Rengar Build Guide by Pelikins
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Two very different Rengar builds for two different roles
I've been fooling around with Rengar in normals with a group of friend the last couple days. We all fall around 1600-1700 ELO with 1000+ games played. So even though I haven't played Rengar in ranked yet, these builds have been play tested at on fairly competitive level.
I first just want to emphasis how vastly different the two builds are.
Jungle Rengar should be setup to be an assassin. That means he setups up ganks, deals a lot of damage rapidly, and makes people rage quit.
Lane Rengar should be setup both as a duelist and as a fighter who can hold the front line, or beat up a carry. Lane Rengar needs a lot more defense to be effect as assassins aren't as effective in team fights in the late game at high ELO.
Two very different playstyles. Two very different builds.
I'm going to seperate the guide into two main parts: Jungle and Lane
Make sure you are looking at the section of the guide corresponding to the right role.
Choosing a role: Jungle or Lane?
Rengar is an amazing jungler and an adequate top laner.
That being true, I would much rather take him in the jungle. BUT both are decent.
The jungle version is more physical/burst/control oriented. It focuses on bola strike first, and the highlight of this is the fact that you can use your ult to sneak in for a gank and still get ten ferocity for 2 free attacks in 6 seconds of combat (level 9+ slightly longer than 6 seconds at lower levels). Leveling up bola strike means you are spamming bola strike for your free attacks which gives amazing snares. This is great for ganks as it allows your allies to get easy skill shot hits.
The lane version is much tankier. It is basically full hybrid and has great sustaining capabilities because it levels battle roar first meaning that your full ferocity attack are battle roars healing you 15% of your max hp each time. The lane version plays like a bruiser in team fights yet is a excellent duelist using the ult in duels to wait out your cds for a second 4 spell burst after the first and trading really well by gaining free defensive stats with its primary damaging skill.
I find the jungle version the better option in most games. Rengar is an amazing jungler and has really brutal ganks. Putting him in lane makes him miss out this really fantastic aspect.
The first thing you may notice is that I don't rank up savagery first in either build. I will tell you that ranking savagery first is the absolute worst skill to rank up in any situation.
There are two reasons for this.
First off, look at the base scaling.
Savagery's base damage: 30 / 55 / 80 / 105 / 130
Battle Roar's base damage: 75 / 120 / 165 / 210 / 255
Bola Stike's base damage: 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240
Bola and Battle Roar's base damage are nearly DOUBLE the base damage of Savagery.
When you are getting free spells, get the free spells that naturally have a higher CD because they are more powerful spells that deal more damage (not to mention have range and utility)! Forget about an AS steroid and LEBONK A BIOTCH!
Second reason, CDR per rank.
Savagery: 6 seconds ALL RANKS
Battle Roar: 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 11
Bola Strike: 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8
Your goal is to get to 5 as quick and often as possible. The more abilities you have to spam, the better. Rank up the abilities that reduce in CD first!
Ranking up the other two skills means getting ferocity more quickly. Which means dealing more damage. Winning more games. It's really that simple.
Some will say "You don't get that AS steroid though." You are an assassin. You aren't an auto attacker. Stop trying to get into slug fests and simply nuke opponents the way an assassin is meant to.
Some will also say "One empowered savagery deals more damage than one empowered bola strike of battle roar." This actually depends on your stats. High armor penetration favors bola strike which has a higher base damage. High AD favors savagery with the massive 2.5 damage ratio.
consider this though:
Ranking savagery first, it will take 7.2 seconds to get a second empowered spell (if you can stay in melee the whole time without the help of bola for the majority). Ranking Bola first, it only will take 4.8 seconds to get a second empowered spell and you'll only need to in bola's range and you'll have more slowing power more often. Ranking Battle Roar first it will take only 6.6 seconds, you'll heal 30% of your hp, and you'll have 40 more armor and MR for the majority of the engagement and you'll also have a range advantage her as well.
That's not even to mention the safety you'll have over savagery because you have the option to fight at range against melee (and more reliable against opponents trying to kite you).
As the fight prolongs, ranking other skills over savagery pays even more dividend. As you'll have two steady sources of ferocity over just savagery. This is great for sustaining and harassing in the lane and in the jungle as well as keeping jungle clear times fast.
Which Empowered Spell Do I CHOOSE?
Here is how it plays out.
When you are ganking a lane and have a teammate there, go with empowered bola. The snare will almost always cause more damage to be landed. The only exception is level 2 gank where you'll want empowered savagery.
When you are receiving a gank, use empowered bola for the same reason.
