League of Legends: Warwick Champion Review
Warwick, the Uncaged Wrath of Zaun, is an absolute menace on the rift capable of assassinating targets from a significant distance away or protecting fellow teammates with several forms of hard crowd control.
Honestly I empathize with how terrible attack damage carry mains must feel these days, not only are they left in the dust with no recent notably buffs, but Riot keeps releasing champions that counter their playstyle, however as fan of hard carry jungle champs I couldn’t be happier.
- Passive: Eternal Thirst
Warwick’s basic attacks deal bonus damage, heal that damage when below 50% health.
- Q: Jaws of the Beast
Warwick lunges forward and bites his target, heal for some of the damage dealt. If the ability key is held down, Warwick will leap behind his target instead.
- W: Blood Hunt
Passive: Enemy champions with less than half health leave behind a global blood trail and are blood hunted. Warwick has increased attack speed against blood hunted targets, additionally Warwick gets a significant movement speed boost when pointed towards that target.
Active: The nearest enemy champion becomes blood hunted regardless of their health percentage.
- E: Primal Howl
Warwick takes reduced damage for a short time, at the end of the duration fear nearby enemies.
- R: Infinite Duress
Leap in a direction and suppress the first champion hit while dealing damage(heal for all damage dealt) and applying on-hit effects for the duration. The leap’s distance is increased based your movement speed.
+Great map presence due to movement speed boosts.
+Solid amount of crowd control.
-Gets shut down by hard crowd control.
-Difficult to play well.
-Extremely slow movement speed by default.
Warwick starts off fairly similarly to how he did before the rework: a slow and steady, but healthy jungle clear. Although, a level 3 gank is certainly possible and definitely encouraged. Pop both the W active, activate ghost, and go to town ripping the enemy apart with your Q and red-buffed auto attacks. If that didn’t kill them already, use the fear from E to allow your laner to catch up and finish the kill.
While getting a kill on an early gank is a pretty sure thing, it’s not required to make Warwick work, simply making it to level 6, and by extension leveling the ult, is by far enough to take control of the match. Just like Rengar, look to gank as many times as possible with the ganking combo + ult, even if you’re not building or doing any damage. Just being able to lock up an enemy for several seconds while your teammates get in free attacks is almost always enough for a kill.
Going into the late game Warwick has a choice, stick to assassinating and split pushing, or focus on protecting hyper carries with his various forms of peel. As is stands right now I think Warwick is much better as an extremely mobile lethal threat, but falling into a more utility role is also fine.
Starting out, buy a Machete and a Rejuvenation Bead. Now that’s strange, don’t junglers usually get a potion? True! However due to his sustain Warwick certainly doesn’t need it, so that leaves getting a Control Ward or a Bead, either of which is fine. However, the great thing about Rejuvenation Bead is that it not only helps fill the gap left by not taking potions, but also builds into our most important item: Tiamat. Tiamat is incredibly important because it considerably speeds up our jungle clears, also it procs off both your Q and R.
Your early game build should be a non-enchanted jungle item, Tiamat, boots, and a Control Ward. As far as enchantments go I always prefer to go for vision, but Skirmisher’s is also a fantastic choice.
Towards the mid game is where builds start to deviate. Personally I like going down a more Master Yi/Yasuo style of play which is high movement speed, high attack speed, and high crit chance. I feel these attributes are best for carrying and suit Warwick’s kit quite well.
So to achieve my style of build get Phantom Dancer, Boots of Swiftness, and then chose between more damage in Statikk Shiv, or get tanky with Dead Man’s Plate, Spirit Visage, or Iceborn Gauntlet.
Finally, finish upgrading Tiamat into Titanic Hydra and your jungle item into either Blood Razor or Warrior’s.
- Q – Jaws of the Beast
Don’t think of Q as a gap closer, it can be sure, but really, due to it’s extremely short range, it’s just an autoattack reset that happens to heal you quite a lot.
- W – Blood Hunt
Make sure to activate this ability before a gank, you get the movespeed regardless of their health percentage.
- E – Primal Howl
While the damage reduction is nice in a pinch, like getting ult’d by something big, focus more on using E to get fears off.
- R – Infinite Duress
Keep in mind the dash is not only unstoppable, but the range is increased based on your movement speed. In other words having Ghost + Blood Hunt means you’ll fly across the map, albeit it can be hard to hit sometimes.
Aside from the rather obvious hold the ult until your team can capitalize on it, save the ult for when you need HP and a dash, don’t just use it at the start of the fight.
Try to farm as much as possible in the early game, Warwick is extremely item dependent, but on the plus side once you start rolling it’s hard to stop you.
Watch out for hard crowd control or burst, it’ll kill you before you can start healing back up.
Long Term and Competitive Viability
I believe Warwick is going to be a highly contested and often banned pick in both SoloQ and competitive play. Warwick is just the whole damn package, he has everything you could possibly want in a jungler, his kit is outright overloaded. Being able to put out and soak up loads of damage while also bringing crowd control, significant map presence, mobility, AND vision is an absolute nightmare to deal with.
However, I unfortunately also believe he’ll eventually get the Rek’Sai treatment, which is to say his damage is going to get nerfed into the ground until he’s essentially just a utility-bot. So, try to enjoy him while you can because he’s about to not be seen at all, whether that be due to nerfs or bans.
Heroes Always Die
This crazy chimera experiment gone wrong went exactly right for those looking to dominate a match with every possible tool at their disposal. Sure, he’s a bit more difficult to play, what with a skillshot ult that has a wonky hitbox and a fear that must be carefully positioned, but it’s all worth it to singlehandedly win games.
Warwick is absolutely ridiculous, I cannot wait to see him tearing up high elo and professional play.
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