Rek'Sai Build Guide by PsiGuard
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+10% Attack Speed
+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP)
Threats & Synergies
Graves' mobility, armor and sustained damage allow him to 1v1 you at most points of the game. You can run him over if you and your team get a lead, but it'll be difficult to win early fights if he's involved. Feel free to cede minor objectives like the Rift Scuttler to him, as the only way he kills you is if you commit to fighting him.
Probably the worst matchup for Rek'Sai. Kindred can kite and kill you and their ult can deny your kill potential on the enemy backline. You might be able to kill them early if you catch them without their Flash, but you'll need your teammates to help deal with them later.
You can't really fight this champion 1v1, she just has more raw DPS than you. Shyvana will generally outpace you in farm as well, so you'll need to create leads in your lanes as quickly as possible before she scales up.
You usually won't be able to 1v1 this guy since he can shield your knockup (or your ult) and Lethal Tempo gives him a lot of dueling power. Your main advantage is your superior gank pressure after level 3, so try to snowball the game before he can start making plays with his ultimate. Nocturne's weaker in team fights, so grouping for 5v5s is usually a good idea past the early game.
This matchup is usually fairly easy. You can unburrow to knock Lee Sin out of his Q (or W if you time it right) and you'll be durable enough that he should have a hard time killing you even after he gets his ultimate. Rek'Sai and Lee Sin are both strong early gankers, so you'll have to try and take map control early and have a bigger impact on the lanes than he does. Countergank him if you can, you should have an advantage in 2v2s.
Rek'Sai should win this matchup early game, but Jarvan is a really strong ganker and team fighter when he has his ultimate. The game will usually come down to who makes the best plays in the early and mid game, since both of you can easily swing the game in your team's favor. Interrupt his dash with Unburrow and you should be able to win early 1v1s.
Cocoon makes this matchup kind of a pain to deal with, but you aren't helpless either. If Elise misses Cocoon, you have some kill threat on her, but be careful of tunneling towards her if her E is up or you're in for a free stun. You're both early game champions that spike at level 3, so you'll have to pull off more ganks or surprise her from a bush or something to pull ahead. If Elise doesn't have many items she's a pretty weak team fighter, so you should have a slight advantage 5v5.
Kayn can be a bit dangerous after his transformation (especially if he picks Rhaast), but early game he has really poor dueling and his ganks can be tricky but they don't have much punch. You should have a sizable advantage in 1v1s and countergank situations. Against Shadow Assassin, try to stop him from reaching your backline as he can die really quickly. Against Rhaast, avoid being alone with him since he heals a ton but can't kill very quickly. Remember Rhaast's W can interrupt your tunnel. Make sure someone on your team gets Grievous Wounds against Rhaast.
In a straight-up fight early game, you should have a small advantage. You can interrupt Camille's dash (which is very telegraphed) with your knockup and your ultimate packs a bigger punch in 1v1s. Rek'Sai also has a faster jungle clear, so if you play your early game well you should be able to get a level lead. Camille has a ton of gank pressure so she may beat your team through her laners. Set up counterganks when possible, since her ultimate is really strong in 2v1s and not nearly as effective in 2v2s.
Really good Nidalee players can still put up a fight in this matchup, but chances are if you're reading this guide, the Nidalees you'll be facing are going to make a lot of mistakes. Rek'Sai has a solid amount of mobility to chase Nid, but you'll need to start fighting her before you blow all your cooldowns. If you can start hitting her and then use E, R and/or Flash to chase, you should be able to kill her. If she lands a spear or a trap and leaps at you, interrupt the leap with Unburrow and turn to fight her (unless you're low on HP or she's super fed of course).
Buy Mercury's Treads and build some early damage to crush Fiddlesticks. You should be able to stick to him once you have some tenacity, and your ultimate virtually guarantees your kill pressure since you'll be able to gap-close after he's burned his cooldowns to push you away. Use Tremor Sense and Prey Seeker to check the fog of war if you suspect Fiddlesticks is trying to set up an ultimate.
This matchup is heavily in Rek'Sai's favor. Vi's biggest threats in a 1v1 are her Q and ult, both of which can be cancelled by Rek'Sai's abilities. Unburrow to cancel Vi's Q and she'll have very little damage to fight with. Post-6, you can ult Vi before her ult hits you and it'll completely avoid the damage and CC, putting Vi's ult on the full cooldown. You'll need to hit her with some damage in order to target her with your ult, but as long as you can hit her with something beforehand, you can completely counter her kit.
Kha'Zix is a better duelist and can snowball out of control if he gets ahead, which makes him dangerous. That said, fights should still be close so you should be able to fight 2v2 or simply avoid him if necessary. He'll usually win fights if you're isolated but you can sometimes beat him with an ally or near a minion wave or jungle camp. You can interrupt his Leap with your knockup if you're trying to secure a kill on him.
I give Rek'Sai the edge in this matchup but XIn is still dangerous. He's a strong duelist and can threaten both you and your laners. You have more mobility so your ganks are more flexible. Try to abuse that to build an early lead.
You can get into fights pretty easily but you don't have as much durability and disruption as other tank champions. Galio's ultimate lets him follow up your engage with a lot more CC and takes some of the focus off of you so you can survive longer. In return for keeping you alive, you offer him an easy entrance to team fights. A good engage from the two of you can absolutely carry a game by crushing an important 5v5. You have great CC between the two of you for early lane ganks as well.
Not a bad pairing since Rek'Sai has really good mid lane ganks after level 3 and Twisted Fate has excellent early gank reception. You can pressure the enemy mid until TF gets a lead, then TF can use his ult to roam and keep the enemy team from grouping. Rek'Sai's 5v5 is okay, but she's better in skirmishes and TF is good at forcing the enemy team to split up.
LeBlanc has a really powerful early game and great gank reception. Once you're level 3 you should have a lot of 2v1 pressure on mid. The main weakness of this combo is it's a bit poor from behind, but since you're both good early game champions, that shouldn't happen too often.
