[Guide] statikk's Take on Udyr, the Animal Spirit

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RiotStatikk

QA Analyst

08-26-2010
1 of 2 Riot Posts

*** These are all my personal thoughts and opinions and in no way reflect the opinions/ideas of Riot or The Council. ***

As per the community poll, I have done this guide on Udyr. I will be putting up another poll soon enough for the next champion so look out for that.

Once again I advise you to at least read my article "Know Your Role" first before taking a look at any of my other stuff and to always check out the Runeterra versions of these articles/guides as they are a lot easier to read.

Good luck out there on the battlefields summoners!
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Current Compendium of statikk's Guides:

Know Your Role: Runeterra or LoL Forums
Kassadin, the Voidwalker: Runeterra or LoL Forums
Udyr, the Animal Spirit: Runeterra or LoL Forums
Dr. Mundo, the Madman of Zaun: Runeterra or LoL Forums
Sona, the Maven of the Strings: Runeterra or LoL Forums
Vladimir, the Crimson Reaper: Runeterra or LoL Forums
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Let me preface this by saying that these are only my personal suggestions and recommendations. Feel free to add your own spice to the mix as guides should not be treated as infallible rulebooks but rather should be taken as mental starting points that provoke analytical thought.
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Udyr, the Animal Spirit
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Spells

Tiger Stance (Q)

Turtle Stance (W)

Bear Stance (E)

Phoenix Stance (R)

Monkey's Agility (Passive)


I didn't bother explaining his spells mainly because it would take up way too much room. Hopefully the tooltips from the LoL site will suffice. Udyr is unique in that he has no "ultimate" ability and all his spells can potentially reach level 5 (not all 4 at the same time though).
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Suggested Role - Tank (Initiator) / (Jungle) Ganker

Right off the bat you should notice that Udyr's abilities are well-suited for primarily a Tank role. With damage mitigation from Turtle Stance and Monkey's Agility and the ability to initiate on opponents with Bear Stance, Udyr is a solid choice when a team lacks a tank. He has decent AoE damage output from Phoenix Stance which allows him to be a threat especially in team-fights. In any Udyr build either Phoenix or Tiger Stance must be chosen as the primary source of damage. If you were planning on more of a Carry-type build, Tiger Stance could work but for a Tank build it is not synergistic whatsoever.

His only weakness as a pure Tank is that he has no large AoE to initiate with and has to rely solely on Bear Stance instead to single out opponents. But what Udyr lacks in that department he makes up in his ability to jungle and Gank extremely well. Although he lacks the true burst of a traditional Ganker, Udyr makes up for this with the extreme burst movement speed and lockdown of Bear Stance combined primarily with the Red Lizard buff which is nearly impossible to escape. Also because he is tankier than most Gankers, he can dive towers and bowl through enemy allies with much more ease. All of this allows him to be much more aggressive than most Gankers.

If Udyr can manage a strong early game typically via controlling the jungle and ganking effectively, he can definitely become an almost unstoppable force that can tank entire teams for the entirety of a team-fight while dealing a deceiving amount of damage through Phoenix Stance. The spammy nature of his abilities allows him to be a consistent presence that can easily outlast and eventually overwhelm most other champions. In this regard, you could consider him somewhat a Semi-Carry but I'd rather not delve into that debate.

In the mid / late-game, Udyr's role is the same as any other Tank. Udyr wants to favorably initiate on the enemy team hopefully catching a valuable target off-guard so that he can continue on to stun them, disrupt them, and perhaps eventually land a handful of kills. Udyr presents a tough choice for the enemy team. They can choose to try to ignore you which will allow you to spam mainly Phoenix and Bear Stance to deal potent damage while also disrupting the enemy or they can try to focus you which will be fended off by Turtle and Bear Stance spam in order to reduce their damage output and get out of the fray when it gets too dangerous.
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Runes

Marks of Alacrity (attack speed)
Seals of Evasion (dodge)
Glyphs of Shielding (magic resist per level)
Quintessences of Fortitude (health)


Attack speed strongly synergizes with Udyr's stances (especially in my case Phoenix Stance). Dodge is another no-brainer due its stacking with his passive. Magic resist per level allow you to focus itemization more towards health and armor which currently in my opinion hold stronger item choices (Sunfire Cape, Aegis, Guardian Angel, etc.). Health quints are a safe choice and of course synergize with any Tank.
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Summoner Spells

Smite: allows for effective jungle control (which includes the ability to steal neutral buffs)
Ghost/Flash: increased mobility to help finish kills or escape sticky situations
Cleanse: for when the enemy just has too much disable to deal with

My personal preferences are Smite and Ghost.
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Masteries

21 points in Utility (notable points: Utility Mastery, Quickness, Intelligence, Presence of the Master)
9 points in Defense (notable points: Nimbleness)

Utility Mastery is a big deal when jungling as it allows you more time to setup ganks and control the jungle. The movement speed also synergizes well with Udyr and the rest of the tree just follows. Nimbleness is an especially strong choice with Udyr as it synergizes with his passive.

Do not forget to grab upgraded summoner spells if possible.
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Spell Build Order

Phoenix Stance > Turtle Stance > Bear Stance > Tiger Stance

I like to start with Phoenix to jungle effectively and grab a first point in both Turtle and Bear at levels 2 and 3 respectively. I could definitely see an argument for maxing Bear before Turtle but it's all preference. I could also see delaying Phoenix Stance if you really wanted to become a pure lockdown support type of champion. Tiger Stance gets points when you have nowhere else to put them.
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Item Suggestions

In my experience, there are two primary ways of building a Tank Udyr (I have also seen Carry Udyrs but the majority of them are pretty fail -- if you're interested I typically see them primarily building Trinity Force and Madred's Bloodrazor).

