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How to Rek with Psi

Dominate the early game with jungle Rek'Sai


Introduction

Hey, I'm PsiGuard. I'm a Diamond-level jungle main with over 400 thousand mastery points on Rek'Sai. I've also written a number of top League of Legends guides on MOBAFire over the years. I have experience playing Rek'Sai in every season since her release in solo and team play. I play on NA and have mained jungle since season 3.

Rek'Sai is a melee AD diver with a powerful early game. She can use her Tunnel ability to bypass common ward locations to gank from creative directions, and her Unburrow is a solid CC. In the current meta, the best build for Rek'Sai involves an early

Prowler's Claw
, which gives her additional burst and mobility, then bruiser items as the game progresses. Due to her relatively weak late game, Rek'Sai players will have to master the art of snowballing through early gank pressure and relentlessly press their advantage until the enemy team is defeated.



Best Overall Runes


Spells

Skill Priority

Q

E

W

Best Overall Build



Runes

  • Rune Page


My recommended rune set for Rek'Sai is

Conqueror
with Inspiration secondary.
Conqueror
can be quickly stacked with Rek'Sai's suite of abilities, powering up her Furious Bite for even more true damage. It also keeps her relevant in longer fights, especially against other melee champions.

For minor Precision runes,

Legend: Alacrity
and
Coup de Grace
are always solid options. In some games, you may want
Legend: Alacrity
(against several stuns/roots). You can opt for
Last Stand
for better 1v1 prowess, but
Coup de Grace
is typically more useful in ganks.

For your Inspiration runes,

Magical Footwear
allows you to forgo buying boots and instead work on building your
Prowler's Claw
earlier.
Cosmic Insight
lowers the cooldown on
Flash
, which is Rek'Sai's best playmaking tool.

As a quick note,

Hail of Blades
is also a decent keystone on Rek'Sai, but you'll have to sacrifice the Precision runes to get it. While
Hail of Blades
outperforms
Conqueror
in fights that only last a couple seconds, I feel that
Conqueror
Rek'Sai can still perform fine in these situations while also having a useful keystone for extended fights.

Summoner Spells



Smite and Flash are mandatory for Rek'Sai. Due to her reliance on Unburrow for crowd control, Flash is a necessary tool to enable ganks or reach priority targets in team fights. While some junglers can get away with spells other than Flash, Rek'Sai is not one of them. With Flash, Rek'Sai is an incredible ganker that's nearly impossible to avoid. Without it, your opponents have much more counterplay to your engage.

Abilities

Rek'Sai has two sets of basic abilities. One is available while she is Burrowed, the other available while Unburrowed. You'll need to make use of both sets of abilities in every fight, so make sure you're familiar with all of their effects. I'll give you some tips below.

  • Abilities

Skill Path

  • Q>E>W

Rek'Sai

1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
3
4
4
4
4
5
5
5
5
6
6
6
6
7
7
7
7
8
8
8
8
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
11
11
11
11
12
12
12
12
13
13
13
13
14
14
14
14
15
15
15
15
16
16
16
16
17
17
17
17
18
18
18
18

Rek'Sai's skill order is fairly static, so you won't need to change it up from game to game. Q is maxed first as Queen's Wrath is your main tool for clearing the jungle and Q is the only skill with two damage abilities on it (Queen's Wrath and Prey Seeker). Max E next for burst damage from Furious Bite and a lower cooldown on Tunnel (very useful). W can be maxed last, as most of its utility is available from rank one.

There is an alternate skill order that's been used by Rek'Sai players in the past (3 points in Q followed by E max). This skill order is viable, but I don't personally recommend it as you'll deal less sustained damage (which affects your clear speed) in exchange for the lowered tunnel cooldown.

Combos

Rek'Sai is not a champion who relies on strict combos, but you do need to get a feel for her cooldowns to know when to cycle between Burrowed and Unburrowed forms. Below are some examples of combos you might need to perform quickly in situations like a jungle gank.

Be sure to check out the final video, as it demonstrates a rare trick I have never seen another Rek'Sai perform (I'm sure there are other people out there who know about this mechanic/bug, but I haven't seen anyone mention it).

Note: I will not be doing autoattack resets in these combos (with Queen's Wrath). While resetting your attack timer with Q is very important for clearing camps or fighting while unburrowed, your Q can instead be used to cancel your Unburrow animation, which makes your combo come out much faster. If you're certain the target will not be able to escape, you can wait out the Unburrow animation and use Q after 1 attack in order to reset your attack timer, resulting in a slightly slower combo with 1 more autoattack.


