Hello and welcome. I decided to put my knowledge and typing skills to the test and write the biggest Pyke guide ever, covering 3 roles which I myself have a lot of experience in. I tried to include everything from pre-game setups to matchups and even go as far as listing some ways to avoid death for non-Pyke players.

My experience on Pyke? 400k mastery, Challenger on 2 smaller servers and several times Master on EUW. I’ve played Pyke ever since PBE and was already trying him out on other lanes on his release date. I’m not the best Pyke out there, but I feel like my knowledge and understanding of his limits and purposes is the deepest among others. I’m very glad to share and educate fellow Pyke mains or just people who are struggling against my main.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave comments below or give me a dm _^

Ability trivia

Q – Bone Skewer

  • The tap does more damage than the hook one, remember this when going for an all-in or leashing jungler.
  • When your hook cast timer runs out there’s still about 0.2s time to use it even if it has already “expired”.
  • You can Q flash only if it’s a tap one.
  • You can pull camps through walls if they’re really close to the edge.
  • You can QSS the self-root that the hook throwing animation gives to you.
  • Both Qs apply a nasty slow after the hit, not just the tap one.

W – Ghostwater Dive

  • Ignite won’t reveal you from your invisibility and allows you to regen. Use this to escape close 2v2s in lane.
  • You can use active items like Ghostblade, Spellbinder or QSS while invisible but any item that does damage will reveal you (as well as sweeper for some reason).
  • You can Flash or Hexflash and it doesn’t break your invisibility.
  • You can be in radius without getting revealed if there’s even a small terrain between you and the target.
  • Kaisa W will reveal you and therefore she can always ulti after you (maybe obvious for some people but I still get surprised by it).

E – Phantom Undertow

  • You can only stun a target once with one cast (obvious for many, but not for some people)
  • You can dash over almost every wall on Rift.
  • The ability has somewhat of a weird hitbox and therefore you must be at least “inside of the enemy” for it to land.
  • You can use this with your ultimate and flash to cover as much distance as possible (both for stun and you)
  • You can redirect the stun mid-air of your ultimate by using your flash (hard to do, don’t recommend trying in an actual game)

R – Death from Below

  • In case you have a Draven, he will get the gold from his passive if you execute with your ultimate.
  • The kill gold will always be flat 300G for the one receiving the assist, so make sure to ulti those 0/14 Yasuos!
  • Pyke gets the coins himself if the target dies before his ulti lands.
  • If your ulti hits a target your blink will happen no matter what (same as with Zoe R)
  • The game plays different types of sounds depending on how many executes you do with your ultimate in a small time frame.
  • Your ulti is a really great mobility tool. Use it to get closer for a hook or to get out of a sticky situation. Don’t tunnel on the fact that it’s an execute!

Combos:

Easy

  • Melee hook Q → E backwards
  • Hook Q → E forward
  • Tap Q → AA → Tiamat
  • R → Tiamat → Q
  • E → Flash
  • Q → E → AA → Tiamat
  • R → Flash (Mid air)
  • Tap Q → Flash
  • Tiamat → Flash

Medium

  • E → R → Flash
  • E → R (Land the stun)
  • Melee hook Q → R backwards
  • Max range Q hook → R → E forwards (Stun lands)
  • R → E backwards → Tap Q → AA → Tiamat

Faker

  • E → R → Flash (Stun redirect mid air)
  • E → R (Stun lands)→ Tap Q → AA → Tiamat (Decently easy in customs, hard in game)

TOP

Among the three roles top is most likely the least popular place to play Pyke but, in my opinion, also the most underrated one. Many matchups allow you to take aggressive trades and utilize the melee combo a lot more than in mid for example. Your playstyle in top should change mainly based on your opponent’s champion and his approach to the lane. If your opponent is stronger than you or too tanky to get kills from make sure to setup skirmishes around mid and jungle.

