Most of the champions in League of Legends are built on a rather simple skill mechanic, with three basic abilities and an Ultimate, which is usually the character’s most iconic or powerful move, but every once in a while, the players are gifted with unique champions, falling out of the standard.
Despite the fact that many of the recently released champions do indeed possess some out of the ordinary mechanics, back in the old days of League, there was very little diversity in terms of the core skill build.
However, one of the classic champions who also happened to have a different style of gameplay is up for a massive visual and gameplay update, so we found it fitting to create a guide allowing players to experience the classic version for just a little bit longer.
We are obviously talking about Udyr, the Animal Spirit, whose entire kit revolves around the four animal stances he can alternate between, and the particularities of each form. With an unorthodox build and unique gameplay, it is no coincidence that Udyr also happens to be among the four champions equipped with an Ultimate skin, as his potential to take over games has truly shone through, in both normal and competitive play.
Without further to do, here is our complete Jungle clearing and routing guide for Udyr, the Animal Spirit, enjoy!
Flash / Ghost + Smite
Udyr is meant to run down his opponents at incredible speeds, making Ghost a great Summoner Spell option. However, a standard combo, especially for newer players, would be the Flash + stun (from the Bear Stance), which guarantees the hard CC, so it is completely up to player preference.
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Contrary to popular belief, Udyr’s ideal Runes do not seek to further enhance his movement speed, as his standard kit and Mythic item will take care of that for him. Although the meta has pushed players into trying a wide variety of keystones, the current Patch has proved that there is practically only one go-to option, Lethal Tempo.
Lethal Tempo should be followed by Triumph, Legend: Tenacity and finally Last Stand, in true Duelist fashion.
For the secondary Runes, go over to the Resolve path and pick Conditioning and Unflinching as the finishing touches.
The only real alternative for gank-oriented Junglers is to pick Predator, followed by Cheap Shot, Zombie Ward and Relentless Hunter, with the same secondary Runes as before.
It is worth mentioning that this approach will considerably diminish Udyr’s dueling power, effectively turning him into an wild engage tool, so make sure your team has plenty of damage to back it up.
- Starting Items: Hailblade + Refillable Potion
- Mythic Item: Turbo Chemtank
- Core Items: Defensive Boots, Dead Man’s Plate, Force of Nature
- Finishing Options: Thornmail, Blade of the Ruined King, Wit’s End
As previously mentioned, the Animal Spirit focuses on building massive amounts of movement speed, in order to chase down his opponents. However, this also requires Udyr players to itemize defensively, making sure that they reach their target and apply the stun without getting their Health bars shredded through.
Turbo Chemtank is simply ideal, as it provides a movement speed boost Active, combined with defensive stats, while Trinity Force works just fine if your team’s composition already has plenty of tanks.
Dead Man’s Plate and Force of Nature synergize flawlessly with Udyr’s kit, further enhancing the Animal Spirit’s movement speed while providing essential Health and raw defensive stats.
With Thornmail being the core anti-healing item for tanks, it makes for a great finishing option, paired with either Blade of the Ruined King or Wit’s End for just a bit of extra dueling power in the late game.
R > W > E
Having four core abilities instead of three, each of those can be leveled up to six times, meaning that Udyr cannot max out all of his abilities.
Players should invest their first point into Q, forgetting about it entirely for the rest of the game.
At levels 2 and 3, both points should be invested into the Phoenix Stance (R), one point into the Bear Stance (E) at level 4, in order to allow you to gank, and only upon hitting level 6 should players invest into Turtle Stance (W).
Besides these, the core spell order remains R, W and E.
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The Best Jungle Paths for Udyr
The Animal Spirit uses Tiger Stance (Q) to clear out the first camp as quickly as possible, before power-farming to LVL 4 in order to get 2 points into Phoenix Stance (R) and one into Bear Stance (E), hitting the necessary power spike to start ganking.
We are going to cover the most advantageous 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.
The primary clearing tool remains Phoenix Stance (R), as it deals plenty of AOE damage to effectively clear the both the multi-mob and solo camps.
1. Red Side, Red Clear
Starting our Jungle routes from the Red Side, the first starting position we’re going to be taking a look at debuts at the Red Buff, which players are going to slay by simply hitting away at its Health bar using Tiger Stance (Q)
Once the Red Buff has been secured, make your way to the Krug camp and alternate between the Tiger and Phoenix Stance (R) in order to get the most out of Udyr’s AOE clear, also using the first Smite charge onto the large Krug to accelerate the process.
You will now be heading towards the Blue Buff, stopping to clear the remaining multi-mob camps (the Raptors and Wolves) on the way there, investing a second point into Phoenix Stance (R) once you hit LVL 3.
At the Blue Buff, alternate between the Tiger and Phoenix forms, keeping your Passive fully stacked at all times, and trying to get a third basic attack out of each Stance. Use the second charge of your Smite onto Blue, before shifting your attention towards the Gromp.
Repeat the same process at the sixth camp (Gromp), allowing it to heal you up at the end, before stepping into the River to finish the first full clear.
Break the Scuttler’s shield using Bear Stance’s (E) stun and chip away at its Health bar until slain. This leaves you in a position to gank either Mid or Bot, keeping your Passive fully stacked beforehand in order to benefit from its 15% bonus movement speed during the gank.
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2. Red Side, Blue Clear
Opting to start from the Blue Buff will still have players going for a full clear, with the only significant difference being the added assistance with the first camp, granted by your Bot lane.
After securing Blue with the use of Tiger Stance (Q), immediately challenge the Gromp and cast your first Smite on it once its Health drops below 450.
