Tryndamere – Philosophy of a Raging Barbarian
There are several decent guides for Tryndamere but there are very few decent Tryndameres out there. I hope this guide will help increase their amount. Please rate and comment, if you hate it, please tell me why. If you love it, please tell me why. It was fun writing it so I hope you’ll enjoy reading it
P.S. English isn’t my first language so you might encounter some mistakes. Please point those out. Thanks in advance.
In order to understand how to build Tryndamere we have to define what his role is and how to use his strengths to the max.
In order to realize what his role is we should first take a look at his skills:
Q - Bloodlust
9 out of 10 people say that Tryndamere’s early game is horrific and while it’s definitely not spectacular it is not as bad as most people think. The reason why Tryndamere is able to lane successfully is due to his Q. You can ignore the fact that it gives you additional damage and crit damage, the important part of the skill is the healing.
Apart from his Ult, Q is the most important skill in the game for Tryndamere be it in the first 10 minutes of the match or late game.
The recent buff to the additional damage allows Tryndamere to deal significant damage even very early in the game. I don’t think there is any other champion out there that gets 100 AD without items and runes.
How to use:
You can get a maximum of 8 Bloodlust stacks. The more stacks you have the more you will be healed when you activate this ability At level 5 it heals you for around 400hp. Basically your ultimate goal is to have 8 stacks at all times. While you can get those by trying to crit the hell out of the minions in your lane I strongly suggest to last hit only, it doesn’t matter whether you last hit with your basic attack or with E, you’ll get a stack. Try to maximize your stacks before using them, it has a fairly long cooldown on earlier levels and you won’t be able to use it again straight after the first use even if you manage to get stacks.
When is it ok to use Bloodlust at less than 8 stacks?
When you’re missing some health, there are no enemy minions to kill and your Bloodlust timer runs out. Once the timer runs out your stacks are gone so it’s better to use the ones you acquired instead of not getting anything at all.
Now that we get a significant bonus damage once we acquire 8 stacks you should try to harass your opponents if a safe opportunity arises, with the proposed runes you’ll get a 10% crit chance at LvL 1 without items. With the bonus crit damage from Q and masteries that comes to around 250 dmg at LvL 1. Considering that lots of the champions start out with 500-600 hp max. that 1 crit will make sure that they will try to keep their distance from now on.
W – Mocking Shout
A devastating skill against heavy AD teams. At level 5 Mocking Shout reduces enemies AD by 100 (!!!).
How to use:
A lot of people wait for their enemies to turn around to activate the skill and make use of its slowing aspect. While this is the way to go in a 1v1 situation I wouldn’t wait for it in a teamfight. While you wait for that Kogmaw/Ashe/Ezreal to start running from you, your teammates get slaughtered by Olaf and Pantheon. If an enemy’s AD is lower than the reduction from Mocking Shout their AD will go into negatives.
You’ll be able to activate Mocking Shout only if there are enemy champions nearby. Which means, you don’t actually have to enter the bushes to know whether there is somebody hiding there or you could always easily tell whether an Eve or a Twitch are sneaking nearby.
E – Spinning Sash
Basically it’s a flash that deals damage to everything which is between your starting and your arrival point. It’s important to point out that you don’t deal any damage if you click on the enemy, you have to pass through the enemy to deal damage.
How to use:
The damage of the skill is rather small. I use it mostly for mobility. If you have to cross some distance always use this skill to pass through walls or to leap . Ignore the cost, it’s so small it’s almost like it’s free.
The mobility aspect should be also put to use in the laning phase and during teamfights.
This skill is great for harassing. If you feel confident and your opponents are not too durable spin in, hit, run away.
In the teamfights this skill allows you to close the gap between those squishies in the back, no matter how many people are in front of them, Spinning Sash allows you to spin right through them. I’ll say this again: DON’T use this skill for damage, the amount of time it takes to spin through somebody is same or greater than if you use your autoattack which will deal much much more damage, especially late game. Save this skill for the moment when they start to run/flash away/turn on ghost, if you use it for damage it will be on cooldown and you don’t want that.
R – Undying Rage
Ah yes… The defining skill of Tryndamere.
Call it whatever you want if you don’t know how to use it it will most probably get you killed instead of allowing you to score a penta kill.
Most guides say it and I will say it too, it’s all about timing and this is where the greatest problem lies. It’s Tryndamere’s “Achilles’ heel”. In this section I will give you some tips on how and when to use it and what to be aware off when you’re about to use it. So if you always wanted to know how to stop that unkillable Tryndamere read on.
