Dantes, the name that resonates with Hecarim mastery, is on a new adventure. He has conquered NA and EU, and now it’s time for Korea. With a solid Challenger rank and an impressive 60% win rate, Dantes went from unranked to Challenger in just 11 days. He has recently made a video on the Hecarim Build Guide where he goes over everything that made him hit Challenger in Korea, so let’s go over it.
Dantes Hecarim Runes
The runes are not complex at all, even back in my previous Hecarim Guide the debate was between Phase Rush or Conqueror. But nowadays it’s actually very simple, you run the same rune setup every single game no matter what.
Phase Rush makes it so you can catch up to enemies quicker and everything in the sorcery tree pretty much, you can either catch up to enemies faster or you can run away from them faster. This also means, if you’re in a good matchup you can snowball it harder and if you’re in a bad matchup you can escape it easier.
The main thing for this rune setup is Dantes usually goes for Phase Rush but changed was the secondary tree. He’s found that Ultimate Hunter is a game-changer. Hecarim thrives on his ultimate ability, and having it on a lower cooldown allows for more ganks, objective plays, and securing kills. This also helps him significantly in snowballing the game, especially in higher ranks where when you’re looking to team fight you can’t really do anything without your ultimate.
Dantes Hecarim Build S13
Now, things get a bit trickier when we dive into item choices. Hecarim’s got a few different builds that you can do depending on the enemy team composition.
The first one is the Assassin Build. You are gonna go this build path when the enemy team has little to no lockdown champions.
What’s a lockdown champion? Think of champions like Rakan with R/W, Nautilus with Q/R, Lissandra with W/R, Renekton with W, Maokai with W/R – champions with undodgeable point-and-click crowd control. If the enemy team features more than two of these champions, the lethality build is a no-go. If they lack or have just one lockdown champion, then the lethality build – also known as the one-shot Hecarim build – is the way to go.
In every game, begin with Blue smite and no potion.
You also want to rush Ionian Boots every game, then you want to get your Tear on your first back. After this you want to get Duskblade if the enemy team is mainly squishy champions (4 or more champions on their team don’t build armor) if the enemy team is mainly tankier you want to go Eclipse.
After Duskblade you’re going to want to do one of two things: if your Tear is almost fully stacked then you’re going to want to get your Muramana if it’s not then you want to get Spear of Shojin. If you do go for Shojin as your second item, you want to get Muramana as your third item and after this you could build whatever you want, like Serylda’s into Black Cleaver.
If you do get Muramana as your second item, for your third item you can go Seryldas, Shojin, Black Cleaver, it really depends on what you feel like you need in the game. So if the enemy team is tankier you need armor penetration go for Black Cleaver, if the enemy team runs away from you, they have a lot of mobility then you want to go Seryldas, if the enemy team kind of fights you and you’ve just seen more upfront power then you go Shojin.
With Eclipse it’s the same thought process, but since the enemy team is normally tankier when you go for this setup, then instead of Shojin you’re usually going to go Black Cleaver and then Seryldas for example.
Now, imagine facing off against a team that’s all about keeping you locked down. Think of their jungler as Maokai, their mid laner as Sylas, and their support as Nautilus. When you’re up against this kind of challenge, your Hecarim build takes a turn in a different direction.
This is where we start looking at Anti Lockdown Build for Hecarim. While Lucidity Boots are still a must, you can hold off on on Tear until after your first item. Flexibility is key here.
If the enemy team has some heavy healing going on, think of champs like Fiora, Maokai, and Sylas, your go-to first pick should be Chainsword. On the flip side, if they’re leaning into tanky champs, like Maokai in the jungle and Nautilus as support, then you’re gonna want to rush Black Cleaver. But what if they’re all about locking you down, but they’re not super tanky? Imagine champs like Rakan and Lissandra. That’s when you’d opt for the Shojin Rush.
If you do go ChainSword rush, your third item should either be Black Cleaver vs tanky comp or Shojin vs squishier. Your Tear should be stacking up by now, so Muramana becomes a strong third pick if you’re looking to deal more damage and have a lead. Then go for Radiant Virtue for your fourth item and for last you can build whatever you want, Sterak’s Gage, Black Cleaver, etc.
Now, let’s say you started with the Cleaver rush due to the enemy’s tanky setup. You definetly want to go for Shojin second item, third item Radiant Virtue if you don’t have much of a lead, finish Muramana and get Seryldas last.
Dantes Hecarim Jungle Path
Let’s go over the main thing that made Dantes Challenger in Korea, whereas most Hecarim one tricks have trouble making it out of diamond in EUW or NA nowadays. Pathing is the biggest key thing for Hecarim, it’s the reason Dantes is able to out-jungle LCK pros every game and why he’s able to take a champion like Hecarim and make him unpredictable and just 1v9 games.
There are 5 potential pathing options that you can choose every game. Dantes recommends to full clear for lower elo players, because: you can’t trust your teammates and as a result you don’t want to take any pathing options that would put reliance on your team and it’s also the most consistent way to get a lead. But, once you start getting into higher elos (Emerald, Diamond+) you can start exploring the other options.
Option A: Full clear top to bot. This is Dantes’ go-to 90% of the time. It allows him to reach bot lane at level 4 and potentially initiate a bot lane gank. If no gank opportunities arise, this pathing puts him on the same side of the map as Dragon. If the enemy jungler chooses Option B, you can secure a free dragon after your second full clear.
Option B: Full clear bot to top. (Not worth it, because of bot lane meta/dragons)
Option C: Three-camp clear of your red side with a raptor start. Ideal for early impact, especially with a support offering strong CC like Thresh or Nautilus.
Option D: Three-camp clear of your wolves. A choice for early impact, particularly against an enemy top lane champion without Flash.
Option E: Early invade on the enemy Raptors, Blue, or other. This path is advisable when your team’s lanes has significant early game strength. Imagine if the enemy top laner chooses Malphite and your top laner goes ignite Riven – an early invade on their Raptors or Red is a 100% winnable 2v2. Similarly, if your bot lane comprises champions like Nautilus and Kai’Sa, while the enemy team drafts Ezreal and Sona, an early invade on their bot side is viable.
Important: If you are facing invade junglers you have to do a three camp clear every single time. Hecarim’s biggest weakness early game is getting invaded, since he takes Ghost and not Flash. As a result if the enemy jungler goes something like Taliyah, Lee-Sin, Viego, Kha’Zix or Rengar they’re gonna look to kill you on your fifth camp. To prevent this, you do a three camp gank to a side lane, reset then go to your remaining buff and fight the enemy jungler with tier 1 Boots, he loses.
Take opportunities that present themselves and then make sure that you’re stacking Dragons, because Dragons are by far the most broken thing in League of Legends since it always allows you to play for Soul and it denies the enemy’s ability to play for Soul. Also getting better as a jungler and making better decisions. Hecarim is a champion that’s all about observing the map and finding the free kill opportunities, as long as you’re paying attention to the map, you should be good.