Pyke Overview Infographic
We put together a Pyke overview infographic that has the best builds, runes, strengths, weaknesses, combos, skill orders, counters, synergies and anything else that you need to quickly learn the basics of Pyke. Make sure to share with your friends and check back here to get the latest updates. We will be updating this infographic as changes happen so check back often!
Who is Hanjaro
Andrew Kotera, 37 years of age. Currently playing with summoner names Fbgg Hanjaro and handjobro. With 182 games in Pyke, he stands at the top of the league. Having 2.24:1 KDA Ratio with 54% winrate on the champion. He streams on Facebook and Twitch. Where Hanjaro battles within the Master – Challenger Elo brackets in NA. Fear the beard, cause he’ll get you with Death from Below.
Table of Contents
Why to Play Pyke
Before we start on the Ultimate Guide to Pyke we first want to tell you why you should play him. His overall strengths and weaknesses are as follows:
- Great at Assassinating Squishy Targets
- Highly Mobile
- Good at Picking Off Enemy Champions
- Excellent Roamer
- Ultimate gives gold to teammates
- Team Reliant
- Easy to Counter
- True Damage Obliterates Him
- Can’t increase more health
- Weak against Heavy CC champions
These champions give Pyke a hard time in game due to having a kit that can stop Pyke from doing what he wants to do. Here are some of the biggest issues and how you can try to overcome the challenges they bring.
Janna is considered a counter to Pyke because she prevents Pyke from closing into his enemies. Using her Q(Howling Gale), she knocks up Pyke whenever he comes and uses his E(Phantom Undertow) to engage which disables our assassin to stun them. She can also bait you to use your ultimate to his ADC when the HP is ready for execution. She then activates either her E(Eye of the Storm) or R(Monsoon) to negate you from killing her partner in lane. You can try to harass them with only your Q(Bone Skewer) and scare them off for them to activate their summoner spells and skills. When you know their abilities are down, maximize the potential of Pyke by going all in and preventing them to call for teammates.
Morgana is considered a counter to Pyke because she locks her opponents in the lane for her ADC to deal the most amount of damage. She can harass you with her W(Tormented Shadow) and lure you to go to an open area where you want to use your harpoon. She then quickly roots you with her Q(Dark Binding) which is a very terrible situation because her ability binds you for a long period of time giving her jungler the chance to gank. She can also shield herself or her ally from any disables which makes your E + Q/Q + E combo ineffective against them. You can move through units and deal with her using your W +Q(stab) to gain an upper hand in small skirmishes in your lane. Position yourselves where you and your ADC can not be locked by her ability. Pyke has insane amounts of damage early on, use this to your advantage and take a lead with your items. As soon as you have built some penetration and are ready to use your ult. You can still use your combo without disabling them but they will still feel the damage you have done.
Nautilus is considered a counter to Pyke because this Titan of the Depths disables your movement by hitting his basic attacks which roots you for a brief period of time. He can also slow you down with his E(Riptide) to prevent you from going to his ADC as fast as you can. Tanky supports provide more room for error as they have HP as an advantage. Supports like Alistar, Leona, Gragas, etc are really difficult to deal with when they have built defensive items. Being an assassin support like Pyke, you’d want to maximize the early to mid game phase and harass them in small skirmishes. Whenever they try to lock you down, use your E(Phantom Undertow) to take control of your lane and then Q(Bone Skewer) them as close to your turret which will create space for you and your ADC to deal ridiculous damage before they become too tanky.
These champions work well with Pyke and should be considered being picked alongside him if possible. Here are some of the biggest synergies and how you can abuse them.
Jhin synergizes with Pyke because he can crit enemy laners in the early game with his 4th shot. This enables a huge boost of damage in your lane which makes you very aggressive early on. You can take fights in level 2 and win them with your abilities which makes your combination a very difficult lane to face with.
Twitch synergizes with Pyke because they both can surprise their enemy laners as they both have ways to hide and target opponents that can be easily dropped down. Twitch loves a support who can let him stack his poison while holding down the enemy targets that is why he works well with the assassination play of Pyke and instantly kills them especially when both have their ultimate.
Draven synergizes with Pyke because his passive is consumed when he assists Pyke’s ultimate which grants him more bonus gold. This bot lane duo will gain a large amount of gold in their lane and if Pyke is precise with his abilities to protect Draven, Draven will pop off in the late game then all Pyke needs to do is protect him from being picked off.