When you the rank difference is 2 or more between skills. Use the empowered skill at max rank. The base damage + utility will out weight any ratio differences.
At the very end of the game, when all your skills are rank 5, savagery tends to out weigh the others again. The ratio on the ability is 2.5 damage (not bonus damage) so the natural scaling Rengar has will begin to shine in the late game. But don't stop attacking if you get stuck out of melee range. The difference between an empowered bola and an empowered savagry isn't enough to justify losing a cd/ferocity because you are struggling to get into melee range.
First lets looks at what makes a jungler great.
Do you remember old Evelynn? When people talk about old Eve they talk about how absolutely broken she was. She literally would change the way the lanes played simply by being in the game. She was feared and hated.
So...why was old Evelynn so over powered?
There were two reasons.
1) She brought reliable hard CC to the table.
2) Her ganks were hard to thwart.
Now we have Rengar. Guess what? He brings reliable hard cc to the table and his ganks are hard to thwart.
That hard CC I'm talking about is of course Empowered Bola Strike. This ability is absolutely over powered. At max rank it boasts a massive base damage (240), an 8 second cd, a 70% slow, at a range of around 550. When empowered the ability also roots the target for 1 second.
This may not sound like much, but repositioning skills can't be used while rooted, making this as good as a hard cc in 90% of cases.
That allows your teammates to easily land their kit on the target for an almost assured kill.
Couple this with Rengar's 7 seconds of stealth at rank 1 and he's an absolute monster when it comes to ganking.
To make matters worse (for your enemies) Rengar also has a kit and resource system that allows him to do devastating burst damage as early as level 2. A jungler is as good as his burst on early ganks and as good as his cc on later ganks.
Rengar is great all game long!
Always have 5 ferocity when ganking at any level.
There are two reasons for this. The first is that there is a short lock out from all skills when you hit 5 ferocity. The lock out is only about .5 seconds, but it is long enough where a gank can fail or an enemy can get out of melee range via Flash. This is especially important on the level 2 gank, as it may lead to them escaping before you can empowered Savagery them. Always initiate with 5 ferocity to avoid this.
The second reason is to front load your damage. Making your target melt up front will let the person you're ganking for know that this is a potential kill and they'll use summoner skills accordingly. Nothing is more frustrating than getting someone down to a sliver of hp and having the player in the lane say "I would of ignited if I knew he was going to get that low." or "I would of used my ult if I knew he was going to get that low."
Many players don't know how nuts empowered Savagery is at low levels. If you lead with it, they'll see their target melt and recognize the kill potential even if they didn't predict you'd deal that much damage.
Rengar's early ganks:
At the early levels, you'll want to be spending your empowered attacks on savagery over the other options if all you are looking for is damage. This holds true until around level 5 when you hit rank 3 bola strike (which you are maxing first). At that point rank 3 bola is going to out damage rank 1 savagery and give a snare and give a slow.
His level 2 gank heavily relies on jumping on someone from a bush. You'll want 5 ferocity for this and you'll have bola strike and savagery. Make sure to use your empowered attack on q as it deals massive damage at this stage in the game.
Rengar's later ganks:
Beyond level 6 you have two options. The first is to try to sneak in like any other jungler and use your passive to jump on someone leaving your ult as a second closer ability. Only do this if you know where they've warded.
Otherwise, use the 7 seconds of stealth to walk in unseen, position, and pounce. Use empowered bola strike to root them in place and then use q and w. You've got 2 options. You can use the second bola strike now for more damage and to achieve a second empowered strike a few seconds later (usually the best option) or if the target is going to die before then or will like escape, save the second bola for 5 seconds of slow to allow your teammates to finish it off.
It's almost always best to use empowered bola strike when ganking. That root is predictable and reliable and the graphic is obvious to where your teammate will see it and know that they aren't going anywhere. That will allow for a confident Nevermove Rupture Rocket Grab Dark Binding ect for an almost assured kill.
The fact that almost always a second cc is going to land after yours makes the immediate spam of the second bola the better option most of the time. That leads to a second empowered bola just a few seconds later, if by some miracle the target survives the first cc chain.
Give your mid lane blue
Give your mid lane blue, even the first one. Yes, its nice for cdr on you, but its lane changing for your middle lane.
Once you do, 1 of 2 things will happen. Your middle will start pooping all over the other mids face. This will get the other guy low and then be an easy kill for the charitable assassin.
Their jungler will see your mid has blue and want to gank to take it away.
Either way make sure you stick close to mid. You can either come in and clean up what your carry starts with its advantage, or you can counter gank their gank, often getting 2 kills.