Thresh opens up a couple more angles to gank bot with his lantern. Between your tunnel and his lantern, you can gank bottom from so many directions that the enemy team won't be able to ward against you. He can also lantern you to safety when you go for risky plays with your ult which is a nice bonus.
Lulu is pretty solid with basically any melee champion, but with Rek'Sai she's useful particularly because of her ultimate. Rek'Sai can engage fights fairly reliably, but she doesn't have much disruption or durability once she's in the middle of the enemy team. Lulu's ultimate solves both of these problems, making her a great asset in team fights. Other than her ult, you don't have much synergy though.
If you have a Teemo top, your composition will probably be too weak to team fight, which can be a big disadvantage. This can still work if your team gets a big lead early but it's a lot safer to have a someone who can team fight top so you don't get outscaled past the early game.
Sion has good followup CC for your knockup and can be your team's primary engage after the early game. Honestly Sion works well in just about any team, so the synergy here is mostly about having a balanced composition.
Veigar's E creates a lot of disruption in team fights and it works great to set up ganks. Even if he doesn't land the stun, caging the enemy mid laner can be enough to net some early kills.
Alistar works great in most compositions, but with Rek'Sai he's especially nice to have since he can help you engage and frontline. He can also help a lot in ganks by engaging right as you come in from a flank.
Ryze and Rek'Sai are scary together because Ryze's point-and-click root gives you enough time to get in range to knockup the enemy mid. Neither of you need your ultimates to make plays so you can play off each other very often.
Rakan is one of the best engage champions in the game. Having a support with strong engage opens up a lot of opportunities for bot lane ganks and makes it easier to find good team fights late game.
Soraka isn't awful to have on your team but she doesn't offer much help in ganks, so your bot lane pressure might suffer as a result. It can still be okay if you have a tankier top laner and can pressure the other lanes, but I'm usually more comfortable having a support with more engage.
Hi, I'm PsiGuard and welcome to my Rek'Sai guide. I've been playing League of Legends since November 2010 in Season 1 and have been maining jungle since the start of Season 3. My top rank is Diamond III in solo queue. I have experience against Diamond, Master and Challenger players through solo queue, ranked teams and tournament games.
I first played Rek'Sai when she was released in December 2014 and promptly lost my first 5 games in a row even though she was really broken. Despite that early setback and numerous nerfs, she quickly became my best jungler as I played hundreds of games over the following years. Playing Rek'Sai taught me the power of map pressure from early ganks and vision as well as efficient pathing.
Before we begin, I'd like to give a big thank-you to Jovy for her awesome graphics and help with coding this guide (as well as my other guides). Be sure to check out some of her other work at her signature shop and her own guides!
Rek'Sai is a fighter/diver jungler with a strong blend of clear speed, jungle control and ganking power. Few junglers can match Rek'Sai's versatility in the early game. Whether power-farming with defensive vision, invading for steals and deep vision, or applying a ton of gank pressure, Rek'Sai can easily switch playstyles in the early game to suit the needs of her team. As a jack-of-all-trades, this leaves her with few weaknesses for enemy junglers to exploit and allows her to fit easily into most team compositions.
Rek'Sai's strength comes from her unpredictable pathing and strong scouting tools. She excels in jungle control thanks to Burrow, Tunnel and Prey Seeker. These abilities make it very difficult to surprise Rek'Sai with an invade or counter-gank and they allow her to invade the enemy jungle very safely. She can also apply constant pressure to lanes, using Tunnels to avoid enemy wards and flank laners from unexpected angles. Rek'Sai is not reliant on her ultimate in order to gank, allowing her to gank earlier and more frequently than many other junglers.
Rek'Sai's biggest weakness is her mediocre scaling and team fighting. While she can pull her own weight in a team fight, it can be very difficult to win fights if too many of your teammates are behind by the time teams start to group. If Rek'Sai is unable to establish any sort of advantage by mid game, she's outshined by many other junglers who have strong ultimates and defensive steroids for team fights. To deal with this weakness, Rek'Sai players need to control the pace of the game and generate advantages by the time both teams start to group. Using vision control and grouping or rotating for picks in the late game can also mitigate her vulnerabilities in straight 5v5 team fights.
After the buff to its early game, Hail of Blades is now my preferred damage keystone on Rek'Sai. Since you need to get several attacks off to charge up fury and empower Furious Bite, having an attack speed steroid at the start of every fight speeds up your full combo. In team fights this can make you a bit safer since you'll be able to do your damage and cast Void Rush before you're hit by CC.
Note: I recommend not using the Eternum Rek'Sai skin since there's a bug that can prevent Hail of Blades from proccing during Queen's Wrath.
