Mundo: Carrying More Than a Cleaver by Echo7

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UPDATED: Feb 11, 2010.

The Doctor is a beast of potentials, locked inside his abilities, locked away by player perception of his role and itemizations.
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The Doctor may look like a big dumb animal, and lets face it, he 
is a big dumb animal. But you don't have to be one also.

This is not your average Doctor. This is Mundo going where he pleases, by chopping up every last son of a ***** that stands in his way.

Mundo is not a tank, for one major, glaringly huge reason. The Doctor can not initiate a team fight. Mundo can run in and bait, but that is purely at the mercy of the other team on whether to bite or not. And this is ignoring how fully tank built Mundo, even if they build mitigation like intelligent little baddies, there is no reason to attack Mundo first, but three screamingly large reasons to not target him till last.

How to solve these problems? Make your Mundo death walking. Mundo sits at an odd place of having good survivability tools while also having large damage potential. Exploit those potentials and 
force the other team to notice you or pay in swiftly increasing odds against them.

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First the break down on abilities.

{Q} The Cleaver: 
Induces early game rage in everyone you face. Spam happy annoyance. There are many ways you will use this ability. It passes through terrain, it slows, it removes scaling chunks of health from your target, and absolutely most importantly: it forces the opponent to move how you want them to or eat it in the face. 

Most people telegraph when they are throwing a Cleaver. This is good for forcing people to move, but terrible for actually landing one. My only suggestion in becoming truly proficient at throwing Cleavers is to practice these tricks with a friend: 

False movement, rush out to an edge as if you are going to throw a Cleaver, turn and run back, if the person moves back into their old position, wing one back over your shoulder then immediately head back to where you were going. The more Cleavers you can toss seemingly out of your back, as it appears to the opponent, the more wary that opponent will be of leaving a creep screen.

Stay on the edge. Even if you aren't actively attacking anything or scoring last hits, you can shut down any movement on that side of the lane. This is another psychological play. If your opponents are staying as far away from you as they can, which they really should, you can last hit with Cleaver spam. This also adds to the mayhem, they will flinch in game or at the least mentally everytime you toss a Cleaver. You are drawing their attention to yourself, allowing your lane mate to farm up, or get in position.

Learn. To. Lead. This is a dual skill of knowing the speed and knowing the size of the hit box. You can literally become proficient enough with both to hit someone who by appearance only was safe behind a creep. This also comes in handy for your secondary role of not letting anyone escape, you can score many a kill and assist by good tosses.

{W} Burning Agony:
This ability changes the entirety of your impact in a team fight. Crowd Control? CROWD CONTROL?! That doesn't stop the Doctor! Snares? You laugh. Stuns? You pause 
slightly. Fears? Momentary panic removed by the knowledge you're about to murder something.

The key to what kind of impact you have is based entirely upon what kind of battle prescience you can acquire. You have to know when to burst activate this ability, 
before something nasty is done to you. With Sadism running, you can not care about the cost, but without it negating costs... Many a Doctor has died to his own hands by leaving Burning Agony on when he shouldn't or activating too soon giving him a lower effective health total than necessary.

With Burning Agony, you are exceptionally adept at killing Crowd Control champions. Your job in a good many team fights or baiting maneuvers is to dive straight onto those champions, induce panic, draw a reaction, kill, or failing that, maim those champions. Give your team the full advantage of having a high damage, innate CC reduction, high speed psychopath on the team can give

All with the added benefit of being a main component of your farming

{E} Masochism, or, two top tier damage items for free:
The single most important skill you have starting at level 6. This ability takes Mundo from being the harasser to being the hammer.

As you take damage, and believe me, you 
will be targeted with this playstyle, you gain in damage. You go from being rather average in damage output, to four or five shotting most mages and carries.

The damage increase is large to the point of negating the need for damage stacking. You have the innate ability to easily hit 200+ damage, non crit, by level 10.

This is the ability that gives you the potential to end a fight with anyone before they can kill you. It also pays for itself in the method of greatly increasing your return on life steal, because, duh, you're dealing twice as much damage.

Not to mention, this is a primary farm ability for Mundo, allowing you to clear creep waves in conjunction with Burning Agony faster than anyone but Sivir.

{R} Sadism:
The much maligned, the regarded with disgust, the misunderstood, the "WTF-WHY-DID-YOU-LIVE" ability.

You will hear Executioner's Calling and Ignite are hard counters for Mundo. You will scoff and bless the gullible for thinking they can write you off by having those.

A little logic groundwork for you: Reduces the effects of all healing by 50%.
A large amount. A game changing amount. But that game changed from you being unkillable short of full team focused burst, to you being killable if only they could weather the violence you and your team is raining down on them.

Like everything else Mundo does, he does in on a monstrous size. The sheer brute amount of percentage based regen produced makes healing reduction less of a counter to Mundo than it does to champions with flat numeric heals.

And this is ignoring the function it has of basically making all of your abilities free to cast and the large movement speed buff to insure you can kite, chase, joust, and close.

This also allows you to stay in lane longer than anyone, through ganks and harassment alike. You can play cautious for a minute, hit {R} and be right back in the fight, all the while soaking up experience and last hitting a little with Cleaver tosses.

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As for skill ordering, I can only point you in the direction of maximum violence, but your lane opponents, lane mates, and general team compositions will dictate your exact progression.

First, Cleaver. Of course. Negligible cost, large-ish damage, maximum harassment.

Second, Masochism. Mainly because the net benefit compared to percentage of health drained by Burning Agony is too low at level two. This also allows you to start last hitting minions more reliably.

Third, Cleaver, more damage, more harassment, still negligible cost.

