"Each trophy, a victory" : A guide on playing Rengar, the Pridestalker
Alternative name: Learning how to deal with your anger issues by giving yourself more anger issues.
January 1st, 1 ⸱ 69 min read
Hello, and welcome to my Rengar jungle guide. I am VicGal, a Rengar main since 2014, who, since returning to the game in 2019, has achieved Diamond in 2 different accounts (Buff the Cat Plz and Cat without Paws) for the last 3 seasons, with my current peak being Diamond II. This is not my first guide, but since all of them are out of date, I thought I might as well share my knowledge once again, for all of you who have always been interested in Rengar but have never learnt the ways of the hunt until now.
So, without further ado, let's get on to it!
Ok, so first thing's first: your rune setup will vary from game to game and from build to build. One thing the cat has going for him is that he is one of the most versatile champs when it comes to build options, to the point where you could go Zhonya's to waste enemies' time and acting as a pseudoengage / tank. However, those styles are a bit tricky to master for a beginner and depend on learning Rengar's quirks pretty well to execute
properly, so we are going to stick with the usual for now:
Precision Tree (Conqueror / Lethal Tempo):
The absolute best at the moment, in my opinion. It gives you a bit of everything, helps a lot with the early game because of the increased skirmish power (regardless of you going Conqueror / LT), and it helps you stay alive in fights thanks to Triumph. Alacrity is also a great rune that scales very early on, while you can change around Coup and Last Stand depending on preference. The only downside is a lack of immediate burst, but since you should be able to kill most squishies unless they itemize against you, having some stuff to help with extended fights is NEVER bad. Secondary runes are down to preference, both Domination and Inspiration work well enough, but I find Inspiration to be more reliable overall.
The best assassin setup for jungle, by far. The thing about First Strike is that, while it's harder to use properly than electrocute, gives you a FAR bigger reward: extra damage + gold according to said dealt damage is insane. What truly makes this tree strong however, is the fact that the tree gives you a LOT of free resources that ensure that once you start rolling, you won't stop rolling (and they won't stop coming and they won't sto- sorry.) I mean, free boots, a small amount of free gold, and reduced summoner and item cdr! What's not to love? To be honest though, the real star here is Future's Market: because of this rune you can get item spikes significantly earlier, and combined with the free gold from FS itself, you won't be stopped once you get a decent advantage going. For the secondary tree, Sorcery, Domination and Precision all work decently well, but Domination gives by far the most damage, which you kind of want if you plan on going assassin.
The good old OG assassin rune. Reliable, good at what it does, scales decently, but has the problem of being just that: damage. Domination also depends on a heavy snowball to make full use of the tree, since it asks you to get kills in order to make good use of Eyeball, or good vision control to get the max value out of Ghost Poro, Zombie Ward, and the Hunter rune variants. It's more reliable than First Strike in regards to doing damage, though, since it only depends on you landing 3 attacks / abilities, but there is no reason to get it at the moment when First Strike speeds your tempo so much. If you want to try it though, go nuts. It works well with Inspiration, Precision and Sorcery, similarly to FS.
As for the Rune Shards, you will ALWAYS want the Attack Speed and Attack Damage shards, since the first one speeds up your clear and grants you faster autoattacks, while the latter is, well, AD. Last shard is down to personal preference; I find HP to work very well against mixed damage comps, and it scales the best out of the 3, but Armor and MR both have their uses.
- Precision Tree
- First Strike
Flash + Smite 99.9% of the time. You really want Flash since you don't have on demand mobility and it helps a lot in many situations, and you have to take smite because you are the jungler. If you feel confident on your skills with Rengar and you feel you need to be more aggressive early on, ignite and exhaust are both options, but I can't recommend them over Flash, since you are giving up on a free escape.
You will always want to max Q first in jungle, regardless of matchup, since it's your bread and butter skill and you will need it for any sort of fight. Which ability you might want to max second depends on what you want to do that game: W max second is more reliable most of the time since it gives you increased survivability thanks to the fact that its cooldown actually gets reduced the more points you invest on it, whereas E max second is good if you REALLY want to burst people down asap, which might not always happen My advice is to go with W max second, because it helps a lot in skirmishes and gives you a tiny bit of mixed damage that sometimes comes in valuable.
One thing to take into account as well is combos. The usual one you will do with Rengar for burst is the following:
-Emp Q+Use E midair + W while you land + AA + Q + W
There is also another few combos you can do though:
-Leap + E mid air + Q once landing + AA + W + Emp Q
-Emp E midair + Q + W + E (+ Emp Q if inside a bush)
-(IF INSIDE A BUSH): AA+ Q+E+W+ Emp Q/W/E depending on what is needed
- All-rounder (Good damage and resistances)
- Assassin (Crit oriented)
Ok, so this is where it gets beefy.
Rengar's itemization will change from game to game, depending on what you want to play as (assassin or bruiser), what they are playing (if they are heavy on AD / AP, have a lot of shields), and what you feel the team needs the most that particular game. Because of this, I will be dividing this section in various different subsections, each of them covering a specific build path.
Shared across all builds:
-Emberknife + potion + control ward: You will want this every game. The reason for this is that Emberknife is just way too good for a champion who needs to stick around in fights, and it excels at 1v1s, which Rengar loves. As for the Control ward + Pot instead of refillable potion, this is because thanks to Rengar's W your sustain is stupidly good at most points of the game, being only a tiny bit "low" during your first clear. The control ward also allows you to either jump to Krugs inmediately without having to walk all around the wall, or you can also use it to give you a pocket of vision in the river / enemy jungle, should you manage to place it there (which is also invaluable for scuttle fights). It's just the most efficient set of items to get for the first 5 minutes of the game.
-Boots: You have 3 options here: Plated Steelcaps, Ionian Boots of Lucidity, and Mercury Threads. Being completely honest, your choice of boots depends entirely on what you feel you need that game: Steelcaps excel against AA heavy teams, Ionians are just a good all-rounder that reduce your flash CD to absurd levels if you take Cosmic Insight (230 seconds), and Mercury are good when they have a huge amount of cc with not a heavy amount of AD, or they rely too much on magic damage. What i am trying to get to here is that it will simply change from game to game, albeit Ionians is a decent pick if you don't want to think too much about it.
-Serrated Dirk: The best first item you can get if you plan on getting a Lethality Mythic. It's somply very cost efficient from very early on and it builds into two items Rengar really likes. The only downside, if you want to call it that, is that it's just raw damage - but taking into account that you want to burst people ASAP, is it really a bad thing?
-Caulfield's Warhammer: A very good item to buy first if you are planning on going with the bruiser build, alongside maybe a Sheen and 2 longswords. It's more utility focused than Dirk, but taking into account that you will be wanting as much CDR as possible if you are planning on going bruiser, that's just another thing going for the item. Do NOT get this first if you are planning on going Drakthar however, Dirk outclasses early on in damage, by far.
-Sheen: Good first purchase if you plan on rushing Divine Sunderer and you have less than 1400 gold when backing. Rengar makes good use of Sheen early on (since his base AD is one of the highest at the first levels) and it builds into items Rengar loves using, regardless of build path (ER, TF and DS are all great). You can also purchase it second after Dirk if you plan on getting an early Essence Reaver, but it can be risky.