|This rune is pretty strong early game and easy to proc with red buff or simply Unburrow followed by an autoattack. I used to run Sudden Impact here, but since Cheap Shot was buffed I think it's the better option.|
|Though I'm a big fan of Zombie Ward, in solo queue the combat stats from Eyeball Collection are more reliable, especially for players that aren't used to using vision. Even in high elo, Eyeball is both more popular and has a higher win rate. If you're playing on an organized team, you could consider Zombie Ward.|
|Super useful rune that grants up to 48 movement speed out of combat. Out of combat movement speed is always useful on junglers and the other options here aren't a high priority on Rek'Sai.|
|Unfortunately Absolute Focus isn't that useful for the first jungle clear since Rek'Sai falls below 70% health fairly quickly. However, after the first few levels you should remain pretty high on health for most of the game. This'll give you some extra damage in fights and when clearing the jungle or pushing towers.|
|Waterwalking gives you an edge in early fights in the river. It's great for contesting scuttle and general map mobility, but obviously it's not going to help you much in ganks or fights outside of the river area. I tend to run this since a strong early game is often key to winning games as Rek'Sai, but if you don't expect much 1v1 competition in the river, you can run Gathering Storm instead.|
|Aftershock deals much less damage than other keystones but offers a big boost to your durability. This is especially useful in 5v5 fights. It'll hamper your damage so you won't be able to crush the early game as hard, but once you have your HP items, the resists will make your team fighting much better.|
|The other options here aren't really worth it. Demolish will add some extra damage when pushing towers, which can come in handy if you're pushing for early gold from tower plating. You'll also have a bunch of bonus HP from items to power it up for pushes later on.|
|Combined with Aftershock, this rune is what makes Rek'Sai tanky in the mid and late game. Most of Rek'Sai's best items give health but no resistances, so getting some extra resists for free is really useful.|
|Overgrowth is probably the weakest rune in this setup but the other options for this row aren't that great so I'd just stick with the HP. HP is always useful.|
|This rune is actually pretty valuable in ganks and team fights since the % health heal can add a lot of durability when combined with your health items and Aftershock. I tend to favor Precision secondary more with Aftershock since the rune page is geared more towards team fights rather than optimizing for early skirmishes.|
|Legend: Alacrity gives you a lot of value for the slot when it's fully stacked. Legend: Tenacity is a viable option here but generally it's better to just get the attack speed and build Mercury's Treads. If you want Ninja Tabi and the enemy has some strong CC, Legend: Tenacity can make up for the loss of Merc Treads.|
|This spell is essential for jungling, as it unlocks the jungle-only items which you need to keep up in experience. The spell is also essential for securing monster objectives like buff camps, dragon and baron. Building Stalker's Blade or Skirmisher's Sabre will also allow you to cast this spell on enemy champions.|
|Flash - This is a core spell on most champions in the game and Rek'Sai is no exception. In addition to the flexibility it adds by allowing you to dodge skillshots, hop walls and escape death, Rek'Sai can also use Flash with Unburrow in order to knock up targets that would normally be outside of her range. I recommend you take both Flash and Smite every game.|
|Rek'Sai's passive is her resource system - a fury bar that builds when she hits enemies with basic attacks, Queen's Wrath, Unburrow or Furious Bite. The fury can be used to empower the damage of Furious Bite and is consumed while Burrowed in exchange for healing. This is Rek'Sai's sustain tool in the jungle as well as an in-fight resource to be used both offensively and defensively.|
To make best use of your passive early game, start camps with Prey Seeker and Unburrow and use Queen's Wrath twice before Burrowing again. This will line up with your Prey Seeker and Unburrow cooldowns. If you need more sustain, you can Burrow after finishing one Queen's Wrath rotation and kite the camp while you consume Fury to heal, but it'll slow down your clear.
Rek'Sai loses 20 fury per second if she hasn't generated any in the last 5 seconds, so you can't keep the bar full by poking with Prey Seeker. It's definitely an in-fight resource and not something you can stack up ahead of time.
- It resets your basic attack timer, allowing you to attack twice in quick succession if you cast Q immediately after a basic attack. This is something you should do almost always, except if you're chasing and don't have time to finish two attack animations. This also allows Rek'Sai to clear wards very quickly.
- It's not stated in the tooltip, but Queen's Wrath alters Rek'Sai's basic attack animation time, which actually gives her a small boost to her attack speed. In addition to the first point, this means you'll have noticeably higher DPS with Queen's Wrath even disregarding the base damage on the ability.
- Perhaps the most important point, the 4 second cooldown on this ability begins either when your third basic attack finishes OR when the ability times out after 5 seconds. This means after casting Q you MUST finish your three basic attacks as quickly as possible in order to minimize the downtime on the ability. You cannot prime the ability before starting a jungle camp for a reduced cooldown. This also means attack speed and attack resets ( Queen's Wrath, Titanic Hydra) function as a sort of pseudo-cooldown-reduction for your Q since you'll start the cooldown faster if you can attack more quickly.
Bonus tip: Queen's Wrath is an empowered basic attack and cannot be avoided with Flash or other movement abilities once the animation has started. This means you'll sometimes get kills on enemies that Flash away during your last basic attack.
|When Burrowed, Rek'Sai's Q fires a long-ranged linear skillshot that stops and deals physical damage in a small AoE when it hits an enemy. Any enemy damaged by this ability will be revealed for 2.5 seconds (does not reveal stealth, though you'll know if you hit a stealthed target because the projectile will explode).|
Since Rek'Sai is a manaless champion, Prey Seeker can be used as often as you want to poke enemies, check bushes or reveal jungle camps. It's also something you can use every time you are burrowed while clearing jungle camps. In general, using Prey Seeker just before Unburrowing will result in it coming off of cooldown at roughly the same time as Unburrow's per-target lockout finishes (unless you have a lot of CDR). This should give you a decent idea of how often you should be burrowing in fights with enemy champions.
The most valuable part of this ability is the opportunities it offers to gain vision from long distances. You can safely scout bushes, check whether jungle camps are up or reveal enemy champions in fog-of-war without needing to ward, face-check or unburrow to see. Hitting this skillshot is incredibly important if you're chasing an enemy in fog of war since without the direct vision you can be easily juked while burrowed.
Hitting the initial Prey Seeker is the only reason I still have vision of Pantheon after he Flashes.
Prey Seeker has a very short cast time, so keep in mind you will stop moving very briefly when casting. It's quick enough that it's usually fine to use in chases but if you're just outside the edge of someone's range and running away, it can be better not to cast.
|While burrowed, Rek'Sai has very limited vision (she can only see what's directly on top of her) and must rely on Prey Seeker and allied vision from champions, wards, minions and towers to reveal enemies. In return, Rek'Sai gains a flat movement speed bonus and can pass through minions. She also gains Tremor Sense while burrowed, which will ping the location of moving enemies (but not reveal them) in a large radius every 1.5 seconds. There will be small circles on the ground for enemy minions/pets/monsters and large circles for enemy champions.|
Enemies will ONLY be pinged if they're moving, so Tremor Sense will not detect enemies waiting motionless in a bush or fog-of-war. On the plus side, all enemy champions will create the circles while moving, including invisible or camouflaged ones.
Invading while burrowed can allow you to detect the enemy jungler clearing their camps.
