This is the final installment of melee carry Monday. I am thankful for all those who have followed the series or at least read any of the articles. I have intended these articles to be a reference base for those who want to play glass cannon champions or melee carry ones. I feel I have nothing left to write on the Melee Carry subject. I have done all I could with this series to help players draw away from the focus on tanky builds and only ranged characters using certain items.
The final champions I have from my stable list are:
Trundle, Udyr, Volibear, Warwick, and Yorick.
Let’s get to it.
Trundle is actually a monster. This guy is by far one of the most dangerous duelist. He is probably around the Jax and Master Yi level of dueling. Trundle is an insane mix of debuffs, damage, and utility that can bring down even targets who are very far ahead thanks to his ability to drain armor. Trundle’s bite is also an attack damage debuff. The strength in trundle truly comes when he is able to stick to his target and cast his ultimate on a tank for insane armor and magic resistances. Trundle is one of the stronger glass cannon dps, he is complete with an attack speed steroid as well. There is almost no flaw to playing trundle if you are able to execute his play style right. There isn’t much to say about him because individually hes just too good. However his biggest problem is getting kited, which is why it’s important to address this issue. Since he relies mostly on movement speeds and slows you have to make good use of your frozen domain and pillar of ice. A big mistake trundles make when dueling is that they use their frozen domain to engage with the movement speed, rather than using the attack speed to fight. When fighting team fighting with trundle it is important to secure kills so that he may heal with his passive.
Core Items: Trinity Force, Frozen Mallet
Trinity force is a a large source of damage and utility that adds greatly to trundles ability to move around and chase. Since his bite is on a very small cooldown throughout the whole game, picking up an early Trinity force increases your overall strength. Make good use of Bite and you can quickly chip away at your targets. Trundle gets a lot of his damage through his W and Bite so using trinity force to reward you for casting them is a great thing.
Frozen Mallet is extremely important to the glass cannon trundle. His biggest problem is that he is useless when he cannot stick to targets and relies on higher cooldown abilities for his movements/slows. To solve this Frozen mallet guarantees that once you get in range you will most likely always remain in range. It also makes sure that your target stays on your frozen domain as long as possible for you to benefit from the bonus attack speed. This is very important to the overall gameplay of trundle to chase and bash down foes. Frozen Mallet also synergizes with a team effort of catching targets together.
Follow Up items: Blade of the Ruined King, Atmas Impaler
Blade of the Ruined king is an important option for trundle. He benefits greatly in dueling with the lifesteal, and chasing with the passive. However this also synergizes well with his ultimate. Since the resistances he drains are a large flat 40%, players will often opt for health and just use ignite to stop the healing that comes out from trundle. However with BoTRK you punish them greatly for going for health. While your Ulti does drain from max health, it’s heal is halved by ignite and you will have less armor if they do not build it, which teams rely on to take you down if they are using this strat. Blade of the Ruined King punishes this by allowing you to heal even more and counter health stackers even harder.
Atmas Impaler is an old school item that is beneficial to trundle for the Armor, critical strike, and passive. With frozen Mallet and trinity force that both grant bonus health, you are able to get a lot more from your atmas buy. On top of that it grants you some bonus armor you may need to tank out some fights along side your ultimate. It should be a standard offensive item in combination with FM, and is very under rated.
Roles: Jungle, Top : Trundles insane sustain puts him in a pretty solid position to bully out most top laners and be a healthy ganking jungler.
Udyr is simply just a champion with way too much in his kit to define him. Being packed with everything from shields, stuns, lifesteal, movement speed, attack speed and even AoE clear, allows him to be quite a threat and very hard to “outplay”. I cannot define Udyr because of the difference between going Tiger vs Phoenix or even Turtle. Being this versatile leaves a lot of room for things to be true when only applied to one or the other. Because of Udyr’s overloaded/multiplaystyle kit I cannot say that I have a 100% reliable would use all the time build. Likewise I would recommend anyone who wants to invest serious time into Udyr to never use the same builds/skill orders in every situation. That being said it was very hard for me to decide “Follow Up” items for Udyr because you should always follow up with your playstyle/situation and there is no “set” or “standard” items Udyr should get. I was debating whether to remove Udyr from this series or not just based on his multiple play styles that all require different build paths. However if you plan to deal damage as Udyr that I feel you can never go wrong with Trinity Force so it will be the core item next to Frozen Mallet, regardless of the type of Udyr you want to play.