Mindset

  • Name off the list – Always look for a way to kill your opponent. Pyke’s greatest strength is his post-tiamat lane phase, where he can look to really bully out a lot of melees. In order to kill your enemy, try to tap Q always when you have the chance, even if it pushes your wave. Your best friend is the tap Q into AA into Tiamat which procs Electrocute and chunks around third of their hp.
  • Help a buddy out – Whether this means roaming mid or bot for a kill or helping out your jungler, always be the first one to move. In the early stages it might be hard due to you getting constantly pushed in, but after Tiamat you’re free to go most of the time.

Rune options

  • Damage until they sink – In top lane the early game value isn’t nearly as important as in mid for example, and therefore you can sacrifice some utility runes in order to gain the maximum damage value. In mid and late game these runes allow you to execute those tasty carries from 75% hp and be a true terror to everyone in the backline.
  • Let’s not sink ourselves – As you will soon learn from below, some champions really give you a beating in lane. To avoid leaving the lane down 100cs and 5 kills you should not hesitate to switch over to this page when the need of sustain is there.

Summoner Spells

  • Ignite + Flash – If you’re more experienced with Pyke you don’t necessarily need the TP. Ignite offers you great kill pressure in the early levels and the missing TP won’t bother you unless you’re forced to base on bad timings. Overall Pyke can get back to lane faster than average champion, which makes the ignite even more viable option.
  • Teleport + Flash – New to Pyke top? Bad matchup? Teleport has your back. Your base timings don’t matter as much, and you’re not forced to manipulate your waves to the same extend. The loss of ignite is very noticeable if you tend to go for kills and therefore, I highly suggest running Ignite even if the matchup isn’t the most favorable one.

Skill order

  • One way on the list – Q, E then W and always point to R when you can. Only adaptation you can do with this is taking 2 points in Q before taking W but it’s optimal in very rare occasions, since the missing W point puts you in a danger of getting ganked.

Starting items

  • Corrupting potion – Overall most solid option for majority of the matchups. Since top lane is usually sustain focused the potion grants great value with its mana and health regen. It also grants you the small burn damage tick, which helps in case you want to take longer trades. The item allows you to play safe, aggressive or in between and due to that flexibility it should always be your go-to option.
  • Dorans shield + Potion – More defensive option which is most useful in the matchups where you get constantly poked by auto attacks or spammed by spells. Item offers great regen through its passives and should be always your pick up if going against something that gives you a hard time. Make sure to start shield if your lane opponent is something like Teemo, Jayce, Pantheon, Kennen or GP.
  • Long sword + Refillable potion – This starting combo usually finds its use in mid lane, but it also has some usage at top. In case you’re laning against some high damage bruiser or assassin the extra damage you get from long sword might be something you want to consider picking up. You can also pick up potions instead of Refillable but doing this you lose gold efficiency for very small profit. Consider this start if your opponent is something like Talon, Rengar or Zed.

Essentials

  • TIAMAT – If you play Pyke on a solo lane without buying Tiamat you’re committing a sin. Even after the recent nerfs this item is always your go-to rush item no matter the matchup. The passive helps your insanely awful waveclear and also offers a solid tool to proc your Electrocute. Always aim your first base so that you could either buy Tiamat instantly or at least get majority of its components. I’d go even as far as saying that Tiamat is Pyke’s biggest power spike and should be rushed without exceptions.
  • Youmuu’s Ghostblade – When it comes to finishing your first Dirk item people are usually divided to two options, Ghostblade and Duskblade. After trying both items equally for ages I think that in most scenarios going Ghostblade first is the most optimal due to the movementspeed it gives. The MS helps you to roam faster and the active gives you another get out of jail free card along with your W and E. The loss of going Ghostblade over Duskblade is only about 3 lethality and the 100ish damage of the passive, which rarely decides if the person you’re going for dies or not.
  • Boots of mobility – Since most matchups at top can give you a hard time or just play passive and stack resistances, these boots offer you a great alternative win condition. Pyke is out of combat for the majority of time and these boots give you the luxury to spam roams between lanes without missing much cs. These boots are even solid for lane since the 140 MS helps you to reach melee with your W to get the most efficient trades.

