Playing champions in an off-role is a really great way to lose a lot of games. Trust me, I have been trying to make Volibear top work for ages now, with very little success. But, if you want to experiment with weird picks, you don’t do it to find out what doesn't work. No, you do it for the one glorious moment when you find a pick that is truly unstoppable. Well friends, allow me to enlighten you about my newest discovery: Warwick top, bruiser style.
Let’s talk about the build first
So this is probably the most important part about playing Warwick top. You gotta itemize right.
The keys to this build are Ravenous Hydra and Iceborn Gauntlet. You want to make sure that you build your Hydra first and then pick up your Iceborn after you either take over the game completely (if you have like five kills once you finish your Hydra) or have at least one item tank under your belt. Once you have Iceborn and Ravenous in your inventory, you become incredibly difficult to deal with. Nothing can escape you, nobody can duel you. You can essentially just lounge around in every team fight, killing whoever you like.
To fill out the rest of the build, you want to build tank stats. Deciding which items to build in what order is going to change game by game, depending on the other team’s damage sources. However, you want to pick up Dead Man’s Plate and Spirit Visage for sure. Dead Man’s really helps you move around the map quickly and Spirit Visage is crucial for your self heal.
To round out your build, pick up tanky boots and an additional tank item. Personally, I like Randuin’s Omen on Warwick, but the choice is ultimately yours. By the time you get to five items, you are going to be hard to deal with anyway, so pick something up to counter anyone who poses even a mild threat to you.
The play style
You are going to spend a lot of time biting people, let’s just get that out of the way now.
For your keystone mastery, I personally like to take Grasp of the Undying, and I would heartily recommend it. It makes your strong duel and insufferable life steal even more potent.
Your main bread and butter is going to be your Q, so level and max it first. It has a short range, so you want to be careful with how you try and use it. Try not to put yourself in danger too frequently. Stay behind your minions and farm until they get a little too close. If they come in range, bite, auto, and retreat back into your wave. For longer trades, you can also activate your E, which will significantly reduce your incoming damage and fears your opponent at the end, allowing you to get a lot of hits in. But be mindful of how often you use your spells, as Warwick has a very limited mana pool pre-Iceborn.
By far the weirdest thing to get used to in the top lane is the movement speed increase you are going to get for Blood Hunt. Your W is crucial to your trades, as it allows you to attack far faster when your opponent is low. But it comes with the price of near constant, weird bass noises and blood trails leading to the river. So as you change directions towards or away from the river you are going to move at different speeds. It’s weird, and it can be disorienting, but use it to your advantage. Pay attention to mid lane. If they are trading hard and getting low, you can roam down very quickly. Turn the tide of battle by shocking your enemies with your ability to move around the map.
Bite, slash, chomp, hop
Warwick top can be hard to make work, especially when you are first learning. If you get camped, you might have a bad time, although you can defend yourself under tower pretty handily. You have to find a perfect balance between aggression and caution. If you leap into the enemy team alone, it doesn't matter how tanky you are, you will go down. But, if you can take out even one of their carries with your ultimate, you will make quick work of the rest of their team.
You are an unstoppable force. Do not fear if your life falls below half, as this is when the life steal goes from good to great. Keep fighting, don’t retreat, you will be shocked with what you can do. Enjoy the free LP before everyone figures out how OP Warwick is.