Itemization: Why not build a lot of AD?
Why not build lots of AD, like a The Bloodthirster, Phantom Dancer, Infinity Edge, The Black Cleaver?
Rengar really isn't setup to be an AD stacker.
He only has 2 AD ratios in his whole kit and one of them is only .7
Instead I build CDR to make use of his high base values, penetration to improve the value of those bases and build a Sheen / Trinity Force to make use of his high base AD and short CDs (and to give him crazy burst!)
It's no wonder why people building straight AD are hating him. He just doesn't have the kit for that...
I start both builds with Boots of Speed and potions followed by upgrading boots to Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
This is very important. When you have a resource-less champion, especially one that gets rewarded for ability spamming. Rushing CDR is paramount. CDR boots are the most efficient CDR source in the game. Get them and first.
Next I grab a Doran's Blade. This is to help a little to sustain in the jungle. The hp on it will improve the effect of the % based heal while life steal helps self heal. The damage is great for ganking and to improve the life steal.
Next I grab The Brutalizer. The tried and true staple of resource-less AD casters everywhere! Improves the value of bola stike's huge base damage while adding AD and nearly maxing out CDR.
Now a Sheen. You have nearly full cdr, its time it really works overtime for you. Your burst get noticeably better with this addition. All your armor pen helps the procs be stronger too.
Now we get the bonetooth necklace. Think of this as a second The Brutalizer. The item is actually better to buy late because of the AD/level stat on it. It's more cost effective out of the bag at higher levels. It's a "snowball" item, but unless you are doing absolutely terrible, its going to get stacks. All you really care about is getting 3 stacks for the armor pen and the base AD/level it gives out of the box. The move speed is a nice perk if you stack it farther.
I now get a Trinity Force it's everything we love about Sheen with more perks.
Next I bulk up my hp with a Giant's Belt that I turn into a Warmog's Armor. At this point you already are getting 60 armor and mr from your battle roar. Bonus hp is the best route to make use of it.
I upgrade The Brutalizer into a Youmuu's Ghostblade this will help me stick to targets better and position better.
I dedicate my last slot for a Quicksilver Sash since I don't build any tenacity (or MR). This is mainly to keep me from being peeled in team fights. I draw a lot of attention when I nuke their carry, this will disallow a stun or suppression from keeping me away from my prey.
Jungle summoner skills
I highly recommend Flash + Smite or Ghost + Smite
flash is great for Rengar because of the range his Bola Strike has + a slight bug on his passive.
The buff you obtain from standing in a bush will actually last a fraction of a second longer if you leave the bust. So if you flash from a bush and immediately click to auto attack a target, you'll still close on the target as if jumping from the bush.
It takes practice but if you do this and cast empowered bola strike right after, you can tie someone up in melee range for a full skill combo and for your ally to use his kit for nearly assured kill.
Another neat trick is to flash to bush they are nearby and jump from the bush to get into melee when you otherwise could not.
Flash gives great utility. It has a higher skill cap to master than ghost.
Ghost is easier to use and it makes his really powerful slows really shine.
You can also move a really really long way while ghosted in 7 seconds. That makes his gank nearly impossible to thwart in the lane phase...
It will feel like people are standing still when they have bola strike applied. It's a good choice for anyone new to the champ. It gives less utility to him though, outside of the lane phase.
Mastery Tree: Jungle
I run 21/9/0 for jungling, focusing on jungle defense masteries in the defense tree and physical damage oriented masteries in offense. Armor penetration is jungle Rengar's best stat. I get as much of it as I can.
For runes, I focus on improving my initial clear speed and my level 2 gank. A successful level 2 gank is game changing as it will set a lane so far behind they usually don't recover.
I grab flat AD marks, flat AD quints, armor seals and magic resist/level glyphs
Greater Mark of Attack Damage Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage Greater Seal of Armor Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
A quick note: leveling up my ult
When I jungle, I don't take my rank 2 ult until level 13. Just something I noticed improved my game.
The ult is 7 seconds of stealth at all ranks. The cd is the only factor. A long stealth every 1.2 minutes is what rank 1 provides. A stealth every 45 seconds is what rank 2 provides. Is it really worthwhile to rank up over lowering combat cool downs? I don't think it is.
This is for jungling only.
Lane Rengar is one big bad cat.
When laning Rengar, if focus on being able to harass and trade effectively. I focus on being the best duelist possible, sustaining and being a bully.
You'll notice that I level up battle roar first while in lane. You'll want to use battle roar empowered attacks. They will give massive heals and be nice nukes on top.
