Rengar Build Guide by stonsamu
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Example finished build
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Quickly before we begin...
I want to thank you all for making this the current #1 Rengar build on Mobafire. Seriously, WOW! When I set out to do this guide, it was more of a way to remind myself what I learned from playing and losing (a lot) with Rengar than anything else. I wanted to cement my own thoughts and justify my decisions and playstyle in a coherent and cohesive manner. Now it's way up there, above platinum player guides. So thank you all. Keep collecting those trophies!
There are MAJOR changes coming that will affect Rengar. Well, he's basically being reworked completely. 2 important things: his Bola Strike will be a skill shot with longer range and the bonetooth necklace will be a TRINKET. I fell like I just received a BJ from an angel.
Welcome to this Rengar guide. While there are more than a few out already, most are out of date and do not take into consideration the recent changes to the game and to Rengar himself. Also, some are gimmicky and stick you into a play style that just doesn't feel right.
Note that I am coming back from an almost year off from LoL. Many things have changed, a lot of new champions have emerged, the jungle is different now, playstyles, meta feels like it shifted a bit, but the overall principles remains the same. That is why most of what I wrote last year still holds up today.
Rengar is a beast. That much is obvious. I have played him since he came out, and lived through all the changes *cough NERFS* to him, and have learned to re-adapt to him. I feel that he is still quite strong, but you have to be a lot more careful with him now. I have made so many mistakes while learning him that I feel I have an overall good understanding of his powers and more importantly his limitations. While Rengar is described as a hunter and an assassin in his bio, he is very useful as a team fighter, getting into fights and staying in longer than say Talon or Zed. Once he's in, he often has to stay in and has no escapes besides basic running away.
This will be a jungle guide. While Rengar can more than handle is own solo top, where I have played him many times, I feel that his place is in the jungle, where he can farm as he pleases, and gank from the brushes or out of his ultimate. Having a jungling Rengar often makes the opposing team play more defensively, never knowing when they will get jumped on without warning. That in itself is a big advantage.
As always, the disclaimer that is so prevalent in today's guide: Try it before you judge it. My goal is to share my knowledge and experience. I know there's a lot of text. It's my first guide so it won't be perfect. I'm still learning the layout tools and such. I'll get it right soon enough!
Pros / Cons
- He does it all
- High burst damage
- Kills turrets in an instant
- Great duelist
- Great farmer
- Bonetooth necklace helps you snowball out of control
- Makes you feel like The Predator
- Can make you feel invincible, which will get you killed
- Usually focused down in teamfights
- Hard to escape fights once commited
Runes and Masteries
I won't go into much details about my choices for runes and masteries. While there are permutations, especially when it comes to runes, I feel that reading through and explanation of each and every choice for things that should seem obvious is very tedious. And there will be a lot of text coming up :)
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
This is a very basic jungling rune set. The early attack damage and armor will guide you through the early levels.
Alternatively, you could replace the Greater Mark of Attack Damage or Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage for greater mark of armor penetration or greater quintessence of armor penetration. Either the marks or the quintessences, but not both! This will help later game when armor becomes an issue, but it will cripple your jungling time early on.
*** Updated masteries *** New masteries for the new season! Hurray! I must say, things do feel a bit different. I removed all masteries that directly affect monster damage taken and given. Since Rengar's jungling is more about ganking than farming, having masteries that improve overall damage, while still retaining Runic Affinity and Fleet of Foot for longer buff duration and overall faster mobility.
This is standard for all junglers. If you plan to be an agressive jungler (and you should), you'll be put in positions where you can smite steal buffs, dragons and Barons all day long. Don't pass this off. Also, with the new season, the cooldown is ridiculously low. You can Smite thy enemies all day and it will seem like it is always up. Sure it doesn't give you 10 gold per use anymore, but it's still wonderful.
This is the ideal chasing and escaping spell. It allows you to initiate ganks faster, to catch up to a fleeing enemy, to get across the map like a madman, and to run away when things turn south. And they will. As an often forgotten bonus, it makes you ignore unit collision, so you can run through minions that are always blocking your way.
I prefer Ghost over Flash because it lasts a lot longer and allows you to cover way more ground. It lasts 10 seconds, which is enough to allow you to get from Mid to Top through the river. Flash will never come close to that.