Core Items (All) : Trinity Force, Frozen Mallet
Trinity force enables you to have the movement speed to chase and the damage reward for switching stances. By granting damage upon switching you have more of a reason to proc your passive. Trinity force is an amazing first item as Udyr because he relies on being able to run into melee range and constantly switch between his forms. As a result most Udyr players will agree it is an amazing item on him.
Frozen Mallet used to be a go to item but it has weaked in popularity off of the sheer emphasize of getting even CDR Items on Udyr. Due to the changes in bear stance Udyrs now feel more comfortable sticking/chasing targets. However when you are opting for killing a target and not just ganking them, slowing them and sticking to them become that much more important. Frozen Mallet enables Udyr to quickly charge and kill enemies who are out of position without fear of chasing them into their team.
These items work well with all Udyr stances. I am not in a position to discuss Follow Up Items on Udyr. I feel that is very situational and preference based.
Roles: Top and Jungle: Basic Udyr stuff
I used to be actually a big fan of volibear. Volibear is a very strong Glass cannon DPS but he lacks a lot of the damage tools and the low cooldowns to make him an effective fighter. Along side multiple parts of his kit not scaling to “real” damage. Volibear is very strong but there is a lot of trickiness when it comes to building him as a “Glass Cannon DPS”. I was also rather unsure about adding him on as a champion in this section. However I have decided to anyway because technically speaking, both his Q and his Ulti as well as the attack speed from his W make him very Auto Attack based. His kit also isn’t solely based on stacking health. Therefore he has found his way in.
Just to get this out of the way Frenzy’s Bite has a pretty solid base damage and isn’t completely destroyed by volibear not building/stacking health. A healthy mix of health and damage will enable volibear to be very effective. I feel volibear needs to focus on 2 offensive based health items, then drift into way more offensive based items. The core items and build I have will reflect that. I also ran into many problems attempting to decide Trinity force as a core item. It simply did not do enough with volibear’s high cool downs.
Core Items: Atmas, Frozen Mallet
The FratMas is a combo that was once very popular, it had received a few nerfs that made it less effective but I feel it is still the most reliable method of attempting to play volibear as a glass cannon DPS. I had a lot of internal arguments with myself on whether to build Frozen Mallet before Atmas and I decided against this. The reason you want to complete Atmas before you venture into frozen mallet is because the slow is not necessary through the early part of the game. If you build Atmas you get the benefits of having armor and critical strike as well as an item that is scaling as you build stuff/level up. Volibear has decent base health and can take advantage of a rushed atmas. Upon reaching your frozen mallet you will be a very strong.
Follow Up Items: Wits End, Shurelias
Wits end is your core magic resist item, however it is very strong because in works in correlation with your ultimate. By granting you attack speed, and shredding the magic resist of those who you attack you can straight up devastate players in fights especially when they view you as someone who does primarily physical damage.
Shurelias is a small amount of bonus health, however it is very important for you to do the job of initiating. The active is the most important part where the cdr is a bonus. If you want to opt out of buying this you surely can but I would always recommend it.
Roles: Mid or Jungle: Volibear does not have the insane uploaded ready to go type damage that most top laners bring. While he is a decent top, I feel taking full advantage of his ganking power is a must.
Type: Sustain/Mixed Damage/Team Steroid/Supression
Warwick is pretty tricky, he deals a lot of magic damage and as a result does not need to go for the large damage items like blood thirster or infinity edge. However you need a solid amount of on hit effects and overall attack speed to make WW his tanky late game duelist who preys on sticking to targets to remain in the fight. He has a very strong attack speed steroid that he grants to his allies. WW works well in team comps that rely on attack speed but rather not build it such as auto attackers like Gangplank or Olaf who scale well with it but opt for damage because of scaling. There is not much to say about WW as he is rather simple and just needs to attack people to beat them along with an occasional Q.