Battle roar is a best route for lane because the empower affects you, not the enemy. That means you can always use the empowered battle roar when the opponent is hiding from you and you suffer less penalty (rather than over nuking a minion for 10 times its hp or rooting it in place)
Battle roar is amazing at trading as well. It gives you a big nuke, while also buffing your defensive stats and giving a nice heal.
Unlike jungle Rengar, I always level up my ult when available. Since I'll be constantly dueling and escaping ganks, the lower cd is of great importance.
For laning I go 9/21/0.
I get as much free CDR as possible out of the offense tree as well as some magic pen. I then get tanky in the defense tree.
Tank cat? Lane Itemization
You'll notice that lane Rengar is very tanky. His base damages on his skills are so strong that he can rely on them along with some damaging items, cdr, and he'll deal massive amounts of damage.
He also has one of the strongest AS steroids out there. I really like a late game Madrid's Bloodrazor for this reason. I recommend that route over running a heavier AD item because he doesn't have crit, AD steroids, and his AD ratios aren't very strong. But as a late game item Madrid's does Rengar pretty well.
I start off with Boots of Speed and potions just like jungle Rengar and also first build Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
I next build a Kindlegem for cheap CDR and bolstered hp.
After this, I build a Sheen followed by upgrading the gem to a Spirit Visage.
I next buy a Giant's Belt built immediately into a sunfire cloak. This item will allow you to go toe to toe with anybody and come out ahead. You've got the sustaining power to really make it affective as well.
I then upgrade Sheen to a Trinity Force
After that, I begin building the Madred's Bloodrazor this item is great as it synergizes with your AS steroid on q along with all your sustaining power and the AS on Trinity Force.
I finish the build buying Magic Resist in the form of Force of Nature.
Your questions, my answers.
This section is a tradition for my guides. When you post questions, I post my answers. No guide is perfect to begin with and you're right to question any content that seems "iffy" and it helps us both to mull details over and iron them out.
So here are the questions and concerns in the comments and my responses.
Your Rengar basics section is misleading, you acknowledge him as an assassin but you your skills sequence fits more of a bruiser trying to increase his dmg in the long run via shorter cds which. Didn't tested it out in jungle but i think attack speed bonus provided by Savagery will give you overall faster clear time.
WARNING - MATH BELOW
Long term dps is much harder to portrait due to inability to factor in auto-attacks(which favors maxing Savagery anyway). Maxing Savagery still gives you the highest burst and short-term dmg. While I somewhat agree that 3rd combo might be stronger thanks to mixed dmg and higher resistance bonus, this fits bruiser playstyle not assassin.
I also must disagree on not leveling ultimate immediately, with your build stealth got almost 1/3 up-time at rank3. Thrill of the Hunt is your best offense and defense skill you want to use it as much as possible.
Ok multiple questions all in one. I'll address each separately.
First off, when it comes to jungling why leveling e is better than q.
This has to do with sustaining benefits as much as anything. You'll be using w in the jungle as your empowered attack for that 15% heal to keep you going while in the jungle. You have minimal life steal so this is really what keeps you going. That said, building those ferocity points is very important while jungling so that you can get that sustain. Since E lowers in CD while ranked and q does not, you gain more ferocity/sec each time you level e.
More free spells will compensate for q being slightly higher dps. And hence your clear time stays the same while your sustaining power is improved.
Second issue is burst potential.
It's true that in the first 4 spell combo, empowered q is highest dps. But consider the best junglers in the game. The top 4 junglers out there for ganking (not counter jungling) are Maokai, Lee Sin, Alistar, Nautilus.
The reason these 4 are the best gankers is not because they deal the most damage. It's a combination of being able to deal heavy damage + provide CC to secure a kill + being sturdy enough to not die while ganking + being able to initiate a gank well/being resilient in tactics.
A lot of people of people get caught up on the numbers and forget how important cc, reliability, flexibility are.
Yes, you will get marginally more burst damage by maxing q first, but you're ganks will be LESS potent because you'll be missing out on 1 second of snare, up to 2.5 seconds of slowing, and your slow will be substantially less powerful.
The difference between a 50% slow and a 70% is not to be underestimated.
I also mentioned resilience and reliance. Being able to sustain damage in any situation is so powerful! That's why carries are important to team compositions.
That said, maxing e over q means the higher possibility of a second empowered attack and being able to land the highest ranked skill as your empowered attack almost 100% of the time. That reliability is powerful. Your teammates know what to expect out of you, and you know what you can expect out of you. Being reliable is important. You can better make good choices if you can better foresee the outcome.