Tunnel + Flash

(Burrowed) E -> Flash -> W -> Q -> 3 autos -> E -> R -> (optional auto) -> W -> Q

This is a standard combo for ganking post-6. Obviously reaching the target without using

Flash
is ideal.


Tunnel + Prowler's Claw

(Burrowed) E -> Prowler's Claw -> W -> Q -> 3 autos -> E -> R -> (optional auto) -> W -> Q

The same as the above combo, but with

Prowler's Claw
. Prowler's has a low enough cooldown that you can use it liberally.


Peel Combo

(Burrowed) Q -> W -> Q -> 3 autos -> E -> (optional auto) -> W -> E -> W -> Q -> 3 autos -> R

This is a longer combo that starts with you in melee range of an enemy. This will usually be the case when peeling for teammates against melee champions. You can use your initial combo for damage, then save the latter half of the combo to chase down your target if they run.


Prowler's Peel Combo

(Burrowed) Q -> Prowler's Claw -> W -> Q -> 3 autos -> E -> (optional auto) -> W -> E -> W -> Q -> 3 autos -> R

The same as the above combo, but using

Prowler's Claw
to gap-close near the beginning. This is usually better if you still have your other dashes available, because it'll allow you to deal more burst damage in your opening round of spells as well as engage on targets outside your melee range. An alternate version of this combo would be to use Prowler's after your Tunnel to extend the chase range if your target has built a lot of distance between you.


Mid-tunnel Knockup

(In melee, burrowed) E -> spam right-click on target

Whether you call this a bug or a mechanic, this Rek'Sai trick seems to be largely undocumented. If you right-click an enemy who is in melee range of you immediately after casting Tunnel, you can knock them up during your dash. You'll also come out of the tunnel in an Unburrowed state.

This technique can be occasionally useful if an enemy is blocking your escape path and you want to CC them as well as dash past them. Due to

Burrow / Un-burrow
's cooldowns (1 and 4 seconds respectively), you cannot normally knock up a target and then dash without waiting 5 seconds.

This does not work with pre-existing tunnels. You must cast the Tunnel ability and be close to your target in order for the knockup to go off.


Items

  • Items



  • Start
  • Mythic
  • Boots
  • Bruiser
  • Defense
  • Situational



Matchups

  • Hard
  • Medium
  • Easy

Synergies

Listing every potential teammate would be a waste of time, so you won't find every champion in this section. Instead, I'll be focusing on champions that have exceptionally high synergy with Rek'Sai, or champions you should avoid playing with if possible.

  • Top
  • Mid
  • Bot
  • Support
  • Bad

Pathing

Pathing (and its sister skill, Jungle Tracking) is what separates competent junglers from great ones. It's a skill that's extremely difficult to master, but having a good foundational knowledge of pathing will make a huge difference to your early game (and therefore later stages of the game as well). If your goal is to become a better jungler, do not autopilot the same pathing every game.

You'll need to take into account a number of factors when deciding where to start, what route to take, and when to deviate from that initial route. You'll also have to make a lot of decisions throughout the early game that will affect your pathing options. Trying to make sense of all your options can be pretty daunting, but I'll be providing you with some basic rules and principles for you to build off of in your own games.

Starting Location

Your starting location is not set in stone based on your champion, and should instead vary from game to game. It'll take some thinking to figure out which camp to start at in your current game, so I encourage you to plan your starting route in champion select. If you wait until the 1:00 mark of the game to start thinking about your route, you're not going to make informed decisions.

There are 3 main reasons to start at a specific location.

  1. You want to gank a specific lane (either top or bot).
  2. You want to path towards a laner that will have priority.
  3. You want to path towards/away from the enemy jungler.

There can be other reasons (such as protecting your camps from an early invade, counterganking, or vertical jungling), but in the vast majority of your games, these are the three main factors that will determine your starting location. Let's break them down.

1. You want to gank a specific lane.

Take note of the champions for both teams in the top and bot lanes. Pathing towards laners with strong gank setup (CC, mobility) is more likely to result in a kill or at least burning an enemy

Flash
. Pathing towards a lane that is volatile or aggressive is also more likely to be successful. Conversely, pathing towards lanes that lack gank setup and are likely to be more passive is unlikely to yield kills for you early game.

For example, you have a

Darius
top vs a
Kennen
, and a
Jhin
and
Nautilus
bottom vs an
Ezreal
and
Nami
. While both of these lanes would be good to snowball, ganking bottom is much more likely to be successful with
Jhin
and
Nautilus
' CC, while
Kennen
is more likely to waste your time.