How to use:
The basic idea is very simple. You want to maximize your damage, so wait until the last second to use your Ult. In a perfect world you’d wait until you are at 1hp to turn on your Ult, get that penta and walk away a hero. Unfortunately this doesn’t work that way and there are several reasons for that.
One of the biggest threats is burst. There you are, fighting at 60% hp, your finger is not even close to the R button, tons of time till you have to turn on ult. Suddenly 800AP Veigar appears he does the Deathfire Grasp + Ult combo on you, your eyes widen, you see this huge ball of energy flying towards your fragile body, the finger presses the R button but it’s already too late, the screen went grey. Substitute Veigar for Poppy/Sion/Annie/Akali etc. and you’ve got tons of reasons to get frustrated.
So how do you deal with burst? Well, to be honest you don’t… You have to know your enemies well, you have to know what kind of damage potential they have and you’ve got to have a fast finger.
It’s not just about the damage potential, the CC is even more important, because once you activate your Ult there is no turning back. You can of course turn it on and run away but your ultimate goal should be to deal as much damage as possible.
So what’s the big deal with CC? Cleanse FTW! Unfortunately it’s not that easy… Here is very a simple scenario. Ashe is alone mid. Your mid is shopping, you decide to gank Ashe so you come from the river bush. You spin, she turns around, Mocking Shout, she is slowed you catch up with her, a CRIT! YESSSS, you can already smell her blood on your fingers but what is that Flash + Frost Arrow?! HA! I’VE CLEANSE !!! You delayed your death for 1.5 sec, you stupid Ashe. Another Spin, Mocking Shout is still on cooldown (CD). Volley, you’re slowed and at 50% hp now. Ashe runs away and shoots a slowing arrow, then another one, then another. Knowing that you have your Ult you’re not afraid of anything, like a true barbarian you stay on your target till the bitter end. Another Volley, 10% HP. Oh God, the distance between you and her is growing?! The time runs out. You turn around to run, Volley, Slowing Arrow, Slowing Arrow, Volley. Ult ran out, you’re dead.
Yea…. Kite is another reason why Tryndamere is so easy to counter. Once again, know your enemies! Standing there and fighting a Tryndamere 1v1 is the worst thing you could do. This is Heaven for Tryndamere. As Tryndamere you have to realize when people are trying to bait your Ult. What I usually do when I’m facing a Tryndamere I give them the impression that they almost got me. Just a little bit more and I’m a free kill for them.
Here is a similar scenario that happened last week. I’m Mundo as blue, I ran to mid to defend the tower while our mid was shopping. Suddenly enemy Tryndamere appears. There are very few minions so the Tryndamere starts attacking me just outside the range of my tower. He has his ult, I have mine. I let him drop me at 30% HP turn on ult and make few steps back, the towers focuses him he is fast enough to activate the ult he spins to me closing the distance, now a crit or two and I’m a goner but this was the moment I was waiting for. Cleaver to slow him down and ghost away. He is running out of time, both towers are hitting him now, he is running into the bottom left jungle a cleaver in the back finishes the job.
Bait ult, kite, kill.
This is the procedure. With champions like Sion it’s even easier. The Stun is on such a low CD, you just bait the ult, stun him and he already has to start running.
As Tryndamere you have to be aware of that and know exactly whether the skills that can harm you most are on cooldowns.
Though the most dangerous enemy is probably Vlad. The delayed damage on his ultimate is devastating. You usually ult in the mid of a teamfight, while your ult is over his is still “chanelling” on you. The heal from his Q often not enough, even at 8 stacks. Your ult ends, then you receive the damage and die.
How to counter Vlad’s ult?
1. Quicksilver Sash, oftentimes (the new) cleanse is not enough. QSS still removes all the debuffs and for it’s price it’s a great survivability item for Trynd.
2. Red Elixir. It will heal for for 400 HP, combined with Bloodlust this should save you, unless Vlad is superfed and has tons of AP.
3. HP Pot. Less likely to save you but it still increases your chances. Don’t forget that you can combine it with Bloodlust. HP Pots will oftentimes save you from that ignite that somebody has put on you after you’ve ulted so make sure to have at least 1 at all times.
4. (not recommended) Spirit Visage. Q is a healing skill so it’s affected by SV. I tried rushing SV in the past but I feel that it delays my build too heavily. If you’re careful you won’t be needing it. But if you feel unsafe and think that some magic resist is exactly what you need to survive that encounter with Vlad, please go ahead and grab it. It is by no means a mistake just a personal preference.
Decent passive that synergizes really well with your ultimate. This is also the reason why you don’t have to have a lot of crit chance items in order to crit often.
Now that we know what our skills do let’s look a simple scenario of how to put them to use.
