Patch 11.23 has given us a good idea of what we can expect from the upcoming season, and with the introduction of the Hextech and Chemtech Dragons, it is safe to say that Junglers will be even more influential over the outcome of games.
Adaptability is a strong factor when it comes to a champion’s overall strength, and The Shadow of War is no stranger to having multiple options in terms of itemization and play style.
Currently, the meta has opened the door for Assassin Junglers, especially ones with fast and efficient clear speed. And although Hecarim is not particularly an Assassin, his excellent clear and fast-paced gameplay makes him an incredibly powerful pick, when properly executed.
Since Assassin Junglers usually have high mobility and are capable of going over terrain quite consistently, the need for sturdy Junglers who can match that is on the rise. Hecarim’s entire kit is focused on stomping over enemy champions and charging into combat, providing your team with utility and the ability to simply run down enemies who overextend.
In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the best Jungle paths for Hecarim in Patch 11.23, as well as at some gameplay tactics both new and experienced players may want to consider.
Although new players should stick to the standard options, Flash and Smite, we must say that probably the best choice would be running Ghost instead of Flash. Indeed, this will limit the play-making potential and will also make it more difficult to get out of sticky situations, but Hecarim thrives on getting into the fight, not out of it.
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The Best Hecarim Runes
The arrival of Patch 11.23 hasn’t made such a significant difference in the optimal Hecarim runes. Realistically, there are two paths players can choose from, depending mostly on personal preference and the enemy team, but some highly successful Hecarim players were also spotted running the Sorcery tab as their primary option.
Hecarim belongs in the midst of combat, where he can unleash havoc through his R while his Q ability consistently puts out damage. A fully stacked Conqueror keystone, along with Triumph, Legend: Tenacity, and Last Stand allow Viego’s henchman to survive long enough for his team to clean up his enemies.
For the secondary runes, Nimbus Cloak is an absolute must, with the last pick being between Celerity and Waterwalking. All three of these secondary runes boost Hecarim’s movement speed, which further converts into raw damage output. Celerity is a safe choice, but Waterwalkng may prove more useful for Junglers who prioritize objectives and River skirmishes.
Players can also go for Predator, Cheap Shot, Zombie Ward, and either Relentless or Ultimate Hunter, in order to maximize the amount of movement speed and burst damage. Note that this path will also leave you more squishy, especially in the earlier stages of the game, so we recommend taking this approach only if your team already has sufficient frontline or tanky champions.
The secondary runes remain the same, as the free movement speed bonus is simply too good with Hecarim’s fast-paced kit.
Phase Rush Build
Hecarim can proc Phase Rush with ease, and the payout is also rather impressive, which is why some players opt going for the Sorcery tree, pairing Phase Rush with Nimbus Cloak, Celerity, and Waterwalking, compensating for the lack of sustain through the secondary options.
These runes will be more suitable for aggressive players who like taking things into their own hands, but the overall game experience will also be more difficult, as the enemy team will have a much easier time eliminating you from the fight before your team could catch up with you.
The Best Hecarim Items
Start: Hailblade + Refillable Potion
Mythic: Turbo Chemtank or Divine Sunderer
Given the updates to Turbo Chemtank, Hecarim players can now enjoy the Refuel passive whilst also benefiting from the sudden movement speed boost from its active. Pairing this active with Hecarim’s E and perhaps Predator and a Dead Man’s Plate results in a ludicrously fast pony, who can charge into combat before the enemies have time to reposition themselves.
Divine Sunderer and perhaps Trinity Force are also great options, as the Spellblade effect synchronizes perfectly with Hecarim’s continuous Qs, significantly increasing his damage output.
Core: Defensive Boots, Dead Man’s Plate, Sterak’s Gage
Finishing options: Force of Nature, Randuin’s Omen, Death’s Dance, Black Cleaver
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The Best Skill Order For Hecarim
Q > E > W > R
This is a pretty standard order, as your Q is your primary source of damage, while E enables you to gank and engage effectively.
It is worth noting that in the beginning, players should be taking W second, in order to increase the AOE damage and healing against the multi-mob Jungle camps. From that point on, maxing Q and E should be the main focus, as losing health in the Jungle won’t be a problem for The Shadow of War.
The Best Jungle Paths for Hecarim
Shifting our focus to the main topic of this guide, Jungle pathing with Hecarim. We are going to cover the possible starts from each side, but players should keep a few factors in mind when deciding upon where their Jungle pathing should start. These are:
- Which laners are going to provide more help in clearing the first camp?
- Counter-jungle opportunities, based on where the enemy Jungler is likely to start.
- Which lane would you like to gank first, depending on both the allied and enemy champions.
Bear in mind that Hecarim wants to absolutely snowball the game, being seemingly everywhere on the map when the enemy team tries to make a move, ready to counter it.
Without further to do, let’s start breaking down the optimal Jungle paths.
