League of Legends newest rework, Warwick, is out on the PBE and I spent a couple hours fiddling around with the dog-man. My first jungler was the old Warwick, whose entire goal was to farm in the jungle until he was level six and became useful. The new WW doesn’t have to do that, but is still simple enough to just pick up and play.

Has Warwick Lost His Bite?

Let’s start off with Warwick’s basic abilities. Every single skill in his new kit is a more “modernized” version of his previous incarnation. His passive still gives him magic damage, but now he heals for more when under half health. Blood Hunt is now his W and has him sniffing for blood with all the modern UI you could ask for. Past these abilities, you start to get into what makes the new Warwick so much more aggressive than the old one.

His new Q, Jaws Of the Beast, no longer causes him to Pirouette to deal damage and heal himself; now he does a leap of faith on an enemy. If you hold down the Q key when jumping, you’ll actually end up behind your target. The range is short, so you can’t jump very far; unlike Nidalee you can’t jump over the wall into the Krugs pit. Still, maxing this ability first allows you to chase enemies while outputting some serious damage.  

Combo Jaws Of the Beast with his new E, Primal Howl, and you will understand why WW is going to be a top-tier jungler. For a couple of seconds WW has 35 percent damage reduction and then lets loose a Fear that scares everyone around him. Imagine if Volibear’s roar didn’t just affect minions and made him nigh invulnerable. I cannot stress how good this form of CC is on Warwick. Gank the bottom lane level four by jumping behind them, then fearing them back towards your team. It’s so dirty, but so worthwhile.

Riot didn’t change the name of Warwick’s ultimate: the tweaked version of Infinite Duress adds some counterplay to Suppression. The old Warwick had one job in a teamfight, click on the enemy ADC and get them out of the fight. New WW, still wants to do it, but now he has to aim. The wolf leaps at a target location and Suppresses the first enemy hit. If you want to protect your squishies, you can try standing in front of them, but a good WW can just parkour his way around the enemy lines. It’s a less static ultimate than before, but it’s still a teamfight changer.

Warwick: Baby’s First Jungler

After playing the reworked Warwick, I can say without a doubt that he will be ban/pick in his first few weeks of play. His clear is disgustingly good, he can solo red buff at level one and dragon at level five. His ganks are OP, just Q behind an enemy Marksman or Ziggs, press E and then collect your bounty. His main weakness is his weak early game, but if you don’t fall too behind, by the 11-minute mark you’ll be the terror of the rift.

Warwick isn’t a tank, but he can take a beating. He isn’t a duelist, but can 1v1 almost anyone. He’s a jack of all trades, master of none, which makes Warwick an amazing jungler for noobies. Wolf with the iron claw will help you learn the basics of jungling, while your team flames you, just how every LoL player learned before you.

Building him pure offense isn’t a smart move: you want a tank/damage hybrid. Spirit Visage, Hydra and a Deadman’s Plate are all good builds on the new Warwick. Capitalize on his E’s damage reduction by increasing your tanky stats, if you can Fear and Suppress the enemy backline without dying, you are already doing a heck of a job to win your team the fight.  

By the way, thank you Riot for keeping the original Warwick voice actor with this update. Nobody else can ever sound like my favorite werewolf.