Howdy, folks! I don't post on the forums much, but now's as good a time as ever, no?
Lately Hecarim has been the apple of my eye; bought him when I had 6300 IP and fond memories of messing with him on freeweek as a caster (I seem to spend all my games mid, after all!) and wound up doing rather well as a standard jungler. After so long, though, my trollsome botgame builds started creeping back into brainstorms and weird team comps.
While I've toyed with AP Hec in PvP several times to average-to-somewhat-scary effect, he's got a lot of problems that I'm not sure I'm addressing properly, mostly that his pre-6 game is pretty awkward and he's highly susceptible to getting harassed out of lane by anyone with good poke. To those who have tasted the bizarre fruit of AP Hecarim, how do you deal with his shortcomings? His early game is generally not so fab damage-wise, so I usually don him with standard AP runes and a Doran's or Amplifying Tome to rush Sheen. But would it be better to go with defensive runes to stick around in melee range for longer? Build some degree of AD first to capitalize on his other skills before/around getting Sheen?
And for that matter, is bruiser really the only route to take, or is the extra damage from going glass cannon worth it? Really, AP Hec's shining moment in a teamfight is sitting on as many people as possible with ult and AoE, after that there could well be too many folks still alive to rip up the pony. Having extra tankiness from Zhonya's and Abyssal Scepter is great for sticking around long enough to tack on a few more Lich Bane procs, but I haven't been bold enough to go straight AP and risk getting obliterated every teamfight.
So, general thoughts? Build ideas? I usually go the route of early Sheen and Sorc Shoes, and the build ends up...
Sorcerer's Shoes/Merc Treads
Deathfire Grasp/(insert appropriate defensive item here)
I know that AP Hec is not nearly as viable as other strategies, but he's still fun as heck and can be a real showstopper in a teamfight. Course, it also takes the right team and a less conventional comp to pull off. What say you, summoners?