 2 seconds, and on a character without a way to stop them, it just might buy you some time. If you can trick them into overextending to kill you, pop the ring, and have your allies kill them, then it's done its job.

    Here's a little secret to playing Tryn... Since he is so item-driven, you want to pick items that will have the most effect against the other team. If every game you build yourself to counter 1-2 people on the enemy team, you're guaranteed kills. If they have heavy CC, you get Mercury's Treads or Quicksilver Sash. If they've got champs with lots of dodge, you get a Sword of the Divine. Know the other champions' abilities and strengths, and you can build around them to counter them. Let me reiterate that: The key to playing Tryn well is to identify what to build, and be able to match your playstyle accordingly, so you are going to be the answer to the enemy's champs. Consider: if you take a hit in power or tempo to get the Quicksilver Sash for your survivability, what strategy are you going to use to gank someone if you have lower power? Will you recover your gold fast enough? Was the purchase worth it? Ask yourself these questions as you play.

    So, here's what I end up building in a "typical" game. Normally, I get around 11,000g, plus or minus (usually plus) a few thousand.


    Now unfortunately, the build is a bit light on attack speed and crit, which are the two big things to compliment your spinning slash's high AP. See if you can get someone else to build starks, and that frees you up for something like Phantom Dancer or Youmuu's Ghostblade (which conveniently builds from your Avarice Blade.

  • Summary

    Tryndamere is a very difficult hero to play, but can be fun if you know what you're doing. You probably won't see him in high ELO games against good teams, but he can be great at farming IP while you level up. Best of luck!

  • Revision Information

    Version 1.0 (May 17, 2010):
    Covers most of the information I wanted to go over. Possibly missing a few sections still.

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