The delay between pings is long enough that you can be juked without direct vision of your target. Be sure to land Prey Seeker or even put down a ward if necessary to ensure you land Unburrow on your target. When team fighting or ganking for allies this usually isn't a big deal since you can use their vision to land your knockup.
Another important aspect of Tremor Sense is that there is an audio cue when an enemy champion is detected in fog-of-war. Even if you don't notice the ping on screen, you'll hear a change from Rek'Sai's normal burrowed rumbling to a sort of humming sound (depends on which skin you're using). Having sound effects enabled at a volume you can hear them is important to detecting enemy champions as quickly as possible.
My team catches Riven stealing our Krugs because Tremor Sense detects her while she's taking the camp.
The cooldown of Burrow begins after Unburrowing, which means you have to wait 4 seconds after unburrowing before you can burrow again.
The range on this ability is only 160, so make sure you're almost right underneath the target before unburrowing. If you miss your unburrow, you'll have to wait for the full 4 second cooldown of Burrow PLUS the 1 second cooldown of Unburrow before you can try again. Landing this ability on the first attempt is paramount, so if you suspect the enemy might outplay you with Flash or another movement ability, try and bait out the ability by moving close without Unburrowing, or predict it and use your Flash to ensure they don't escape.
You'll need to land Unburrow in order to pull off most ganks. Be prepared to preempt the enemy's Flash with your own if necessary.
There is a lockout on how frequently you can knock up the same targets, indicated by a white circle underneath each target effected. When the circle disappears, that means you can knock up that target again. If a target is still in the immunity period, they are also immune to the damage of Unburrow so spamming W on jungle camps is not a viable option. To be clear, this lockout is only for the primary target that is knocked-up, not the rest of the targets that are damaged and knocked back. This means you can use Unburrow for damage on camps like Raptors and Wolves really often since you can keep damaging the secondary targets.
Keep in mind that this applies to all enemies, including minions, even though the white circles don't show up beneath the minions (presumably to reduce visual clutter).
While burrowed, right-clicking an enemy that dashes in your direction will cause you to knock them up as soon as they enter your range.
Unburrow has only a 1 second cooldown, so you can Burrow and then Unburrow again for a knockup after 1 second. This also gives you enough time to cast Prey Seeker, so you'll always have time to cast Q while burrowed even if you're trying to get off a knockup as quickly as possible.
Rek'Sai can use item actives including Tiamat while burrowed.
Also worth noting that both the knockup and damage will be blocked by spell shields like Spell Shield, Shroud of Darkness, Banshee's Veil and Edge of Night, so keep an eye out for those and try and break them with Prey Seeker or wait out their duration before attempting a knockup.
At 100 fury, this ability deals true damage with a 1.7 bonus AD ratio, which is massive for a basic ability. This is one of the main reasons we build AD items like The Black Cleaver. With a 12 second cooldown, Furious Bite can't be used more than once in most fights, so make sure you decide on a priority target and stick to it. Also remember that true damage is really strong against tanks and you can punch straight through resistance steroids like Galio's Shield of Durand with no problems.
A neat trick to this ability is that the damage will go off as long as you're able to start the cast animation, even if your target goes out of range. This means if you get someone really low and then start to E, they can end up burning Flash only to die to the E damage anyway.
Tunnels last for 10 minutes but can be destroyed if an enemy champion stands atop either end for 1.5 seconds. It also nets them a 5 gold bounty which is negligible; don't worry about it. Like Unburrow's per-target cooldown, tunnels also have their own internal cooldowns (10-6s based on rank) which prevent Rek'Sai from using the same tunnel twice in quick succession. This applies to tunnels you have just created, so keep in mind you can't tunnel forward and then immediately go back through. Tunnels can also be targeted by allied Teleports!
Like most dashes in the game, Tunnel can be interrupted by knockup and knockback effects. This is super bad and should be avoided whenever possible, as the ability has a massive 26 second cooldown at rank 1. The tunnel will still be created, but it'll go on its internal cooldown which leaves you a sitting duck without any mobility options.
In addition to its use as a dash, this ability can be used to leave tunnels in useful places on the map (usually traversing walls). You can have up to 8 tunnels (16 entrances) on the map at a time, with additional tunnels replacing earlier ones in the order they were created. Putting down tunnels gives you more options for pathing in the future without having to burn your 26s cooldown dash to hop a wall.
The tunnel I use to engage this fight also serves as an escape route once I'm low on health.
Each tunnel entrance is revealed separately to enemies if they gain vision of it, which allows you to hide a lot of tunnels (or at least half of a tunnel) in bushes to minimize the amount of information you give away and decrease the likelihood that they'll be stomped out by enemy champions.
The speed at which you pass through tunnels scales with your movement speed, so if you have stuff like boots and Dead Man's Plate, you'll notice you can create and pass through tunnels more quickly.
|Void Rush is a conditional ultimate that can only be cast on enemy champions that Rek'Sai has damaged with a basic attack, ability or Chilling Smite in the last 5 seconds. After casting Void Rush on a marked enemy, Rek'Sai vanishes into the ground, becoming untargetable for 1.5 seconds before emerging near her target and pouncing a fixed distance towards them. If she hits them, she deals physical damage to the target, scaling with their missing health.|
Unfortunately, this ability is not guaranteed to land. Flash, Arcane Shift, Riftwalk and other blinks and quick dashes can be used to easily dodge the damage from Void Rush. Since there is a loud audio cue, enemies have plenty of time to react in order to avoid taking damage, if they have an ability available to help them dodge it.
On the plus side, the pounce cannot be interrupted by crowd control, so you don't have to worry about getting knocked out of it by a Flay or Howling Gale. This means that against low mobility targets with no Flash, the damage becomes guaranteed unless you die before the ability connects or your target becomes untargetable.
Note that Rek'Sai will only mark targets if she has Void Rush skilled, which means if you damage an enemy, hit level 6 and then level up your ultimate, you won't be able to target them. If you know you're going to hit 6 in a fight, be sure to save something to tag them with (usually Prey Seeker or Chilling Smite) so you can use your ult if they run away once you hit 6.
