Hecarim is stronger than ever in League of Legends season 11 and isn’t looking to slow down any time soon. He has been a prominent champion in both solo queue and professional play for several patches since the start of the season, and here’s how to take advantage of his strength.
The Shadow of War has been moving in and out of the meta since his release all the way back in 2012, but his strength in 2021 has been at a peak. After movement speed junglers took over the jungle meta, Hecarim has been able to shine through his fast and reliable kit. He is able to charge down most enemies, clear the jungle quickly, and turn team fights on his own with his Onslaught of Shadows ultimate. Mixing this together makes a lethal cocktail that is worth mastering on Summoner’s Rift.
Hecarim is a fairly straightforward champion, but with some combos that can be hard to master. Picking up Hecarim as a new player or jungler won’t be too difficult, which makes Hecarim a great jungler in any given rank.
When playing Hecarim, it’s all about farming jungle camps effectively to get as much time as possible to pull off ganks. With his speed and crowd control, Hecarim is one of the strongest ganking junglers in the game while also having a very fast clearing speed. For the first levels in a game, players should be focusing on farming up until level 6, when Hecarim gets his Onslaught of Shadows ultimate. From this point, Hecarim is set to gank from any given angle and make enemies feel unsafe in their lanes.
After the laning phase, Hecarim wants to focus on keeping control of neutral objectives such as the Dragon, Rift Herald, and later on, the Baron. Meanwhile, Hecarim wants to stay with his team to engage potential team fights. Hecarim is also very good at flanking, so if possible, get vision behind the enemy and try to jump in from an unexpected angle to focus down the enemy backline.
A single Onslaught of Shadow ultimate can make or break a team fight, which is why Hecarim should be careful with his cooldowns. Always try to save the big cooldowns for when big objectives spawn in case a fight breaks out. If an enemy steps out in a bad position, don’t hesitate to engage and look for a pick. With a bit of backup, Hecarim can quickly shut down any squishy target.
As any other champion, Hecarim has a few combos to pull off to maximize the impact of his spells. Hecarim always wants to start his combo by pressing Devastating Charge (E) to boost up his movement speed. As his movement speed increases, Hecarim will be able to run around the enemy for the perfect angle while gaining increased attack damage through his Warpath passive.
When reaching a high speed, Hecarim wants to charge in with Onslaught of Shadows and run charge the enemy that needs to be focused. With Devastating Charge still going, Hecarim can ult behind an enemy and knock it into the rest of his team. With this simple combo, Hecarim is able to shut down a squishy carry in a matter of seconds.
Building Hecarim is pretty straightforward and will focus a lot on tankiness and movement speed. The go-to mythic item for Hecarim is Turbo Chemtank, which despite several nerfs and adjustments is still the strongest item in the game for Hecarim and many other similar champions. Turbo Chemtank provides Hecarim with tanky stats, ability haste, and of course the Supercharged active that gives 60% movement speed towards enemies or turrets for four seconds. Due to Hecarim’s Warpath passive, this is pretty much an item perfectly designed for his use.
After getting the Turbo Chemtank and boots, Hecarim wants to go for a Dead Man’s Plate. Once again, this is an item that gives tanky stats and movement speed. With these two key items, Hecarim will be very beefy and have enough damage because of all the movement speed. It might not seem like it on paper, but Hecarim is actually able to do damage like a bruiser when hitting his power spikes.
Going into the later stages of a game, Hecarim’s build can vary depending on the matchups. The most common third and fourth items will be Force of Nature and Thornmail, which gives Hecarim plenty of magic resistance and armor. To get a bit more damage, Hecarim can also go for Sterak’s Gage or Black Cleaver.
For runes, there is usually only one option for Hecarim which is the Phase Rush keystone. For players who want to fight more, Conqueror is also a viable option.
For the majority of his time in League of Legends, Hecarim has strictly been a jungler. During some meta’s, Hecarim was also seen in the top lane, but that hasn’t been the case in season 11.
As of patch 11.7, Hecarim has one of the highest win rates in Platinum rank and above while also being the most-picked jungler among all champions. With a win rate of 52.11% over 146,000 tracked games, Hecarim is without a doubt an S-tier pick and will likely continue to be until Riot shakes up the jungle meta again. For patch 11.8, Riot is making an attempt at this by adjusting Zed, Darius, Mordekaiser, Morgana, and Diana to better fit into the jungle.
It isn’t easy to counter Hecarim. As the most picked jungler in solo queue, Hecarim is fairly safe to blind pick as there are no clear picks that can shut down Hecarim consistently. The only champion that statistically beats out Hecarim with consistency in solo queue is Ivern, who wins almost 55% of his games against Hecarim.
Sadly, Ivern isn’t a champion that just any player will be willing to pick up, but there are other alternatives. Rek’Sai is also a solid pick against Hecarim, but be aware that Rek’Sai must get ahead early on. In the late game, Rek’Sai will be outscaled by Hecarim. But with a sizable lead from the early game, Rek’Sai can snowball a lead and neutralize Hecarim.
The same goes for Warwick and Volibear, who both have positive win rates against Hecarim. Both champions can outclass Hecarim during the early game and take advantage of counter jungling.
Hecarim isn’t likely to be nerfed in the upcoming patch, so expect the Shadow of War to terrorize Summoner’s Rift for a bit longer.