Trundle Champion Guide by Chrikke666

Version 1.0, Last Updated 2013-09-09

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Introduction

Greetings. I am Sabrewylf, a Platinum rated jungler from the EU West server. I have been playing League of Legends since early Season One. As early as level 20 I was attracted to the role of jungling, and with it my love for tanky champions  was born. At first Udyr, but soon my eyes fell on Trundle, back then the Cursed Troll. Ever since then he's been my favourite champion and I easily have several hundred games played with him.

I have experience with both top lane Trundle as well as jungle Trundle. Whereas I was a strong fan of jungle Trundle in Season One, the S2 jungle changes did not favour single target champions like him. The S3 jungle is more akin to the S1 jungle, but Trundle's kit upgrade several months ago nerfed his early game and thus his invade potential by a lot, to the point where I believe he is currently an inferior invader compared to the likes of Lee Sin and Udyr. In short, as a jungle main and experienced Trundle player: he is better off in top lane right now, but jungle is still viable.

As for this guide itself, I took the liberty of looking at other champion guides already on the site and mimicking their layouts.

Character Overview

Trundle is a melee champion, typically called a 'bruiser', 'fighter', or simply 'tanky dps'. He holds a unique position in the champion roster thanks to his unique kit. What Trundle brings to the team is fantastic 1v1 potential, two debuffs, and his trademark Pillar which has a multitude of uses. Traditionally Trundle is often seen on poke teams, for reasons later explained, and as a counter to other bruisers and tanks.

PASSIVE: King's Tribute

Whenever an enemy unit near Trundle dies, he absorbs its life force and heals for 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6% of its maximum health. Range: 1000

This passive is essentially free lifesteal when you are jungling, except the health is returned in bursts rather than on autoattacks. While laning, this gives you a ton of invisible power over your lane opponent. You will heal for around a potion's worth every two minion waves early game, and that value will only go up as minion's health increases as well as the power of your passive. In teamfights this will often save your life as well as confuse enemies. Why the hell is he so tanky? This is one of the reasons.

Q: Chomp

ACTIVE: Trundle bites his target with this next basic attack, dealing physical damage equal to a base amount plus a percentage of his attack damage and slowing his target by 75% for 0.1 seconds.

This attack increases Trundle's attack damage for 8 seconds, with his opponent losing half of this amount for the same duration.

  • Cooldown: 4 seconds
  • Cost: 30 mana
  • Physical Damage: 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 (+ 100 / 105 / 110 / 115 / 120% AD)
  • Attack Damage Bonus: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40

One of the reasons Trundle is so great at 1v1. This is a low cooldown, low mana cost attack-resetting ability. Not only that, it will give Trundle a significant boost to his AD, as well remove AD from his opponent. When this ability is maxed out, Trundle creates a gap of 60 AD between him and his opponent. That's a gap of 1.3 BF Swords, which is worth around 2000 gold. This will cripple opposing bruisers such as Lee Sin and Garen. They either have the choice to continue fighting with you and lose the trade, or back off. This ability, as well as its bonus AD, makes it incredibly easy to farm minions under tower. You should max this ability by level 9 in all situations.

ACTIVE: Trundle coats a target 1000-radius area with ice for 8 seconds, gaining increased movement speed, attack speed, and healing and regeneration from all sources while he is on it.

  • Range: 900
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds
  • Cost: 60 Mana
  • Movement Speed: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%
  • Attack Speed: 20 / 35 / 50 / 65 / 80%
  • Healing and Regeneration Increase:8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20%

Another self-buff, though this one does not debuff the opponents. Essentially this turns Trundle into a speeding demon with a love of pummelling stuff into the ground. Be careful when chasing with this ability, as clever players will kite you until the leave the Frozen Domain. As soon as you do, you are less of a threat. One possibility is to use your Ice Pillar to make sure they cannot kite you, and keep them on the patch of ice. The healing and regeneration increase is amazing for a number reasons. Firstly, it increases your passive, but that's negligible. However, it will also increase your lifesteal by the percentage given, increase the health returned when you cast your ultimate, as well increase the health returned when you use the active on Blade Of The Ruined King, which is a great item for Trundle. Max this ability by level 13 if you are laning, or by level 18 if you are jungling. The reason for this is that the cooldown on the Ice Pillar is lowered when you put points into it, and the slow percentage goes up as well. Lane Trundle is about damage and beating people, jungle Trundle is about being a nuisance. Feel free to mix it up, but this is what I feel works best.