Since this ability deals execute damage, obviously you want to use it on targets that are low on health (below 1/3 or so if possible). However, in some cases you may want to ult even if the damage won't be enough to kill your target, since the untargetability and gap-closing functions of Void Rush are both really useful. Also since this ability is pretty easy to dodge, it can be safer to count on the reliability of this spell as an aggro-dropping and repositioning tool rather than an execute, especially in team fights.
Against vulnerable targets like Varus, Void Rush can be used as a gap-closer to secure kills that would otherwise be out of reach.
I use the same sequence in all my Rek'Sai games. Start Q for the DPS boost on your first camp, W at level two to enable burrowing to make use of Fury of the Xer'Sai, Unburrow and Prey Seeker, then E at level 3 to unlock your tunnel. Keep in mind that even in level 1 fights, you can never start E because you don't unlock tunnels until you have W to burrow.
Queen's Wrath / Prey Seeker is maxed first for DPS. Next is Furious Bite / Tunnel mainly for the dash cooldown, though the bite damage is good too. I max Burrow / Unburrow last because of the insane tunnel cooldown at rank 1. You only get 2 seconds off the internal knockup cooldown from leveling W, so it's not really a game-changer to have it maxed earlier.
I've looked into maxing E before Q, but you lose a significant amount of damage, especially since Furious Bite has a much longer cooldown than Queen's Wrath and Prey Seeker. It's not uncommon to use two casts of each Q and only one cast of E in a fight. Q max gives you an additional 90 physical damage per rank versus only 20 true damage per rank if you max E first.
Obviously put points into Void Rush whenever possible. Like most champions, a point in Rek'Sai's ultimate is worth more than a single point in another ability.
|Hunter's Machete gives a better clear for Rek'Sai than Hunter's Talisman so always start with it. I recommend Refillable Potion as you'll get a lot of use out of the refreshing potions over the course of the game.|
|Warding Totem is the standard starting trinket. You can use the early ward to defend your jungle entrances or gain vision of the enemy jungle to determine their starting location. I recommend keeping the totem during the early game as putting down wards is a more reliable way to contribute to vision than removing them.|
|Switch to Oracle Lens when laning phase is ending and you need to clear vision around objectives. It's worth sacrificing vision for vision denial in the mid and late game. You'll want the oracle to increase the likelihood of getting picks on enemies and to control vision around dragon and baron. You can also switch earlier if you want more vision control to camp a lane harder. Be sure to keep buying Control Wards so you still contribute to your team's vision!|
|For solo queue, I recommend going for Stalker's Blade most games as it enables you to get in knockup range without burning Flash. It's also some guaranteed damage that'll let you cast Void Rush on the target. Skirmisher's Sabre is viable against tough matchups like Xin Zhao.|
|These boots usually offer the best durability, providing the dual benefits of armor and % damage reduction from enemy autoattacks. This is a must-buy against physical-heavy teams, but can also be useful against mixed-damage teams as it mitigates a lot more damage than Mercury's Treads.|
|Against very long CCs like Dark Binding and reliable stuns like Concussive Blows, extra tenacity can be necessary to remain a threat in team fights. These boots are strongest against stuns, snares and fears, though keep in mind they do nothing to protect you against suppression (like Nether Grasp) or knockups/knockbacks. Also note that tenacity does not help against location-based slows like Pillar of Ice, as the duration constantly refreshes while you're in the AoE.|
|Warrior gives you the best powerspike in the early game. While Enchantment: Cinderhulk outscales in the team fight phase of the game, Warrior's early power can make a huge different if you're able to snowball the game. If you end up building pretty tanky, you can sell it late game for Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk.|
|Health, AD, CDR, armor pen, movement speed -- all really good stuff for mid-game snowballing. Cleaver is a well-balanced damage option for Rek'Sai that I recommend building every game unless you're committing to a full tank build. Even though Furious Bite deals true damage and doesn't benefit from the armor shred, it's still your best option.|
|Titanic is a pretty reliable damage option that scales with your maximum health, so you'll want to build other health items to complement it. Thankfully, The Black Cleaver gives a lot of health already, making this a good followup. The AoE effect also applies Cleaver's armor shred to all targets in the area which is pretty nice. Make sure you reset your autoattack timer by using the active right after finishing an autoattack.|
|Guardian Angel isn't great for frontlining, but it does give you some extra damage without compromising your ability to live through team fights. Generally this item is best when you've already amassed a gold lead since it makes it more difficult for enemies to shut you down. If you don't have threat on the enemy backline, you might just want to build an actual defensive item instead so you can last longer in team fights. Try not to die too far from your teammates or you'll waste the passive.|
|Sterak's Gage doesn't offer a ton of damage but it's still on the greedier side of things compared to pure defensive items. You won't get any resistances from this but you'll get a pretty strong shield. Good versus true damage or mixed damage teams. If you need to counterbuild a really strong threat on the enemy team or the enemies are heavily weighted towards physical or magic damage, it might be better to build a resistance item instead.|
|This is a pretty safe option for armor if you're not sure which item to buy. The extra movement speed is great for getting in range for knockups and combined with the bonus from Burrow makes you one of the fastest champions in the game (outside of short-duration movespeed boosts). The stats are comparable to Randuin's Omen, though it notably lacks the critical strike damage reduction.|
|Randuin's is a solid item against strong crit users. You can build it against one strong ADC (like a fed Caitlyn or Draven) or if the enemy team has more crit users like Yasuo, Tryndamere or Master Yi. Keep in mind some ADCs like Ezreal don't build crit at all, which makes this item pretty bad against them.|
|Thornmail is a strong armor option that's a bit situational. It's great against autoattackers (generally the enemy ADC) and mitigates any lifesteal they build or healing they receive from spells if they're focusing you. However, against teams with really strong peel (generally shields from champions like Janna, Lulu and Orianna), it might not make much of a difference. In those situations, Randuin's Omen can be better as it makes you a lot tankier.|
|Spirit Visage is a solid all-around magic resist item. The increased healing works on your potions, regen, Fury of the Xer'Sai and allied healing spells. HP and CDR are also great stats so overall it's a safe bet to protect against magic damage.|
|Adaptive Helm has a worse build path than Spirit Visage which makes it less attractive, but the passive can be very effective against any damage over time spells from champions like Teemo or Brand, as well as spammable or multi-hit spells like Twin Fang and Unleashed Power. Keep in mind this only works against magic damage, so it will do nothing against spells like Hemorrhage or Deadly Venom. It's also not very effective against poke or burst spells from champions like Veigar or Lux.|
Familiarize yourself with these spawn times and respawn timers so you know what to expect in-game.