Gank setup isn't the only thing to consider. You'll also need to assess which lane is more important to victory. Your

Maokai
top might be able to set up kills for you against
Vladimir
, but your ganks are unlikely to change the outcome of that matchup. Likewise, ganking for
Draven
Pyke
against
Caitlyn
Janna
might be difficult, but your
Draven
could run away with the game if you get him a lead early.

Mid laners can also be a win condition for you to play around, but since you'll have access to mid no matter which direction you path, they don't usually factor in to your starting location. When playing for early ganks, start at your bottom buff to gank top, or at your top buff to path towards bot.

2. You want to path towards a laner that will have priority.

Priority means that your laner will be pushed when you go to their side of the map. A pushing wave means your laner will have better access to the river so they can rotate to help you fight for scuttle, protect your jungle from invades, or even follow you if you invade the enemy. Priority is most relevant when the enemy jungler is pathing towards you. In other words, if you and the enemy jungler are both pathing towards the same lane, you'll need to pay attention to priority.

Pathing towards lanes that will have priority is usually best in situations where you have few early gank options, or in matchups where the enemy jungler is stronger than you early. Even strong duelists like

Trundle
and
Olaf
will have to back off and respect your map control when your
Caitlyn
and
Janna
bot lane start rotating to scuttle while the enemy bot lane is under tower.

Keep in mind that while your laners are pushing, they are more vulnerable to ganks. A lot of jungle champions are comfortable ganking at level 3 and try to race ahead of you to gank the side lane before you get there. Since Rek'Sai is also a great level 3 ganker, you should be able to match the enemy jungler's pressure on any lane if you choose a fast enough jungle route. The only exception to this would be a level 2 gank (usually mid), which you can't do much about besides maybe ward for your mid at level 1. It's usually not worth trying to gank or countergank while you're still level 2.

3. You want to path towards/away from the enemy jungler.

I can't go into specifics on this topic yet, since we'll need to go over Jungle Tracking fundamentals first. For now, just keep in mind that some junglers (like

Elise
or
Warwick
) will want to stop you from making plays, while others (like
Diana
or
Evelynn
) will want to avoid you early. Pathing away from dangerous jungle duelists and towards weak ones is generally a good practice.

If you're not sure if you should match or avoid the enemy jungler, a good rule of thumb is that champions with strong scalings or power spikes later on (

Evelynn
at 6,
Kayn
after transformation,
Master Yi
after first item) tend to be much more vulnerable to early pressure. Pathing towards junglers that Rek'Sai can 1v1 and/or junglers that want to free-farm will minimize the number of options the enemy jungler has in the early game. Even if you can't directly counterjungle the enemy
Karthus
on his first clear, denying him the option to gank your top laner will make it easier for you to build a lead while he can only farm his own camps.


Red-side Clear

Red -> Krugs -> Raptors -> Mid / Wolves

This route is great for pressuring mid lane with a transition gank after Raptors, which wastes very little of your time. If ganking mid isn't possible, you can simply move onto wolves. One upside of this route is it leaves your red-side totally clear, so it can't be counter-jungled. However, the clear is fairly slow if your goal is to gank the far side-lane.


Red-side to Side Lane Gank

Red -> Krugs -> Raptors -> Bot (for blue team) / Top (for red team)

This is an unpredictable gank that you can opt into on the near enemy side lane, but there is an important factor to consider to minimize the risk. If you want to gank bot after starting bot-side, you must be sure that the enemy is pathing towards the same lane. If they path towards the other side of the map, they will almost certainly steal your blue-side camps while you spend time ganking bottom, making the gank not worth it even if you get kills.


Fast Side-lane Gank (Red Start)

Red -> Raptors -> Gromp

This is a popular level 3 ganking route in the current jungle meta. Rek'Sai is a great jungler to abuse this route for a very fast level 3 gank with red buff, while also denying the enemy from counter-jungling your Raptors. Use this route if you want to race the enemy jungler to the side lane that's far from your red, or if you want to gank the enemy side laner(s) before they can crash their wave.


Fast Side-lane Gank (Blue Start)

Blue -> Gromp -> Red

Honestly not a fantastic route, but it's one of the only reliable options for ganking the side lane that's far from your blue (bot lane if you're blue team). This will give you a fast level 3, so you can get ahead of the enemy jungler if they're pathing in the same direction as you, but clear slower. You can also use this route to match an enemy level 3 gank on your side lane if you expect your side lane to be vulnerable at that time.


