[Guide] Warwick, the Tank Slayer
NOTE: An update is coming, as soon as I can get the time to do such in depth. I'll also try putting in a few 'what if's and alternate builds throughout to give more flexibility.
This guide is designed to make those diehard Warwick players, along with those who simply want to try him out, be a value to your team and efficient from beginning to end. I know many groan when they see a Warwick on their team, but despite popular belief, he can still be effective in his own right.
As a disclamer, this hero is NOT for those who want to act like Rambo or can't watch multiple things going on at once. With no escape mechanics nor on call speed boosts, dependable CC or AoE, if you make one wrong move odds are you are going to pay for it, and make the enemy team stronger in the process. Because of this, map awareness, team play, and timing are much more important with Warwick compaired to some other heroes.
If you're willing to learn, go through trial and error, and have a grasp when you should take a chance, or back off, then here is my take on Warwick, the Tank Slayer.
Strengths and Theories:
-2 solo lanes, allowing two of your teammates to get faster levels.
-No matter how much HP they have, you can weaken any champion to where one or two nukes will ensure their defeat with the combination of Bloodrazor on your Infinite Duress, and the % damage of Hungering Strike.
-Quite powerful in 1v1, with a lifesteal possible to handle 2v1 of equal levels (If you're lucky enough not to get CC'd)
-Suicide diving that one important target can quickly turn the tides in a teamfight, thus lessening one of Warwick's biggest weaknesses of team use.
-No escape mechanisms, depends purely on lifesteal for survival.
-No CC or AoE, making group encounters difficult.
-No range beyond Hungering Strike, dependant on team slow/snares or Lizard buff.
-Main attack has a high mana cost early game with an extremely low mana pool. Choose it's use wisely.
-Item dependant. Being shut down will hurt, and hurt bad.
-Buggy Ult is Buggy.
You can play around a bit with this, but my personal layout is Quints + Marks are Crit Chance. Seals are Dodge, and Glyphs are flat Mana Regen. Warwick has horrible mana problems early game, but not so much late game as you'll be nomming Golem face every chance you get. The flat mana regen helps soften that pain early game, but still is enough to keep you running late. (Your mana pool is itty bitty anyway)
Again, a little flexible. I go 21/0/9, and you can see the exact distribution on the bottom. Just make sure you take the bonus XP from the Util tree. 2 golems can get you lvl 2 right off the bat.
Rally and Smite are wonderful jungling abilities, and will make the task quite a bit faster. Regretfully we will NOT be taking these. Take both and there's a 50/50 chance the entire enemy team will be waiting for you at the golem with not so nice intentions. It also harms you later game as you're less effective against other players, and makes many Warwicks never leave the jungle.
Because of this, I pick Exaust and Flash. Exaust is nice for early game ganks, taking out that speedy Udyr running away from you, or let you finish off a gank by blinding the person trying to save them. Flash slightly helps Warwick's lack of escape, I can't count how many times it's saved me by blinking over the treelines or over the wall of the enemy base.
Start out with Cloth Armor, and 2 Health Potions. Take Hunter's Call to begin with, and head to either of the nonbuff, nonwrath creep camps. When they spawn, pop Hunter's Call, and take them down. Head to the other camp across the lanes and do the same thing, taking your Health Potions as needed. If you got the golems first you'll be level 2 on your first camp, if wolves the second camp will do it. Pick up Hungering Strike at level 2, head to the wrath camp, and do the same as usual of using your Call and remaining health pot. Right when they die, port back to your base, buy a long sword, and run back to your original camp, as it should be respawned by now. Repete the kill order, port back after the wraths, and buy a Madred's Razor.
Head for the golem at this point, he shouldn't cause you trouble with the Razor procs and Hungering Strike combined. Clear out the whole jungle in any way you wish, making sure you stop back in town for Boots of Speed. During this phase, make sure you watch teamchat and help out in lanes as they need it. If someone has to port back to base, hold their lane in the meantime. It's XP for you, and no tower for them, win win.