Mid game items

  • Edge of the Night – Coming to the mid game you often find yourself rushing the other 2 Dirk items to maximize all the scalings. Most of the Pyke players tend to go Duskblade no matter what, but I usually tend to prefer Edge of the Night since it allows you to frontline and start fights. You lose a bit of damage but if your team comp doesn’t have a lot of engage or your mates are not pulling the trigger you should most definitely consider going this first.
  • Duskblade of Draktharr – Damage? Duskblade. Most lethality among the other Dirk items and very useful passives which allow you to strike from an ambush with a deadly first blow. Just remember to consider whether the damage and ward neutralization is something you value more over the more utility based lethality options.

Late game

  • Guardian angel – The last 2 items usually give the Pyke players a lot of headache. One of the more popular pick-ups is the GA, which allows you some room for mistakes. The item is low cost and gives good stats BUT if you happen to die with your GA up your ultimate will instantly go to cooldown if it happens to be at reset state. So, keep in mind to either use your ult after you revive or try to avoid dying before you have gotten all the value out of it.
  • Ravenous Hydra – Do I finish the hydra? Yes, in most cases that is the most gold efficient option. Your 6th item slots lacks a clear must-to-have item so it is completely fine to just upgrade the Hydra for the bonus ad.
  • Spirit Visage/Deadman’s Plate/Maw of Malmortius/Frozen Heart – Some defensive options for later stages of the game. If enemy is heavy on either damage or you just feel like going some resistances, these are your best picks.
  • Elixir or Wrath/Elixir of Iron – When you’re 6 items or when you feel like the game is about to end after the next fight you should always have one of these equipped. Wrath gives you 9 AD more but if the enemy has even mediocre CC you should always prioritize the Iron one. Keep in mind that the heal from Wrath doesn’t apply to your ultimate if it executes its target.
  • Mercury’s Treads/Ninja Tabi – In rare occasions you might want to get defensive boots instead of Mobis. The utility loss is notable but if enemy is running really heavy AD or unbearable amount of CC consider going either of these boots instead. Also, in late game changing to defensive boots is usually better than running around on your Mobis at the 50-minute mark.

Top lane matchups

Playing Pyke on top lane usually lets you farm more freely and get better trades off compared to mid. On the flipside, many champions on top lane give you a really hard time or negate your kill pressure by being too hard to kill. I’ve listed the matchups to 3 categories with some helpful tips against each champion. I’m aware that not every champion is listed down below, if you have questions about specific champion make sure to comment down or dm me!

Easy-tier

  • Jax – Tap Q if he tries to approach you with E, E away if the Qs on you.
  • Camille – use E to dodge out her E and land a stun, Q her away from her own ultimate to break it.
  • Ornn – E over him as he starts casting W, use Q to CC him to deny second ulti cast.
  • Dr. Mundo – Be mindful with your E or he runs you down, he can easily safe farm with Q if behind so consider roaming as your main win condition.
  • Nasus – After he gets sheen and 6 don’t use your E forward unless you’re 100% sure of the kill, his sustain becomes overwhelming really fast so be prepared to roam your kills elsewhere.
  • Riven – Most of the Riven players are bad and therefore you have the advantage, when she engages with Qs either E backwards or use Q to E if possible.
  • Sion – He’s really clunky so use your mobility to your advantage, make sure to E forward if he tries to line a Q on you.

Medium-tier

  • Maokai – Don’t E forward unless his W is on CD, watch out for ganks since he can easily CC chain you.
  • Malphite – Try to take trades only when your Electrocute is off CD or his shield is down, try to avoid too long trades.
  • Lissandra – Take short trades since her Q is a lot more spammable than yours, remember that she usually will counter your ultimate with hers.
  • Garen – Always try to keep yourself full hp with passive, respect his silence since it denies your kit completely.
  • Vladimir – Avoid ulting when he has pool up, track his Q CD and approach him when he has 0 or 1 stack of it.
  • Rumble – Try to punish him if he uses W to manipulate his heat level, save E or Flash so you don’t get stuck in his ulti.
  • Gangplank – Go Doran’s shield, your ultimate cast time is faster than his W animation so if he’s being greedy you can get a cheeky kill.
  • Gnar – Look for trades when he is in mega form, be mindful with using your E or W aggressively.
  • Ryze – Abuse his weak early game, try to roam if he just keeps one shotting your waves.
  • Yasuo – Pay close attention to waves and ways he can dash, don’t try to hook him if you’re not in melee.