Pyke Summoner Spells
Pyke’s recommended Summoner Spells are Ignite and Flash because of his ability to pull enemies and assassinate squishy champions from marksmen to enchanting supports. If you trying to reduce damage taken from your enemy laners and slow them down to give distance to your ADC to kite (List reasons why you would use the following combo), you can consider using Exhaust and Flash because there are tanky champions in their composition or their hyper carries are on the lead and you need to drop their damages down to make a comeback in the lane. These summoner spells can create an opportunity for opponents that you are having a hard time in the game.
Pyke Runes and Keystones
Pyke’s recommended runes are Aftershock, Demolish, Bone Plating, Unflinching on Resolve as Primary and Tenacity with Triumph as Secondary because Pyke wants to deal as much damage as he can to his lane while assisting his marksman to gain kills in any 2v2 fights in the laning phase. This rune build-up is great for enemies which have abilities that are high in CC that Pyke has difficulty dealing with. Engaging in these opponents using these runes will help him deal damage while having the opportunity to escape as fast as possible.
If you want to be a Pyke user that focuses on kills while your marksman gains better health regeneration in skirmishes while also having a better cooldown reduction with his ultimate (List reasons why you would use the following combo), you can consider using Aftershock, Font of Life, Bone Plating, Revitalize on Resolve as Primary and Sudden Impact with Ultimate Hunter on Domination as secondary because your playstyle focuses on dealing major damage while giving the kills to your marksman and providing him the maximum gold you can offer as a support to gain an upper hand in your lane. This will turn over to team fights when the laning phase is over.
Both rune pages will be taking 2 Adaptive Force on offense/flex and will depend on the composition of the enemy champions as defense. You can either go +6 Armor or +16-90 Health(based on level) as Pyke doesn’t stack health on built items which will help him be more harder to kill.
Pyke’s recommended items change depending on the situation, however, the following items will give you a good idea of what to build in different situations.
- Pyke starts with Steel Shoulderguards if he wants to gain health, damage, gold per second and health regen which will help him maintain a sustainable composition when fighting early game skirmishes in his playing phase with his marksman. This item also activates spoils of war which he can execute minions below 50% granting gold to the nearest allied champion. This is the most reliable first item for any support Pyke.
- Pyke starts with Spectral Sickle if he wants to harass as much as possible and gain gold while doing it. This is not what Pyke usually build but if you are constantly harassing your enemy layers then this support item can assist you to gain gold as you prepare to execute them later on with your ultimate(Death from Below).
- Pyke uses Umbral Glaive very well because of its ability to reveal the environment for wards and traps, disabling them to ensure that you are not face checking into enemy territory. This helps you in going around the map and looking for small targets that can easily be executed with your combos.
- Pyke uses Duskblade of Draktharr very well because it activates when you use your W(Ghostwater Dive) when you are unseen. Your first basic attack after being hidden will deal significant damage to your target before even using your main combos which puts Pyke in a better position within enemy lines. Pyke wants to take advantage of this item and hunt down squishy targets and give more gold to his teammates and this item provides an extra amount of armor penetration that will surprise ADC when not being careful.
- Pyke uses Youmuu’s Ghostblade very well because of its active which helps you escape when your W(Ghostwater Dive) is on cooldown. It gives out of combat movement speed while also granting +20% movement speed upon activation. This helps Pyke run through units while chasing targets or escape through teamfights without his abilities.
- Use Boots of Mobility to run faster to enemies and combine your W(Ghostwater) dive quickly startoff your combo
- Use Boots of Swiftness to reduce slow effects on you which will help you in engaging towards the enemy and pulling them with your Q(Bone Skewer).
Offensive Situational Items
- If the composition of the enemy team is health and defense reliant, you can build Mortal Reminder because it inflicts grievous wounds reducing their health regeneration while you gain more penetration to stomp front liners while doing your job as a menace in their carries.
- If you want to survive your initial engage through the enemy, you can build Guardian Angel because this item offers both AD and armor. This item also provides you to revive yourself after killed which helps in initiations that you think you can not escape and your team cannot follow up immediately.
Defensive Situational Items
- If you want to protect yourself from high crit ADC, while being a little bit tanky for the team, you can build Dead Man’s Plate because it gives armor which absorbs AD while also giving you more HP in the lane. This increases your movement speed and gives an empowered attack auto once filled. This will give you more survivability as assassin support in the late game.