Blue-side Clear

Blue -> Gromp -> Wolves -> Red

This is much like the above route, only slower. The benefit of taking Wolves is that it prevents the enemy jungler from stealing them, and is more efficient in terms of XP and gold gain, since you'll be putting your Wolves on cooldown. Use this route if the enemy jungler is pathing away from you, or if the enemy jungler is likely to full-clear. In both cases, you won't be in a rush to get to the side lane, so it's usually better to clear your camps more efficiently.

You can opt to clear Raptors before Red for even more efficiency, but you'll lose your pre-scuttle-spawn gank timing. This is fine if your gank is unlikely to work anyway, but in most cases it's preferable to start applying gank pressure early on Rek'Sai rather than farming for the first 3.5 minutes.


Jungle Tracking

Jungle tracking is a skill much like pathing, but it's much more underrated. Most League of Legends players focus only on the current actions of their champion and neglect the bigger picture. By making an effort to track the enemy jungler and predict where they might gank or which camps they've cleared, you'll be better equipped to make wise pathing decisions and you'll even be able to warn your teammates when they're likely to get ganked. Some teammates may not listen to your pings, but even if only half of your warnings are heeded, you'll find yourself winning a lot more early games.

Determining Enemy Starting Location

Step one to jungle tracking is to determine the enemy jungler's starting location. In a perfect world, you'd do this with wards in the enemy jungle, but deep wards aren't always safe to place at level one. More commonly, you'll have to figure out where the enemy jungler started by watching which side laners enter lane first. If the enemy top lane shows up in top right when the minions start fighting, but the enemy bot lane is still missing on the map, it's very likely that they're leashing for the enemy jungler (who is therefore on the bottom side of the map).




Yasuo
shows up top lane with the first wave, while the enemy bot lane hasn't shown yet on the minions. This indicates the enemy
Ekko
jungle likely started at his blue.


In some cases, both side lanes will arrive to lane late (one lane fakes a leash). It's a good idea to check to see if the laners are missing any health or mana, or if they have any other resources (like Fury or Rage) that might indicate that they leashed.

Other times, both side lanes will show on the minions right away, which means the enemy jungler is soloing their first camp. This is common for some champions such as Ivern, who can't receive leashes, or

Diana
, who can solo her first clear without help. Champions with strong AoE abilities like
Diana
,
Kayn
and
Evelynn
are likely to start Raptors if they're soloing their first camp. Others like
Fiddlesticks
can do more specialized routes solo (Fiddle clears pairs of camps at the same time). In these cases, early vision is crucial to determining where the enemy starts. A ward on the enemy Raptor camp or on enemy buffs is often beneficial if your team can invade safely at level 1 to place the vision.

Predicting Pathing

The enemy jungler's starting location is the most important piece of information for tracking them early game, but you'll still need to think about what kind of path they're likely to take. Champion knowledge pays off here, as knowing that

Elise
wants to get level 3 and gank, while
Evelynn
usually wants to clear all her camps to maximize her XP gain will give you a clue as to what their likely paths will be, even given identical starting locations.

Once you have a theory about what the enemy route might be, you'll need to keep your eyes open and be ready to update your predictions when you acquire new information. The first time you see the enemy jungler, press tab and check their CS (creep score). Each jungle camp is worth 4 CS, so divide their CS by 4 to figure out how many camps they've cleared. You'll also want to pan your camera and check their buffs. Left-clicking on the enemy jungler will show you the remaining duration of their buffs, which will also indicate which buff was cleared first. Combine that with the time the enemy jungler appears on the map and what their champion is best at clearing, and you'll get a fairly reliable picture of what camps they've cleared so far.

Wave Management

While junglers don't have the constantly manage the minion wave like laners do, it's important to understand some of the basics of wave management. You'll not only need to decide whether to push the wave or not after a gank, but understanding wave management will help you predict what the lane states will be in the near future and whether you can set up a gank or dive.

The Even-minion Rule

The even-minion rule states that when there are an even number of minions for both teams, but the wave is closer to one team's side of the map, the wave will start to slow-push away from that side of the map. This happens because one team's reinforcing minions from the coming minion wave will join the fight sooner than the other, giving them an advantage in the push that will build up over time.


The even-minion rule indicates that our wave will push. I help

Miss Fortune
push and crash this wave so she can recall without losing minions.


Slow-pushing

Slow-pushing is when one wave has a slight advantage over the other and starts to gain ground towards the enemy side of the map (usually while one laner carefully last-hits the minions as late as possible). When slow-pushing, you'll notice that the advancing minion wave will start to build up a large amount of minions before reaching the enemy tower. This gives the laner with the slow-pushing wave an advantage in trades and a temporary lead in experience.