In a teamfight your aim is to take down the squishies in the back, KogMaw/Annie/Veigar/Ashe etc. to achieve that you should position yourself in such a way that those squishies will be one Spinning Sash away from you. If the teamfight is happening in the mid you might want to be in the bush when the battle starts. You don’t go in first, you wait for your tank to initiate. The longer you’ll stay unfocused the more damage you’ll be able to do. You don’t need your ult nor the increased crit chance from being on low HP to deal some serious damage. With that said, once the battle starts you spin in use your Mocking Shout if the enemy team has at least 1 heavy AD carry and go straight for the squishie in the back. If the enemy team uses all the CC they have on you, good. Less CC left for you team. Try to land at least a hit, spin away, ghost, Q. You might have not killed anybody but you did your job. If you manage to kill the squishie even better. If the enemy team thinks that there is no point to focus you because you’ll activate your ult anyway thank them for that with a multi-kill.
What if your main target flashed/ghosted away?
You have to evaluate the situation really fast. There are 2 options.
1. The target is still close enough so you can kill it easily, if you don’t its likely that this guy will come back once you turn your back to him => Finish him.
2. The target is pretty far away, it is unlikely that he will turn around with such low HP => Switch your target immediately! Every second in which you don’t deal damage is wasted.
If your ult is over you don’t come back, you don’t try to rescue your allies and port back/run away/SS though walls but you DON’T fight.
Now that we know what our task is let’s focus on maximizing it’s effectiveness. We have to deal damage, and a lot of it. Not just that but we have to do it really fast. Once the ult is activated we have only 6 seconds to kill our enemies and escape. The escape part is just as important as the killing part. You’re supposed to take infinite amount of damage during the ult but after that you’re a feather. So let’s concentrate on the fighting and escaping part.
There is no space for defensive items on an immortal barbarian.
(There are actually few exceptions, I just wanted to use that sentence so shush!)
Well… it depends. If their team is AD heavy you’ll max W first thing after Q. If not, I sometimes go for the additional damage in E. If you manage to get few levels in E early on the damage it will deal is quite significant. But be aware that you pass on the slow increase of W.
R>Q>W>E is the safest route.
Start with Q at level 1, pick E at level 2 and forget about it. You'll need it to harass/escape. Max Q and W. Take R whenever you can.
I believe there are only 2 viable options for Tryndamere here.
Ghost + Cleanse
I used to run this combination for a while in order to bring my survivability to the max but I’ve found out that Cleanse is a two-edged sword. Having Cleanse made me play more reckless. Here is the psychological effect it provides: I have cleanse, I have ghost, I have ult. I can’t die. If something happens I’ll just cleanse, ghost, ult and get away after that stun. What really happens: Stun, cleanse, slow, slow, stun, you ult, stun, dead. Yea… cleanse really helped me out there…
Exhaust + Ghost
Lately I’ve found myself using the second option it made me play much more careful. As Tryndamere you have to know when to leave, when it’s ok to chase and when it’s not. Cleanse is not that useful anymore so if you picked option too and they are heavy on CC Quicksilver Sash is always the better choice. Besides Exhaust allows you to chase and kill (which is your actual job) and also it allows you to face that fed Twitch when your ult is down. 2 Crits is all it takes
Defensive tree does not exist for us.
You go down 21 in the offensive tree putting 3 points in Lethality (Increased Crit DMG) , 3 points in Brute Force and 4 points in Alacrity.
9 points in utility for improved ghost, Good hands, XP and the longer buff duration (Lizard Buff is just amazing on Tryndamere).
That’s a difficult one… or is it? A lot of people swear by full crit chance pages… other people say crit damage is the way to go. To be honest I’m not entirely sure what’s really best. I’ll present you few options I was successful with and see what works best for you.
Let’s evaluate the pros and cons.
Full Crit Page + Brawler Gloves let you start with around 30% crit chance. Great. You can harass your enemy really well and you’ll crit the **** out of the minions. But you’re still a squishie with rather low attack speed, besides there is still a chance that you won’t crit and without any armor penetration your hits won’t deal any real damage you’ll start to feel that even more once you hit late game. You’ll be critting all the time but for some reason those crits won’t have the anticipated effect.
On to the minions. A crit gives you 2 Bloodlust stacks, Bloodlust stacks heal you, so critting minions is good. Right? Wrong! We don’t want to push the lane, at least until we hit 6 we want to farm only and get our Bloodlust stacks by last-hitting.
I can tell you this much. The better you are with Tryndamere the less starting crit chance you will need. I’ve tried running full crit, mixed crit and armor penetration and no crit at all. It all works see what’s best for you.
