Warwick Build Guide

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Warwick - The guide for people who like to think

written by HikariKami

Warwick Build

Table of Contents

  • Guide History

    **** Work In Progress ****
    Please provide feedback so I may improve this guide!

    July 5th, 2010 - First draft written

    **** Still to be done ****
    Twisted Treeline stuff.
    Masteries & Runes.
    Build Examples.

  • Introduction

    Greetings fellow blood lovers, welcome to my canine school of intellectual slaughter. Warwick is not the most played champion in the game, and probably not the hardest to master. But for me he's quite fun, and there's nothing like the thrill of pouncing atop someone and ripping their throat apart.

    A bit about me
    Let first let me start by saying hello and giving you a short introduction of myself. I am not some uber/pro/high-Elo player who pwnz n00bz with his hands behind his back. Having said that, I consider myself a decent player who's constantly learning and observing how to play this game well.

    I currently have around 220 games with Warwick, on a combination of Summoners Rift and Twisted Treeline. I play 99% solo queue, and I'm about 50+ wins above losses. I've been playing since April, 2010, and Warwick was one of the first champions I played.

    Why I wrote this guide
    One of the main reasons I've written this guide is due to the amount of people who call Warwick a "right-click n00b champion", due to the fact that he doesn't have any type of skill shot, and can be played relatively well by players without any skill. However, I don't believe that means he is a poor or easy champion, especially to be able to play well enough to contribute to the team when playing against skilled opponents.

    When playing Warwick, you need to be aware of your position on the map at all times. You need to keep track of where the enemy is, what lanes are being pushed, and where potential ganks can be made. You need to target the right enemy with your ultimate - at the right time. You need to keep control of the Jungle, as well as managing to help your team out as much as possible. I often see Warwick's do nothing but Jungle, or they'll just run in randomly and use their ultimate on someone.

    While Warwick is not a carry, he's a good addition to the team and can easily go toe to toe with the "top tier" champions.

  • Pros / Cons

    - Relatively high damage.
    - Decent survivability.
    - Quick on his feet, especially around guys who are hurt.
    - Can scare off enemies who are trying to kill allies, even if your not all that close.
    - Good for chasing down enemies.
    - Good for ganking.
    - Fast jungler.
    - Most powerful between levels 1-15

    - Can be a little squishy for a DPS.
    - Has no CC beyond his ultimate.
    - Usually the first or second targeted champion.
    - Tends to flat-line between levels 15-18.
    - Not the best at laning, especially vs ranged characters.

  • Abbreviations

    Some common, and not so common abbreviations
    TT - Twisted Treeline, the 3v3 map
    SR - Summoners Rift, the 5v5 map
    Ganked - To be killed unawares by some sneaky bastard
    Ganking - To be the sneaky bastard doing the killing

  • Abilities

    Eternal Thirst
    You drink blood, you get healed. This is a decent passive that will stop you from getting put down in the blink of an eye.

    Hungering Strike
    (Q) Active
    Feeling hungry? Why not grab a bite to eat. Deals a good amount of magic damage, while satisfying your hunger. This makes walking through the jungle a stroll, and keeps more cash in your coat by saving on health potions.

    Hunters Call
    (W) Active
    Go crazy and claw your way to victory. Great for creeping, taking down turrets, and general shredding through champions.

    Blood Scent
    (E) Passive
    You can smell the blood of of an injured little mudkip a mile away. This is great for hunting down useless cripples and can even help you run away howling for your life.

    Infinite Duress
    (R) Active - Ultimate

    Ah, the old "jump on their heads and claw them to death" trick. This is great for eating through squishes, and even bulkier victims. They'll be so scared they can't move, allowing you to lay on the hurt.

    Just remember, the stun is easily prevented by both as well many other interrupt skills. It is not the most powerful ultimate in the game, and it can be a quick ticket to death. Having said that, if used strategically it can certainly help out in team battles, and make most 1v1's pretty easy.

  • Summoner Abilities

    What I like to roll with.
    I consider smite to be essential with Warwick, as I feel playing a non-jungle variation of him is rather mundane, as he is easily one of the best junglers in the game. Of course smite + jungle = match made in heaven.

    I also like to use flash, as it can be used in a lot of different situations. For example, you can use it to flash away from ganks, flash into fights, close in gaps on fast champions, jump walls and hide into brushe, assist with tower dives, etc.

    Other good options
    Useful for early kills and helps make killing off a target quicker. It can be especially useful for twisted treeline, which is a much more intimate map. Another useful spell if fighting against champions with strong healing capabilities, such as Dr. Mundo. Plus, it's always fun to set people on fire, right?

