Rek'Sai Build Guide by PsiGuard
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PsiGuard's Jungle Rek'Sai
+13 ability power or +8 attack damage, adaptive and +5.5% attack speed
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.
|Procs on both Tunnel and Void Rush and "scales" throughout the game since it's essentially a % damage increase. The only alternative is Cheap Shot which is decent, but falls off hard after early game. I feel like it doesn't make enough of a difference on Rek'Sai to warrant the poor scaling, so I recommend Sudden Impact here.|
|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 strong mastery that grants up to 48 movement speed out of combat. Out of combat movement speed is always useful on junglers and the other two options here aren't a high priority on Rek'Sai.|
|On paper I liked Legend: Tenacity here, but Legend: Alacrity just outshines it in terms of pure value. Not only is attack speed useful in every game, but Alacrity gives a lot more of it than you get from Tenacity. This is also the rune for this slot that has the highest win rate by a sizable margin.|
|Triumph and Coup de Grace are both good options here. I personally prefer Triumph slightly as it helps keep you alive and gives you extra gold when you secure early kills. Coup can be useful but only in very close fights where Triumph might save you anyway. You can also proc Triumph several times per fight which is pretty nice if your team gets a couple kills in a team fight.|
|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.
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.|
|This is my default armor item that I build most games. 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 terrific 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. 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: 2:20
Respawn Time: 6:00
Elder Dragon Spawns: After 35:00
Elder Dragon Respawn: 10:00
Spawns At: 19:50
Respawn Time: 7:00
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
Starting at your Blue buff has the advantage of more efficient farming paths. Gromp and Wolves are both easy to clear early, giving you the option of fully clearing your jungle without skipping any camps. The downside is that since Rek'Sai doesn't make great use of Blue buff, it leaves you a bit weak in ganks and skirmishes until you collect your Red Buff.
(Slow) Blue, Gromp, Wolves, Red - This is a normal route for starting at Blue. It's a bit slow, so you might lose river control if the enemy jungler opts for a faster route. If you suspect the enemy jungler might gank before you can get your red buff, be sure to warn your teammates.
(Fast) Blue, Wolves, Red - This route is faster since you skip Gromp and hit level 3 right as you get your second buff. While less efficient in terms of gold and XP, you'll have more agency for early ganks and scuttle control. This also secures your buffs a bit earlier which can help prevent steals, though it's still possible for the enemy jungler to steal your Red while you're clearing wolves.
(Steal) Blue, Enemy Red, Scuttler, Gromp - Early invades are useful for stealing buffs from slow or weak junglers or to counter invades from strong counter-junglers. For example, the safest way to secure both buffs against an Ivern or Nunu is to start opposite of their starting location and invade to steal their buff at level 2. Most counter-junglers will look for an early steal, and against Nunu or Ivern, you can't really stop them, so your best bet is to try and trade buffs. If you know the enemy jungler won't be coming to their Red side any time soon, take their Raptor camp as well. After Gromp you can continue clearing through Wolves, Raptors and hopefully your Red if the enemy didn't take it, but keep in mind you can easily gank after level 3, so feel free to interrupt your route to capitalize on opportunities.
Starting at Red is your best option for aggressive plays, since you will have access to the damage and slow from the buff very early on. In some cases, you can even gank at level 2 if you have red buff and approach from a flank. Starting red is also the best way to win early fights against the enemy jungler if they don't have their Red buff yet.
(Slow) Red, Raptors, Wolves, Blue, Gromp - This is a farming route starting at your Red buff. It's pretty weak for ganking since most of your Red buff duration is spent farming, but it can be useful if you need to start on your Red side. You can also interrupt your route any time after Wolves since you'll have level 3 and you can gank or secure scuttle easily. You don't really need to secure Blue buff early since it's not crucial for Rek'Sai.
(Fast) Red, Wolves, Blue - Skipping Raptors is less efficient but it'll get you your buffs and level 3 sooner, allowing you to gank a volatile lane or contest the river earlier than the enemy jungler. I highly recommend ganking or invading for deep vision if possible, since you'll end up in an awkward spot with Gromp nearby and Raptors and Krugs far away as your only farming options.
(Steal) Red, Enemy Blue, Scuttler, Raptors - Just like the Blue start invade, but you'll be starting red and invading their blue. If you know the enemy jungler won't show up to their blue jungle (because they're invading you), take their Wolves and Gromp as well. Otherwise just sneak their blue and then clear your way back towards your own blue to attempt to 3-buff them. Blue steals can be very effective against mana-dependent champions like Fiddlesticks and Hecarim, but keep in mind that these champions are much more likely to start at their blue in order to secure it. Be sure to get vision of the enemy jungler's start at level 1 if possible in order to know if you can go for a steal or not.
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.
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.
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.
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|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.