ACTIVE: Trundle summons an impassable pillar of ice at a target location for 6 seconds. Enemies caught in the center of the eruption are briefly knocked back. The pillar blocks movement within 62.5 range, slows enemies within 187.5 range, and provides vision within 600 range.

  • Range: 1000
  • Cooldown: 23/20/17/14/11 seconds
  • Cost: 60 Mana
  • Pillar Slow: 25%/30%/35%/40%/45%

Trundle's trademark ability. You can use this to block off passages in the jungle, gank, interrupt channeling abilities, and so on and so forth. Another great tactic is to use it to counterinitiate. Generally, a very tanky champion on the enemy team, like a Malphite or Amumu, will jump into your team with their CC, setting the table for their team. What you should try to do in these situations is block off the incoming with the pillar, and use your ultimate on the initiating tank to cripple their defenses and take them out faster.

Maximum CDR puts this ability at a 6 second cooldown. Always aim for at least 30% CDR when playing Trundle. No matter what the enemy team comp is, this is very manageable. As you can see, each point in this ability reduces the cooldown dramatically. Max it by level 13 if you are jungling, or by level 18 if you are laning.

R: Subjugate

ACTIVE: Trundle drains the life force out of an enemy champion, dealing magic damage equal to a percentage of their maximum health and healing himself for the same amount, as well as stealing 40% of their armor and magic resist. Half of the health, armor, and magic resist is drained immediately and the other half over the next 4 seconds.

The armor and magic resist bonus/reduction slowly decays over 4 seconds after the drain completes.

  • Range: 700
  • Cooldown: 80/70/60 seconds
  • Initial Magic Damage/Health Drain: 10 / 12 / 14%
  • Magic Damage/Drain Per Second: 2.5 / 3 / 3.5%
  • Total Magic Damage/Health Drain: 20 / 24 / 28% 

A low cooldown single target ultimate. Much like his Q(Chomp), this ability is both a debuff and a self-buff. Trundle will cripple his opponent's health, armor, and magic resistance, and for the duration of the ultimate a portion of the stats that he removes are given to him. Like his Q, this too creates an artificial gold gap between two champions. In general you want to use it on a tank, but there are times where you will want to use it on squishies too. Decide accordingly. There isn't anything flashy about this ultimate. Use it on the tankiest stuff if you want to get really tanky yourself, or alternatively use it on whoever needs to die as soon as possible.

Pros and Cons

  • Simple champion, not very demanding in terms of difficulty.
  • Great at fighting people 1v1, especially tanks and other bruisers. Because of this he makes for a decent split-pusher.
  • Good amounts of team utility with his debuffs and unique the pillar.
  • Great early and mid game. 
  • Has trouble with being kited. Item builds (especially CDR) can help alleviate this but the problem stays.
  • Countered hard in lane by tanky mages such as ChoGath, Rumble, Swain, Ryze, ... 
  • Countered hard in jungle by high mobility. Champions like Ahri, Ezreal, Renekton, make your pillar a lot more difficult to use.
  • Below average late game. You'll have to rely on your utility when it comes that far.

Runes

There are a lot of options here. It's up to you to make your own combination depending on playstyle and situation.

Seals: Armor

Glyphs: Magic Resist, Cooldown Reduction

Quintessences: Attack Damage, Armor Penetration, Armor, Magic Resist, Movement Speed

I advice against using Armor marks/quintessences, and against Magic Resist marks/quintessences as well. They are handy in difficult lanes such as vs Jayce, Kennen, or Elise, but if you play draft mode properly you should not end up in those lanes. Nevertheless, once in a blue moon I will use those setups so I feel the need to give them here.

Masteries

 No matter what the situation, a 9/21/0 mastery page will be the best in almost any situation. Going deeper down the offense tree works too, but the defense tree is too invaluable as it helps to pad Trundle's kiting weakness. Below I have put two example mastery pages. One for the top lane, one for the jungle.

Summoner Spells

In my opinion you have a grand total of five viable summoner spells. These are Ignite, Exhaust, Smite, Ghost, and Flash. I personally never take Exhaust. I always go with Ignite/Ghost when I play top lane and I always go with Smite/Flash when I jungle. Again, feel free to mix it up. A high risk-high reward counterjungler might take Smite/Exhaust for example.