    Another popular option, it can make running down a hapless victim a breeze, or help you whimper away like a little puppy when you need. It can also make your jungling even faster, or help you to quickly get to your team in order to help out. Personally, I don't have the need for this much speed.

    As with all melee characters, exhaust is a good choice that can help you take down opponents without nary a scratch on your chin and some rustles whiskers. It's also good for stopping your target from running scared, though I find the stun on is usually enough.

    While this isn't a skill I've ever ran with Warwick, but I guess it could be useful to assist you with ganking, as well as checking up on enemy gankers and also junglers. You could even use it to double check that a certain nuetral creep is still there, and generally help the team out. Physic psychotic killers are never a good thing to have to face.

    Another good "get out of jail free" spell. This can be really helpful against any CC spell that might get thrown at you, which happens more often than not. This Warwick doesn't like his bath-time though.

    Poorer options that I see used a lot
    I see a lot of Warwick players pick this spell, and I'm absolutely lost as to why it's needed. This spell should be found on tanks/support characters, and Warwick has enough life leech to keep him going without wasting a slot on this.

    Warwick is not a caster, and his skills don't cost that much mana anyway. If you find yourself running out of mana often, you need to be more conservative of your spells and use them only when necessary/appropriate. This spell is an even poorer choice on Summoners rift due to the Mana golem being so easy to take down, even at level 1.

    Not needed, and takes up a slot. Simple.

  • Skilling Order

    As a general rule of thumb I aim to max in this order - (R) > (Q) > (W) > (E)

    However, more often than not I'll spice this up a little depending on how things are going. Here's a couple of hints and tips on how you should plan your skill order.

    - Always start off with Hungering Strike. This includes both map varieties, regardless of what you're doing. It lets start off jungling at the Golem, and also helps for first blood on TT.

    - Getting Hunters Call as your second skill will help you jungle as quickly as possible. Focus this skill second if you haven't been finding many ganking opportunities, or if you simply prefer the attack speed.

    - I find keeping Blood Scent at an equal level with Hunters Call allows for a nice balance when ganking, as you kill faster and have less trouble chasing them down.

    - If ganking at a low level, sometimes I find a level up an enemy tries to run away. If this is the case, pop the point into Blood Scent to ensure he doesn't live.

    - This might seem pretty obvious, but always level up your ultimate, Infinite Duress when you have the option.

    - If you find yourself ganking a lot more than you are jungling, focus more on leveling up Blood Scent, or if your jungling more than you are ganking, focus on Hunters Call.

    - Hunters Call is a great skill for taking down turrets. Remember it affects both you and nearby allies.

  • Items

    What items you build should always depend on the game at hand. There is no simple one build fits all way to play as Warwick, at least not if you want to be successful. Items are broken down into two sections, Summoners Rift and Twisted Treeline.

    For each part to these sections, there may also be different suggestions based on enemy match up where necessary. These are colour coded in the following way: All Games, Vs Magic, Vs Physical, Vs Mixed/Miscellaneous.

    Remember, a lot of these options can be mixed and matched, and it pretty much comes down to how well your doing and taking the enemy and their items into account.

    Summoners Rift
    Your focus should be on jungle control and ganking. Always balance your items depending on what champions are on the opposing team.

    Starting off
    x1 x1
    Getting a good start can be the difference between winning and losing, or at least getting kills and getting killed. Jungling as quick as possible is the key here, and you also want to avoid getting ganked.

    Your Cloth Armor builds towards [item_text=madred's razor], while the Health Potion and Sight Ward is a safety against ganks (happens quite a lot when people see a WW with smite).


    How much gold you have on your first trip back depends on what level you jungled to, and whether or not you have started ganking. Always make sure you have enough to get your Madred's Razors and at least your Boots of Speed. If you have enough, upgrade your boots depending on the situation.

    If your enemies are mostly AP based, or have a lot of CC, you should Mercury's Treads. They're pretty much the best boots in the game, so you should probably get them in every 9/10 games.

    While I rarely get these, if your facing against a team that's of pretty much all attack damage, then Ninja Tabi can be a decent choice. Just remember, your [item_title=madred's razors] already gives you some armor.

    If your doing relatively well, and feeling confident about your team, some other choices include Boots of Mobility or Sorcerer's Shoes. I generally don't buy these, but they are viable options. The Boots of Mobility will help you get across the map and jungle even quicker, while the Sorcerer's Shoes can help you deal extra damage based on the magic damage you'll deal later.

    Mid Game
    [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor]
    The next thing you want to do is build your [item_text=Madred's Bloodrazor]. This means you'll now start dealing some serious damage, to both squishies and tanks. Quite often, a game will finish without buying any more items.

    If your team is close to winning, or you have plenty of cash from ganking, feel free to purchase an Elixir of Fortitude to hurry things up a bit. These can also be useful if you're getting pushed heavily and your team needs to turn things around.