Other possible spells
Who doesn't love Flash? It has so many utilities! Jump over walls, get right up in opponents faces, or jump out of the way of incoming death. I don't have to tell you what to do with Flash. It allows for great jukes that Ghost doesn't allow.
Basically the anti-Ghost, with a twist. It transforms the target into a baby, basically. A crippled child, one might say. But only for 2.5 seconds. It's often enough, though. Your Bola Strike already slows down fleeing or chasing opponents though. It is awesome at dueling an opponent you know won't try to flee from you (I'm looking at you, Darius).
Well, it's some extra true damage, so that's always welcome. However, since you should be spending a lot of time with Red Buff, you already carry mini-ignites wherever you will go. You will either do enough damages in a fight or you won't. There are better options than ignite for Rengar.
Before I start explaining all the items and possibilities, I want to say that I much rather play Rengar as a tanky bruiser than a full-on AD assassin. As I've said, once you get into a fight, you have to commit to it. Rengar has few escapes, especially if he uses his ultimate to get into the fight. Having lots of health, armor and magic resist will help you survive long enough to get your damage in. Rengar's cooldowns are pretty low, and his passive gives you access to an extra set of abilities with their own cooldowns. This means that you will cause damage even if you do not have major damage items.
Standard jungle start. With a good leash these will last you long enough to farm until you reach 825 gold, at which point you should recall.
You should be about level 4 and be ready to start ganking. Most often Top or Mid. The armor from Madred's Razors and the Boots of Speed will help you get in and survive the encounter. Since most often the lanes are more suceptible to ganks and won't be warded this early in game, setting up your ward before ganking will go a long way towards preventing a counter gank. Also, your fellow players will be most grateful and more willing to help you out later on.
*** UPDATE ***After a lot of testing I completely dropped the Wriggle's Lantern. It would be sold off later on anyway, and that as of right now its stats are underwhelming. I loved it when it had overall life drain, but now that it's specifically monster drain, there's just no point to it.
These items you will get 90% of the games. The order in which you will get them will often vary, depending on your income, the opponents you are facing, and how you're feeling when you get back to the shop.
Between the Mercury's Treads and Madred's Razors, you'll have all your early game armor and MR needs covered. The Frozen Mallet will give you much needed extra damage, health, and a wonderful slow that will help secure kills. In order to build it, I recommend getting the health part over the damage part, Giant's Belt first if you can.
The Bonetooth Necklace deserves it's own little section and will be discussed later. Suffice it to say that you should get it as soon as possible.
Rounding out your build
You will have to start making decisions. Look at your enemy's team composition. And most importantly, look at who's dangerous. You will need to defend yourself against the biggest threats. Then, decide if you need to defend mostly against AD, AP, or both.
This gives you armor, health, a passive that slows down auto-attacks against you, and a nifty active that slows down every enemy around you. It really screws up their positioning and their ability to chase you down. With a 1 minute cooldown, it'll be available in pretty much every teamfight you will be in.
I'm seeing a lot of the Flaming Blanket on tanky bruisers lately. Maybe I just hadn't noticed it before. I'm not too keen on it on Rengar though, as it makes stealth approaches a pain. Minions and monster will give your position away as you're trying to sneak up on people while invisible, as they start chasing you around while yelling THERE HE IS, THAT BIG FLAMING PILE OF CAT! 45 armor and 450 health is very good, but it's still situational.
This is a wildcard. At lvl 18, you will have approximately 3100HP. So you will get 46 AD on top of the 45 armor and 15% critical chance. A good all around item for when you are facing heavily armored and tough hitting opponents. I don't really recommend it, but it could still be an option. Maybe. Kinda.
Maw of Malmortius
A cool item for pretty much any AD character facing magic damage. The AD ratio ranges from 55 at full health to 94 when you're almost dead (95 means you're dead). Also included, a life saving shield that kicks in when you're getting seriously brutalized. A great item all around.
A new contender for #1 spot in the Magic Resist category. See it this way: it's the exact same price as Spirit Visage, has the same amount of MR, 50 health more, a shield that COMPLETELY blocks the next ability cast at you, and 90 life given back over 10 seconds when damage starts getting through. This means that when you jump on someone from stealth, they will have the "Oh $h!t" reflex to cast their super damage or CC spell on you, which will fail, and the second thing that gets through will be nullified in no time also. By the time you're out of the fight and ready to go again, the shield will be back up. Combine this shield with the shield from Maw of Malmortius, and you're pretty much invincible.
