Ever since I started playing LOL, I've had a soft spot for Dr Mundo. I often choose him often and usually lost. If I managed a positive K/D record it was printed out and framed on the wall. But recently (and not co-incidentally following a long string of patch-love) something strange has started happened - I've actually started winning! Not just winning, but dominating.
Now that my wall is full I thought I'd write a guide on how I like to play the doctor.
This Guide is current to LOL version 126.96.36.199
**Updated Nov 27 2009 - Added Runes/Masteries/Countering Mundo/Allies
**Updated Dec 1 - Changed suggested Runes.
**Updated Dec 20 - Added alternative build order and mastery setup.
**Updated Dec 28 - Added Excutioner's Blade as a suggested counter. Tidied some sections.
I'll refer you to the LOL homepage for a rundown of Mundo's abilities (despite the fact that its currently slightly outdated).
4. Burning Agony
And after that Cleaver > Sadism > Burning Agony > Masochism.
Q - Infected Cleaver
Cleaver's 4 second cooldown and negligible cost make it a fantastic skill throughout the game. It should be your first priority to level up because you will usually be targeting heroes that are low on health, so increasing the minimum damage is important. You'll also be throwing it every 4 seconds when taking out neutrals, so more damage increases your efficiency.
As far as skill shots go, Cleaver is quite forgiving. Units tend to have 'sprites' that are larger than their visual appearance on the screen. When trying to hit a champion, make sure you aim well clear of creeps to avoid catching their 'invisible edge'. Although Cleaver has a fast projectile speed there is a short cast animation so aim ahead when trying to hit a moving target. When chasing an enemy hero that you can out-run, it’s usually better to wait an extra second and make sure they’re in range because the cast animation stops you temporarily. If your first cleaver falls short you might not get another chance.
Your cleaver is also fantastic for scouting into suspicious looking brush - it collides with very satisfying squelch and even hits invisible units.
W - Burning Agony
Mundo's most underrated ability - now with a 325 AOE. Great for farming, great in a gang fights and even great for running away. Just the first level does as much damage as a Sunfire Cape and don't discount the stun/slow reduction which stacks with Mercury Treads. To play Mundo well you need to get used to turning this ability on and off as you move into and out of combat. It can be reactivated again 4 seconds after you turn it off so get used to toggling it often.
E - Masochism
Just one level of Masochism makes Mundo hit like a truck. Extra level's only marginally increase the damage (and only to your primary target compared to Burning Agony's AOE) so this skill should be your lowest leveling priority. It lasts 5 seconds and is on a 7 second cooldown, use it all the time. It has no cast animation, so the key to effective use is activating it just before you swing so the buff lasts longer.
Masochism also provides bonus damage for each % of health that Mundo is missing. However deliberately going into fights on low life to get the extra damage from Masochism isn't wise.
R - Sadism
Mundo's ulti costs 20% of your CURRENT health to activate and regenerates 50% of your TOTAL health over 12 seconds while providing a 15/25/35% speed boost for the duration. The best thing about Sadism is the 60 second cooldown which allows you to use it all the time. Never hang around at 70% health with your ulti off cooldown. Instead activate Sadism, aggressively Burning Agony farm some creeps and you'll be back to full health in 12 seconds.
The most common mistake made by inexperienced Mundo players is not using Sadism enough - don't save it for the speed boost or for a gang fight. You'll often get a chance to activate it multiple times in a long gang/push. After level 6 you should always be going into every gang fight at full health.
The two best times to activate Sadism are a few seconds before a team fight, so that you arrive with the movement speed bonus and health regeneration OR in the middle of a team fight, when either your team or the enemy team is about to retreat. I'll almost always use it before I go under 50% health.
Passive - Adrenaline Rush
A strong ability, particularly for early laning. This ability (along with Sadism) is a good reason to prioritize Health items over items that only give health regeneration.