-Ironspike Whip: Only buy it if you plan on getting Goredrinker instead of Divine Sunderer when going bruiser; it's not worth it otherwise. Gives you the absolute best clear possible, though.
-Vampiric Scepter: Good if you back with less than 1100 gold and you plan on getting Eclipse. It's cheap, gives a hefty amount of AD, and the Lifesteal is always useful, but do not expect to have a huge amount of damage early on.
Current best build:
-Eclipse / Divine Sunderer: The two absolute best mythics you can choose from at the moment, no question. Eclipse is just a great all-rounder, and it's perfect for Rengar because he has to stay in fights for longer than other assassins, especially if they are not all squishies and Draktharr's invisibility wouldn't be enough. The omnivamp is always useful, the lethality makes sure squishy targets will die faster, and the passives of the item, both the shield and the mythic one, are huge lifesavers, especially the latter because of what you tend to build nowadays. Divine Sunderer is also great, but it's not as much of a jack-of-all-trades as Eclipse is; DS excels when they have 2+ heavy frontliners you need to chunk as much as possible, or when you feel you will have to act as a pseudofrontline and tank as much as your fur can. You honestly can't go wrong with either of them, but if I had to give the edge to one in regards of being useful in the most situations, it would go to Eclipse.
-Black Cleaver / Essence Reaver: The best choices for second item if the game is even, both of them give you a lot of what you want. Black Cleaver is just a jack of all trades, because it gives you armor shred, MS on hit, huge amounts of CDR, and a tiny bit of HP, which ensures you will win most mid-game duels. Essence Reaver, on the other hand, is more raw burst, and forces you to get Lord Dominic's to make the most use of it, but it excels against squishy teams, it's very cheap, and scales pretty well the longer the game goes on thanks to your passive. It's down to personal choice, but you can pick either and do well enough in most games. If you want a cliff notes version, however: BC is great against most teams while ER is the way to go if they don't have any hard frontline or peel whatsoever.
-Death's Dance: You will ALWAYS want this item, and you will only not rush it if they have so very little AD to the point the armor would be useless; hell, you can even get it second if you really need to tank some damage early on. The item is one of the most expensive in the game, yes, but it gives you SO much that it deserves the pricetag: CDR, Armor, AD, Healing that scales off your bonus AD (which is crucial because Bonetooth Necklace's AD is all counted as bonus AD), and % damage reduction against MAGIC AND PHYSICAL DAMAGE. If you get this item + Tabis, their AD champs will barely do anything to you until they get penetration, and you will last way longer in fights, much more than you actually should. It's just a great item with no drawbacks whatsoever, and as long as it's in its current state, you should make good use of it.
-Maw of Malmortius: The absolute best item you can get against APs at the moment. It's cheap, gives you stats you make great use of, and the lifeline passive is actually good for once after so many years of being outclassed by Steraks. Plus, since the shield scales off your bonus AD (again), this means that, as long as you are doing well enough in-game, AP burst will rarely ever kill you as long as the shield is up, which is invaluable against most meta Crown users / meta mages (Viktor, Veigar, Diana, etc). It also combos extremely well with Death's Dance, to the point it feels unfair how much magic damage you can tank. It's only "but" is that it feels pretty bad to get early if they have +2 ADs, but you can always sit on Hexdrinker early on and finish it later once you really need the bigger shield.
-The last item in this build is situational, and you can choose from a wide range of options. While most of them will get covered in other sections, I will explain the key ones here. Said items are Serylda's (good final item if they have been stacking too much armor AND you really need to burst them down yourself), Guardian Angel (Good finisher against heavy AD teams, especially if you need to act as a pseudoengage so you can go ham knowing you will revive later), and Spirit Visage (good against heavy APs, and almost invaluable if you have a healing support in your team, but not strictly needed). Other options are Lord Dominic's Regards, Edge of Night, Serpent's Fang, and Anathemas.
-Draktharr / Eclipse: Eclipse's the same as described earlier, while Draktharr is both more utility (the increased AH from the mythic passive and the invisibility on takedown grant you a significant amount of tools in fights) and raw damage (the proc on the item is very strong on squishy enemies and the fact that it resets on takedown means that if you are on a roll, you won't stop.) Basically, the choice boils down to this: Draktharr if you want pure damage, and Eclipse if you feel like you need the sustain in fights more.
-Essence Reaver: Same as described previously, only it will hit harder now because of all the extra AD + crit you will be getting.
-Yoummu's Ghostblade: An alternative to Essence Reaver as your second item. While it won't give you as much raw damage as ER will do, it will still deal a similar amount, thanks to the heavy amount of AD, the 18 lethality, and the similar amount of AH. It also has way more utility thanks to the active and passive, which ensures you will catch up to anyone during ult. Do note you can get both ER and Yoummu's, but it will only work if you are ahead enough for you to just want more damage, them being very squishy, and your general playstyle. So, for the most part in games, you will have to choose between this and ER, and it's honestly down to personal preference.
-Lord Dominic's Regards: This will be your 3rd item in most assassin games unless you went heavy lethality, because by the time you get it, most priority targets will have at least either gotten some armor or have just leveled up enough for their base stats to matter. This item elevates your burst through the roof, and since it gives you crit, it synergizes tremendously with ER, and it gives the biggest amount of armor penetration out of any item in the game, while also being cheaper than Serylda's. It also allows you to go for Infinity Edge later on, in case you truly want to one shot everything in sight.
-Infinity Edge: You will want this item as your last or second-to last. It's simply the biggest powerspike in terms of damage you can get, and if you are going assassin, you WILL want the extra damage, unless you need extra defense or utility for whatever reason.
-Last item choice varies between games, or simply on what you feel you need to carry the game. Your choices are: Edge of Night (invaluable item against teams with heavy cc, since it gives you one chance to kill someone before getting pinned down) Bloodthirstier (Raw damage and heals, which is great if you went Draktharr), Serpent's Fang (absolutely necessary if they are heavy on shields, since you can't tank as much as you would with the bruiser build to grind through them) and Mortal Reminder (only if you really, really REALLY need the antiheal and not enough people in your team can get similar items)
-The core mythics here are Divine Sunderer or Goredrinker. DS works as explained above, whereas Goredrinker is a bit harder to use properly since the heal depends heavily on your missing HP. You can also use it for the damage, but it tends to be lower than DS unless their entire team is VERY squishy. I would honestly recommend Divine Sunderer over Gore all the time, but you should try and check out both to see which one fits your playstyle better.
-The remaining items (GA, BC, SV, DD, Maw, etc) are shared with the meta build, with a few exceptions, which are the following:
1. Thornmail: Good last item against heavy AD teams with sustain that you 100% need to tank (because of the lack of a frontline other than yourself.)
2. Force of Nature: As with Thornmail above, except for heavy AP teams.
3. Randuin's Omen: Situationally good against heavy crit teams (think Yasuo + Tyrn top with a botlane Cait, for example)
4. Anathema's Chains: Very situational; namely, it's good when you 100% need to make sure a priority target is locked down as much as possible, or when they only have one heavy AD/AP carry you won't itemize a lot for. If you have to act as a frontline and you 100% need that bastard out ASAP, it will do the job; else stay away from it.