Make you way to the Red Buff, again stopping to clear the Wolves and Raptors on the way there, getting the most out of Udyr’s Phoenix Stance and its AOE clear. If the camps happen to take you under a certain HP threshold, feel free to use the Refillable Potion to heal up.
At the Red Buff, alternate between the Tiger and Phoenix Stances until it drop below the 450 Health threshold, using the second charge of your Smite to finish securing the camp.
As for the final camp residing in your Jungle, start clearing the Krugs using Tiger Stance (Q) and switch over to the Phoenix, allowing its AOE damage to take care of the smaller mobs while you focus on the sturdier ones.
Lastly, head for the Scuttler and break its shield with your stun, securing some extra vision, gold and experience before looking for an angle to gank Top or Mid from.
3. Blue Side, Blue Clear
Now switching over to the Blue Side of the Map, the clears and routes will be mostly identical, besides the mirrored layout.
Starting with the Blue Buff, restlessly attack it while in the Tiger Stance, allowing you to hit LVL 2 as quickly as possible in order to gain access to the Phoenix Form.
Immediately head towards the Gromp and freely use the first charge of Smite on it, accelerating your tempo and regenerating some Health in the process, before heading for the Wolves.
The third and fourth camps on the list (the Wolves and Raptors) won’t pose much of a threat considering Udyr’s AOE damage from Phoenix Stance (R), but do not hesitate to use the Refillable Potion when needed.
Once the multi-mobs have been cleared, it is time to secure your second Buff, by slaying Red. Alternate between the Tiger and Phoenix Stances in order to keep your Passive at 3 stacks, using Smite to execute it once its HP bar drops below the 450 mark.
Now make your way south to the Krug camp and invest the extra bit of time to clear it as well, using Phoenix Stance’s AOE damage to your advantage, before entering the River to slay the Scuttler and starting to look for ganking opportunities on either Mid or Bot.
4. Blue Side, Red Clear
As for our final starting position, the Blue Side’s Red Buff, players will once again benefit from having two allies’ assistance at the first camp, as it provides a considerable amount of tempo.
After you’re done slaying the Red Buff, make your way to the Krug camp and cast the first charge of your Smite onto the larger mob, using Phoenix Stance’s AOE damage to efficiently clear the rest of the camp.
It is then time to head towards the Blue Buff, stopping at both the Raptors and Wolves on your way there, slaying those accordingly. Phoenix and Tiger Stance will allow players to comfortably clear the multi-mob camps, but the Refillable Potion is always there to aid with the loss of HP.
Once at the Blue Buff, feel free to invest the second charge of Smite onto it, allowing you to quickly shift your attention towards the Gromp, as one final duel before entering the River.
Gromp will leave Udyr with plenty of Health to contest the Scuttler if needed, but given the impressive AOE clear in his R ability, players will often have plenty of time left to secure the Scuttler without interruption.
Once all seven camps have been secured, as shown in the associated image, it is time to start ganking by scouting the Top and Mid lanes for an angle to strike from!
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Tips and Tricks
- Udyr’s core source of damage comes from the Phoenix Stance (R), as the first and every third basic attack will send out a cone of damaging flames. The damage scales with ability power, yet despite not building any of it, Phoenix Stance still deals a considerable amount of damage, especially when considering the fact that Udyr’s core items and mechanics fall into the Tank category.
- With so much diversity in his kit, it’s easy to forget about Udyr’s Passive, Monkey’s Agility. The concept is simple, upon switching stances, Udyr gains 10% attack speed and 5% movement speed for 5 seconds, yet many players forget about the fact that these effects can stack up to three times. Make sure to always keep the Passive stacked at max by continuously switching to another stance every 4 seconds or so, then switching back to the stance you want.
- Bear Stance (E) is Udyr’s bread and butter, as it provides the much needed 1 second stun. Contrary to popular belief, every basic attack can apply this stun, not just the first one (although it has a 6 second cooldown against the same target). Udyr also ignores unit collision for the first few seconds after entering this stance, so do keep this in mind when trying to lock onto an enemy unit.
- Finally, perhaps the most underestimated stance, the Turtle (W), is the core survivability tool in the Animal Spirit’s arsenal, as the first and every third basic attack heals for 2.5% of maximum Health, scaling up to 5% based on the amount of missing Health, making it essential to active this stance accordingly.
As soon as Udyr reaches LVL 4, his only goal is to find out-of-position enemies and to run them down with his terrorizing sprint, in order to engage in a one-sided duel. Despite building solely Tank items, the core abilities behind Udyr’s kit allow him to win most early to mid-game skirmishes, but team play remains of utmost importance.
Find carries on your team to funnel gold into, constantly scouring the Map for isolated enemies to lock onto.
Once in the late game, Udyr’s job is to run down the enemy team, applying Bear Stance’s (E) stun on multiple enemies consecutively, soaking up damage through Turtle Stance, and allowing his team to back up the fight, allowing Udyr to carry games by leveraging his allies’ strengths.
With the upcoming VGU update, players have a limited time to enjoy the old school version of the Animal Spirit, which we’ve grown to either love or hate. As much as we’d like to think that the newer version will only improve the core mechanics behind Udyr, it is hard to deny the fact that every VGU update also brings a hefty amount of nostalgia along with it, so make sure hop into a game of Udyr while you still have time!
That being said, we want to thank you for reading our guide on Udyr, the Animal Spirit, urging our readers to keep an eye out on our website, where we constantly upload fresh content, including guides like this one!