Dragon (Elementals & Elder)|
Spawns At: 5:00
Respawn Time: 5:00
Elder Dragon Spawns: After 35:00
Elder Dragon Respawn: 6:00
Spawns At: 20:00
Respawn Time: 6:00
Plants are stationary, neutral units with 1 health. They can be destroyed with a basic attack to trigger an effect. Three different types of plants will spawn in the jungle and river. Their spawn timers and locations vary slightly but for the most part they are fairly predictable. The first spawn locations for all plants are predetermined.
First inner cone spawn: 1:15 - 1:25|
First outer cone spawn: 5:00 - 5:30
Inner cone respawn time: 5 - 7 minutes
Outer cone respawn time: 5.5 - 6.5 minutes
- Knocks away nearby units (including the attacker) when destroyed — even over walls.
- Blast Cones spawn in two spots per jungle quadrant, an inner point toward the center of the quadrant, and an outer point near Baron/Dragon.
First spawn: 3:00 - 3:30, always at each quadrant’s spawn point nearest to the side lanes|
Next spawn time: 5 - 6.5 minutes at either spawn point, starting once a given quadrant's Scryer's Bloom is destroyed
- When destroyed, releases vision-granting pollen in a large cone that flies in the direction the attacker was facing, revealing units and wards for 12 seconds (3 seconds on champions).
- Scryer's Bloom can spawn in two spots per jungle quadrant, close to river ramps.
- Only one Scryer's Bloom can be present per quadrant.
First spawn: 6:00 - 6:30 minutes|
Respawn time: 5.5 - 7 minutes
- Drops 5 fruits on the ground when killed.
- Each fruit heals for 3.5% of max health or 8 (+6 per level) flat health, whichever is higher.
- Eating a fruit slows you for 35% for 0.25 seconds.
- Honeyfruit spawn along river walls, starting near Dragon or Baron pits and slowly extending closer toward lanes over the course of the game.
- If a Honeyfruit isn't taken before its respawn timer completes, a second Honeyfruit may spawn. No more than two Honeyfruits can exist per half of the river.
As a jungler, you have the most agency when it comes to traversing the map to place down vision, especially in the enemy jungle. When it's safe to do so, try to place deep wards to keep track of the enemy jungler.
Placing a Control Ward near lane-dominant allies will help them avoid ganks from the enemy jungler and free up a path for future ganks from you. You can also use a Control Ward to check a bush you're waiting in to make sure it's clear (if you don't have an Oracle Lens).
As the game progresses, you may have to start placing wards nearer to your base if you're losing, or deeper into the enemy jungle if you are winning. Always remember to place a Control Ward inside the dragon or baron pit if your team is planning on taking that objective.
Blue side stealth ward locations
Blue side control ward locations
Red side stealth ward locations
Red side control ward locations
The current meta for jungle pathing is quite loose and you'll need to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. I'll give you a few basic openings to choose from, but keep in mind any Rift Scuttler you go for may be contested by the enemy jungler. Take note of where the enemy jungler is starting if you can get vision of them and decide ahead of time whether you'll be able to fight them. Also be sure to check your nearby lanes before entering the river. If your laners have priority (they're pushing in and/or are stronger early than their opponents), you'll be safer when fighting for the Scuttler in river.
You'll almost always want to save Smite for the Scuttler unless you know for sure it won't be contested. Don't use your Smite on the first camp (or two) before going for scuttle or you may find it stolen right in front of you by the enemy jungler! :(
With that out of the way, onto the routes!
Blue - Gromp - Scuttler: This is a fairly efficient opening for red team as you can get a strong leash from your bot lane, which will give you time to clear Gromp before going to contest Scuttler. After hopefully securing Scuttler, you can clear your Wolves, Raptors, Red and Krugs if the enemy jungler is going for an efficient clear on his side of the map. If the enemy jungler is stealing your red buff (and probably other camps near it), you may need to enter the enemy jungle and steal his Raptors / Red / Krugs. Again, note whether nearby enemy laners will be able to easily collapse on you.
Blue - Scuttler: Basically the same as the last route, but quicker in case you won't have time to clear Gromp before the Scuttler spawns at the 2:00 mark. This is more common on blue team, where you'll only have a leash from your top laner. This may also be necessary if you didn't get a leash at all, regardless of which team you're on. Once you're finished the Scuttler, the same options apply, but this time you can go back and clear Gromp before continuing to Wolves.
Red - Raptors - Scuttler: This is an efficient start on blue team since you can get a leash from your bot lane. Similar principles apply to the Blue - Gromp - Scuttler route, only this time you'll be pathing the opposite direction. Note that you'll take a lot more damage from Raptors early compared to other routes. Make sure to hit all the Raptors with Prey Seeker and Unburrow by getting in the middle of the camp before aggroing it. Do not clear Krugs on your first clear with this route -- it's too far out of your way and you risk giving up camps on your blue side.
Red - Krugs - Raptors: Since this route includes Krugs (which give more XP than other camps), you'll hit level 3 after finishing Raptors. This put you in a position to gank the enemy mid laner while they're still level 2. If you can't find a way to gank, you can also go for the nearby scuttle or gank bottom instead.
Using the above route, I'm able to gank mid while Orianna is still level 2.