Matchups and Synergies
The matchups have been divided in the following categories according to their difficulty, which are the ones shown below, alongside a small explanation for each matchup.
- Very Hard
Almost unplayable if she is good, her entire kit completely denies yours. You can try to play around her W with yours, but until you get Edge of Night you might as well not exist whatsoever, and unlike other champs on this tier list she denies you at every step of the game. She is slow at doing objectives on her own, but that's pretty much it. Consider dodging.
Extreme early game powerhouse that will make your life hell because of how her kit is designed. A good Rek'Sai will counter almost everything you do and make engaging impossible until you get Edge of Night (see a pattern here?). The only saving grace is that she falls off a cliff in late and if you are not too behind you will come roaring back with a vengeance once you have tour items- but getting there is a challenge on its own. Try staying clear of her early, and if you get an early lead you will easily make mincemeat out of her - but NEVER understimate her.
Yeah, you are not going to do jackshit to him. While Rammus has clear pitfalls that make him unpopular in this meta (slow clears, weak against AP, needs to scale), those barely matter when he is playing against Rengar, since he can outgank you from very early on and won't die unless he has W+E down. Try to counterjungle him whenever you see him in any lane, or try to pressure those where he isn't around. He is also vulnerable to counterganks, but you need to focus him last unless he is in a very bad position. You will NEVER kill him on your own, so you need to get your team going and win through them; if you can't, then the game is lost.
Strong early game, great mid game, stupidly good at skirmishes, and his ult is VERY annoying. A good Nocturne will make facing him on your own impossible, and if he gets going he might as well be a walking death area to you. Whenever you duel him, try to be careful around his W, since any careless use of Bola or Battle Roar will make him hit WAY faster while dealing no damage. You do have some advantages tho: he falls off pretty hard in late, and you can cleanse the shortsight of his R if you have 4 stacks and use W, so you can at LEAST know where he is going and gain vision with your R again. You need to track him very well throughout the game, or else you might as well not play at all because he will make a beeline towards you.
This champ is OP atm, and he has always been a rough MU for Rengar, so you should be wary whenever you encounter one. Good Nunus will begin putting the pressure from very early on, so they can try and snowball (no pun intended here) one of their lanes so they can get objectives uncontested. If he chooses to not permagank, he can clear his jungle quite fast and reliably, so invading him alone is not always a good idea, especially if he went phase rush. Dueling him is an exercise in futility too, since his kit will allow him to just CC you and escape, or slow you down for his team to finish you off. So what you should do is 2 things: the first one is to make sure to abuse every single gank he does by stealing whatever camps he has left, so you can deny him as many resources as possible. The second one is to try to track him down, he is QUITE vulnerable to counterganks once his W and Q is down, but do be wary about his R post-6. If he goes AP Nunu he will be a walking death zone, but Malmortius HEAVILY denies his damage.
This MU is VERY reliant on the skill of the Lee Sin in question; bad Lees are an annoyance that will get outscaled in the late game, while good Lee Sin players will make your game an absolute nightmare from start to finish and prevent any good engage you have by instantly kicking you away from them (said variability is why this matchup is rated as hard; it could easily be Very Hard otherwise).
You can fight Lee early on, as long as you are either full HP or he misses his Q, but it’s a waste of time to commit to a fight if he has W up because he will always get away. His clear is also fairly fast, and he can put pressure from very early on, so you will need to track him to make sure you and your team have a chance to retaliate. He is very vulnerable to counterganks, though, and in the mid to late game, while he still has some respectable damage, he will be relegated to an inSec kick bot. Do note however that good Lee Sins will ALWAYS find a way to catch people out, and his objective control is phenomenal; do NOT ever attempt an objective if he is near and he can’t be peeled because he can steal it with ease. Armor also lowers his damage very significantly, which means that DD and Tabi are of great value against him.
The key things to remember here is to be careful whenever you attempt a gank if you don’t know where he is, and to make sure he doesn’t snowball every lane out of control.
Easier to use than Lee Sin, and way more hard-hitting early on. Do NOT attempt to fight him early game if you don’t have Conqueror, because he will win that fight thanks to his ridiculously powerful level 3. However, he is VERY vulnerable to counterganks and his clear, while healthy and consistent, is not the fastest in the game, so you could try going for an invade if you know where he is and if your lanes have priority.
His objective control is also pretty decent, but not as strong as some other champions on this list. Steal everything he has if he attempts a gank, and try to countergank him yourself once he has used W. In the mid to late game he will pretty much become an annoyance that your carries will take a while to bring down thanks to his R, but he can’t get to them if your team has any sort of peel whatsoever and you can focus on his carries. If he snowballs, however, the game becomes WAY harder.
As with Lee Sin, Armor helps tremendously, and the moment you get DD + Tabi he will barely tickle you – but do not commit to a fight with him unless you are 100% sure you will be alone for a while.
Almost as annoying as Poppy, but way easier to take down. The thing about Vi is that her entire kit, if properly used, can HEAVILY deny you in a fight, and if you don’t have EoN up you will pretty much be suppressed until you are bursted down. However, because she is a bruiser instead of a tank, it means that once her Q and R are down, she is toast, since her Q is her main source of burst damage and if you dodge it she is pretty much a deer in the headlights.
Early game is easy until she gets 6, just keep track of where she is at every time and try to catch her out with 4 stacks so you can E her the moment she tries Q’ing you. She is also very vulnerable to counterganks, for all the aforementioned reasons. However, there are two things you should keep in mind: never EVER fight her on your own when she is 6 unless you are terribly ahead, and be wary of any early objectives that spawn because she can solo them with ease, so try to either keep them warded or warn your team she might attempt them if they have priority.
All in all, this is a rough matchup, but with enough windows to not feel totally unfair.
This is very simple: he lands his Q+E combo? You die. He misses it? You have a window to burst him down, but always being wary of where his team is. The thing about Jarvan that makes him difficult to face as Rengar is that his early to mid game is VERY strong, he has very good ganks as soon as he hits level 2, and you can’t emp E him reliably since his E+Q ignores roots, so if he has them up he can always just book it away from you. His level 6 is also quite dangerous, but a well timed flash can negate the damage entirely.
The real advantages you have in this matchup are similar to Vi’s: he is very vulnerable to counterganks and once his E+Q are down he is as good as dead. He also gets outscaled significantly as the game goes on, as long as he didn’t snowball, and his objective control is decent but not fast enough to be able to reliably do objectives alone. However, he is also VERY able to snowball a game out of control very fast, so do not be afraid to ping your team every time you suspect he might be on his way to gank them.
Rough matchup until late game, and even then a full combo of his will chunk you down hard if you don’t have your emp W up. His early game is also pretty rough, but if he has his E down you will be able to win a trade. Be wary of his damage though, since most Jungle Volibears will get PTA and chunk you down with his Q+AA+W reset. Never fight him alone if his E is up, you will always lose. His R is also something to be wary of once he hits 6, since it hits for a ton and the fact it deactivates turrets means his team WILL dive you with abandon. Be careful about early dragons with him too, he will 100% try to do them if he is even or slightly ahead.