    [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor]
    If you tend to get pwned by a lot of magic, build a Wit's End to help you with magic resist and increased attack speed. The bonus damage caused will else put a dent in even the strongest character, and usually results in an extra 42 damage per hit.

    [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor] OR [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor] OR [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor] OR
    Add some extra damage and armour penetration to the mix, and you'll take down even the most solid of champions. Last Whisper is your cheapest option, while The Black Cleaver is the best, but at a higher cost.

    On the rare occassion I find myself facing massive DPS and dying fast, building a Thornmail can help you out with armor, as well as returning a bunch of damage back. I find it particularly effective against champions like Olaf and Yi.

    [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor] OR [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor]
    If you find yourself being the focus, or your getting the enemy team down to next to no health, than a Guardian Angel can help you ensure the enemy team is being finished off. This item has turned some games around for me, going from losing to winning.

    If there's stacks of CC, and your facing stun after stun after stun, go for the Banshee's Veil. Or you could always build both!

    Late Game

    If the game has carried on beyond the initial items, the choices for items opens up even more. For extra damage I like to go for a The Bloodthirster. This makes it easy to solo the Baron, and with full stacks you'll deal plenty of damage with lots of life leech. Remember, killing minions and creeps builds stacks so you should max it pretty quickly.

    Build whichever one you did not build previously.

    Other items, and when to buy
    Warmog's Armor can be useful if you want a tankier build. Sometimes if there's no tank on your team, or you find you're still too squishy, a warmogs will keep you alive long enough to deal maximum damage. I rarely get this item, as your team should always have a tank and warwicks survivability comes from his attack speed and life steal.

    Vampiric Scepter is another good item. I don't get it every game, but some guys I'll pick it up at various stages for the extra life steal. It also turns into the The Bloodthirster if the game doesn't finish quickly.

    Quicksilver Sash is great as a late game item if you haven't got a Banshee's Veil or you want to have even more protection from CC.

    B. F. Sword is used to make a few of your mid/late game items, so if you're in town and can plan on building, say The Black Cleaver, but you can't afford it, pick up the BF sword early if you can.

    Twisted Treeline
    Not yet done...

  • Build Example

    These are just examples
    More often than not, my items will consist of a combination of these example builds. As I've said, it's all about picking the right items at the right time. Having said that, these will give you a rough idea as to what items work well in different situations.

    Basic Build
    A lot of games will be finished with just these items.


    General Build
    This is probably one of my most common builds, though I don't always get to finish it off. Often I'll grab something like a Vampiric Scepter early in the game as well.

    Vs Strong Caster/CC
    This is an example of build against a team that is full of magic damage.

    Vs heavy DPS
    Not something that I go often, but when faced against a team of high DPS, here's a good combination. Works well against characters like Yi, Trynadere, Olaf, etc.

  • Jungling

    Summoners Rift

    External Image
    This map shows you the order to jungle for each side. The green area also indicates places that the opposing team will come in from in order to gank you. Checking these, or covering these with a ward will help prevent this.

    How to Jungle
    Grab your gear and head down to the golem in order to grab the mana buff. This will help you do the rest a lot quicker as you can spam your skills. I like to move down to the bottom of the ramp that leads to the river first, to keep an eye out for ganks. You can drop your vision ward here, and move down closer to the middle in order to keep an eye on that entrance too. at 1.30 head back to the golem and Smite it. Auto attack two to three times, than use hunger strike. Keep auto attacking and hunger strike till it's dead. If you need, use your health potion as appropriate.

    Next head down to the small creep camp below. You should now have Hungering Strike and Hunters Call which you can use to take these guys out quickly. After that's done, move to the wraith's that are near the middle, and again spam your two skills as quickly as possible. Make sure you don't use Smite yet, it's not needed and you're better off saving it for the lizard buff.

    At this stage you should be level 3, with another point invested into Hungering Strike. Move down to the lizard Elder, and use smite on him right away. Take him down, and you'll now have both buffs. Head down to the last small creep camp, and take start taking them out. While I'm auto-attacking these guys, I usually look around for any ganking opportunities, or to make sure none of the lanes need any help. If you don't feel comfortable ganking or there are no opportunities, and your lanes don't need any help holding, you're left with two options.

    You may continue creeping the smaller creep camps on your side of the ball park, or alternatively you can cross the river into unknown territory. There you can renew your buffs whilst gaining experience.

    Twisted Treeline
    Not yet done...

  • Strategy

    In this section I will talk about how to identify what build to follow, as well as discuss important targets and how to use your skills effectively

Do you have your own
Build Guide?

Submitted by HikariKami

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