As you level, swap between maxing Hungering Strike, and Blood Scent, as 1 level of Hunter's Call is enough to get you through the day until late game. Too much dependance on it for jungling will make you weak should someone show up to gank, or you're needed in an early team fight. Keep this up until level 6, and the fun begins.
Start out with Boots of Speed, 2 Health Potions, and 1 Mana Potion, and a point into Hungering Strike. Play it safe as you have a lack of range, but the Boots of Speed should help you maneuver around the creeps, dodging skillshots as need be. Use your health potions as needed to stay in the lane, and Hungering Strike if you need a bigger portion restored, with the Mana Potion used if you get too low in that department. Level 2, take Blood Scent. Combined with your boots, it makes you one of if not the fastest in a lane if someone is below 50% health. This allows you to take a little more risk in chasing down weakened enemies, or running from them should backup show, just don't try to tower dive. Keep Hungering Strike maxed, while making sure you get 1 point in Hunter's Call before 6.
When you have the funding and it's safe enough to, sneak in a Madred's Razor as well, it'l help in final hitting creeps, and leads to your bread and butter item later. Make sure you have your boots and your Razor by level 6, and that leads us to:
-Post Level 6:
Both paths above lead to the same spot. Madred's Razor, a pair of boots, and level 6. As you level, you want to continue keeping Hungering Strike and Infinite Duress maxed, with Blood Scent behind those two, and Hunter's Call taken when no others can be. The first item you want to build for now is Madred's Bloodrazor, with the Recurve Bow coming first. This item is why no matter the HP, you can handle an enemy in a gank. Every strike you do deals damage equaled to 4% of their total health, and this effect procs on all 6 strikes of your Infinite Duress. This means on a full 6-strike use, the proc alone has knocked out 24% of their maximum HP. WIth a rank 5 Hungering Strike used right after which deals 20% of their maximum health in damage, that's 44% of their HP, no matter how high it is. This is not counting the base damage you do per strike on Infinite Duress, which will generally drop them below 50%. This is enough to trigger your Blood Scent, and by then unless they have help, heal, cleanse, or they're Udyr, it's pretty much over.
Now that you have the Bloodrazor and the boots of your choice, it's time to look at all the other players in the game. Do they have a healer, Mundo, or another lifestealing character? Pick up an Executioner's Call. Do you have a melee heavy team? Get Stark's Fevor. Are their tanks stacking armor over HP? Get yourself a Last Whisper. After you pick one (or all if you get fed) of those items, I suggest a Frozen Mallet to ensure a kill should you get ahold of someone, and it provides a little bonus damage and survivability. Malady is also a choice as Infinite Duress will put a full 6 stacks on the enemy, but most teamfights won't last long enough to make good use of it.
Throughout the game when you have a good chance to (All lanes safe, all enemies accounted for), pick off the golem, lizard, and dragon whenever you can. The buffs help you out from beginning to end, and the dragon will give your team a small bit of gold each time it's up for little effort.
The fall of many a Warwick usually comes from one of two things. Either they live in the jungle and don't help the team enough, allowing the enemy to get uneven odds, or they grow overconfident by diving into a team of 5 without the team behind them, rushing a tower with a wounded hero whom still has their CC up, so on. You need to find a good balance of lane work, ganking, and jungling to keep yourself efficient, and sadly that means that if you slip up one too many times, or your timing isn't right, you're going to end up feeding the enemy, and providing them with nearly always uneven team battles unless you arrive at the right time.
Because of this, ask your team to tell you in advance where they want you, before they move. Watch chat, watch the map, and follow the flow of your team. If there seems to be more activity twords the bottom of the map, try to jungle more frequently on that half so you're close to the action, and able to jump as needed. You're not a front line fighter, so don't charge them head on. Try to let their attention fall on someone else, then focus your attacks on the highest priority target. If they have a tank who is stacking auras, ping him, then latch on to nom face as soon as both sides clash. If they have a Twitch or Eve, wait for them to show themselves, and quickly shut them down before they can have their fun.