The main weakpoints he has are his clear (his is slower than yours, so if he wants to contest scuttle you might have an XP lead), and the fact he ends up falling off in late game if he doesn’t get ahead / doesn’t get a bruiser build. Try to countergank him and clear whatever side he left unfarmed, and warn your team every time you suspect he might gank them (same as J4 here).
You will only win this in the VERY late game, and even then if he has R up you might lose. Trundle is an excellent duelist, and he excels against AA based champions – and since you need to be up close to do damage to him, he just loves facing you. Early game you can actually kill him if you get the drop on him with 4 stacks, but if he manages to get you first, just run; you will not win the duel when his Q steals your AD and his W gives him TREMENDOUS attack speed. He also has excellent objective control and good gank set up, but he has a few weaknesses: since he is single target, his clear is VERY slow, to the point he can’t do raptors early on without having to consider sacrificing a camp before scuttle. He is also screwed without his E and W up during counterganks, and since his CDs on those 2 abilities are fairly high, there is a window to abuse too. One thing you should also note is that his W leaves a snowy effect wherever it’s used, so you can kind of tell if he is trying to do an objective if you are nearby without wards.
Overall, very rough matchup, and if he gets ahead he will make your life hell- but Tabis screw him up, he can be kited pretty hard late game, and in late game he will pretty much be an ult bot. Do note, however, that building resists against him is NOT a good idea; Tabis + DD is the ideal setup for dealing with him, and even then you will have to disengage whenever he ults you.
Early game god who will make the first 20-25 minutes of the game unbearable, to the point that fighting him after 6 is practically suicide. He is weak early on, when he has thrown his axes, but only if you have 4 fero stacks; else he can still maul you. Getting hit by a single axe also means he will just keep locking you down, until you are a pretty nice fur in his wall. His objective control is also great, too, and his clear is very fast.
What you should do in this matchup is to get your lanes ahead asap, and countergank him since he is pretty boned once he is commited, and he falls off quite hard the longer the game goes on. Do be careful after he gets Goredrinker, because he can turn a fight around with ridiculous ease, and NEVER fight him alone.
Fairly dead champion, especially with a rework now incoming, but still a great pain in the ass to play against. His crystals are a priority target in every single game, since being around them gives him a massive stat boost that makes you unable to 1v1 him- and even if he doesn’t, the fact that he can stun and slow you for an eternity makes any attempts on soloing him unadvisable at best and suicidal at worst. However, beyond that, he is not that huge of a deal – it’s just that his kit is very good at denying you, and the suppression in teamfights WILL mean your death if you don’t have 4 stacks.
Going bruiser heavily reduces the pressure he has on you, and in late game he is pretty much just an ult bot since he gets outclassed everywhere else. He is good at ganking, but not a great objective contester, and at worst if you countergank him he will just run away.
Do consider getting a QSS item against him if he is permanently making a beeline for you in every fight – it will make him utterly worthless.
Let me make one thing totally clear here: you do NOT win 1v1s against this guy. You only have a TINY window in the early game to solo kill him, and that’s when he uses E to remove the scuttle shield – if he does it, ofc, since he might choose to smite it instead. His kit is just a drain tank nightmare that makes soloing at any point of the game completely suicidal, and because of his W his counterganks will make very short work out of you. But that’s where the difficulty lies: his early clear, while safe, is very slow since he only has single target damage abilities, his ganks are nothing to write home about (at least until 6) and he takes a while to scale since his builds are fairly expensive.
If a gank is going south, just book it out of there, since he will track you all down and clean house, and be sure to keep vision on every objective, because he can solo them from very early on. In late game he still a very annoying champion but if you have any amount of peel his threat in a teamfight disminishes. You can also try to counterjungle him if you ever see him anywhere on the map. Maw + DD HEAVILY reduces the pressure he has on you in late game, but it might not be enough to make sure you can duel him.
One of the most annoying tanks you can face as Rengar, Sejuani gives you the issue of having a decently fast clear (but not faster than yours), VERY heavy CC, some absurd resilience, and being quite slippery for a woman riding a giant boar. A good Sejuani will make every attempt you make to jump onto someone impossible unless you get EoN, and dueling her is a bad idea unless you get the drop on her first.
However, this is not to say she is without weaknesses: she is very vulnerable during ganks if she goes in first, their objective clear is steady but slow, and if she gets set behind she becomes a CC bot who can’t do much but tank. However, do note that 1v1 is an exercise in futility at any point during the game, and you only stand a chance to kill her if you build specifically for it, which might not be worth it depending on their comp. Counterjungling her is an option, and if you snowball your lanes she will be unable to do anything all game.
Ok, this is another Lee Sin situation; bad Gragas are just an annoyance, good Gragas will make you permaban the champion out of trauma for a while. He is specially annoying for Rengar, because his E will interrupt your jump every time, his W makes him VERY beefy, and his peel + burst is incredibly annoying. His clear is also reliably fast, too.
The key here is to track him down and countergank him everytime he jumps in, you have a window of time where he can’t do jackshit and just carve him a new one. He is also fairly slow on objectives, which means that he will not do them on his own and depends on his team to secure them, and if he gets set behind he won’t get a chance to scale. Getting Maw and / or EoN also helps TREMENDOUSLY against him, and the former will ensure he will rarely kill you on your own. Just be careful in teamfights and try to pick off people instead of going all in.
Another champ that’s fairly skill reliant to be good, Graves can be a real pain in the ass if he knows what he is doing, thanks to his ridiculous damage, fast clear, and decent scaling. The matchup has become significantly easier lately, however, thanks to the DD changes and Tabis helping mitigate a huge source of his damage.
In the early game you should be careful around him; do not be afraid to give up scuttle if your lanes don’t have prio, because his shots instantly remove the shield, giving you little to no time to contest. If you do, however, have 4 stacks and are there before him, you can try fighting him out; if he has no E armor stacks, you might win it with conqueror. Try ganking the lanes where he isn’t around, and countergank him whenever possible, since he uses a lot to get in and has few tools to get out if he doesn’t constantly AA. Do NOT invest a lot of time in ganks yourself, too, since he can easily clear your camps before you can do anything about it and start hard outscaling you.
Late game, only fight him if you have Tabis + DD, because he can easily tear you apart if you have no armor whatsoever (assassin does VERY poorly into him). If you deny him, he will not scale at all because he is mostly a ball of damage, but do NOT give him any opportunites to crawl back into the game.
Very skill dependant, same as Lee; however, she is way squishier than he is, so getting the drop on her means she will be made short work of quickly. Your R also helps a lot to detect her in teamfights whenever she spams Bush Q, so take that into account and don’t instajump on her unless you are either bot alone or she is about to try to do a hard engage with river Q + R.
Early game is relatively easy, since her pressure is very weak early on because she doesn’t have the fastest clear nor the highest amount of instant damage, but do note that if she gets you unaware she can chunk you down VERY easily. You can try invading her if you know where she started and you began on the opposite side, since her clear is too slow to get to the other buff without you having cleared 3-4 camps already. This matchup gets harder as the game goes on though, mostly because of her stupidly tremendous damage, her huge gank potential post 6, and the fact that if you don’t get armor and / or EoN she will blow you up immediately.
