League of Legends champion profile: Hecarim, the Shadow of War

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Headless Hecarim. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

Lanes Hecarim Players Love

Aatrox – The classic counter that brought Hecarim top. Hecarim’s ability enables him to chase down Aatrox even after he wants the short trade to end. Since Aatrox needs to get close onto you to execute his pattern, you can easily displace him and knock him out and leave Aatrox with no real way to retaliate.

Urgot – Urgot can’t handle Hecarim’s all-ins, especially once you hit level six because you can out damage him with your W on, even if he has his W going. You should also try to use your E to dodge his E (dash to a nearby minion).

Amumu/Shyvana/farm junglers – As a jungler, you wants to avoid those early duels until he can at least get boots (with Predator, naturally) or Trinity Force. Since you’re so weak early, you’ll definitely wants to avoid any laner that can invade him like Xin Zhao or Lee Sin.

Lanes Hecarim Players Hate

Nasus – he absolutely counters you with his wither, and he will be stronger than you once you both hit your Tri-Force spike. Since you can’t really punish his weak early game, your only hope is to let him push the wave and set up a gank.

Sion – a massive tank who has a ton of ways (with his Q, E, and W) to slow you and sap away your AD. Worse yet, like most tanks, Hecarim doesn’t really have a great way to kill him absent the enemy messing up.

Lee Sin/Elise/Xin Zhao/early game junglers – as mentioned above, Hecarim in the jungle wants to try and farm safely to hit his power spikes. A competent early game jungler who can either invade him or snowball the opponent’s lanes before he can hit his power spike and make big ganks happen is your worst nightmare.

Tips for playing Hecarim

  • His W restores health when nearby enemies take damage, which includes damage that is dealt by his allies. Whenever you initiate a fight, turn on your W to boost your tankiness and survivability.
  • His E deals more damage based on the distance traveled while it is active, including distance gained from other items. Thus, you can pair it with Ghost, Predator, or another item to boost the distance while it’s active to boost the damage
  • His E also applies on-hit effects and can damage turrets. If you get a Sheen item or Trinity Force, you can maximize its damage and use it to take towers.

Tips for playing against Hecarim

  • His initiation has a big AoE damage and crowd control component. Try to stay spread out so he can’t hit multiple members with his R.
  • Slows not only reduce the damage Hecarim can do from his passive, but they will also reduce the damage and distance he gets from his Devastating Charge (E), so use abilities like Wither or Glitterlance as he’s charging.
  • Hecarim is a poor duelist and deals almost all of his damage in a burst pattern with R and E. If he engages on you and you survive, damage him back! Without his cooldowns, he will have very little damage, especially if he doesn’t have Sheen built to synergize off his Q spam.

Champion Difficulty: 5/10

Hecarim has a fairly linear playstyle – go in, do your damage, and hope to survive – but there are a lot of subtle ways a good Hecarim can maximize his potential through smart itemization and ability usage. Good playerswill be able to time charges off their Predator active or use E to dodge skill shots.

Of course, hitting your ultimate on Hecarim is the biggest key, since it is a classic “go in” button. If you whiff, you’ll end up in a bad spot among the enemy’s backline with no way to get out.

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Have any tips for new players trying to learn Hecarim? Let us know down in the comments below!