This item used to be perfect for Rengar. It has cooldown reduction, magic resist, health, and a nifty passive that increases the heatlh received from life drain and Rengar's heal. However, the cooldown reduction has been nerfed from 20% to 10%, and with Rengar's low cooldowns, the difference doesn't show that much anymore. Also, Empowered Battle Roar gives less health overall, making 20% more still less than before.
Good items to finish out your build
It's a good practice to sell your Madred's Razors once you start roaming more actively and get involved in team fights. You will get more damage, which in turns gives you more life drain. At full stack, it gives you a whooping 100 AD. Since Rengar is a terrific farmer, you'll get those stacks up in no time.
Incredible damage, and an even better critical chance and damage. Considering how fast you end up attacking with your double Q, you'll have plenty of chance to land some critical hits. The base 70 AD is nothing to sneeze at too.
Blade of the Ruined King
This item deals less damage overall than The Bloodthirster by itself over time, the attack speed cap will make it less effective if you use Savagery and Empowered Savagery back to back. A champion can have a maximum of 2.5 attacks per second, and Rengar gets pretty close to it with this combo. The Active on the item doesn't really make up for the damage loss either. However, as I have been rightly informed, this item becomes superior when faced with multiple enemies with high health. Situational, but better than I initially thought.
The other life drain item. View this as an unstacked The Bloodthirster that deals damage to everyone instead of a single target. If they have a lot (3+) of very squishy champions, it could turn out to be a better item in teamfights. Rengar already clears minion waves very quickly without it though, so don't view this as a must have.
The Black Cleaver
Damage, cooldown reduction, health and a stacking armor penetration, this item synergises very well with Savagery and its Empowered version, making each hit hurt more and more. The Armor stripping qualities are insane, removing 25% of the targets armor for all your team to abuse. This item makes Rengar able to take on anyone. A very solid buy.
40 attack damage and a crazy 35% armor penetration. Excellent against a very heavily armored team. Since the majority of your targets shouldn't be stacking armor, it may not be the ideal item for you. But there are cases where it can be indispensable.
Very expensive, but has a lot of abilities. The mana gained from the Sheen is useless, but the Sheen proc kinda makes up for it. The attack speed gained is barely noticeable when you use your double Q. The movement speed buff is always nice, but it's still not the best option, really.
An old favorite from the time when Empowered Battle Roar was base on a percentage of Rengar's max health instead of the way it is now. Between the life drain from The Bloodthirster (or any other life drain item of your choice) and the heal from Empowered Battle Roar, the life regeneration granted from Warmog's isn't that necessary. If you do get this, make sure to get another damage item to compensate.
Good magic resist and armor, with a nifty passive that gives you a second chance at life. Since your stacks will still be intact when you "revive", it could give you a chance to use an Empowered ability soon after you spring back to life. However, you should already posses more than enough defensive items already. Get this if teamfights are always close calls and having a second chance could be all you need to swing the tide in your favor.
Thoughts about boots
These are pretty much the only boots you will ever need. I personally prefer merc treads because Rengar needs to get close and personal with his foes and any attempts to slow him down need to be mitigated. While Ninja Tabi reduce incoming damage, they do nothing for his mobility. You will acquire enough armor items in the game to make the tabis redundant. Only get them if they have a LOT of AD that needs to be countered, or if CC is not an issue.
Some people suggest Boots of Mobility or Enchantment: Alacrity to make Rengar move and gank faster. With Merc Threads, 6 stacks on the Bonetooth Necklace and the masteries, Rengar's speed is around 421. Add in Ghost and his ult and he flies around and chases target without any problem. The MAJOR issue with them is that they've recently been nerfed, transforming them into basic Boots of Speed as soon as you give or take damage. Terrible for moving around in a teamfight, especially if you start getting CCed. Leave them at the store.
This enchantment allows you to chase down elusive enemies. Every time Rengar lands a hit with a single target attack or ability, his speed is boosted by 12% (about 40 move speed with diminishing returns) for 2 seconds. Quite long enough to land another hit. And another. And so on and so forth. Turns an already fast Rengar into an inescapable chasing machine.