The key here is to clean her jungle whenever you see gank or just countergank her if she tries anything early, since she is very weak until she gets rolling. Tabis + DD also completely screws her over, and if you get an EoN she will rarely kill you on your own.
Kind of an even matchup, but only if you take conqueror; if you get First strike it’s considerably riskier since you effectively won’t have a rune if she manages to get the drop on you.
The problem about Diana (which is also what gives her a small edge in this matchup) is that her clear is stupidly fast and she scales very well as the game goes on, and if she managed to land her Q she can get a significant edge in most duels. You can deal with her fairly reliably, however, as long as you get the jump on her and are near bushes; she can’t do much early game about it. At 6 is where it gets harder, since her R gives her a huge damage spike and she can interrupt your jump mid-air if she times it properly, completely screwing you up. This is, thankfully, compensated by the fact that her early ganks are nothing to write home about and you can gank significantly better than she does thanks to your E. You do have to note though that you need to be wary of when you decide to gank, since she might decide to counterjungle you and leave you with nothing.
For itemization, Mercs + Maw + DD will make sure she will never kill you on her own. All in all, it’s a fairly do-able matchup where you mostly need to be wary of her getting the drop on you and being sure you don’t pick a bad teamfight.
This is basically another Nunu situation; the champ is busted, he is stupidly strong at what he does, and because of his E works, ganks from him are quite hard to see coming. His teamfighting is also godly for a Flubber expy, and come late game, fighting him on your own is an exercise in futility. This is set back, however, by the fact that his early clears are VERY poor and if he tries to put pressure on early he is sacrificing his jungle; he also sucks at doing objectives on his own.
What you need to do here is to counterjungle him whenever he tries ganking a lane, and to keep track of where he MIGHT be at all times. Keeping a control ward on you at all times helps a lot to deep ward him and deny him pressure, but do not be afraid to spam ping your teammates if you suspect he might be going towards them. He is also VERY vulnerable to counterganks, because he can’t do shit to flee when his E is down. Passive is a non-issue until minute 14, which is where his teammates can screw you up by TPing to a blob. The longer the game goes on, however, the harder it gets, so try to set him back as much as possible and win before that time comes.
Maw helps here if you REALLY need to reduce his damage, but mercs isn’t that great because all of his CC is knockups, which Tenacity doesn’t affect.
Late game teamfight monster who does pretty well into you, especially after 6, and who has an obscene amount of damage for what is considered a tank. He is, however, a sitting duck before level 6, and the only problem you have if he doesn’t engage on you first is the fact that he can withstand you for a long time thanks to his E passive.
Early game it’s easy, just clear normally unless he tries to set up a gank in your side, in which case you should countergank him; counterjungling him isn’t that great an option because of how fast he can clear, and you might be wasting your time looking for him while he is already elsewhere. Counterganking him before 6 is not too hard, he commits a lot when going in and has no way to get out, but post-6 he is significantly more dangerous because of how brutal his Q+R+Q cc combo can be. His objective clear is also decent, so you should be careful if him and one of his laners is missing. Other than that, however, what you should focus on is on getting objectives yourself and keeping at least one lane ahead, since he needs resources to scale and he can be dealt with until late game unless he has a huge lead.
If he is the biggest issue of the team, get Maw + Mercs; it will help tremendously against his damage.
He is an extremely frustrating matchup, pretty much mostly because of how broken his E is in the jungle. His damage is also incredibly stupid and gives little to no way to retaliate if he gets the drop on you, and when he gets ahead he is a nightmare. You do have a few ways to deal with him, though; his early isn’t stronger than yours, his clear isn’t as absurdly fast as it was before the nerfs, and you can fight him evenly until 6, after which it’s a “who gets the drop on who” situation.
Try to keep track on where he can be all the time; if you get the drop on him after he uses E on the wall in a countergank he is toast. His damage is brutal, however, so you will either need to be fast to ensure your laner doesn’t die or make sure you heavily warn your teammates where he is at any given moment. Mid-to-late game is still rough, since he can still deal out stupid amounts of damage, but Tabs + DD helps significantly, he will last very little if he has no defenses whatsoever, and if you know where he is you can try using R so he can’t get the drop on your team.
All in all, a pretty snowbally matchup that can go either way.
Fairly annoying matchup where who wins is determined by who gets the drop on who early; you make mincemeat out of them if you start the fight, but they can chunk you with contemptuous ease if they manage to hit Q+E on you.
The key in this matchup is to make sure they get as few marks as possible, so track down where they might start so you can rotate to the crab on the other side, which will be the first camp mark they will get. After they get that one, always be ready to clear your camps as fast as possible, and then go for a gank or countergank; if they are counterjungling you, just steal whatever camps they might have left. They are very vulnerable to any counterganks you make pre-6, since she has little damage without their E and their W forces them to commit; but post 6 it’s another matter entirely. If you get the drop on them, force them to use R, then rinse and repeat later; you need to make sure they waste the ult as much as possible before teamfights, because it’s THAT much of a gamechanger. If you manage to set them behind you will have successfully denied them, since they need to get a lead to scale and secure camp and enemy marks; but if they scale be ready for a rough time.
Tabis + DD help a lot here.
Very volatile matchup: he hard outscales you, he is incredibly difficult for you to kill if he is ahead because of his W, and kiting him post 6 is impossible because of his R and Q. He is, however, very weak early game (but he can stall with W so his team can go help him) and if he gets set behind he will barely do anything unless he gets shutdowns.
What's important here is to get your lanes ahead as much as possible; his clear is decent enough to make invading him a risky proposition and the moment he gets Tabis he becomes very hard for you to kill, so you should hit him at the most vulnerable place he has- his lack of pressure. Do be careful post-6 tho, as his ganks improve massively by the fact that his DPS is increased tenfold. If you get ahead you can kill him with ease until he gets 2 to 3 items, but I would advise not taking every fight since he can turn it around if you are not careful.
Tabis help against him a tiny bit, but because of the fact that he has an stupid amount of true damage and DPS, if he focuses you down the only thing you can hope for is to root him and your team to finish him off. GA is also good if he keeps focusing you, so he wastes his time focusing you down.
By far one of the most excruciating matchups on this list, Shaco is based around confusing you so much you basically kill yourself and getting the drop on you before you get any chance to react. The thing that makes Shaco so frustrating is that, due to his Q being invisibility and him not needing to take flash, he has huge pressure on you early game thanks to ignite. There is, however, a caveat; while his ganks are strong from very early on, once he goes in, he is forced to commit, which makes him EXTREMELY vulnerable to counterganks. Tracking him is also key; do not be afraid to constantly warn your teammates he might be around, since his Q allows him to flank lanes very well and if he gets ahead he becomes harder and harder to deal with.
Post 6 you need to be careful around his R, because he can use it to avoid your Leap damage and kill you because his DPS has effectively doubled. The key to knowing who the real Shaco is is to keep an eye on his items; when he has a mythic, the real one will have a gold border around said item, whereas the clone won’t. The clone also takes a huge amount of damage, so if you see he falls down TOO quickly, stop attacking him.
Another thing to note is that this matchup changes tremendously in approach depending on whether he is AP or AD; AP makes killing the clone an absolute death sentence, whereas AD has stupidly huge DPS because of how HoB works on him. Should he be set behind, he will be useless, and his Q in teamfights gets screwed by your R. Do be wary of dragons once he is 6- he will 100% use the clone to rush them.