- If your goal is to be as close to your enemy as but can’t cause of their composition having a lot of attack speed in the early game, you can build Frozen Heart because this item offers a balanced setup to the build giving you more armor, advantage to attack speed as you lower the enemies AS stats with it and cooldown reduction all while having the ability to chase opponents faster. This not only helps you in the making phase but also within team fights. The passive of Frozen heart is really helpful as your abilities let you slip through your enemies reducing their attack speed all the time.
Full Build Example
Pyke can consist of
- Pauldrons of Whiterock
- Boots of Mobility
- Umbral Glaive
- Youmuu’s Ghostblade
- Duskblade of Draktharr
- Edge of Night
This is the most recommended build path to Pyke as he wants to maximize his damage output towards his opponents on the lane. Pyke needs mobility early on that is why acquiring Boots of Mobility in the early game is needed. It is a great combination with his W(Ghostwater Dive) and will surprise the enemy on how fast he can try to assassinate them. Adding Umbral Glaive to the table ensures him a safe path towards his target while startling them with his damage using Duskblade of Draktharr and protecting himself with Youmuu’s Ghostblade and Edge of Night. It is a perfect build for an assassin that wants to give the highest amount of gold he can yield and be able to give more items to his ADC. If you are easily burst down by your enemies, you can replace Edge of Night with Guardian’s Angel to have a second chance of reversing a teamfight.
Passive - Gift of the Drowned Ones
When Pyke is hidden from his enemies, he regenerates at rapid state gaining back lost health from damages from enemy champions. His passive works well with his ability to dive and catch targets for his teammates replenishing his HP and possibly run them down again after the first initiation. Pyke also doesn’t gain any health stats from any sources like items and ally abilities but instead converts it to attack damage helping him assassinate his foes as a killer support in his lane.
Q - Bone Skewer
When tapped, Pyke strikes his enemies with his weapon and stabs all his enemies in front of him slowing them for about 90%. When you hold Q a little longer, he extends the range of his skill and throws his harpoon in a set distance impaling the first enemy struck and pulling them towards you dealing physical damage plus a percentage of your AD. The range of Bone Skewer has fix distance which means you can reel champions through walls and fling close ones behind you. Your first ability can be a tool to initiate fights or finish low HP opponents as this skill is your best damage output to them. You will have to make the right calls on when to use this skill to avoid wasting a great way to turn the tide.
W - Ghostwater Dive
Pyke dives going into camouflage and gaining increased movement speed plus a percentage of lethality that decays over 5 seconds. Camouflage hides Pyke from enemies as long they are outside his range. Enemy champions feel the presence of Pyke and will have fins rotating around them. This ability will immediately end when Pyke gets hit with basic attacks or spells. Ghostwater Dive is a great way to launch yourself to the opponent and pull them using your Q(Bone Skewer). It is also the ability to use as an escape when taking in too much damage from your enemies as Pyke your Passive(Gift of the Drowned Ones) activates when you use this skill. Launch this ability to slip through enemies and assassinate squishy champions to gain an advantage on your skirmishes.
E - Phantom Undertow
Pyke dashes leaving behind a phantom. After a few seconds plus lethality, the phantom returns to Pyke dealing damage plus bonus AD with your items and stunning enemies it passes through. The phantom will follow Pyke anywhere so combining it with your flash can create outplays from opponents escaping from you. Use this ability to dive into fights and pull enemies to your teammates with your Q(Bone Skewer). Then quickly escape with your W(Ghostwater Dive) to harass targets and maybe kill some along the way.
R - Death from Below
After 0.75-second delay, Pykes strikes in an X-shaped area dealing damage to enemies within the mark. Targets that are ready for execution have red highlights on their HP bar and will sink to the bottom of the ocean. Teammates who have assisted Pyke when killing enemy champions gain full kill gold and kill credit creating a perfect death sentence for targeted champions. Also, Pyke can recast his ultimate when an enemy dies in the mark. This ultimate is a perfect skill to execute enemies that Pyke has been striking down. With the overall kit of this champion that uses lethality items and converts health to attack damage, he is the perfect assassin to assist any marksman in the lane and bring treasures of gold along their paths.