This enchantment is perfect for when you have to leave a fight or prepare for one that will happen in the next few seconds. It allows you to return to base, heal instantly and run like the wind back into the fray. It's main advantage is to reduce downtime spent at your base. Very useful.
Why no Spirit of the (whatever)? I thought this was a jungle guide!
I asked myself the same thing. I tried and tried again with it. It doesn't fit my playstyle at all. If you make it work, good for you. And let me know how you did it, and what item you sacrificed to get it.
These 3 items have one major drawback: they encourage you to stay in your jungle and farm. They give you very good rewards for it too. Get health, mana (useless) and more money out of big monster kills. So go back and forth in your jungle and farm away. Once you get out of the jungle however, they fall short compared to other items. And I say this in regards to Rengar. I use them all the time on Udyr, Elise, even (help me) Vel'Koz.
Your goal as Rengar is to GANK. Over and over. Not farm. More on that in the jungle section.
The Bonetooth Necklace
This item has gone through some changes since Rengar's release. It was better, it was worse, it now is what it is. And from my perspective, it is awesome. This item helps define Rengar, and you should strive to get it and stack it up in all your games.
Lets start with the basics. For 800 gold, you get 5 AD + (2 X Rengar's level) Since this item is usually bought in the 7-9 lvl range, it means you'll get a 19-23 AD item that caps off at 41 AD at lvl 18 without having to do anything. All this for the price of two Long Sword.
But it gets better.
This item starts off with 0 stacks (or trophies), up to a maximum of 14. You gain 1 stack for each kill or assist, and lose 1 upon death. The stacks still appear while you are dead, so killing an enemy after you died (with tower shots, red buff and such) or getting assist still build it up.
3 stacks: +10 armor penetration and 5% cooldown reduction
At 3 stacks, which you will get very fast, the necklace basically transforms into The Brutalizer. For 537 less gold.
6 stacks: +25 movement speed
After your first successful teamfight, chances are you will easily have collected 6 stacks. On top of the previous bonuses, you now have 10 more movement speed than Enchantment: Alacrity. Without having to pay the silly 475 gold price tag.
9 stacks: Rengar's leap gains 150 bonus range
At 9 stacks, things are going well for you. And they just got better. 150 bonus range on the leap may not look like much, but it ill make the difference when you are trying to catch up to an enemy through the brush or while using Thrill of the Hunt. As a reference, Tristana's Rocket Jump range is 800. She can't get away. No one can.
14 stacks: Thrill of the Hunt's duration is increased by 3 seconds. Additionally, Rengar's next ability used after activating Thrill of the Hunt generates 1 bonus Ferocity
14 stacks is nothing to sneeze at. You will most likely reach this around lvl 16, when your ultimate is all leveled up. You cannot gain more stacks, but these can be lost upon death and need to be earned again. This gives you a 10 second ultimate. Surprise surprise, that's how long Ghost lasts too. Stacking up all the speed from Mercury's Treads, bonetooth necklace, Thrill of the Hunt and Ghost, you will have about 595 movement speed for 10 seconds. In short, this allows you to race across roughly half the map to and leap on anyone, anywhere, unseen.
The second part is simply icing on the cake. The next ability used out of the ult will give you 2 stacks of Ferocity instead of 1. A faster Empowered ability? Yes please!
Selling the bonetooth necklace Bonetooth Necklace
It is generally accepted that if you cannot manage to gain and maintain at least 6 stacks on your bonetooth necklace by the time you reach late game, you should probably sell it. Hey, don't sweat it, everyone has bad games now and then! But if that's the case, I suggest also selling The Bloodthirster, if you have it. You're obviously dying a lot and can't get kills or assist, so you should focus on getting tanky items. Don't become a liability to your team in your search for stacks.
The Hunt is On mini quest
As you know, Rengar and Kha'zix had a falling out at a Christmas party and now want each other dead. Fun thing is, there is a possibility that doing so will grant you a bonus!
See this very instructive video about how, when and why you should take off that hideous alien's head with a smile.
First of all, I know my skill leveling is different than any accepted and conventional one. As soon as Savagery is maxed at level 9, I level up Battle Roar and Bola Strike at the same time, alternatively. The reason for this is that all of Rengar's abilities are both useful the faster they are improved, unlike many champions who possess one clear utility ability that doesn't really get better with additional levels. Lower cooldowns on all your abilities mean fasterEmpowered versions. If you do not agree with this, feel free to raise them at your leisure.