This is pretty much a snowballing matchup; whoever gets the lead will pretty much make the other useless.
Yeah, this matchup can be hair-pulling levels of frustrating.
While she isn't seen much nowadays, Taliyah is still a jungler to be wary of, thanks to her huge amount of damage, decent peel, and the fact that her W and E fuck you over the moment you try jumping onto her. If she manages to land a Q on you, you have pretty much lost the fight, because it's what we call a "cycle of hurting". Her ganks, while not the cleanest in the game, are also pretty good, and her passive allows her to gank with significant ease. The fact that she has such a pretty low playrate also means that if you meet a Taliyah player, it means she KNOWS how to play her.
She is, however, still a mage, and you can abuse that. Early on if you manage to get the drop on her she is boned, and if you manage to get her on a countergank she can't do nothing but flash since her peel is reliant on her W. She can't contest objectives that well either, but you should still be wary of her Q damage and make sure you always keep track of her, since she can rush dragons once she gets some AP under her belt. For the most part, you win games against her by being careful, ganking the lanes where she isn't at, and getting ahead just enough to deal with her W and kill her quickly.
Maw, Mercs and EoN completely nullify her threat level, but EoN tends to be enough if what you seek is to one shot her.
The issues with this matchup only begin once he is level 6; his ult gives him a tremendous amount of safety and makes catching him impossible unless he is slow on the take.
His weakpoint is his early game: he has a safe but slow-ish clear until he has some AP, so invading him is an option and the more you set him behind the more useless he will be. Counterganking him Is also a great option, and if you can’t react to his ganks, just steal his jungle. Do note, however, that this matchup gets harder the longer the game goes on, because his burst is insane and killing him while his ult is up is an exercise in futility. Do NOT do objectives while he is alive and in the area, too, because he will steal them thanks to his E+W+R combo.
Mercs + Maw will help tremendously with reducing his damage, but try to not let him get to the point where you need defenses against him.
The early game AP jungler. Elise is a very skill reliant matchup, where whoever gets a lead will make the other one useless all game long.
The issues here are her safety and her insane damage from very early on; if you get hit with E without 4 stacks you will lose the trade and perhaps your life. This also applies in reverse though, because you can easily chunk her down if she is unaware and force her flash or a retreat. Counterganks destroy her, especially if she has already committed with her rappel. Be wary of any early attempts of doing drake, because she can do it easily enough from the moment it spawns. Mid-to-late game she has the same problem you have: you are both single target burst based champions who depend on catching people out to chunk them out. Because of her cocoon, however, she will seek teamfights more than you do, but it’s still possible to catch her out on your own and kill her.
Maw, Mercs, DD and EoN all help, and the first 2 will make sure she will have trouble bursting you down on her own.
Early game it’s pretty easy; he has a faster clear than you do but he is also extremely weak, regardless of what rune you take. You can easily take scuttles from him and fight him at any point if he is alone. Counterganks also screw him over, and he will try to gank a LOT because of his passive, so keep track of where he is and deny him his form as long as possible.
Mid-to-late game is where it gets harder, however; his forms are a huge powershift and it changes the way you have to approach him. Blue Kayn is do-able if you went bruiser, and a huge cointoss if you went assassin, whereas fighting Rhaast on your own is just a waste of time thanks to his heal and R allowing him to stall. He still has weaknesses though; he can’t do objectives on his own if he isn’t too ahead (since he is quite slow because he mostly depends on his Q) and he can’t take down turrets easily because of his slow AA animation, so he will clear waves but not commit to splitpushing. Other than that, this matchup is pretty much reliant on you shutting him down from very early to avoid his powerspikes, which allow him to just obliterate you.
DD + Tabis work well against both forms.
It’s only fitting Rengar’s greatest rivalry in lore is also one of his most even matchups. Kha’zix is basically you if your kit was designed about being an AD caster assassin instead of the bruiser-assassin mix you technically are; hell, even your abilities are similar, and can be empowered too.
You have the lead in the early game regardless of rune (albeit conqueror gives you an edge), and if you get the drop on him you can easily force him to flash. Mid to late game is where it gets tricky, his damage spikes through the roof and he can easily solo kill you if you are both even and isolated – but he can’t teamfight well if he didn’t evolve W and either E or R and if he gets set behind he is basically useless.
Ganking is key here: you have more pressure than he does early on (except for mid lane because he can just jump) and if you get your lanes rolling he will have a hard time coming back unless he gets a pick. In mid to late game your main role is to keep track of him to make sure he can’t get the drop on your team during fight, and if you are head enough, to immediately kill him. Your ult completely counters his in teamfights, too. Do be wary of him doing drakes after his 6, if he evolves Q and has some AD he can do them quite fast.
DD + Tabis heavily mitigates his damage, but tbh most builds work here.
A relatively recent addition to the jungle, Zed is similar to all the ones mentioned on this list: if he gets ahead he obliterates you, but if he is behind he is completely useless. His clear is deceptively fast, thanks to his heavy AoE and his passive permaproccing on low monsters all the time, but he doesn’t really have that much going for him before 6 and if you get him with his shadow down he drops fast regardless of build.
Tracking him down at all times is extremely important: he depends on snowballing to keep himself in the game and if he can’t assassinate anyone then he is utterly worthless. Counterganks also screw him over, and if he tries doing an objective early on you can easily turn it around. Post-6, just be wary about his R, and save your W and emp W to heal off his early burst so his R doesn’t kill you; if you are ahead, however, just go ham on his ass because you will win the fight before he finishes you off. Mid-to-late game is similar in approach, but his ult CD is obscenely low and you need to be wary of him having it up at all times, and if you underestimate his burst you are screwed.
If you really want to screw him over, DD+ GA + Tabis will make him curse you and your bloodline.
He is basically a full AP Amumu: a complete teamfight monster who can easily turn a game entirely on a good R. He is also a pretty fast clearer and a quite unorthodox jungle to fight against, to boot, because he will try avoiding you at all costs until he has enough of a lead to take you on.
This is compensated, however, by the fact that his early to mid game is VERY weak if he doesn't get going and if you manage to stop him on his tracks there is very little he can do about it. Fiddle will try to gank before 6 if he gets the chance, and the moment he wastes Q he is a dead scarecrow because there is not much he can do to stop you from bursting him down. Whenever he reaches 6 you should treat him like a Zac, trying to keep vision in his jungle as much as possible to ensure his R doesn't inmediately fear your entire team whenever he goes in. Be also careful of his dragon attempts, he is not the fastest but he heals off enough to attempt it on his own. The most annoying parts of his kit are his E and Q, because they ensure that you won't be able to chase him down without some tenacity or EoN. In the mid to late game, try to make sure you keep track of where he is and burst him down so he can't ult.
Maw + Mercs SIGNIFICANTLY reduces his threat level unless he is very fed, while EoN does the same if you are going full Assassin.