Triple buff routes involve a sneaky level 1 buff steal followed by a quick and efficient clear across your allied jungle. In the ideal case, this'll get you a free camp, set the enemy jungler behind and possibly reduce their effectiveness in the early game due to the loss of the buff. However you risk being collapsed on in the enemy jungle or the enemy jungle could realize what you're doing and counter it by invading your jungle and stealing multiple camps before you can get there.
Steal Blue - Scuttler - Red - Raptors - Wolves - Blue - Gromp: If you're able to sneak the enemy Blue buff, you can try and go for a triple buff and set your opponent behind. This can be pretty effective against mana-hungry junglers but it's also good just for denying experience.
Steal Red - Scuttler - Blue - Gromp - Wolves - Raptors - Red - Krugs: Same idea as the blue steal, but in the opposite direction. You may choose to delay Raptors in order to check and clear your red sooner if you expect the enemy jungler to try and steal it.
Vertical jungling is when both junglers are repeatedly clearing one half of the allied jungle and one half of the enemy jungle, favoring one side of the map. This splits the map into a "strong side" and "weak side" for each team. For example, if you're on blue team and are repeatedly clearing your red-side jungle (south) and the enemy blue-side jungle (east), your team's bottom side will be the strong side of the map. You'll be in a better position to gank bottom lane without fear of counterganks and you'll have better vision control and objective control. Likewise, the opposite side of the map will be dominated by the enemy jungler, making it your team's weak side.
Vertical jungling can be an active choice you make or a forced one due to a poor matchup. For example, you see Nunu & Willump invading to take your blue buff and other nearby camps, so you respond by stealing his blue buff and other nearby camps. This can force you to vertically jungle in the early game since you may not have the lane priority or vision control to ever contest your own blue buff. Likewise, you'll be able to place wards in the enemy blue-side jungle and you'll have more control on that side.
An example of an active choice would be if you and your team (this works better in arranged teams than it does in solo queue) decide to focus all of your team's pressure on one side lane at the expense of the other. Maybe you have a hypercarry bottom that your team will be camping and a Shen top who will just be playing safe. In this situation, vertical jungling may net your team an advantage, as long as you can set it up properly. Grouping with your teammates and pushing into the enemy jungle at level 1 can help you put down vision and possibly force the enemy jungler to start on the other side of the map. If your nearby laners have priority, it can be dangerous for the enemy jungler to enter their own jungle if you have vision of them and your laners can collapse on them to help you.
Vertical jungling is pretty complicated for new junglers and can be pretty messy outside of coordinated teams. Be open to the concepts and feel free to practice it, but for most players I recommend sticking to more standard routes or simple, quick invades while you're still learning to jungle.
That said, vertical jungle routes look something like this:
Blue - Gromp - Wolves - Scuttler - Enemy Red - Enemy Raptors - Enemy Krugs
Blue - Scuttler - Enemy Red - Enemy Raptors - Wolves - Gromp - Enemy Krugs
Enemy Blue - Enemy Gromp - Enemy Wolves - Scuttler - Red - Raptors - Krugs
Red - Raptors - Scuttler - Enemy Blue - Enemy Gromp - Enemy Wolves
Red - Scuttler - Enemy Blue - Enemy Gromp - Enemy Wolves - Raptors - Krugs
Enemy Red - Enemy Raptors - Scuttler - Blue - Gromp - Wolves
Top lane tends to be the easiest lane to gank, as top laners have sparse ward control and often play very aggressive to win lane 1v1. Since top is a long lane, you can usually find opportunities to either gank pushing enemies from a flank or to dive the enemy tower. Ganking top is most rewarding when you can turn a losing lane into a winning one, but in some matchups this isn't really feasible.
Analyze the top lane matchup and see what strengths and weaknesses both champions have. Provide vision control for aggressive laners like Yasuo and Riven to help them avoid ganks. Help winning laners dive the enemy tower to shut the enemy top laner out of farming. For laners with good gank reception but poor dueling (like Nautilus or Maokai), show up to secure kills when possible and then use that gold advantage to influence the rest of the map.
Use Tunnel to put yourself between your target and their escape path when possible.
Below are some useful tunnel locations that you can use to surprise enemy top laners while giving them little time to react.
Mid lane can be very difficult to gank, depending on matchup. Some champions like LeBlanc and Zed are almost impossible to pin down unless you catch them with their mobility on cooldown, while others like Xerath and Ziggs can farm from such a safe range that it's difficult to find windows to punish them. Remember that melee mid laners like Yasuo, Fizz and Kassadin (pre-6) are much more vulnerable when they're last-hitting or trading than ranged mid laners, so be sure to punish those when possible.
If you have strong setup like Twisted Fate or post-6 Malzahar, you can come mid when either of you has Flash available. If your mid laner doesn't have great setup, like Orianna, you're much more likely to need to use Flash to make the gank work.
If your mid lane is pushing constantly, don't worry if you can't gank his lane opponent. Put down wards to protect your pushing mid laner from enemy ganks (and be sure to countergank if you see one coming). Ask your mid laner to help you in invades and ganks if they're pushing, since it'll be almost impossible for the enemy mid laner to help while they're farming under tower.
If your mid laner is getting pushed under tower, but you can't effectively gank the enemy mid, be very wary about going past river and watch for the enemy mid to roam to other lanes or even your jungle. Place wards defensively to spot enemy roams.
Be really careful about diving mid, since the two mid towers are very close together, making it easy to retreat. You're also in the center of the map, so it's much more likely that the enemy jungler is nearby.
Here are a couple useful tunnel locations that can be used to gank mid. For the tunnel into the river bush, you'll want to put it down and use it later when your Tunnel cooldown comes back up, since you'll have a hard time reaching the enemy mid without your E dash.
Bottom lane is the riskiest place to gank, but also the most rewarding. You have the opportunity for a double kill (or on a countergank, a triple kill) and you can use that numbers advantage to take a tower or kill dragon. If you gank very early (at level 3 or 4), your bot laners might need to use that time to just push in the wave and recall for their items, so don't force objectives too hastily if it'll cost your laners a good recall timing.