Ability Skill Order
The skill order for Pyke is R – Q – W – E. The reason is Pyke wants to maximize his damage output so you are going to be taking your ultimate(Death from Below) whenever possible. His Q(Bone Skewer) is his best initiation skill. These helps him hunt down targets and drag them back to his teammates. It is always a good way to hide while trying to pull them that is why taking W(Ghostwater Dives) next is the priority. It can both be a way to close the gap to any enemies you can instantly kill with your penetration and ultimate or be a great skill to escape from team fights or skirmishes that is not in your favor.
A powerspike is when a time champion reaches a level or builds an item that makes them a lot stronger than other champions in the game. Pyke’s Powerspike is when he reaches level 2 at first where he can aggressively harass his lane opponents in the early game. When he reaches level 6 he can now try to execute them while being assisted by his ADC. Pyke usually engages and receives a lot of damage for his ADC all while his carry peels off safely. He then sees an opportunity for a kill shot and shares the gold to his teammate. He also deals with a high amount of damage when he completes His Duskblade of Draktharr because of its additional attack when he initiates an execution from being hidden. Pyke’s strength then boosts when he claims more armor penetration into the table slashing his opponents with his harpoon and removing them in teamfights.
E + Q(Stab)
This combo is used for harass enemy laners and still having the ability to escape afterward. You want to be aggressive early on as Pyke is stronger in this phase.
Q(hold) + E
This combo is used both offensive and defensive styles. You can hold your Q and extend the harpoon targeting your enemy while you dash back with your E(Phantom Undertow). This shortens the gap for your ADC to hit your opponents while you are safe protecting him/her. It provides good CC and you didn’t waste your W(Ghostwater Dive) to escape. You can also use it offensively and swap positions with your opponents. As you hold your Q you then target your dash to where the enemy was giving you a perfect position to stab them in the back while your ADC damages them. You can still have the ability to chase the enemy if your ADC can not finish them or you will be forced to use your W to escape if their support initiates on you.
Q(hold) + Flash
This combo is used to extend the range of your harpoon. You usually use this when you want to surprise the enemy thinking he is in a safe distance. Utilize the combo when your opponents have already use their spells and dashes to prevent them from escaping as you don’t want to waste your own spell.
W + E
This combo is used when you want to hold your Q(Bone Skewer) and initiate with your W(Ghostwater Dive) then as they notice you in front of them, use your E(Phantom Undertow) to go behind them stunning your target for you to pull them back to your team. This is a great way to save the skill that has the highest damage and value in every teamfights.
E + Flash(behind)
This combo is used for creating sick plays when you want to engage a fight and you know their summoner spells are up. You can use your E(Phantom Undertow) to close the gap and scare them to activate their flash and then quickly chase them by flashing behind. The combo always surprises the targets and you can even bluff your E away from them then flashing at the back to swiftly pull them back with your harpoon.
E + Flash(behind) + Q
This combo is used as an extended combo with your E + Flash(Behind). After you’ve initially stunned them, you want the target to be hit by your teammates. Even though you are an assassin, your primary goal is to give as much gold to your teammates as possible because Pyke isn’t really a late game champion especially if your enemies are tankier ones.
E + R(behind) + Q
This combo is used similar to the E + Flash(Behind) + Q combo but instead of using your Flash you are stunning through your ultimate. You are going to target the side of the X mark so you will be behind the enemy either killing him or just stunning him along the way. You finish this combo with a harpoon to pull the enemy back.
E + Flash + R + Q
This combo is very difficult to use as your enemies move from side to side. You are trying to extend your stun as far as you can and as many enemy champions as possible setting up a great clash in favor of your team. Your E(Phantom Undertow) is the best CC you have got as Pyke that is why using it efficiently is a must.
How to Play Pyke
When using Pyke in the early game, you want to emphasize on harassing your opponents in the lane. Do some small skirmishes that will favor your ADC along the way. Use your Q to pull or stab your enemies and lower their HP in this phase. As you approach level 2, you can instantly do a quick Q + E combo to take down their summoner spells or possibly killing them. You want to be as active as possible in trading to gain an upper hand before going to level 6. Talk to your jungler when summoner spells are down. This is the best time to approach them in a 3v2 matchup having a large advantage to Pyke’s abilities. When you have acquired your ultimate, you can now try to assassinate squishy champions that have difficulty in escaping. Champions like Ashe, Jhin, Miss Fortune, etc are immobile ADC that can be easily executed by Pyke. Always do remember to watch out for counter ganks as Pyke will be weak escaping especially when his W(Ghostwater Dive) is down.