You have a HARD lead before 6, if she is smart she will try avoiding you at all costs before then. While her clear is fast, if you know where she started you can easily invade her and force a flash while also stealing her camps – she will also probably concede scuttles if you attempt to fight her for it. You can gank at your leisure, she won’t countergank unless you force too much and she can see you coming, so you would at the very absolute least be wary of her. Post 6 it gets trickier, she can dodge your R leap with hers (similar to Shaco) and the longer the game goes on the harder she will hit; however, if her ult is down at any moment you make mincemeat out of her. Be wary of any objectives, she can try to sneak them out. One thing to note is that her W will point in the direction of where she is once it’s stacked up, so if you are wary you can predict from where she might be attempting a gank.
Mercs + Maw does wonders here to make sure you don’t lose to her in late game, but if you get ahead you can get away with any build you want.
She is a late game scaling powerhouse whose damage and sustain is a sight to behold.
She is also a melee champion who needs items to scale and whose damage is relatively mediocre until she gets 6.
You win any duels you take against her unless you are low pre-6, the only problem is that her W makes her untargetable and thus doesn’t allow you to jump to her or land bolas outside her zone. Your pressure is also significantly higher than hers, so you can gank whenever you choose- but do be wary of any counterganks because if she has ghost she can easily turn the fight around and get fed from it. Track her at all times and keep her on her toes, if she doesn’t get rolling she is basically useless, but if she gets to her late you will have a VERY hard time killing her.
Mercs + Maw help against her, but you might want to consider Spirit Visage if they don’t have hard AP burst – since the HP will help if you get hit by her Q sweetspot and allow you to sustain throughout fights, even though fighting her with her R up is unadvisable at best.
Yeah, this matchup is more annoying that anything. The thing about Ivern in the early game is that you need to always be careful around your camps in case he might want to cheese your camps, which you can deal with by placing a pinkward wherever you are not starting to make sure you know where he is. What also makes him frustrating is his shields + Q, the peel he can do with that is enormous and if you underestimate it you will find yourself dying a lot. But other than that, yeah, you existing makes him using his W completely suicidal at worst and if they don’t have any frontline you will make very short work of him.
Do note that he scales pretty well and he will constantly try to steal camps from you, but he is also one of the easiest junglers to countergank since he has to leave his camps alone for a while, so if he ever tries anything on one side, do not be afraid to check and steal whatever isn’t nailed down. His counterganks are also pretty good, so do not underestimate him at any point.
While you should never itemize for his damage, Mercs helps a lot with the CC, and if you really need it, Serpent’s Fang helps a lot against his shields.
Fairly easy champ to deal with early on, if you take Conqueror you will win every fight if he doesn’t land his W – and if he does, use Emp W + W to run away or just cleanse and then turn around. His early pressure is not that huge against you and whatever fights you take against him, you will probably win if you get the drop on him. His ganks are decent enough, however, and if gets snowballing he will be a NIGHTMARE to deal with- so keep track of him at all times, deny him whatever resources you can, and try to be ready to countergank him. The problem with Viego is that he scales decently well and has enough build variety to make sure he either does obscene damage or lasts for way longer than he should, but in exchange his early is nothing to write home about and it can be abused.
Tabis + DD completely fuck up his damage, especially if you got Eclipse and some hp / armor pen to go along with it.
A fairly rare pick nowadays, Nidalee is a matchup where you have an inherent lead, since both of you seek to fight near bushes to abuse your passives – only yours is stronger than hers by a mile and if she gets jumped on she is screwed. Be wary of her traps and spears, a single hit might spell doom depending on how low you are and even healing it off might not do the trick because she has tools to keep chasing you down. She is VERY skill and snowball reliant, however, so if you get a lead early she is pretty much done with no way of coming back.
You will pretty much be tracking one another all game, fitting the fact you are both hunters, and whoever gets the drop on the other first wins the fight (which includes ganks and counterganks). Mid to late game you should be wary of her spears, because her landing a single one can mean certain death – but she depends on catching people out otherwise and if she gets caught herself there is not much she can do.
Mercs + Maw HEAVILY deny her damage.
Another rare pick, Lillia players tend to play It safe until they get a few levels going, which Is where her damage and speed start ramping up significantly. Early on however her pressure is almost non-existant, which you can abuse by ganking other lanes and fighting her at scuttle – invading her is not as recommended, however, due to her relatively fast clear if she knows what she is doing. Fighting objectives against her is easy too, due to the fact that her solo pressure is very weak. Come mid-late game, the real issue with her is her ult, because it can be an absolute gamechanger in fights. If she uses it on you, however, just cleanse it the moment it takes effect and act accordingly. Do not also try to fight her for long, if she manages to gain distance she will just whittle you down with Q and E. So in summary, this matchup is defined by being proactive at her weakest and trying to abuse your windows of power.
Maw helps a tiny bit, but unless she is building tank and she is the biggest threat of her team, you should not itemize against her.
The only problems this matchup should give you are the fact that she is a pretty decent duelist should she take PTA or Conq, that she can become an absolute nightmare if she gets ahead, and that she clears very, VERY fast. Other than that, however, this matchup is pretty doable, since you can match her from pretty early on in damage if you get the drop on her and she is not that big of an issue until she starts to get rolling with her core items. There is however, ONE THING you should always keep in mind, and that is to WARD EVERY SINGLE DRAKE FROM THE MOMENT THEY SPAWN, because she is one of the fastest dragon killers in the game bar none. If you do manage to get ahead, however, she is pretty much done, because she depends on snowballing a bit to make sure she still outstats you.
Tabis work well against her bruiser builds, while maw + mercs do the same against AP.
An actual sitting duck. He is stupidly strong when played properly, yes, and good Karthus players will make you want to have a polite chat with Riot while you burn their offices down, but the thing about him is that he is pretty much a scaling jungler who is pretty much just a ball of damage.
Early on you can literally beat him to death with contemptuous ease, with the only problem being most Karthus players worth their salt will take exhaust against you so you can’t just burst them down the moment you see them, which will buy them enough time for their team mates to arrive. Abuse your early pressure as much as you can, because the longer the game goes on the bigger of a monster he will become, and his R is very hard to deal with as Rengar. If you do manage to get ahead however, congrats, he is pretty much boned.
Mercs + Maw help INMENSELY against him, and the latter can in fact ensure he will not kill you with ult in late game if the shield is up.
The most notable synergies Rengar has are the following:
But seriously now, Yuumi is GREAT to have on your team when playing Rengar, since she remains invisible with you during your ult, it allows you to be a pseudo-engage, and she is just a walking meowing damage and heal buff that will make 100% sure you will be unable to die, especially once you are full build.
A good Yuumi is half the path to winning the game, and I am not joking here.
This is a very recent synergy, and it’s pretty much only because of her E
– since the Rengar changes allow him to jump out of her fog when he reaches 6.
Beyond that, she is just fine; she can make you gank midlane way more reliably
if she plays with you, and she scales tremendously the longer the game goes on,
which ensures you have at least some insurance for late game.
His Ult just gives you tremendous safety and, much like Yuumi, allows you to act as an engage if he ults you during Thrill of the Hunt. While he is not the best tank in the game to act as an engage, he is very good at keeping you alive for longer in teamfights and a good taunt can be a game changer.
All in all, pretty decent synergy; a good Shen makes playing through rough games a blast.