Bot lane is tough to gank because they have much better ward coverage and double the combat summoner spells to use against you. Be sure to keep track of which summoners the enemy bot laners have used before you gank. Ask your bot lane for help if you don't know which summoners are up. If you're going to wait for a few seconds in a bush, make sure it isn't warded!. River bush and tribush are often warded, so only camp there if you have a Control Ward or Oracle Lens confirming that it's clear. Don't let the enemy bot lane waste your time.
My team's vision control of the bottom river allows me to quickly set up this lane gank.
Here's a screenshot of some useful tunnel locations for ganking bot. You can gank through river if you're on blue team and the enemy bot lane is pushed, or you can tunnel straight past the tower if they can't retreat through river. Note that for the two tunnels near tower, the upper one will force you to take a tower shot, but you'll remain in the bush (can be useful if there's a ward outside of the bush). If you use the lower tunnel, you won't take a tower shot.
Here are some other useful tunnel locations that don't quite fit into the other categories. Tunneling through dragon or baron walls can allow you to access the river or enemy jungle in spots that are very seldom warded early game. The tunnels by blue and red buff can be used to give you a safe exit if you're invading for a steal.
If you manage to kill your target in a successful gank, you'll usually want to help your laner push the wave to the enemy tower so that your minions are killed by the tower, denying the enemy laner gold and experience. The minion waves will also reset to the center of the lane, giving your teammate time to go back to base and buy items and return to a safe position. One exception to the push-after-ganking rule is if you gank very early in the game against an enemy with Teleport (usually the top laner). If you kill someone very early, they'll respawn after only a few seconds and Teleport without missing much CS. If you push when that happens, your top laner will just lose a lot of XP since they're sharing with you and it can set them behind without denying the enemy top laner any farm.
After a successful gank, usually when pushing to the enemy tower, you may want to take a minion tax. This means you'll take some of the farm to help you keep up in gold since you had to spend time ganking rather than farming your jungle. You'll generally want to tax more heavily if your laner gets the kill off a gank and tax lightly if you took the kill. Many low-ranked players (and occasionally some high-ranked ones too) are selfish or ignorant and think that taxing their lane is going to ruin their farm and cause them to lose the lane. They're wrong, as taxing in moderation keeps a jungler's gold and experience relevant throughout the game, but if your laner freaks out because you took a few minions (or pushed their lane, some people think this is a bad thing all the time), you may want to just leave so they don't feed or AFK or something.
Holding lanes is an often necessary duty of a jungler and is something you should be happy to do (since it gives you a lot of gold and XP). If your laner dies or needs to go back to base, you may need to "hold" or "cover" their lane by clearing out enemy minions pushing to your tower. If the enemy laner goes back to base or is dead, you may wish to push the wave to the enemy tower. Only do this if you can finish pushing before the enemy laner gets back to lane or they can freeze it in front of their tower, making it difficult for your laner to farm safely. Usually holding a lane consists of either clearing the current wave that is at your tower or pushing completely to the enemy tower. Don't just sit in a lane and last-hit because it's a waste of your time.
Rek'Sai loses some agency late game since she's more effective in early scraps than full 5v5 team fights. Hopefully you'll be getting fairly tanky by the time both teams group for objectives so you can engage fights without instantly dying after.
Since you can't just jump into the enemy team and expect to overpower them with a direct engage (like Sejuani or Amumu can do), you'll need to make good use of vision control from Control Wards and Burrow's Tremor Sense to find picks. This strategy works well with champions like Blitzcrank, Thresh, Malzahar, Twisted Fate and Ashe, who have strong single-target CC that can be used to catch out individual enemies for a guaranteed numbers advantage.
If you don't have anything like that, analyze your composition to see what strengths you do have. If you have a super strong late game Nasus, you might just need to control vision around baron and let him split-push. If the enemy team collapses on him, you can take the baron uncontested. If you have super strong team fighters, you might just need to find a good flank or Flash opportunity and force the fight while your Rumble, Kennen, Twitch and/or Miss Fortune throw their ultimates on top of the enemy team.
Above all, make sure to prioritize objectives and teammates over farm late game. That doesn't mean you should stop farming entirely, but you should not be clearing a wave bottom if it gives away baron and you should not be farming camps while your team is looking to fight. Remember that Tremor Sense and Prey Seeker are both very effective ways to check dangerous bushes, so you should usually be leading the way when your team needs to enter the fog of war.
In team fights, you'll have to decide whether or not you can kill the enemy backline. If you can (perhaps with the help of another diver like Jarvan IV), you'll want to save your Unburrow for your primary target and use both Furious Bite and Void Rush on them to secure the kill. If you can't kill the enemy backline, focus on keeping your own carries alive. Try and use Unburrow to interrupt enemy dashes or just slow them down while your carries kite backwards. Don't just dive into the enemy team if you can't threaten the backline since then your carries will have less peel while you die for free.
Honestly, late game can be pretty tough for Rek'Sai. Be ready to assume a supportive role and let your teammates (who are hopefully strong by this point) do the work. If only one of your carries is strong, do whatever is necessary to keep them alive through fights. If only one of the enemy carries is strong, use everything you can do shut them down at the start of the fight if possible.
Thank you for reading my Rek'Sai guide! I hope I was able to help you become a better jungler and a smarter player. Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions, comments or criticism. I read all comments on my guides even if I don't respond to all of them. If you appreciated my guide or approve of my build, feel free to hit the green upvote button up top.
A special thank you to those who have supported my guides with votes, Scout points and advice that have been instrumental in bringing my guides to the level of quality they are today.
|A very special thank you to Jovy for her wonderful graphics used in this guide as well as her help with coding all my guides. All the fancy headers, table of contents and most of the other graphics you see in my guides are from her. Be sure to check out some of her other work at her signature shop and her own guides!|
If you'd like to learn more about Rek'Sai in video form, I highly recommend H4xDefender's coaching VoD below. It's a long video but full of good tips for junglers at any level of play.