Another one is Teleport. Consider taking it if you are facing a hard lane matchup and you think you will need to base often.

Items

In terms of items, there is always a core set, and free slots to fill up with situationals. The core set is what you should build every game. The situational items depend on your team comp, the enemy team comp, and the flow of the game itself. I am going

Jungle core: Spirit of the Ancient Golem, CDR items Lane core: Blade of the Ruined King (alternative: Ravenous Hydra), CDR items

CDR is important on Trundle, but you can't just buy any CDR item and expect to do well. Locket of the Iron Solari gives 10% CDR, but it's an aura utility item. Consider it only when you are jungling. It's a great item versus teams with heavy sources of magic damage, especially area of effect. Consider picking this up against the likes of Kennen and Brand.

Spirit Visage is without a doubt, the best magic resist item for Trundle. Just like his Frozen Domain it will increase all his healing effects and it will give you a whopping 20% CDR. That's already halfway to the cap of 40%. Unlike the Solari Locket, this is a very 'selfish' item. If the enemy has at least one magic damage dealer, it's usually a good idea to get this item.

Iceborn Gauntlet and Frozen Heart give either 10% or 20% CDR, depending on the choice you made. The Gauntlet is again the selfish choice, though your team might definitely benefit from the slow field it provides. Frozen Heart is a great choice if the enemy has a lot of auto attackers. If their team is for example Aatrox top, Kayle Mid, and Xin Zhao jungle, this item would be great! The attack slowing aura gives you a third debuff, and Trundle is all about the debuffs.

Zeke's Herald is an often forgotten item, but it's definitely viable on Trundle if you have the team for it. At least two other people on your team need to benefit from the aura before you should consider this. This item gives an amazing 20% CDR as well.

Other situational armor items: Sunfire Cape, Randuin's Omen, Guardian Angel,  Other situational magic resist items: Maw of Malmortius, Banshee's Veil Other offensive options: Trinity Force, Last Whisper

Remember to always aim for at least 30% cooldown reduction. Never buy more than two offensive items or you'll be too squishy.m

Matchups

Trundle has a lot of good or even matchups. Because this guide aims at playing Trundle in two roles, a list of all common matchups would be far too extensive. Instead I will give you the rundown on matchups to avoid, as well as a few special cases. Keep in mind the following for Trundle and most of this list will explain itself. I will give item advice for lane, but never forget the core: Blade of the Ruined King.

He does not like being kited. Avoid ranged lane matchups. If he can't debuff it, he can't beat it. It has to either be a tank, or scale with Attack Damage.

So what do you avoid in lane? Kiters, AD carries, and mages. That leaves you with bruisers, tanks, and AD assassins.

Akali: You can definitely beat her in the early stages of the game, but you'll need to buy pink wards if you really want to shut her down and keep her from killing your team. She has energy and can farm with Q, so generally this is in Akali's favour. Buy Spirit Visage.

Cho'Gath: This guy is your nightmare. He has more sustain in lane than you do, and while your Q and R aren't entirely wasted, there is generally no way you ever kill this guy. He will farm up, become unkillable while still doing more damage than you, and essentially, be more useful than you. Buy Spirit Visage.

Darius: Darius is a weird champion, in the sense that he scales off of AD but even if you debuff him he will still have damage coming out of his ears. This lane can swing both ways. Whoever gets the upper hand though will generally not lose it. Buy Sunfire Cape and/or Randuin's Omen.

Diana: Ranged poke, shield, scales with AP. This lane is not in your favour at all, and just like Akali she will farm up to become a huge anticarry that is more useful than you. Buy Spirit Visage.

Elise: Incredibly difficult lane. Consider taking a lot of magic resistance runes. She does percentage based magic damage poke and since she's ranged, pokes with auto-attacks as well. Even though she's squishy she has many tools to escape you so you cannot all-in her. Your debuffs do little to nothing to her. Buy Spirit Visage.

Fiddlesticks: Jungle matchup. Invade this guy. Your pillar interrupts his heal as well as the channel on his ultimate. Keep this in mind and he will not be able to duel you during his first clears. A double buffed Trundle can even kill a level 3 Fiddlesticks right through his healing.

Fizz: This guy is actually beatable, but it's hard. Your debuffs have little effect again, but he has to come into melee range to hit you and his burst is not enough to one shot you. Buy Spirit Visage.