Fourth, Burning Agony. By now you probably need the additional damage for fights and farming, not to mention the CC reduction. REMEMBER TO NOT LEAVE IT ON FOR MORE THAN SHORT BURSTS. Many Doctors kill themselves with poor use early game.

After that... Cleaver and Masochism take alternating picks, with Sadism ranks immediately at six, eleven, and sixteen. By level 13 or 14 I normally have rank two Burning Agony also, for the added farm and cc reduction help.

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Summoner Spells: This is really a matter of personal preference I've found. Nothing screams itself as mandatory for this, though Exhaust is very close. I always, 
always, take Exhaust.

I alternate between Cleanse and Heal. (Including the masteries for each)

Heal has a great impact early game, making tower dives and gank reversals much easier and more likely to succeed. Late game it adds a decent burst of health, I normally use it to counter the initial cost of Sadism, which works to amazing effect.

While Cleanse combined with Burning Agony and Banshee's Veil gives the opposing team the impression you cannot be CC'd period, especially when paired with a Quicksilver Sash. Great times. Allows you to break the opponent's line to reach the soft mages and ranged carries in team fights at will.

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Masteries: I normally run 8/22/0.

Breakdown: 
>LINK<

Theory and practice behind that: Decreased damage, more survivability to deal your ability and item innate damage to the target. Also greatly improves the actual effective health you present naturally and gain from Sadism. Low IAS near necessitates taking a bit more from masteries with the points available.

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Runes: 
Red: Furor
(Boom.)

Gold: Evasion 
(Anti-Carry)

Blue: Shielding/Furor 
(Needed Resist, helps match natural armor growth with resist)
(Boom.)

Quints: Evasion 
(Anti-Carry)

This leaves you with 22% Crit Damage, 24.3 Resist, 11% Dodge.

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Items: The make or break point for being effective at any champion, or just another worthless wannabe.

This is the largest downfall of the vast majority of Mundo players I feel. They build to try and capitalize with just brute health and regen. Health and regen do not a tank make.

Mitigation is key to taking damage, especially when combined with disgustingly large amounts of regen.

But, there are more ways to mitigate damage than just Armor and Resist. Dodge and Shields negate damage entirely, and both are central to Mundo going where he pleases.

The other aspect is damage potential. Mundo already has it easy to reach respectable damage amounts, but falls short with attack speed (his largest flaw, and one that needs to be addressed).

Since we already have good damage, lets look at the additional ways to increase it other than blind damage stacking: Crit Chance, Crit Damage, and Attack Speed.

This build is made to centralize all three of those, while feeding off of mitigation to keep you toe to toe for longer than anyone else.

The builds:

Start: Rejuvenation Bead health pot x6. Yes. x6. Pop them as much as needed, and when you're out you should be in the ballpark of converting the Rejuv Bead into a Spirit Visage.

Boots choice: I normally run Ninja Tabi. Your largest threat is continuous physical damage punishment. With the previous Runes and Masteries, you will be sitting at 22% dodge with just these. That is a 22% reduction in damage, before armor in total damage a PhysCarry will do to you.

Yes, Mundo's attack speed is atrocious. Yes, he isn't particularly swooft this early. This frankly depends on team match ups. If you're going to be playing Mundo like this, you really need to already know how to choose your own boots based upon match ups.

Quick match, low gold:
Spirit Visage
Ninja Tabi
Zeal
Zeal
Executioner's

Cheap investment, huge return when combined with the for free damage of Masochism.

Spirit Visage
Ninja Tabi
Executioner's
Phantom Dancer
Phantom Dancer

Last slot is a team composition and game flow dependent choice.

Banshee's Viel is my most common choice. Amazing for damage mitigation and increases your health pool appreciably, normally I automatically build this item because it is that good.

The other choices...

Aegis of the Legion. Try to avoid it, but you 
are a logical choice for the item. If you can't, atleast you gain some damage, health, armor and resist.

Quicksilver Sash. More Cleanse? More slipping out of CC? Laugh as people freak out over you not being stoppable short of expending every CC on the team.

Guardian Angel. You take shrug most damage off, and revive if they manage to kill you.

Wit's End. Damage, IAS, Resist, and burns mana off those annoying CC champs. Whats not to love? Not a great choice, but valid.

Bloodthirster. As if your damage was borderline ludicrous anyways, you gain even more and more survivability.

Infinity Edge. Nothing stands before your 100% crit rate and damage long enough to even noticeably dent your health.

Large investment, awe inspiring results if the game ever lasts that long.

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How to play:

This is a really tough one. You are a Carry that has huge survivability. The playstyle for CarryMundo is very much an ordeal of learned responses to certain situations.

I take it upon myself to play like any other carry, but with the knowledge that I 
can survive reckless dives and baiting. Usually with the surety of killing at the least one opponent.

Early game: Try to lane against mages or carries, get your psychological edge in now. Harassment is the name of the game. Take last hits where you can, but equally important is driving the opposing champions back. Cleaver spam and positioning 
behind their caster creeps when your lane mate's champion choice allows ******s their experience. If you can't drive them off fully, your job is to occupy most of their time and energy in avoiding, decreasing their last hitting and awareness of incoming ganks and lane mate positioning.

Mid game: You're either roving for ganks while clearing what ever lane your closest to of minions and the jungle camps in between, or full on farm in a lane blitzing anyone who shows their face. This is where you either make or break yourself based upon knowing when to attack, when to harass and when to withdraw. Nothing but experience can teach you when to differentiate.

Late game: You're killing people, you're ignoring crowd control, you're ignoring damage, you're diving into their entire team casing havoc. Your presence alone at this point should be enough to make mages and carries skittish and apt to withdraw from a team fight early. You have graduated into being the number one target, expect to start piling on deaths without heavy team support. You are psychologically more devastating than anyone else short of Twitch popping out of no where and being in reach of everyone.

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