You're the 'go to' guy for your team. If they need to head to the base to heal or shop, you support the lane to keep it safe. If the enemy is being overly agressive, just showing up in said lane can make them thing twice about pushing so close. Keeping the dragon on lockdown ensures your team keeps getting that little bonus in gold, and your Hunter's Call late game can speed up the destruction of enemy towers before they can chase your team off.
Also remember that while your ult does good damage, there is a stun mechanic to it. While at times unreliable, it can be used to slow down someone chasing your teammate, or silence their healer/support for the duration. If your whole team is low on health from a bad skirmish, latching onto one of the chasers and making them all turn on you can be the difference between them getting 1 kill, or 4. People LOVE to focus on Warwick, so you can use that to your team's advantage as long as you don't do it too often, and turn into a feeder.
Now for the usually required 'TLDR' section.
1. Hunters Call
2. Hungering Strike
3. Hungering Strike
4. Blood Scent
5. Hungering Strike
1. Hungering Strike
2. Blood Scent
3. Hungering Strike
4. Hunter's Call
5. Hungering Strike
6. Infinite Duress
7. Hungering Strike
8. Blood Scent
9. Hungering Strike
10. Blood Scent
11. Infinite Duress
12. Blood Scent
13. Hunter's Call
14. Blood Scent
15. Hunter's Call
16. Infinite Duress
17. Hunter's Call
18. Hunter's Call
Stark's Fevor/Last Whisper/Executioner's Call
The rest will be dependant on enemy makeup and your own tastes.
-Kill Golem/Lizard if no one else on your team needs it
-Make high HP heroes cry
-Forget it's not an MMO and only kill NPCs
-Use Infinite Duress while someone's about to go into brush
-Gloat, brag, or insult the other team. If you're a good player, let your game play say so, not your words.
And that's that for the first version of the guide. If you have any suggestions or feel something should change please do let me know. It's not set in stone, but it has been working out for me. Always remember that this is a GUIDE, not an instructions manual. It's to help you out, but it won't fall apart if you decide to change it a bit or add your own flavor to the mix. Build on it, improve it, make it better and we'll all benefit from it. I'll put a changelog on the bottom if this somehow manages to make it into the big list o' guides, and I'll try to update it as I figure things out.
1/22/10 - Added Picture of Masteries, fixed oodles of typos.
1/23/10 - Updated Masteries to be a bit more efficient.
1/23/10 - Woot! Made it into the big list o' guides!
3/20/10 - Reassure people I'm not dead.
Hey could you please post your masteries (since u said you would lol)
PS: Great Guide haven't tried it yet (as im at work atm lol)
A very clean and well written guide
Great job! ;)
finally a motivation for me to try him out again. because i somehow like wolves ya know.
Nice guide, I was interested in seeing how people jungled after the nerf.
No word for a long time on Warwick changes, then 2 days after writing the guide they finally say he's on the priority list to being fixed and he may have some skills reworked. Enjoy the current version while it lasts and I promise to update it come two or three patches from now when he's tweaked. Good news either way!
It is nice to hear. Once you're past the most basic gameplay it becomes fairly trivial to starve a 'wick out of his Bloodrazors by stealing Lizards/Golems so he can't effectively hunt for ult bombs. He could really use something to make him less reliant on the Bloodrazors/Malady/Lizard Buff/Wit's End combo.
What about Wit's End? I believe that also applies to every hit of his ult. It's almost always better than malady I'd think. Since usually you start the fight with ult, and malady procs have to be built up. Whereas wits end, is a free 42ish damage each hit. More than malady and doesn't need to be built up. Of course, if they have a manaless character, I'd go malady or something else instead.
As for the guide, this guide is pretty much exactly how I've played Warwick for a while now. Once Warwick gets Bloodrazor, his Ult and Hungering Bite become a very devastating 1-2 combination and can end the lives of anyone low on health. My build tends to end up as
Flash and Exhaust are good summoner spells for Warwick to have, but lately I've been taking Flash and Fortify. Fortify is great to have when jungling, as it gives an extra 10 damage to minions when off cooldown, and protects unguarded turrets in a pinch. It makes jungling up to Madred's Razors quicker so Warwick becomes effective faster.
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