Gangplank: He has poke, but you shrug it off. Just go at him and whack. He has to back off or he will die. Gangplank's early game is ridiculously weak, yours is ridiculously strong.

Garen: He's still strong in lane, even against you, but you're one of few champions that can keep a Garen in check and not be pushed around. Make sure your Q is ready before his Q hits, otherwise you will not get it off and he will win the trade. Buy Iceborn Gauntlet and/or Sunfire Cape and/or Randuin's Omen.

Irelia: You beat her early game, but never forget she does true damage as well as magic damage. As usually when Irelia's involved, this is a skill matchup. Reducing her attack speed is crucial. Buy Randuin's Omen and/or Frozen Heart or Iceborn Gauntlet.

Jarvan: Lots of burst damage. But generally not enough. Jarvan is a weird bruiser in that he has a lot of burst but not a lot of follow up dps. Don't be afraid when he chunks you: just retaliate straight back with your ulti and throw everything at him. He should have used all his escapes to initiate on you. Buy Iceborn Gauntlet and Sunfire Cape.

Jax: You counter him, at least early to mid game, despite his hybrid nature. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to use your ultimate after he has used his ultimate. Buy Iceborn Gauntlet and Randuin's Omen.

Jayce: Very hard lane again. Consider taking a lot of armor runes, and start with a Doran's Shield. All you can do is farm it out. Buy Iceborn Gauntlet and Randuin's Omen.

Kennen: Same story as Jayce, except you need magic resistance here as well. Doran's Shield start is probably best. Buy Spirit Visage.

KhaZix: You can beat him in duels as long as you take care not to take too much poke or fight him when you are isolated, as that will empower his damage. Buy Iceborn Gauntley.

Lee Sin: A strange matchup in the sense that yes, you will be able to beat him in a straight up fight, but Lee Sin has many ways to poke you and outplay you with his fancy skillset. A good Lee Sin can also roam better than you and can have more of an impact in team fights. However, your presence in lane alone is often enough to deny him his early game. If you ever run into him when jungling, fight him. Trundle and Udyr are probably the only junglers that Lee Sin cannot fight. Buy Iceborn Gauntlet and Sunfire Cape.

Renekton: Just like Garen, you have the ability to not be pushed around by him, but always be careful. He can still go in for harass without fear of retaliation thanks to his stun, and don't be tempted to fight him when he has ulti on. Even if you ulti him, it won't tip the tide in your favour. Just like Lee Sin though, you can deny him much of his early game and he has little chance of snowballing in your lane. Buy Iceborn Gauntlet and Sunfire Cape.

Riven: Get her down in the early levels. Riven embodies the AD scaling character so your Q is godlike in this matchup. However if you until she has 300 AD then removing 20 AD from that won't matter. You need to win this matchup early. Buy Iceborn Gauntley and Sunfire Cape.

Rumble/Ryze/Singed/Swain/Zac: Avoid laning against these champions. Your Q debuff is off no help here. You will get kited, zoned, and eventually outscaled. These lanes are not fun in the least. Buy Spirit Visage. 

Shen: Throw all hope of killing this guy out the window, unless he messes up big time. However the same goes for him. On the upside you can use your pillar to cancel the teleport on his ultimate, and your ultimate will cripple his defenses in teamfights. This lane should go even, but the edge goes to Shen because of his obnoxious splitpushing lategame. Buy Spirit Visage.

Tryndamere: Up until he gets some items this should be a very easy lane in your favour. Buy Iceborn Gauntlet and Randuin's Omen. He will  however vastly outscale you by lategame.

Udyr: Going for both jungle and lane: be careful. Udyr is one of the few champions that can go toe-to-toe with Trundle at all stages of the game. Buy Iceborn Gauntlet and Sunfire Cape if he is Tiger Stance, Spirit Visage if he is Phoenix.

Volibear: Though Volibear is a bruiser/tank hybrid, the combination of his passive, W, and hybrid damage make this lane very tricky. I don't have much experience versus top lane Volibear other than that. Just like Udyr you need to be careful in this lane, as he can quickly flip you into his minions, attack you a couple times and burst you hard.

 Thank you!

 Thanks a lot for taking the time to read my guide. If you ever have any questions: I occasionally post/lurk on the boards here. Otherwise you can find me in the gamefaqs chat channel on the EUW server.

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