The last thing to talk about is when to take level 2 and 3 stealth.
After playing a few more games, I did change this a little bit. I still am not taking level 2 ult until level 3 though.
The simple fact of the matter is that leveling w improves your combat effectiveness, and leveling R does not.
With each rank of w you get increase survivability, increased burst damage, more ferocity/sec, more damage per second. While each rank of R gets you only more move speed while stealthed in a typical situation. The detection range is nice, but in a team fight, you usually will use the ult to escape focus and the detection is of minimal benefit when you can see everyone already.
At any rank, the ult is too long to have it twice in an engagement. If that wasn't true, sure I'd be leveling it. It's just at that awkward point where its too long to be used twice in a fight but short enough where you'll have it in once in every engagement.
The movespeed is nice for chasing down fleeing enemies and the detection is nice for checking brush/foiling ambushes. So I do take it over leveling q now, hence selecting it at 6,13, and 16.
Rengar has little to none sustain issues past level 3-4 when you learn Battle Roar and those vanish completely as you level up. This means you already overcome this problem before shorter CD of Bola Strike even kick in. Also seems like you don't know what "jungle clear time" term mean, it refers to reaching level 4 not killing all the neutrals, it's a benchmark. Never mind that, you state that "clear time" remains the same, don't pull facts out of a hat, prove it.
About DMG, it's not
You still max bola before roar so your slow isn't any different, you only lose its uptime duration. However as a jungler you already have good stacking slows from Red Buff and Phage.
You stated few times in your guide, that jungler Rengar is an assassin. Maxing Bola is good for a bruiser. Im not saying that you shouldn't use empowered bola, however maxing it on jungler is simply inferior.
Well, there is some hostile under tone in here, probably because you are an author of a competing guide and want to discredit this one. But I'll bite and reply anyway.
First off, I think you are clumping all junglers together...that's a big mistake. You need to learn that different junglers do different things and play each to their strengths. For instance, there are late game "carry" junglers such as Udyr and Hecarim who need to focus on farming and clearing over anything else. Then there are counter junglers such as Dr. Mundo and Shyvanna who don't gank incredibly well but do a great job at stealing enemy camps. Then there are ganking junglers. There are CC gankers and assassin gankers. Assassin gankers are pretty rare, but they include Shaco, Evelynn, and Wukong. CC gankers are more common and generally are more competitive nautalus Alistar Maokai but they all do the same thing early on... create an imbalance in the lanes in their favor.
Your goal is to make one or more of your lanes win more easily.
Stop looking at your CS and trying to race your solos in level and put your focus on impacting the game early on when you can be really effective...GANKS!
Maxing e is your best route because of ganks. It's vastly superior to maxing q because you should be using empowered bola for most ganks to secure kills and double casting higher ranked skills means dealing more damage and having more effect.
Dealing 20% more damage yourself pales in comparison to allowing your solo or bottom lane deal 100% more damage because you cc'd them to allow a skill shot or them to close.
I didn't pull the top four out of no where either (and such accusations are uncalled for)
Verious tier lists such as this one http://www.reignofgaming.net/tier-lists/jungle-tier-list agree with my statement.
You talk about burst vrs DPS is also complete moot.
You completely ignore key PVP elements such as range in your calculation, ignore any utility advantages and just regurgitate a number...that has no real significance.
Every champion's max dps is situation dependent and also has peaks and valleys that coincide with CDs for skills.
Maxing q has a very high initial spike and then falls off hard unless you are able to auto attack repeatedly, which isn't realistic against a high priority target.
Maxing e however has a initial spike nearly just as high, and then a secondary spike just as big as the first 4 seconds later, without necessarily having to maintain melee range, while also being able to stay in melee range more easily. After 4 seconds, maxing e's damage is significantly higher than maxing q in most real situations, especially in high elo skill play.
You also talk about Phage procs being a substitute. That may work at the 1300 ELO stage you work at, but high ELO players need to know for certain their cc capability in a predictable manner. You can not rely on procs as you primary CC source... because bad RNG will throw the game doing that.
Bola Strike is predictable and reliable. Having Phage proc is great and Phage is a great item to help secure your position, but it should never be a champions primary cc source because of the RNG.
In addition, the slows are calculated on seperate layers. That means there is nothing wrong with having Phage and maxing Bola Strike. Item slows and bola strike slows will stack because they are on seperate layers.
I hope you try my two very original Rengar builds and enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing and developing them.
Feel free to vote and comment.
Good luck out there!