Crit Chance Marks
Crit Chance Seals
Crit Chance Seals
Crit Chance Seals
Crit Chance Glyphs
All tree Rune Sets work. I wouldn’t suggest the second option to player who are new to Tryndamere though.
The Marks and Quints are self-explanatory.
Why the Crit Chance seals? Well… With the idea that we don’t need any defense there aren’t a lot of useful choices left. You could pick Attack speed or CDR but I prefer those 3,8% of crit chance.
Why the CDR Glyphs? Tryndamere is not limited by a mana pool, only by cooldowns so it’s an obvious choice. Besides 9 crit chance glyphs give you something like 2%, it’s just not worth it. CDR on the other hand is really important, that spin that you’ve used half a second earlier might just have saved your life. Using ult more often increases our usefulness for the team etc.
Lately I’ve been running the 3rd setup and it worked out pretty good. Tryndamere’s Cooldowns were reduced a bit so CDR runes are still a decent choice but not a “must have” they used to be.
Ok, so our runes synergize with our play style. What about our items?
Berserks and 5 Phantom Dancers is all you need. If you want to feed hard.
We on the other hand want to maximize our usefulness as early as possible. Another common misbelieve is that Tryndamere has to farm all game in order to be to do some actual damage. Again, this is not true.
Your first main Item allows you to start kicking asses pretty early in the game.
I’ve been trying out many different starts.
Brawler Gloves and 2 potions.
Boots and 3 potions.
Doran’s shield and 1 potion.
Doran’s blade and 1 potion.
But my ultimate favorite became Rejuvination bead and 5 potions. This gives you hands down the greatest staying power in the lane. This start allows you to farm safely at least until you get 6.
Of course there is still the option of buying a Regrowth Pendant but it doesn’t build in anything useful for us so I don’t like it.
On to the first big item.
More ArmPen. Check.
Crit Chance. Check.
Attack speed. Check.
At first I thought that the lack of AS without the activation was a really bad thing but I came to realize that this is not a problem at all. Once we ult we have 6 seconds to wreak havoc. The activation time on Youmu is 8 secs. This item is almost made for Tryndamere. Not only is the complete item great but also the parts you build it from and for the stats it provides you with it’s really really cheap. Finishing the Avarice Blade first nets some bonus gold which is nice. Once you hit 6, you should work on getting your Youmu + boots 1 and you can start killing people. It really doesn’t take more than that. Somebody is low and decided to port by the tower? Spin, Youmu, hit, hit, spin away, ult if you have to, to survive that last tower shot.
Second item is an obvious choice. The best item for Tryndamere.
I suppose there is no need to go into detail here. The build order is not that important in my opinion. If you can start with the BF Sword, great. Pickaxe? Also ok. Cloak of Agility? Well, if you have to.
Even if you won’t be able to farm for more items those two will make you a threat. They aren’t cheap but you won’t have to farm all game in order to get them, besides at all stages while those are unfinished your usefulness is steadily growing.
Those two are your core in almost all cases. Now that you have them you should check enemy items.
The next two items of interest for you are Starks Fervor or Last Whisper. Don’t forget, you have some serious ArmPen from Runes, Masteries and Youmu. Starks would give you an additional of 20 besides the Life Steal would increase your chances of survival of an encounter with an enemy while your ult is on CD. That is why I personally prefer going Starks but if I see that the enemy team has a lot of Armor I will choose LW.
Last but no least:
Elixir of Agility (Green) is absolutely amazing on Tryndamere and I rely highly on it throughout the game. The attack speed and crit chance is really all you need early game and later on its still a great addition. So are the others elixirs. If you swim in gold you might also want to grab the blue elixir for AP which will slightly boost the heal from your Bloodlusts and the damage from the Spinning Sash.
Those items are all you need in my opinion. If you’re a victim of the DPS-Syndrome, please go ahead and grab that Bloodthirster, if you want to crit more often and run faster go grab that Zeal or even Phantom Dancers (I wouldn’t recommend it though). Usually games don’t last that long though.
Note for Low-Levels: If you don't have the crit chance runes your best bet is to build 2 Avarice Blades first. 2 Blades cover all of your crit chance problems, really. You'll upgrade the first one to Ghostblade soon enough, try to stick around with the second one for as long as possible so it pays off in the end. Carefull though, you'll have to start with Brawler Gloves and 2 HP pots which decreases your lane stayability power.
Let’s sum up:
Stark’s Fervor / Last Whisper (or both)
I found myself forced to get this item even before the sacred Infinity Edge because I was facing a Vlad with Rylai’s, a Mordekaiser with 2 Warmogs and a Kat with a Warmog. (Yea, I know… top ELO builds >_>)
It worked rather good, so be open minded and don’t focus on crits too much.