Pretty good synergy for Rengar, since he makes jumping into enemies way safer and the fact that you can carry a bomb for him while he gives you Mach 4 speed is something you end up appreciating as time (heh) goes on. His revive is also one of the most busted ultimates in the game by far, and it allows you to play way more recklessly while suffering little to no punishment for it. He can also speed your leveling up thanks to his passive, ensuring that you will at least stay
even in Xp in rough matches.
So yeah, Zil is good, just wish you never meet one in the other team.
Ok, this one is very unlikely to be on your team at the same time you are
jungle, but if the planets align and you end up playing with an Ivern main on
top or wherever, then congrats, you might’ve found your soulmate at last. I am
not kidding when I say Ivern is the BEST synergy Rengar has in the entire game,
because EVERYTHING he does makes your job easier: his Q is a very reliable
root, his E keeps you safe for an absurdly long time, and his W means that you
literally have jumps on demand. He is just an stupidly good champ to play with
as Rengar, and if he is good at it you might as well be done with the game.
He is pretty much acting as a representative of all tanks with engage
here, but he stands out on his own because his R is just THAT good; a well
landed R makes teamfights a breeze, and coordinating with him is very easy. He
also makes ADCs life a little bit more of a help, which you have to love.
Similar to Malphite, but he stands out because of his passive; in late
game, the upgrades he gives you are stupid strong, and he is incredibly beefy
to boot. His ult, while harder to use than Malph’s, is also stupidly strong,
and can mean the difference between an even teamfight and a complete stomp on your side.
Playing the game
The pathing you will follow will be mostly the same from game to game. However, do note that you don't ALWAYS have to do this exactly as described; sometimes, you might find a chance for an early lvl 3 gank, you need to help your bot after doing one of your buffs, or you simply find a chance to invade their jungle early. That decision making, however is too complex to explain fully in detail, and since what we want from this guide is to make sure you get the ropes for this champ, we will leave that decision making down to personal judgement.
(Note: Both pathings apply to either red or blue side; just invert the map mentally to get an idea of what you must do.)
-Starting at red:
1. Always start with the red camp, since you are pretty much unable to start with anything other than Q, so a raptors start is out of the question.
2. Jump from the red buff bush to Krugs (place either a normal trinket ward or a pinkward to do so, or ask your teammates to walk through the camp). It is important that you KITE the last group of small krugs so you can keep 4 stacks before going to raptors.
3. Kill raptors. If you managed to hold on to your 4 stacks, you will do this a lot faster, giving you a bit of leeway for Blue Buff side.
4. Go to wolves. Try to keep 4 stacks when you are done so you can finish up Blue and gromp faster.
5. You can now either do both Blue and Gromp at the same time, kiting both to the middle of the area using your bola on Gromp, and reach lvl 4 around 3:15-3:20...
5.5/6. ...Or you can just do blue, go to Scuttle, kill it ASAP and go back to Gromp, in case you want to deny the early scuttle to their jungler if they are on that side.
-Starting at blue:
1. Do Blue buff normally. Once it’s low, smite Gromp so it starts walking to you.
2. Do Gromp, while making sure the leash doesn’t reset. Try to get 4 stacks from it.
3. Do Wolves. It’s fairly easy to keep 4 stacks after doing this camp but as long as
you keep 3, you should be good.
4. Go to Raptors, use everything on them to kill them ASAP. Kite them towards Red.
5. Do Red buff.
6. You have two choices here. Either a) jump to krugs so you can reach level 4, or go
to the scuttle to deny it in case their jungler is in that side.
For the most part, focus on clearing your camps until you get lvl 4 for the first 5-to-6 minutes. Depending on what jungler you are up against, you might want to go to scuttle to force a fight or try to invade their side of the jungle if you see them ganking with less than 20 CS (since that means there is at least a camp they haven’t cleared). You can try to go for early ganks, but it’s only worth it if you are already rotating towards that side and your camps in said side are respawning soon enough. In summary, while you should be seeking chances to get ahead, do not be afraid to just be patient until you hit lvl 6.
We will consider early game to take place from the beginning of the game until the turret plates fall. Your main objectives are clear: you want to get your lanes ahead as possible, secure an early dragon, and, if possible, take herald to get some extra gold. While having a rough early game won't mean the game is lost, it does mean that your job later will be much harder, and thus you should try to secure a lead soon. Try to look for lane ganks, ult lanes who are not respecting your pressure, and, most important of all, time your backs accordingly; recall when you have a lot of gold, for example, but do not leave when you know your laners are getting ganked and you can do something about it.
Now this is where Rengar shines. You should have at least your first item almost done, and the pressure you can enforce with your ult is enormous. From now on, you have two choices: you can either try to lane gank if you know they have no vision if they are pushed, and wait for them to overcommit, or just try to gank with your ult if they are pushing too hard and don’t have a good set up to escape. Do note that your ult has a VERY long CD early on, so use it carefully.
Another thing you should take into account is that Rengar, once he gets at the very least two item components (say, dirk + vamp scepter, or sheen + Caulfield’s), can do objectives fairly reliably, so you might want to sneak an early dragon if you have a good idea of where their jungler is and / or you are 100% sure they have no vision of the area. However, do note that unless it’s mountain drake, said maneuver is risky (specially with Ocean Drake), and can leave you very low- and very vulnerable. Another thing to look for is an early herald to force down turrets in a leading lane, again, making sure beforehand you are in the clear in regards to vision.
ALWAYS check your minimap before doing anything. You need to keep track of everyone in case they try to collapse on a lane, or even worse, on you, and any mistake can mean the end of the game right there. Try to keep track on where their jungler is all the time, and what they might try to do at any given moment. Do also remember that while you being ahead is important, so is the fact that your team is strong alongside you, cause if you don’t, they will just focus you down and make mincemeat of your team shortly after.
This is the trickiest part. Rengar has good objective control, and pretty decent splitpushing, but he won’t end the game on his own unless the enemy team utterly ignores him – which will rarely, if ever, happen. Focus on taking down drakes ASAP, and trying to pick off priority targets before they spawn so you can secure them. Because you are the jungler, you need to stay alive until the objective is done, or else it’s all but lost. Do remember your damage is very high at this point if you got 3+ stacks of your passive, so don’t be afraid to jump into an objective pit if you think you have a good chance to steal it.
Your late game performance will also depend on what teamcomp you have: if you are playing with, say, a tank top with a decent engage (i.e Ornn) and a good control mage mid (Orianna, Veigar, Viktor), you can force teamfights without issue; but if you have, instead, a poke top and a mid lane assassin, you will have to play significantly more carefully, and seek skirmishes at choke points so you can force objectives and take down turrets. There is no cookie cutter strat: you will have to adapt. However, what is key is what we mentioned previously: focus on objectives, getting priority targets, and try to splitpush if there are none to be taken at the moment, so you can keep lanes pushed.
Well, that's the end of the guide. I hope you found it useful for learning the ways of the OG Kitty Kat (yes, we do hate Yuumi in these parts), and if not, well, at least I hope you found it enjoyable. I will be updating the guide every now and then to add important stuff that might pop up from patch to patch. Do try to take it calmly though; you won't achieve much by rushing through your climb. As Rengar himself would say: "Focus."