Mundo doesn't use mana and sadism provides health regeneration and late game mobility, so Teleport is a poor choice. Flash, Ignite, Clairvoyance, Fortify, Heal, Smite and Cleanse are all reasonable choices (based on what your team needs) but I've had the most success with Exhaust and Rally. Exhaust offers an additional disable in a gank or team fight and is particularly strong at level 1. Rally makes killing the dragon/lizard at Level 1 easy, can swing a big team battle and opens up the possibility of an early Baron.
Marks: Armor Penetration or Attack Speed
The best ways to increase your overall damage to enemy champions and towers.
The increased chance to trigger nimbleness is the main reason for this choice. Picking up the speed boost as you run past their creep wave will often turn an almost kill into a kill. The extra dodge also provides a nice boost to your survivability, particularly in the jungle.
Glyphs: Flat Cooldown Reduction or Magic Resist @ 18
Cooldown reduction means more cleavers. More Cleavers is Good.
Magic Resist is a difficult stat to raise in other ways.
Quintessences: Flat Health
Even after being nerfed these runes are worth 100 extra health - a big boost at level 1.
I think two 9-point masteries are essential for for Mundo.
Archaic Knowledge in the Offense tree which gives 15% Spell Penetration significantly increases the damage dealt by your Cleavers and Burning Agony.
Nimbleness in the Defense tree triggers surprisingly often to give Mundo a significant speed boost (when combined with dodge runes).
For the rest of your points, fill out either the Defense tree or the Offense tree.
Option 1 - Long Game
This build works well in evenly matched games, particularly when playing at low to medium ELO where games tend to last at least 30 or 40 minutes.
Mercury Treads (or Ninja Tabi)
Aegis of the Legion (Or another appropriate team item like Stark's Fervor)
Negatron Cloak (if MR is required)
Vision Wards (throughout the game)
Build Order (option 1)
1. Doran's Shield is a great starting item for many heroes especially Mundo. My standard build isn't short on inventory slots so it will usually last the whole game. Second choice for starting item would be a Ruby Crystal, planning to turn it into a Heart of Gold. Regrowth pendent isn't a good first item.
2. Boots of Speed. More mobility means better chasing and more Cleavers. More cleavers is good.
3. Ruby Crystal and Giant's Belt (the Health components of a Warmog's Armor). Note that with Mundo you're MUCH better off picking up the Health components before the regen. The health gives you more survivability and a majority of your regeneration is going to come from Sadism and Adrenaline Rush, both of which are directly improved increasing your maximum health.
4. Upgrade to Mercury treads. These boots are just incredible on Mundo, they stack with Burning Agony to make him almost completely immune to crowd control. Another good reason to get treads is that Magic Resistance is a difficult statistic to raise on non-casters. Against a team that is skewed towards physical DPS you can pick up Ninja Tabi instead.
5. Finish up Warmog's Armor next. Warmog's isn't an item that I rate very highly (in my opinion MR/Armor are usually more cost effective on tanks) but I think it’s a viable choice on Mundo for the following reasons:
- All of Mundo's abilities cost health to use. Burning Agony in particular chews through a large amount of health every second so stacking bulk health essentially makes these abilities cheaper.
- Unlike most other tanks, Mundo is a fantastic farmer, so you will quickly fill up Warmog's as you push lanes.
- Having a large amount of health increases the effectiveness of Sadism and Adrenaline Rush.
6. Aegis of The Legion/Stark's Fervor (whichever my team doesn't already have). Shopping trips tend to be few and far between by this point.
7. Atma's Impaler. Nice Armor and a huge boost to damage.
Option 2 - Short Game
Recently I've been finding that Warmog's Armor is too slow with most of my games already decided by the 15-20 minute mark. In such a short game the 1500 gold it costs to upgrade from Ruby Crystal & Giants Belt into the Warmog's Armor is better spent elsewhere. Consequently I've started skipping Warmog's and getting an early big team item instead.
Mercury Treads (or Ninja Tabi)
Giant's Belt and/or Ruby Crystal (Possibly upgrading to Frozen Mallet eventually)
Aegis of the Legion (and/or Stark's Fervor)
Wards & Elixirs
Other Item Tips
Maintain flexibility with your item build. In particularly if you're versus an unbalanced team with too much Magic or Physical DPS throw a Negatron Cloak/Plate Mail into the mix quite early on. One of the most amusing games I’ve ever played was against a team of 4 casters and a tank. My end tems were Mercury Treads, Warmog's and 3 Negatron cloaks. I never came close to dying.