One of the few defensive items I use for Tryndamere. I had to make use of it a total of 2 times but it’s really amazing. If you’re dying due to heavy CC don’t wait till you finish your “main build”, go grab it now!
I haven’t bought it after the nerf but it’s still a good defensive item for Tryndamere. Especially if you’re on a killing spree and you don’t want to give that 1000g to the enemy team.
I often find myself grabbing Zeal after Youmu or IE just for the increased move speed but I almost never manage to build it into Phantoms. They are so **** expensive. In my opinion there are better options for the price.
Well shoes are not really situational, you should always have some but which shoes to get shouldn’t be decided before the game has started. Again, I present you 3 options and ask you to use your judgement to decide which ones to get.
Berserker Greaves – The most hated shoes in the game. To be honest I don’t see a reason not to get those if the enemy team doesn’t have a lot of CC. The attack speed is very useful especially early in the game and you can always sell them once you get Starks or LW to get other shoes. They are rather cheap so you won’t lose that much gold.
Mercury Threads – No need for explanation I guess. Lots of CC => Get them.
Boots of Swiftness – If you can’t catch those runners, these shoes will help.
This item is so good on Trynd lategame! Because of your passive you benefit greatly from a big HP pool and once you hit lategame you'll hit like a truck so the biggest problem will become surviving and catching people who try to kite you, FM helps with both. NOBODY will get away now. The earliest I would suggest to get it would be after Ghostbalde, IE.
Jungle Tryndamere (WIP)
AS Quints + Glyphs
We pick up improved Smite, everything else stays.
You grab VampScepter and head to the small golems usually smiting the first one, few times though I had some lucky crits where I didn't have to. Then we move on to Wraiths, don't spin to them. The trade in HP/Dmg you deal to them is not worth it yet. Also, try to maintain the bloodlust stacks they make you jungle much faster. Next are the little wolves, now unless I was increadibly lucky with Crits I will have to recall at this point to grab shoes (You'll prolly have to wait for 5-10 secs). Grab Red, look for ganking opportunities if there are none get Blue and look again. Still none? Your allies suck. Keep farming, you'll need it! ^^
As for my opinion on jungling with Tryndamere I think it's amazing. Trynd is not the best jungler in the game but, my god, does it make your live easier. You don't get denied in the lane, you can roam the map freely, Red is yours. I've jungled just a few times but I know I want MOAR ! I haven't had a game with a counter-jungle Eve yet, I guess it would have made my life hell but for now I think Jungle Trynd is the way to go!
I'm still rather new to Jungle Trynd so there are probably some points you could improve here, If you know any please share them with me! Better Runes? Safer/faster Route? I'm open for suggestions!
● Play very defensive until you hit 6
● Don’t push your lane early on, farm is top priority
● Try to control the Lizard buff throughout the game, it’s amazing on Tryndamere
● Finishing Youmu before getting shoes lvl2 is more important (personal preference)
● Always have a green Elixir and at least 1 HP/Red Elixir (to counter those ignites) on you
● You are immortal but only for 6 seconds, don’t play reckless or people will outsmart you.
How to counter Tryndamere:
This leaves us with the following conclusions on how to counter Tryndamere
● Burst him down so fast that he won’t be able to react
● Bait the Ult and kite him
● CC him (duh)
I’ve written 8 pages (in Word) to explain you how to play Tryndamere effectively and it took me three points to explain how to counter him. With that being said here is the
Do I think Tryndamere is a top tier champion?
Do I think Tryndamere is viable in top ELO?
● I really doubt it.
Do I think Tryndamere can be a good counter pick?
● Most definitely. Especially against heavy AD teams. Ashe + Pantheon, Garen + Tristana, Olaf + Twitch.
Do I think Tryndamere is fun champ and you can be successful with him?
● Hell, yes!
Tryndamere is a carry and his performance often decides whether the teamfight will be won or lost. If he is able to take out that ranged carries in the back before his ult runs out then he did his job. If he forces the enemy team to use all of their CC on him then he did his job.
Tryndamere is a difficult champion to play not because you have to know him really well but because you have to know all the other champions even better. I don’t recommend any new players to pick him up, wait till you get some experience with the game.
If you think that now that you’ve read this guide you can go and play normal or ranked games with Tryndamere I kindly ask you to open the window that is closest to you and step through it. Thank you.
Some people brought up some good ideas and although some of them are not going hand in hand with my opinion they are a valid input and might give you a different perspective on some points so I've decided to list them in this section.
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