Unseen Predator (Passive)
If anything, this is what makes Rengar Rengar. It allows him to jump at a target enemy from a brush, or out of the stealth granted by his ultimate. Jumping at an enemy champion usually gives you a split second advantage if you do so unexpectedly. The "oh ****" moment quickly passes, but sometimes allows you to get a full combo in before they react.
The second part of the passive means that every 5 abilities used grants you an Empowered version of an ability, which is on it's own cooldown, allowing you to use abilities twice in a row, standard and Empowered.
Savagery is what you will be using to chop, hack, slash, kill, murder and tear up your enemies. It is on a relatively short cooldown. The attack speed bonus from the basic and Empowered Savagery stack, giving you a short 150% attack speed bonus for a short time when both are used back to back.
While Battle Roar causes damage, it's main use is to make you more tanky by raising your Armor and Magic Resist. Theses bonuses do not stack with the Empowered version, it merely resets the cooldown. As the bonuses last for 3 seconds, don't be hasty by casting the basic and Empowered version back to back. Unless you need the heal, of course.
The heal itself, while not being anywhere close as powerful as it once was, does allow you to bait enemies into attacking you when you are close to death. As the health gained is very close to the summoner spell Heal, it can be used it much the same way. The math may seem cpomplicated, but here's all you need to know. At lvl 18, if you have 1 health left, you'll get 398 health back, or 477 with Spirit Visage. If you're at half your HP, you get 300. Almost full is 200. So the more you have, the less you get. Use it sparingly.
This is Rengars only CC, so use it wisely. It can be tempting to throw it as soon as you get into a fight. You must resist the urge! Unless throwing Bola Strike at an enemy will give you enough stacks to trigger your passive, save it for when the enemy turns away from you. Of course, this can be right at the beginning of the fight when your enemy has the common sense to run away scared when they see a big bad lion running for them. The cooldown is long enough that you may end up being able to use it only once in a fight. Make it count!
Thrill of the Hunt
The ultimate hunter's tool. This ability stealths Rengar and gives you vision of all the enemy champions in range, even stealthed ones. This will allow you to detect enemies in brush and champions who love to run around hidden like Shaco and Evelynn. Also, it will allow you to perceive champions lurking around the corner while you are about to gank someone. While your intended target could be out of the open, the vision will allow you to see the two additional champions running your way to intercept you on the other side of the wall, thus allowing you to make a more informed decision about attacking or not.
While stealthed, your ferocity build up rapidly, going from empty to full in 3.75 seconds. Don't be afraid to wait until you are at full stack before attacking a champion, even if you are right next to him as soon as you active Thrill of the Hunt. Even if you have your full stacks, it can often be preferable to take the time for the rest of your team to engage the enemy first. More on this later.
Choosing which Empowered ability to use
So you have all 5 stacks of ferocity, but can only choose one Empowered ability. What to do? Oh, the stress, the nerve wracking decision making! What to choose, what to chose? Lucky for you, I've come up with this little flowchart that takes all the thinking out of the process. This needs to become instinct, because your window of opportunity is often very limited and decisions need to be made instantly. Here we go:
Do you need health right frigging now? Are you being hammered on all sides by a superior force? Do you not have any life drain items? Will you die in the next 2 seconds? If yes, then Empowered Battle Roar it is. This ability is a life saver, but remember that you get no additional benefit from it than a regular Battle Roar.
If not, ask yourself:
Would the fleeing target be dead for sure within 2 second if you could catch up to it? Is your prey so low that you couldn't live with yourself if it got away? Is their Flash and/or Ghost down, and any form of movement ability on cooldown? Yes? Empowered Bola Strike is what you're looking for.
If none of these condition apply:
The choice is very easy. And if there's still any doubt, use this anyway. Empowered Savagery is your go-to ability. The damage and attack speed steroid is too good to pass up. With it, you'll most likely drain enough life from enemies to compensate for the healing of Empowered Battle Roar, and the slow proc from Frozen Mallet will slow the target enough to make up for Empowered Bola Strike. It's that easy.