The first build focuses on pure mitigation and tanking potential. This build is a general build for any Tank who wants a balance of health, magic resist, and armor. I personally like to grab a Madred's Razors for early game jungle dominance that can eventually be turned into a Madred's Bloodrazor late-game if it gets that far. I could also see people grabbing Wriggle's Lantern on him.

Pure Tank Build:

Madred's Razors - Mercury's Treads - Sunfire Cape - Banshee's Veil - Guardian Angel

The second build focuses more on grabbing team-aura items which I guess can result in something you could call a Support-Tank. Once again no matter what build I go I like to grab the early Madred's Razors to control the jungle for my team (especially Dragon).

Support Tank Build:

Madred's Razors - Mercury's Treads - Innervating Locket - Aegis of the Legion - Guardian Angel

One thing to never forget is to counter your enemies’ item choices and team composition. Sometimes it is necessary to veer from your intended build in order to perform at maximum potential. Do not neglect item choices such as Ninja Tabi or Randuin's Omen against a physical-heavy team or an Abyssal Scepter or Force of Nature against a magic-heavy team.

Notable Situational Items:

Randuin's Omen - Ninja Tabi - Abyssal Scepter - Force of Nature


Note: Remember, be flexible and adapt. There's no need to strictly follow any set build. Mix and match in order to find something that suits both the situation as well as your playstyle.
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Miscellaneous Tips

  • Look for easy gank targets immediately once you've picked up Red Lizard buff and a point in Bear Stance
  • Try to get/keep your Monkey's Agility stacks up before engaging in fights
  • Be wary of when to be defensive with Turtle and when to go offensive with Phoenix
  • An overlooked tactic in team battles is to Bear Stance and constantly switch targets in order to lock down as many enemies as possible


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00ZER00

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Senior Member

08-26-2010

Good guide!

Glad to see a non-carry Udyr guide =]


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Fokist

Junior Member

08-26-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00ZER00 View Post
Good guide!

Glad to see a non-carry Udyr guide =]
whew, i thought they would show a useful udyr guide. let this guy remain a relatively unkown char riot. then i dont have problems: fighting my team for him, missing out on him in ranked, or getting banned ranked.


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Azamantes

Junior Member

08-26-2010

i have seen a few udyrs these late days. sadly most of them are prety bad, they feed and realy dont know what to do when a team fight starts.

but then i saw a udyr whose first item was bilgewater cutlass... i was like gunblade on udyr ??? noob !!

but i started to think it makes perfect sense.. a long rage slow is perfect for a ganker like udyr, plus the lifesteal and damage are ok (not great in any way but ok)

I also think that if the team has a main tank u can forget about defenses a litle and focus on more offense with bilgewater cutlass - > boots - > upgraded boots - > gunblade -> sunfire cape ....... and after that u have to think about what u want more...
do u want to kill their squishies fast go with -> recurve bow -> stark's fervor or bloodrazor
are u targeted a lot in teamfights go with -> more sunfire capes if theyre all physical damage or if theyre more mages - > negatron cloak and a ruby cristal


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Eppa

Senior Member

08-26-2010

Getting madreds as a core item is kind of eeh as often you won't need it if they help you with dragon/ dragon is warded.

What is the reason you get it in your core as you can easily jungle without it anyway.


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peyo

Senior Member

08-26-2010

I feel like it's a bit uncompleted guide... Where's jungle pathway?

Also, why don't u get imp. Smite? :P


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imhuge

Senior Member

08-26-2010

Madred's Razor:

you jungle faster with it (very important, unless it only procs on last hit or something)
it builds from Cloth Armor and is probably the best upgrade from it at the time
you can sell it if you want and you'll only be down 300 gold


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Covenant

Senior Member

08-27-2010

Most people head for the Razor to kill the dragon--that's basically it. There's no reason to get Razor unless you want to kill the Dragon solo early on (except that it makes killing jungle creeps freakishly easy) but as a jungler, it's not a bad idea at all. You can also turn the Cloth Armor into Heart of Gold, which is a great early item and quickly adds gold to your pocket. Even a little more gold means you can more affordably buy wards, and as a jungler, you're in a great position to keep things warded and coordinate ganks. It's another reason why the Lantern is good--free wards.

Personally, I still disagree that Phoenix is head-and-shoulders above Tiger. Tiger's active does more single-target damage than Phoenix at level 1 and their passive DPS comes out to nearly the same when you add up all the bits and pieces. This means you kill the Golem at roughly the same time, the little lizards a moment later, and can continue jungling with a better on-target skill for later on.

Initiating a team-fight by prepping tiger first, then bear, will let you dash in with tiger's 3x damage nuke prepped--your first target will be stunned by bear, take the 3x damage, and you can then switch to turtle or back to tiger to add another 3x damage pile to someone. Against a squishy target this can lead to some alarming damage fairly quickly (more than Phoenix's aura, and done in 3 ticks instead of 5, even if they try to run away) and in no way requires you to build AD items to take advantage of it.

Compared to Phoenix it gives you a more versatile harassment ability that's more likely to net a kill, tear down a tower, or apply on-hit effects like the Bloodrazor.


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Waschbar

Senior Member

08-27-2010

Covenant is pretty much right in all aspects. Its mostly about preference but I'm tired of seeing all the Tiger-Hate.


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Sturmhard

Senior Member

08-27-2010

has nothing to do with hate.
its just to prevent people from feeding and getting killed all the time. Phoenix synergizes better with the tank build because you spend a considerable time in the middle of the opponents and by spamming phoenix you deal quite some aoe-damage by the active and passive effects. You dont have to target every single opponent like for a tiger strike and while you are only autoattacking in tiger during cooldown you deal constant damage when using phoenix.
Add sunfire for improved effects.


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