How To Play Hecarim In League Of Legends
Last Updated: April 7, 2022
Hecarim is a very mobile Jungler who is great at picking off the enemy team’s backline while having enough crowd control to be a game changer in team fights. Here’s everything you need to know to get you started playing the Shadow of War.
Over the years, Hecarim’s play style constantly changed due to the meta. He went from being a Jungler to a Top Laner to both. And now, he’s back to being a Jungler. This feels like his natural position as his kit and play style certainly fits the role. With Hecarim, you get good dueling power, excellent clear times, and very strong ganks. This is a Jungler that can lockdown targets, follow up with crowd control, set up kills, or maybe even force a Flash. If you like playing aggressive in terms of ganking and counter jungling, this champion is perfect for you.
Hecarim’s kit is all about sticking closely to his target while dealing as much damage as possible.
Passive – Warpath
Hecarim gains Attack Damage equal to a percentage of his bonus Movement Speed.
This Passive is fairly simple. Warpath lets Hecarim gain bonus damage based on his bonus Movement Speed. This does not mean that you will be trying to build items that give bonus movement speed. The bonus AD from this passive is what it is: a bonus. So don’t try to force building items that Hecarim really doesn’t need.
Q – Rampage
Hecarim cleaves nearby enemies, dealing physical damage (60% damage to minions). If Hecarim damages at least one enemy unit with this attack, he gains a stack of Rampage, reducing the base cooldown of this skill by 1 second for a short duration and deals 2% (+3% per bonus 100) increased damage. This effect can stack up to 2 times.
This is your bread and butter. Hecarim will be spamming this ability whenever he gets the chance. It’s why you have great jungle clears and great dueling potential. It doesn’t have any complicated mechanics. You simply walk up to enemies and press Q as much as you can.
W – Spirit of Dread
Hecarim deals magic damage over 4 seconds to all nearby enemies. Hecarim is healed for 30% (+2.5% per bonus 100) of the damage these enemies take from any source (halved from damage dealt by allies). Hecarim’s health from minions or monsters is capped.
This is your main source of sustain in the Jungle. Spirit of Dread heals you for a good amount and can keep you going as you make your way through the Jungle while searching for opportunities to gank lanes.
E – Devastating Charge
Hecarim gains increasing Movement Speed and can move through units for 4 seconds. His next attack knocks the target back, dealing physical damage based on how far Hecarim has traveled during Devastating Charge (knockback distance also scales). Devastating Charge’s remaining duration pauses during Onslaught of Shadows.
This is your primary engage/initiation tool. You’ll often lead with Devastating Charge whenever you try to gank lanes. It’s good for setting up kills or follow up crowd control from your team mates. This should always be the first part of your combo when ganking. Additionally, this ability can also be used to escape when you find yourself in a bind.
R – Onslaught of Shadows
Hecarim summons spectral riders and charges forward, dealing magic damage to enemies hit. Hecarim releases a shockwave at the end of his charge, causing nearby enemies to flee from him for 0.75 to 2 seconds (increases by charge distance). Hecarim himself will only move to the targeted location. The riders will always move the full distance.
Onslaught of Shadows is one of the best team fighting ultimates in the game. It has good crowd control and decent damage. If executed well, this can turn the tides of a fight in your team’s favor.
Runes and Item Builds
When it comes to items, you should focus on increasing Hecarim’s overall damage and his survivability. Prioritize items that can give you both.
Since Hecarim is a Jungler, he has two options when it comes to his starting items. These are Emberknife and Hailblade. Emberknife turns Smite into Challenging Smite while Hailblade turns it into Chilling Smite. Challenging Smite increases your damage on champions you smite while Chilling Smite slows your target down. What you choose to go with should boil down to preference. Personally, we’d go for Hailblade for the Chilling Smite since it would help Hecarim’s ganks to be more effective.
For your Mythic item, Hecarim has two choices. These are the best options for him since they both have the spellblade passive. Hecarim’s play style is all about using his abilities to deal damage. Having Mythics like these two can increase his overall damage output. The best option is Divinie Sunderer since it gives him a lot of AD and a lot of health to work with. The other option is Trinity Force. This will give you more damage than Divine Sunderer at the expense of your survivability.
After purchasing your Mythic, it’s time to upgrade your boots. The standard is Plated Steelcaps for the armor but don’t hesitate to swap it out for Mercury’s Treads if the situation calls for it. Next, go for Sterak’s Gage. This item increases your health, damage, and gives you a shield when your health gets too low. It’s great for when you gank enemies under their towers. After, go for Death’s Dance. This item works similarly to Sterak’s Gage but instead of a shield, it delays the damage you receive by a few seconds. Up next is Dead Man’s Plate for all the stats and durability it provides. Finish off your build with Gargoyle Stoneplate for more resistances and an active shield that essentially functions like a second life bar.
Other Viable Items
While the full build we’ve shown above is generally considered the standard for Hecarim, it is not set in stone. There are plenty of other items that you can purchase depending on your preference or what your situation currently needs. Items like Black Cleaver, Chempunk Chainsword, Maw of Malmortius, Force of Nature, and Thornmail are all good items to have especially if you’re leaning towards dealing more damage. Try to mix and match these item sets to see what works best for you. Doing so will help you develop a better understanding of the game’s deeper mechanics.
For runes, go with the Sorcery tree and take Phase Rush as your keystone. This will let you move around faster as you keep spamming your abilities. Next, take Nimbus Cloak for bonus move speed whenever you use a summoner spell, Celerity to increase the effectiveness of all move speed bonuses, and Waterwalking to gain more move speed plus adaptive damage when in the river. For your secondaries, take Legend: Tenacity and Triumph from the Precision tree. Legend: Tenacity reduces the effectiveness of crowd control on you while Triumph gives you bonus sustain whenever you score a takedown. For rune shards, take Attack Speed, Adaptive Force, and Armor.
- Devastating Charge deals more damage based on the distance traveled. Try to combo this with other abilities like Onslaught of Shadows or active items like Youmuu’s Ghostblade or even summoner spells like Ghost or Flash to maximize its damage output.
- Hecarim is countered by champions like Diana, Nidalee, Nocturne, Udyr, and Rengar. It’s best to play it safe whenever you see yourself matched up against these champions in the Jungle.
- For your summoner spells, always take Smite on one slot and the other can be for either Flash or Ghost. Smite lets you clear camps faster and lets you secure objectives like Baron or Dragon. Flash and Ghost work similar to each other but we’ll give the edge to Ghost for a champion like Hecarim.
So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Hecarim in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!