Dual ability casts
This is your bread and butter. The Attack speed stacks with each other, granting you 150% attack speed bonus, which lasts for 4 seconds.
The armor and Magic Resist buffs last for 3 seconds. Using them back to back refreshes the duration of the buffs, but doesn't stack them. So again, unless you desperately need the heal, don't cast those back to back.
The ultimate annoying thing to do. Ideal for targets with high mobility or very tanky target that can be dispatched by more damaging champions, as long as the target stays in range. Because of the animation time, the initial slow will already be half over before you can cast the Empowered version, rooting the target for 1 second and slowing them again for 1.5 second, making them swim through molasses for around 4 seconds total. More than enough time to be dispatched by anyone.
Rengar is a great teamfighter. He has a complete kit which allows him to damage, heal, root, slow, buff himself and enter stealth. That being said, he cannot take on enemy teams alone. He even has a hard time in "fair" 1v2 situations where other champions would strive. So as a rule of thumb, always have as many champion on your side that on the opposing side during team fights. For your sake, at least.
When to help in teamfights
There will come a time when laning is a thing of the past. Some people will still cling to their top lane while everyone is duking it out around dragon, calling MIAs 25 minutes into the game. Don't be that person. Once the teamfighting starts, leave the jungle behind. It is perfectly acceptable to get a red buff before a fight or such. But if you have a choice between helping to push a lane or killing some wolves, the choice should be obvious. Sell your Madred's Razors and get a high damage item like The Bloodthirster. Get ready to group up.
What is Rengar's role
Rengar's role is to kill squishies. Easy, simple, and fun. His whole kit is made specifically to bypass the main line, get on top of a carry, prevent it from escaping, and murder it with unchecked rage.
However, it is of PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE to remember that you should not initiate fights. While you may end up killing your target, YOU WILL DIE if the enemy is not preoccupied elsewhere. You will be behind enemy lines and no teammate will be able to save you. Some may try and will also die for this. Your recklessness will cost your team dearly.
Always wait for the fight to start before using Thrill of the Hunt. Run around the fight to avoid getting hit by stray AOE damage and possible slows, stuns, taunts and such. Then jump in and kill the carry, or any squishy present should the carry be absent or not that much of a threat anyway.
Then evaluate how the fight is going. Who is almost dead? Make sure he dies. Save your next Bola Strike for the next weak target that tries to disengage. If things go well, give chase to runaways with Ghost. A lot will try to flee through the jungle, which is your home turf. All those bushes are a perfect way go crazy with Unseen Predator. However, if it looks like your quarry is baiting you towards something, even if it's just a bad feeling without any tangible proof, disengage. There is always a Noxious Trap or Jack In The Box lying around the corner that could give your pray and advantage.
With his sustain from Empowered Battle Roar, Rengar can stay in the jungle for quite some time before having to return to base. That being said, you should aim to head back to base as soon as you have 825 gold to get your first items. While you may be able to stay in there longer, you will be useless as a ganker with a simple Hunter's Machete as soon as champions start hitting level 3.
Before minions spawn
Watch your river! Prepare for possible incoming invades. Just sitting at the Red Buff and going to the bathroom is just asking for a gank. Watch your river for any movement. Most of the time if your opponent is there and sees you, he'll conclude that you are expecting an invasion and therefore won't go through with it. The little things help.
While you do not need a leash, getting one from your Mid will multiply your speed and save your health, allowing you to clear faster and in turn help your team faster. Leashers should concentrate on hitting the biggest creature first and damaging it down to about half its health. Unleash you have great communication, there is a chance that overzealous leashers will get the kills on these monsters if they don't let up, putting you at a disadvantage.
Make sure to thank your leashers if they do a good job. Lay it on thick. Don't just go "thx" in chat. Say things like "Woah, best leash I've had all day". These early game team encouragement go a long way to them wanting to help you out later.
There are many routes depending on what you want to do. The base route is the one that will get you the money you need for your first purchase if it seems like your lanes are doing OK early game and no one is screaming that they are countered hard within 3 minutes.
Go Red Buff ( Smite ) - Wraiths- Blue Buff ( Smite ) - Ghost - Wolves - Wraiths - Golem
With a good leash, pots and Empowered Battle Roar, you should make it without much danger. Always make sure to use Empowered Battle Roar next to an enemy when you need to heal, because the armor and MR buff doesn't kick in if you hit no enemy. It is also Rengar's only damaging AOE ability, it would be a shame to waste it.