As Pyke approaches the mid game phase, his goal is to build his armor penetration item as fast as possible before tank champions build defensive items. He will need to roam around and provide visions in the enemy jungle and also aid in ganking other lanes. Utilize his ability to stay hidden to pick off enemies that aren’t careful enough. This is the best way to gain a lead in the early to mid game phase.
Split Pushing – When trying to split push, team up with your ADC and keep him safe. You can have 1-3-1 Split push where your top and mid laner are pushing in different lanes. This is very effective especially when both of them have teleport to prepare any teamfights in your area of the map. Approach cautiously in these setups and do not go all-in with your skills. Your goal is to pick enemies and be around your carries to protect them.
Objective Control – As a support, you want to prepare your jungler for the objective. Keep warding the Dragon pit as the game progresses instantly whenever teams acquire different types of Dragon in Season 10. These buffs are dominant in the rift and should be protected from enemies around. When you gain a lead in your lane, you can assist the top laner and provide skirmishes where you can deal with the most amount of damage. Rift Heralds have also been very useful in Season 10 as 2 can spawn before the Baron appears. If you are able to leave your ADC to farm where the minion wave positioned right in front of our turrets, then try to assist your jungler in taking this objective. This can transition into picking enemies off or even destroying more turrets taking more areas of the map.
Going to the late game phase means almost all champions in the map has about 3-4 items built. When you are dealing with compositions with heavy front liners, try to negate their movement by pulling them with your harpoon and letting your team pull them off. If your teammates have the ability to kite them then do so before approaching a 5v5 team fight. Put visions around Baron and Elder to prepare to take it later on. Be ready for enemies that will face check the area and use it to your advantage. Pick off enemy champions before taking the objective to have a better matchup when a teamfight is going to happen. When opponents are trying to assassinate your ADC or mage, approach them with your E(Phantom Undertow) and pull them away. This will keep your main damage dealer safe while you eliminate them. You don’t have to do fancy plays with Pyke all the time, you want to protect your carries and deal as much damage to the other team as possible to win the game.
Pyke Tips and Tricks
- Use your Q(stab) more often when dealing with skirmishes in your lane
- Activate your W(Ghostwater Dive) and try to scare your opponents to mess with their heads
- Bat your enemies’ dashes and jumps with your E(Phantom Undertow) to secure a stun on them
- Utilize your auto-attacks in the game as you have a higher damage output than most supports early on.
- Try to all-in your opponents when you know their summoner spells and abilities are on cooldown
Full Game Pyke Gameplay
Frequent Mistakes/Noob Traps
These are things most Pyke players do that shouldn’t be done at a high level ELO.
Mistake #1 – Building Black Cleaver. It has little benefit to Pyke other than some AD and 20% CDR the passive is not worth nor do you get lethality. Pyke benefits greatly from lethality and needs it to scale his kit to become the speedy assassin that he is and you will not get there with Black Cleaver.
Mistake #2 – Don’t be afraid to build Mercury treads. In matchups Pyke doesn’t always need Boots of Mobility, you can buy Mercury Treads to reduce incoming CC. But if you do go mercs you should definitely rush Youmuu’s Ghostblade afterwards and get additional MS that was lost without mobis.
Mistake #3 – Never engage with E if the enemy has Flash up unless your jungler is present. You don’t want to lose your engaging tool if you are not sure whether or not you can get a lead. It is better to have a jungler assist you and have a better chance of securing the kill.
Mistake #4 – Don’t always hold your R for an execute. Sometimes it’s better used as a gap close to make another play or use it as a follow up damage for your team and easily deal heavy damage to your target.
Similar Champions To Pyke
Listed below are some champions you can use to replace Pyke as a harassing ad damage dealer to back up the ADC. When he isn’t available either banned or picked by the enemy team. This will give you a variety to choose from. Safeguarding your LP from going down and keeping your games awesome. See you at the top!
Great CC, Aggresive Support and excellent at performing combos with other heavy CC champions. Rakan is a flexible champion that has great combos to deal with his opponents. His charms will lure any enemy team towards him and leading them to a trap with your allies. Use his awesomeness and drive them all crazy.
Super tanky, Point and click CC ultimate and Insane CC abilities. Nautlis a frontline tank that hooks targets with Dredge Line. He is great at receiving damage for the team while holding them on one spot. Utilize his ability to hold targets and you'll easily secure a kill.
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