Hard-tier

  • Kled – Don’t use your E if he has his E marked on you, give as much cs up as possible since this matchup is close to unwinnable.
  • Urgot – Avoid his E by all costs, if you manage to survive the Ignite spellbook rotation the lane gets much easier.
  • Kennen – Try to find an opening with his E down, go Mercs if you must.
  • Irelia – Dodge his stun with E, don’t try to outsmart her since she has too many dashes to get outplayed.
  • Aatrox – Learn to play around his Q hitboxes, you either ult his ult or die waiting it to expire.
  • Tryndamere – Try to find a way to end the game before he can mindlessly split, E his E.
  • Jayce – Avoid his E Q from fog, he’s pretty squishy and trading isn’t a thing to try to kill him at one go.
  • Teemo – Bait him to use his Q as a poke in order to trade, get pinks and sweeper for shrooms.
  • Darius – Take very short trades, try to have him E you first before you E out yourself.
  • Renekton – Disengage every trade he tries to take, don’t get baited into fighting him since he will just one shot you.

How to play against

  • Push – Pyke suffers from extremely bad waveclear before he gets Tiamat and few levels. Use this to your advantage and shove the waves to his tower as quickly as you can. This also makes it harder for him to roam.
  • Don’t waste mana – Pyke passive is really strong after his first Dirk and few levels. Instead of throwing every single ability on him perhaps switch the focus to his wave or look for a proper all in.
  • Ping his roams – Pyke likes to run around the map. You will not be able to follow him most of the time due to his insane mobility and invisibility, but you can always give your mates a heads up!
  • Play stale – This might be hard to do in soloq, but Pyke really struggles in value if the game becomes too settle. If there’s no action Pyke has much harder time finding skirmishes or landing ultimates due to Summoner Spells being up every fight.
  • Keep your distance – If you keep a range large enough to avoid his tap Q you set the pressure on the Pyke to find his trades. By avoiding him you force him to look trades with W which opens up a window to gank him.

SUPPORT

The place he was meant to be, but not the place he stayed. Pyke’s kit has been utilized in some level in almost every role even though his original intention was to be created and balanced around the role of a support. To this date he still finds most value from this role and is widely played among all elos. Most of my own experience is from support Pyke so I have a deep knowledge of everything attached to this section.

Mindset

  • Names off the list – Laning and killing is the things that Pyke enjoys and does well on. No matter the role you should always be looking for ways to kill your opponent and snowball through pure dominance. Try to look for openings with your hook and invisibility and try to get your jungler play around your lane, since you most likely provide the best CC setup on your team.
  • Help a buddy out – Often, at least in higher elo the lane outcome is decided by the champion picks and not as much by individual skill. Therefore, you should look at the matchups of every lane and decide whether you want to focus on your own 2v2 or perhaps look to snowball mid and jungle. Never have the must-stay-bot mindset, it might be the role you queued to but it might not be your win condition!
  • Make sure that your ad-buddy can play – Sometimes you roam so hard that you forget about your own lane. You look down there and see 3 towers and an inhibitor down, oops. To avoid this, make sure to keep an eye on the state of your lane and time your roams so that the loss of time is at minimum. This way your ADC’s mental health and bot towers stay up, everyone wins!

Rune options

  • Going under for a breath – Your standard page. Provides you with a lot of health regen as well as good all in with the aftershock. Precision secondary gives you a lot of value with Presence of Mind and the Legend: Tenacity allows you to go Mobis every game regardless if the enemy has a lot of CC or not.
  • Drown madness – Use this one in case the enemy is running something with very little poke and more all in or CC heavy. Unflinching allows you to break free from the long CC chains and it also messes up your opponent’s timings. For example, many Thresh players like to use their combo as slow as possible to maximize the CC, but with unflinching you can just dash away mid-way through and leave the poor chain warden to yell at his ADC.