Red Side, Red Clear
As depicted in the image above, after clearing the first buff, it’s time to unleash the fast clear speed this champion has been given. Casting Smite on the large Krug will only speed up your progress into the Raptors and Wolves, all multi-mob camps which Hecarim can easily clear with his Q and W alone.
Saving the second Smite for Blue will simply keep this flow going, as the early pathing is all about speed. The Gromp may require more time to slay, but this is compensated for by the Scuttler, which Hecarim can easily kill thanks to the knockback on his E.
From there, players will have to choose between ganking either Mid or Bot, a decision which should be based on the particularities of each given game.
Ganking is very simple with Hecarim, as you can use Ghost every time it is off cooldown to simply rampage to a lane and knock the enemy away from safety with E.
During the early to mid-game, Hecarim’s damage output is quite powerful, and laners will have a difficult time escaping your ganks without having to at least use Flash.
Since Hecarim is highly effective at clearing the Jungle camps and is also gifted with high ganking potential, players have quite a lot of freedom when deciding how each game is going to be played out. Simply farming up by clearing camps is always an option, but Hecarim’s true power lies in his dominant presence and fast calls, before the enemy team has the opportunity to out-scale his.
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Red Side, Blue Clear
The situation is a bit different when starting from the Blue Buff, namely because you should have two allies helping you with your first camp. After rapidly clearing Blue, charge to the Gromp and start cutting down its HP with continuous Qs, finishing it with Smite.
From there, the Wolves and Raptors should not pose difficulties, as Hecarim’s kit is excellent at clearing these multi-mode camps.
Clearing the Red Buff will go quickly, as Smite and Isolated Qs will shred through its health bar rather effectively.
At this point, players have two primary options. Depending on how the lanes are pushing, Hecarim can rush a gank on either Mid or Top, as the Ghost + E combo allows him to cover large distances very quickly.
After completing a gank, Hecarim players can simply go back to clearing the remaining camps, only to then reset in order to purchase the Boots of Speed and some additional resistances.
Blue Side, Red Clear
Starting on the Blue Side and going for the Red Buff first opens the path to a full clear and gank start, which hopefully converts into a kill for the team and a rapid reset.
Doing the Red Buff with added assistance gives more time to complete the Krugs, using Smite, and then rushing the Raptors and Wolves in order to save the second Smite for the Blue Buff.
Immediately after killing Blue, players could rush an early gank, especially if one of the enemy Laners lacks mobility or escape mechanics. Otherwise, killing the Gromp and Scuttler will nevertheless be a safe option, but being on the lookout for possible gank should always be a priority with Hecarim.
Blue Side, Blue Clear
With the Blue Buff clear on the Blue Side, players will want to save Smite for the Gromp, and then head into an organic clear on the Wolves and Bot side Jungle.
The second Smite should ideally be kept for the Red Buff, from where players will have to make a decision between spending time killing the Krugs, and rushing the Scuttler and a subsequent gank. The latter is what most Hecarim players opt for, in order to secure early advantages for their team, slowly enabling their full snowball potential.
Hecarim is all about charging into combat and unleashing chaos, which is why The Shadow of War has to be played at a quick pace.
Allow us to give you some additional tips as well as some insights to how you should view the game while playing Hecarim, in order to stomp your foes on your charge to victory!
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The Best Tips and Tricks For Hecarim Jungle
- Tempo is everything. Be on the constant lookout for any opportunity to collapse onto unsuspecting enemies. Ghost + E in combination with your runes will unleash an enormous movement speed boost, allowing you to catch enemies who would otherwise be too far!
- Although some players treat Hecarim’s R similarly to Malphite’s, things get very different once you hit later stages of the game. Hecarim’s ultimate is not made for wombo-combos, instead, it is meant to give teams a consistent method of breaking up enemy clusters. Use R to separate high-priority targets from the rest of their team by breaking up those clusters and allowing your allies to finish the kills.
- Unseen flanks are still devastating, so if given the opportunity confidently pull the trigger on potentially dangerous 1v2s, being ready to take one kill and then use E or Ghost to simply run away from the other opponent.
- Hecarim has to be played with the right mindset, charge in with no hesitation every time you find a window. Your primary objective as a champion is to charge in and soak up as much damage as possible, while your allies pick off the enemy team one by one.
- Never forget that part of your damage scales with movement speed, thus when activating Ghost, Turbo Chemtank or Predator, you will also become considerably stronger from an offensive viewpoint.
Despite Riot’s difficulties in properly balancing Hecarim, he still remains a force to be reckoned with.
Probably the most common mistake players make when trying to master the Shadow of War is to hesitate when unsure about a play. Decision-making is indeed very important when playing League, but Hecarim’s strongest point is in the early to mid-game, so that’s when players should take the biggest risks.
On the mental side, Hecarim can torment his foes by catching up to them at all times, no matter how close or far they are from safety. Abuse the insane speed this champion has been constructed on and terrorize your foes until they are too afraid to step into their own Jungle!
We hope you found this guide useful, and if so, make sure to keep an eye out on our website for more League of Legends guides, updates and more! Keep climbing!