Vision Wards are incredibly important, especially against strong opponents. Keeping one up on Baron from about level 13 is critical. Earlier in the game, wards near Dragon/Lizard/Golem are also a good choice. Particularly if you lose the Dragon its very much worth your time to place a ward there and try to win it back. Mundo farms well and spends a lot of time roaming the jungle which make him a good candidate to buy wards. Pick up a couple whenever you've got any spare cash.
Heart of Gold - A nice early item, especially versus a team with a lot of physical DPS. I'll sometimes pick one up if I'm back at base in the early game with more than 975G, but not enough to afford a Giant's Belt.
Stark's Fervor - A strong team item. Get this if your team has a lot of physical DPS.
Frozen Mallet - I'll usually only build this if I’m having trouble picking up the lizard buff. That usually happens when our team has jungler or a ganking hero (like twitch) that needs our lizard buff as a higher priority.
Last Whisper - Attack speed and Armor penetration is an excellent choice on any hero with high natural damage.
Oracles Elixirs - Mundo is the ideal champion to carry an Oracles. If their team has stealth get one quite early on and play a little cautiously to make the most of it.
Elixir of Agility - provides some decent late game DPS, especially after you've got Atma's.
Item's To Avoid
Banshee's Veil - Far better to rely on a the combination of Mercury Tread and Burning Agony to shrug off any stuns/slows
Guardian Angel - This item used to a strong choice on many heroes but now its overpriced. If the other team are killing you first in a gang, they're doing something very wrong and if they're mopping you up last then the revive from Guardian isn't going to save you.
+Damage Items (besides Atma's) Mundo doesn't attack fast enough to make +damage items worthwhile. In a long game Last Whisper is a much better choice to boost your damage.
Mundo is the strongest early game champion in LOL, it’s as simple as that. If possible, try to get involved in a level 1 team fight. You'll still be throwing a cleaver every 4 seconds long after the other heroes have blown their cooldowns and turned to run. If there’s a chance that the other team will try Dragon, take your team to counter. Be sure to scout any suspicious brush with a Cleaver toss to avoid running into their whole team.
Infected cleaver does a huge amount of damage to the lizard/golem/dragon, so offer to tank one for your team at level 1. Getting the Lizard buff for your solo is a really big deal - as much for their confidence as anything else. I'll sometimes follow them mid and try to come out of the grass and snatch first blood. Choosing Rally as a summoner ability makes the lizard fight go very smoothly, even with only 2 or 3 champions.
Mundo lanes most effectively in the bottom lane (or middle lane) as it provides the easiest access to the Dragon. Try to gauge the strength of your opponents and lane-mate. Take an aggressive lane position if possible, but even if you are forced onto the back-foot, you should still be able to farm well with Cleaver and Masochism. Use your cleavers to farm, don't waste them taking low percentage pot-shots at enemy champions. Keep the gold ticking over and wait to nail the opposing champion with a point-blank cleaver when you get the opportunity.
Even if you are pushed back to your tower, you should still be able to farm effectively using Masochism and Cleaver. A full health Melee Creep will go down to 2 Tower shots and an auto-attack with Masochism. A full health Ranged Creep will be dispatched by 1 Tower burst and a level 2 Cleaver. Learning to effectively farm creeps that are under fire from your tower is an important skill to learn and Mundo does it better than any other hero.
When you're on the defensive, always watch for the chance to counter-attack. Exhaust, Cleaver, Masochism, followed by a Burning Agony/Cleaver chase down can catch an over-extended enemy completely by surprise, especially when you're only level 4. Once you get close to level 6, try to stay in lane even if you're quite low on HP, tower hugging if necessary. Sadism will make everything feel better.
As soon you hit level 6, learn your ulti and pop it immediately. Mundo Smash! With massive health regeneration at your disposal, don't be afraid to take some damage to harass your opponents. Try to walk the fine-line between extreme aggression and suicidal aggression. If you get a chance at an uncontested creep wave, use Burning Agony to farm it quickly. Rely on Sadism for bulk health regeneration every minute.