Summoner Spells

  • Ignite + Flash – The usual combination you see most of the supports running and Pyke is no exception. Ignite damage is really high and counters the Summoner Heal and gives you amazing kill pressure.
  • Exhaust + Flash – Yes this is an option but don’t do this like ever. Exhaust is ok but Ignite is on another level.

Skill order

  • One way on the list – Q, E then W and R whenever you can. No exceptions.

Starting items

  • Ancient coin + Potions – Coin or Relic? This is by far the most asked question what I’ve ever received, and I’m going to try and summarize it so we can finally get over it. If you’re D4 or above, go Relic and vice versa. Relic is mostly used to maintain early game wave prio but it generates a little less gold and worse stats. In the lower elos pushes or wave management doesn’t matter and therefore you can go coin and not get punished for it. Overall the difference isn’t that big so you can go whichever.
  • Relic Shield + Potions – Read above.

Essentials

  • Boots of mobility – Having 900G base and not buying Mobis is like putting milk in the bowl before the cereal. This item just opens up the entire map and allows you to be in every place and get back to bot before your ADC gets a mental breakdown.
  • Yoummuu’s Ghostblade – First Dirk item same problem: which one do I take? Ghostblade is easily better than Duskblade, since it is even harder as a support to fully utilize the damage passive of the Duskblade. Overall the bonus movement speed combined with your Mobis gives a lot more value in the early stages of the game, compared to the other options.
  • Support item upgrade – Even though your focus is to KS kills and go for damage items, you still need to carry the burden of supports. You usually end up upgrading the item in your first base since it is pretty unusual to instantly have 900G to spend for Mobis.
  • CONTROL WARDS – If you don’t carry 2 at all times, I’ll be under your bed.

Mid game

  • Edge of Night – Better than Duskblade in every scenario. You can play a lot more aggressive and frontline without the fear of getting stunned or CC’d. Item allows you to ascend your playmaking ability whilst providing you with that sweet lethality.
  • Duskblade of Draktharr – Noob trap when it comes to deciding when to pick this one up. It can be good as a 1st, 2nd or 3rd item but also a bad as every single one as well. When picking this up seriously consider whether you can or cannot use the damage it provides and if you need it over the utility which the other 2 provide.
  • Support item final upgrade – Many people actually like to finish their support item asap but I myself usually leave it as a tier 2 and only buy the final upgrade after I have gathered all the lethality items. General tip to making this decision: upgrade it completely if you play lane oriented and if you’re looking to roam go for other items.
  • CONTROL WARDS – If you don’t carry 2 at all times, you’ll get ligma.

Late game

  • Guardian angel – The last items usually give the Pyke players a lot of headache. One of the more popular pick-ups is the GA, which allows you some room for mistakes. The item is low cost and gives good stats BUT if you happen to die with your GA up your ultimate will instantly go to cooldown if it happens to be at reset state. So, keep in mind to either use your ult after you revive or try to avoid dying before you have gotten all the value out of it.
  • Spirit Visage/Deadman’s Plate/Maw of Malmortius/Frozen Heart – Some defensive options for later stages of the game. If enemy is heavy on either damage or you just feel like going some resistances, these are your best picks.
  • Elixir or Wrath/Elixir of Iron – When you’re 6 items or when you feel like the game is about to end after the next fight you should always have one of these equipped. Wrath gives you 9 AD more but if the enemy has even mediocre CC you should always prioritize the Iron one. Keep in mind that the heal from Wrath doesn’t apply to your ultimate if it executes its target.
  • Mercury’s Treads/Ninja Tabi – In rare occasions you might want to get defensive boots instead of Mobis. The utility loss is notable but if enemy is running really heavy AD or unbearable amount of CC consider going either of these boots instead. Also, in late game changing to defensive boots is usually better than running around on your Mobis at the 50-minute mark.
  • CONTROL WARDS – If you don’t carry 2 at all times, I will delete your Fortnite account.

Bot matchups

Since bot lane is a duo lane and Reddit has a character limit of 40k I won’t go over every single ADC and Support, sorry not sorry. When it comes to laning at bot Pyke has a very easy time versus most of the champs. His mobility is unmatched, and he provides one of the strongest setups for an all-in. There are few champions which can make your life hard, but with some planning and adaptation you can always positively impact the game. I’ll try to categorize champions to avoid excessive typing.