Also use the ridiculously low cooldown Smite on anything when it comes up, even on Wolves early on. It'll make a difference in your early clear time and won't impact your general jungling over the game. Just use it!
While Rengar has an amazing ganking tool with Unseen Predator, chances are your jumping opportunities will be limited early game. It is important that you do not hide around in a bush for 10 minutes waiting for the perfect time to strike. This will only make you lose gold and XP, and annoy your laner who won't know if you intend to go in or not, changing his playstyle to try and adapt to what you are doing.
If the enemy is within running range, ping your laner to let him know you're ready. Either your ally say something, ping back, or let you know in some way that he is either ready or that he doesn't want ganks. Hey, it happens! If he doesn't say anything, conclude that you're on your own. Never assume that your laner knows you're there and is willing to go along with you. That's a great way to get killed and see the chat fill up with "WTF!!!" and "stupid Rengar, I wasn't ready". If you don't feel like you can take on the target on your own, don't. Feeding your opponent only damages your laner.
Once everyone is ready to go, pop Ghost and go in. If your target runs, use Bola Strike, otherwise hit him first with Battle Roar. The Armor/MR is invaluable. Then Savagery away, and do what you can. Weather the target dies or flees at this stage is irrelevant. The point is that you are showing that you are present in lane.
Try to make an early game presence in every lane so that everyone stays on their toes. However, do not stop jungling. A series of failed ganks will leave you far behind while the rest of the players farm and you just run around. This also leaves you open to counter jungling.
In good team spirit, do not farm your ally's lane once the enemy runs away unless your ally is dead or back at base. Ganking is not an excuse to steal their CS.
Counter jungling basically means invading your opponent jungle and taking his things. This puts the jungler on the defensive and makes him less likely to come out and gank, knowing that there are risks of losing gold and buffs in doing so. When taking out wolves or wraiths camp, make sure to leave at least 1 small monster to prevent camp respawn, and also as a little flip off to the enemy. Get him off his game! However, always fully clear Blue and Red Buff if you can do so safely. This allows you to time when it will come back up again so you can get there on time, while your enemy will have to wait for it to pop back up on his minimap.
Counter jungling can be very risky depending on the enemy jungler, and shouldn't be attempted by people just starting out. You'll already have your hands full between handling your own jungle and ganking lanes.
You should try to counter jungles when these situation arise:
- The enemy jungler is dead.
- The enemy jungler is counter jungling you.
Here are some champion that are easy for Rengar to counter Jungle. They are either too slow or too weak to do anything about it, especially early game.
Other fringe jungler, like say Vel'Koz, or anyone who makes you say WTH is that guy smoking should be a viable target. Use your knowledge or champs abilities to make an educated call.
Final note on jungling and ganking
Junglers are often misunderstood and sometimes even hated by laners. It is important that you remember that the jungle is basically your lane. You are not responsible for the well being of other lanes. You are there to help, and your unique position of no one being able to call MIA on you makes it easier for you to gank. But if one of your lane cannot successfully defend their lane against an equal number of opponent, the responsibility falls on them and not on you.
Always try to help players who are courteous, helpful and generally already doing good for themselves. Saving a player who is failing hard while neglecting one who is doing good will reflect tenfold as the game progresses. The failing player will probably still fail, and the good player won't have that little advantage that you could have provided, leading to harder end games.
And if you can, ward top and mid. They don't have supports with them and often "forget" to get wards in favor of better items. Teamwork goes a long way.
Woah, this took longer than I thought! I hope you managed to get through all that information and found some insight that you will in turn be able to use in your own game. Rengar is such a fun champion, but can be very frustrating when you don't understand how he works.
If this guide does well, I think I'll start adding matchups, counters, target selection and such and such.
- March 1st -- updated items due to Blade of the Ruined King change
- March 21st -- updated masteries after further testing
- December 18th -- updated for new season... Boy so many things changed in the game!
- March 1st -- A full year after the guide is published, it sits at #1. Holy hell!
- March 6th -- Big update after many changes for the new season. Includes trinkets, new masteries, a change of items, jungle routes and a beginning of a matchup section (counterjungling)