Mundo is a very efficient jungler - Burning Agony will take down the Wraith's or Wolves in just a few seconds while a string of Cleavers will make short work or the Lizard, Golem or Dragon. Sweep through the jungle regularly to clear the neutrals and pick up the Lizard buff. Disappearing off the mini-map all the time also helps to make your ganks less predictable. Particularly if you're in the bottom lane, watch for enemy heroes that disappear to farm the nearby Golem and move to intercept them.
It’s possible to solo the Dragon at level 6 with the Lizard Buff but it’s usually safer and faster to take an ally. Take down the dragon as a very high priority. It's worth as much gold as two enemy hero kills and is one of the best ways to improve the late game of your carries. By the time you reach level 9 or 10 you should be able to solo the dragon easily, especially with rally up. Do this as soon as it spawns. If the opponents ever get to the dragon before you, consider placing a vision ward there. Its common for the dragon to get taken down by the same team several times in a row, which can really swing a match.
In gang battles Mercury Tread's and Burning Agony stack to reduce the duration of crowd control effects by 65-85% making Mundo an unstoppable force. Use your mobility to chase down the enemy's squishiest carry. Mundo is huge, if you choose your target effectively your allies will tend to do the same!
Mundo is a great team leader. Don't be afraid to tower-dive if your team can quickly finish it off or if it will net the team a kill. Particularly if you and a couple of other allies catch a lone enemy hero tower-hugging, initiate the gank so that you take the tower hits while your allies mop up the enemy champion, then pop Sadism and turbo away.
By this point, Mundo's damage should be starting to wane, however with virtual immunity to slows/stuns and around 3000 health, you should be very hard to kill. Mobility, survivability and the AOE damage of Burning Agony make Mundo a fantastic late game pusher. Clear out creep waves quickly to exert pressure on multiple lanes simultaneously.
If you get ganked while pushing a lane, pop Sadism and keep Burning Agony active as you're running away. 50 health a second is a small price to pay, compared to what the enemy heroes will do to you if they catch you! Always stay active. Between Sadism, Warmog's and Adrenaline rush, you should never have to return to base unless you want to.
From about level 13 onwards look for an opening to take down Baron. Mundo tanks Baron extremely well and cleavers help to take him out quickly. Drop a Rally if possible to keep the rest of your team alive. The ideal time to make a run on Baron is after a strong push, while the enemy are still regrouping. Try to let your team know this plan in advance so you can all move straight there. Plant a ward on the way in if you can and don't be afraid to bail out if their team moves to gank. I've seen plenty of games lost when a team was too stubborn to pull out of a Baron attempt and ended up losing everyone and the buff.
Mundo plays well with most other champions, however, the jungle isn't really big enough for two. Don’t play him if your side already has Warwick, Tryndamere, Udyr, Fiddlesticks or another hero that plans to spend a lot of time in the jungle.
If you're being chased by Mundo, don't run away in a straight line. Expect to have a cleaver hurled at you every 4 seconds. Anticipate this and dodge/blink just as the cleaver is about to be thrown.
You can hear Mundo's cleavers connecting through the fog even if your hero isn't nearby. I’m not sure if this is intentional or if it’s a bug. If Mundo goes missing soon after level 6, scroll your map over to the dragon or lizard and if he’s there you'll be able to hear cleavers. This is also a good way to tell if the enemy team is attempting Baron, or if they are simply baiting it.
Don't target Mundo with crowd control effects while Burning Agony is active. Mundo is big, scary and easy to click on. Try to target the carry instead.
Executioner's Calling (and other similar effects such as Gangplank's Grog-Soaked Blade and Katarina's Bouncing Blades) is a great counter to Mundo's health regeneration. While the 12 second DOT is active, Sadism is almost useless so be careful to wait for the debuff to run out before activating it. Note that healing reduction effects don't effect Life-steal.
Doctor Mundo is yet another great hero with a unique play style. Have fun with him!