  • The Egirls – Nickname for shield and heal based supports. They generally share a low damage output which allows you to take more aggressive trades without the threat of dying. You should always look for an all-in since their ability to trade you back is limited and a successful engage will almost always result a kill or two.
  • The Guardians – All the tanky bois who stand in front of their carry. Versus some it can be hard or even next to impossible to engage onto their ADC. In this case you should try focus the support and use melee Q hook into backwards E stun. This way you make him misposition and his ADC might get exposed for your carry to go on to. If his carry is still unreachable you should just keep hitting the support and ask a gank if needed.
  • The Wizards – Yes you will get poked and yes it will suck. To prevent the frustration of sitting under tower and getting poked you should aim to keep the wave at their tower or really close to it. These supports excel best when they have the freedom to change their positions to look for angles to land their skillshots and deep ward to avoid ganks. Putting them under tower lowers the ground they can work on and therefore resulting you an easier time.
  • Hookers and playmakers – It’s all about Aftershock. Do not go for an all-in if their support has his and you don’t have yours and vice versa. Also keep a close track on their playmaking ability CDs like the hooks.
  • Hypercarries – You can go aggressive in the early stages of the game due to their usual low damage output. Try to snowball several lanes so that you have enough man power to end the game before these champions get their power spikes and eventually take over the game.
  • Lane bullies – If your ADC is playing one as well you can play normally, if not you should avoid 50/50 plays since they can set you really far behind.
  • Mage carries – Most mages are chained by their high CDs in the early game. Try to take fights when their abilities are down or when they’re too low on mana to properly trade back.

Special matchup tips

  • Soraka – Since she can instantly silence your hook try to practice the timing so that you let go off your Q as soon as she starts casting it. Also, look to W close to her so you can fast charge the hook.
  • Lucian – As of now (8.24) Lucian is in a state where he is almost unbeatable in lane. Highly suggest on banning him if you don’t want to risk your lane being lowkey over since the champion select.
  • Thresh – If you look for a hook, don’t go too close to him or he will E your Q charge. If you get hit by his hook don’t use your E instantly, rather wait for him to use his E so you don’t get canceled.
  • Draven – A lot of damage output. Don’t recommend taking skirmishes if your ADC doesn’t have enough damage to finish him off in one rotation. Ask ganks to properly shut him down.
  • Kai’sa – Even though people consider her as a weak early game champion, she actually does a lot of damages with a CC heavy support. Be mindful with all-ins since her W is a true reveal and therefore, he can easily chase you down with her ultimate.

How to play against

  • Buy pinks – In botlane skirmishes a well-placed pink denies Pyke’s ability to regain his health.
  • Pick tanky characters – More HP = the more Pyke has to rely on his team to do damage.
  • Avoid risky skirmishes – Same as the last but even more important while playing bot.
  • Don’t waste mana – Pyke passive is really strong after his first Dirk and few levels. Instead of throwing every single ability on him perhaps switch the focus to his wave or look for a proper all in.
  • Ping his roams – Pyke likes to run around the map. You will not be able to follow him most of the time due to his insane mobility and invisibility, but you can always give your mates a heads up!
  • Play stale – This might be hard to do in soloq, but Pyke really struggles in value if the game becomes too settle. If there’s no action Pyke has much harder time finding skirmishes or landing ultimates due to Summoner Spells being up every fight.

MID

Pyke was locked to the support role for a long time. A while ago people in Reddit saw people like sOAZ and caps playing him mid in soloq. I always saw the potential for him in the mid, since his sustain was unmatchable and his damage output was actually really good. By running him in mid or top you allow yourself to receive solo XP, which makes your ultimate scale a lot harder. He is a big threat in mid game, but the hardest part is getting there without falling behind.