When you play Glass cannon Warwick, your ultimate should be considered both a suppression and a gap closer and you should use it when needed. Q’s should be used regularly because the damage it deals scales based on the enemies health. Along with that your W should only be used once you have stuck fully to your target.
Core Items: Blade of the Ruined King, Frozen Mallet
Blade of the Ruined King is very strong on Warwick’s kit as it applies with each slash from his ultimate. Warwick scales well with attack speed and the Blade passive works well with his Q. The active keeps warwick in the chase when his Blood Scent cannot. I suggest whenever you are snowballing hard you should pick up this item early as it hurts health which is the major counter to mixed damage dealers like warwick.
Follow Up Items: Wit’s end, Trinity force
Wit’s end is your major source of magic resist and magic penetration. It also applies a magic damage on hit and grants attack speed which is warwicks core offensive stat. This item could also be picked up even before BoTRK if you need early magic resistance and plan to get your frozen Mallet right after. It is a solid buy on Warwick.
Trinity force is that source of mixed stats that enable you to benefit from casting your abilities. While Warwick does not have the lowest cooldowns but the need to cast your abilities is there, thus making trinity force allow you to get damage for it. You can technically pick it up early if you are snowballing but I recommend you pick it up late.
Roles: Jungle/Top: Warwick’s sustain enable him to outlast most lane opponents assuming your mana pool allows it. Jungle is his home role.
Type: Utility/Undead/Sustain Monster/Harrass
Yorick deals a lot of damage. It is important to know that when you decide to play him as a Glass cannon dps. The best part about Yorick is that the strength of his ghouls scales to a % of how strong he is. Yorick is very reliant on having the mana to spam and cast his abilities. A strong part about Yorick is his ability to become Undead. Yorick’s abilities besides his W scale at a ridiculous 120%(Q) and 100%(E) of his bonus AD. The Omen of Famiin Heals 35% of his AD per a hit and 40% of the spells damage on cast. That is an insane amount of healing. The biggest mistake Yoricks make come through his ultimate. You want your ultimate to be alive enough to enable it to do damage and be there for you when you die. If you cannot decide when to ulti yourself you can always opt for using it on someone else of equal or greater importance.
However now it’s the struggle of how do we make a Yorick build that supplies enough AD and Tankiness to be useful, and one that is not destroyed by ignite. I have addressed this issue by focusing on 3 Things, Damage, CDR, and Mana. From there I decided how to convert those into a tanky build. I found out that the best way to build Yorick is indeed pretty standard.
Core Items: Trinity Force, Muramana
Trinity is that go to item for Yorick. It provides the right amount of everything and allows him to benefit from careful timing of his strong abilities. Yorick does not really have a problem sticking to his target so he only needs a little bit of movement speed. Picking up an early sheen and tear fix a lot of the mana problems. From there you can go for a phage to stick to targets. Zeal should be the last buy in completion.
Muramana adds a great deal of damage from just building mana. However there is a lot of false damage there that comes from the active. Keep in mind the ghouls do not benefit from that. That is why you cannot rely on just this to deal your damage for you. You must pick up solid mana based items that ensure you get the most out of muramana.
Follow Up Items: Spirit Visage, Frozen Heart
Spirit Visage is great for healing and cdr. It is your primary go to magic defense item. The passive works well with both lifesteal and your ghouls. Overall this is a pretty standard item on yorick
Frozen Heart is another standard item on yorick. CDR and mana scale great into your damage. The armor helps you be tanky and the attack speed reduction is great in team fights.
Roles: Top, Jungle, Yorick is a decent jungler despite what some people may tell you.
This wraps up the melee carry Monday series. I will no longer be blogging constantly on every Monday of the week. I may be releasing non regular scheduled blogs so stay tuned.