Mindset

  • Names off the list – Killing your opponents is a lot harder in mid since a lot of the characters played there share the same if not more mobility than you. Also, many champions outrange you by a mile and therefore looking for all-ins is much harder. Your best bet is to try to fish for a hook and lining up your stun afterwards, but usually you’re better off just roaming.
  • Help a buddy out – Whether this means roaming bot or top for a kill or helping out your jungler, always be the first one to move. In the early stages it might be hard due to you getting constantly pushed in, but after Tiamat you’re free to go most of the time.

Rune options

  • Dominance from the east – This rune setup is used by a Challenger Korean Pyke player. I’ve started to use this recently and it honestly feels really solid compared to my old page. Cookies furthermore help you sustain up and the free boots are great since you always just want to stack long swords, so boots tend to get delayed.
  • Let’s not sink ourselves – As you will soon learn from below, some champions really give you a beating in lane. To avoid leaving the lane down 100cs and 5 kills you should not hesitate to switch over to this page when the need of sustain is there.

Summoner Spells

  • Ignite + Flash – Most solid choice of Summoners. Only thing which you could even slightly consider is exhaust but Ignite outvalues it almost in every state of the game.

Skill order

  • One way on the list – Q, E then W and always point to R when you can. Only adaptation you can do with this is taking 2 points in Q before taking W but it’s optimal in very rare occasions, since the missing W point puts you in a danger of getting ganked.

Starting items

  • Dorans shield + Potion – More defensive option which is most useful in the matchups where you get constantly poked by auto attacks or spammed by spells. Item offers great regen through its passives and should be always your pick up if going against something that gives you a hard time. Make sure to start shield if your lane opponent is something like Cassiopeia, Syndra or Karthus.
  • Long sword + Refillable potion – This should be your go-to items most of the time. If your lane opponent doesn’t run a ridiculous amount of poke you should always take this instead of the shield or corrupting. The extra AD from the sword gives you the power to go toe to toe vs assassins or stomp something like Galio. You can also pick up potions instead of Refillable but doing this you lose gold efficiency for very small profit.
  • Corrupting potion – It’s still decent in some matchups. Take this if you feel like the sustain and tick damage combination is needed. It’s also good if you just want to mirror the enemy’s corrupting pot.

Essentials

  • TIAMAT – If you play Pyke on a solo lane without buying Tiamat you’re committing a sin. Even after the recent nerfs this item is always your go-to rush item no matter the matchup. The passive helps your insanely awful waveclear and also offers a solid tool to proc your electrocute. Always aim your first base so that you could either buy Tiamat instantly or at least get majority of its components. I’d go even as far as saying that Tiamat is Pyke’s biggest power spike and should be rushed without exceptions.
  • Youmuu’s Ghostblade – When it comes to finishing your first Dirk item people are usually divided to two options, Ghostblade and Duskblade. After trying both items equally for ages I think that in most scenarios going Ghostblade first is the most optimal due to the movementspeed it gives. The MS helps you to roam faster and the active gives you another get out of jail free card along with your W and E. The loss of going Ghostblade over Duskblade is only about 3 lethality and the 100ish damage of the passive, which rarely decides if the person you’re going for dies or not.
  • Boots of mobility – Since most matchups at top can give you a hard time or just play passive and stack resistances, these boots offer you a great alternative win condition. Pyke is out of combat for the majority of time and these boots give you the luxury to spam roams between lanes without missing much cs. These boots are even solid for lane since the 140 MS helps you to reach melee with your W to get the most efficient trades.

Mid game items

  • Edge of the Night – Coming to the mid game you often find yourself rushing the other 2 Dirk items to maximize all the scalings. Most of the Pyke players tend to go Duskblade no matter what, but I usually tend to prefer Edge of the Night since it allows you to frontline and start fights. You lose a bit of damage but if your team comp doesn’t have a lot of engage or your mates are not pulling the trigger you should most definitely consider going this first.
  • Duskblade of Draktharr – Damage? Duskblade. Most lethality among the other Dirk items and very useful passives which allow you to strike from an ambush with a deadly first blow. Just remember to consider whether the damage and ward neutralization is something you value more over the more utility based lethality options.

Late game

  • Guardian angel – The last 2 items usually give the Pyke players a lot of headache. One of the more popular pick-ups is the GA, which allows you some room for mistakes. The item is low cost and gives good stats BUT if you happen to die with your GA up your ultimate will instantly go to cooldown if it happens to be at reset state. So, keep in mind to either use your ult after you revive or try to avoid dying before you have gotten all the value out of it.
  • Ravenous Hydra? – Do I finish the hydra? Yes, in most cases that is the most gold efficient option. Your 6th item slots lacks a clear must-to-have item so it is completely fine to just upgrade the Hydra for the bonus ad.
  • Spirit Visage/Deadman’s Plate/Maw of Malmortius/Frozen Heart – Some defensive options for later stages of the game. If enemy is heavy on either damage or you just feel like going some resistances, these are your best picks.
  • Elixir or Wrath/Elixir of Iron – When you’re 6 items or when you feel like the game is about to end after the next fight you should always have one of these equipped. Wrath gives you 9 AD more but if the enemy has even mediocre CC you should always prioritize the Iron one. Keep in mind that the heal from Wrath doesn’t apply to your ultimate if it executes its target.
  • Mercury’s Treads/Ninja Tabi – In rare occasions you might want to get defensive boots instead of Mobis. The utility loss is notable but if enemy is running really heavy AD or unbearable amount of CC consider going either of these boots instead. Also, in late game changing to defensive boots is usually better than running around on your Mobis at the 50-minute mark.

Mid matchups

Many matchups tend to give you a hard time whether that is because of the overwhelming push or just too high damage output for you to get good trades. Some of the meta mids also have kits which are perfect when it comes to dealing with Pyke’s abilities. Most of the matchups you face are either bad or really bad, but you have to keep in mind that Pyke was not designed for mid lane nor was he meant to be a strong laner. Try to cover your weak spots by roaming and gain advantages through other lanes. For these matchups, I’ll try to categorize champions to avoid excessive typing.

  • The waveclear tier – We all know the feeling of getting pushed under tower, being hopeless and praying for your jungler to gank even once. This happens for Pyke quite a lot since his waveclear is really gutted and his only way to deal with waves is to use his E and Tiamat. In the early states try to prepare the CS before it hits your tower in order to get most of the last hits. If you know that you’re going to get pushed entire game don’t be afraid to ask your jungler to path so that he can gank mid as soon as possible. You have one of the best gank setups in the game and a successful gank benefits both of you.
  • The Assassins tier – I know for a fact that majority of this subreddit hates Zed and other assassins alike him. As a Pyke player you’ll learn to love these types of matchups because you don’t get shoved under tower nearly as hard and many of the assassins tend to be melee just like you. Your kit is also very good at avoiding death, which happens to be the thing that these types of champions aim for. Make sure to use your E wisely and try to take short trades with tap Q into AA into Tiamat.

Special matchups

  • Leblanc – To save your sanity, ban her. She’s really oppressive in lane, offers decent enough waveclear and is way too mobile for you to ever get a proper all-in onto her. If you’re brave enough to face this abomination try to predict her distortion placement with your Q and be very cautious with your E usage.
  • Veigar – One of the only matchups where I would consider Hexdrinker an option. The cage fucks you over big time since you can’t really regen in there. Also, Veigar’s ultimate can kill you from almost half hp, which completely ruins your hit and hide playstyle. If you see the cage rising beneath you just E out instantly, don’t be as arrogant as me trying to dodge his abilities in the cage by running circles.
  • Syndra – Same as Veigar but not as bad. Try to always be full hp utilizing your potion sustain and passive. Also be cautious when approaching her with Q charge since she can easily knock you back.
  • Cassiopeia – Be very mindful when going near for an engage. If she lands ultimate on you, you’re most definitely dead from full hp. Also, when she pushes you in, try to avoid getting grounded between your tower and her W.
  • Heimerdinger – You might as well just play river Pyke and permaroam. If your jungler isn’t your second mid you got no chances to kill him. If you want to have fun, try to get yourself to the state where you can just engage on him with your ultimate and kill him from full hp.

That was it. Hopefully you could get some new information from this to your future games. If there’s something you want to ask or you disagree with something, please let me know in the comments. I’m always open for other views and this guide is no exception.



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