You will basically never slow-push as a jungler, but you'll want to be able to recognize slow-pushes when they're happening. Slow-pushes often serve as good setups for tower dives. If you successfully kill the enemy or force them to retreat, they'll lose a huge amount of experience and gold as their tower kills the minions. This is the most rewarding type of gank.


I set up for a dive as

Quinn
crashes a cannon wave, which results in
Teemo
losing gold and XP while Quinn gets some easy tower plates.


Freezing

Freezing is when the minion wave is close to one tower, but doesn't reach tower range. Freezes can be maintained by laners in order to make their opponents more susceptible to ganks, or to allow them to farm safely. As a jungler, you may want to freeze the wave if the allied and enemy laners are dead or recalled. This denies experience to the enemy laner as your minions die to the enemy minions. Your laner will also get to collect the large wave that builds up as they're returning to lane.

The easiest way to execute a freeze is to tank the enemy minions and pull them towards the center of the lane (this is relevant when your minions are dead and the enemy wave would hit your tower without intervention). As long as there are 3-4 extra enemy ranged minions (spending on proximity to tower), you should be able to freeze.


After my allied

Dr. Mundo
dies and I fight off the low health
Shen
, I tank the wave for a few seconds, preventing it from crashing and setting up a freeze.

Fast-pushing / Crashing

Fast-pushing or Crashing is when a champion clears the enemy minions as quickly as possible with the goal of pushing their wave under the enemy tower. This is usually the best option when your allied laner needs to recall after a gank (which is most of the time). Crashing a small wave that dies to tower before the enemy wave arrives results in a reset (which is a neutral wave state). Crashing a large wave, or crashing a wave while an enemy minion wave is under tower will result in a bounce (which starts a slow-push towards your side of the map).

You'll usually want to fast-push after a gank if your laner was slow-pushing before the gank, as long as they're planning on recalling. This will give them plenty of time to get back to lane without missing much CS. If the enemy has a large wave after the gank, you might need to freeze (especially if your allied laner is dead or recalled). If your ally is still in lane, they can usually set up the freeze themselves if they want to freeze.

In some cases, you may need to help your laner crash the wave, even if the enemy laner is still in lane. This generally happens when they're too weak or too low on health or mana to safely push the wave in. In these cases, showing up to simply push the wave to tower and give your laner a much-needed recall is the best thing you can do. Be careful about doing this, as it's only valuable if your laner actually needs the help and wants to recall, otherwise, you're just taking XP from them for no reason. It's best to communicate with your team if you're not sure if they need the help or not.

Minion Tax

Every time you gank or push a wave, you're taking away some of the experience they could be earning if they were alone in lane. If you personally kill some of the minions, you're also denying your ally gold. This is why it's important to know when your presence in lane is necessary, so you don't hurt your laners unintentionally. That said, in many cases (as explained above), you'll need to help push the wave.

Rek'Sai is a bit of a mixed case, as she can snowball well with early gold, but often isn't the main win condition for her team. You'll want to take more gold if your laner is not a win condition (usually tanks like

Ornn
or utility champs like
Malzahar
), since you can use the gold to snowball other lanes. Take less gold if your laner is a strong carry like
Riven
or
Draven
, as their laning success is more crucial to your team's victory than your own champion's items.

Sometimes you can break this rule, as solo queue is an unpredictable environment. Giving CS and kills to a teammate that is playing poorly can be a misuse of resources, but it can also improve your teammate's mental state. You'll have to use your own judgment to decide when to give up gold that, on paper, would serve you better.

Team Fighting

Team fighting is arguably the most difficult topic to teach, as it has the most variables. With so many possible champions, game states and circumstances, every team fight is going to play out differently. The best way to develop your team fighting skills is to simply play more games, but it can still help to get a rough idea of what Rek'Sai is and is not capable of.

Peeling

Rek'Sai can do a good job of peeling against certain champions, and is overall an acceptable frontliner even with the relatively squishy

Prowler's Claw
build. If your team has strong ranged champions or the enemy team has a weak frontline but multiple divers, you should probably consider peeling for your team in the case of an enemy engage.

Against champions like

Zac
,
Lee Sin
or
Gnar
who rely on dashes to engage, stay burrowed and right-click them to buffer your knockup on them if they dash in. You can right-click away if they don't take the engage, or to correct your positioning so you don't walk into the enemy team. If you're burrowed and playing near your teammates, it's very difficult for these champions to set up a good engage on your carries.

Furious Bite is worth using while peeling. It deals a huge chunk of true damage at full Fury, so don't be afraid to use it on whomever you're peeling, even if it's a tank. Tunnel is worth saving though, as you'll often need it to chase after dealing with the enemy front line. You can also use

Prowler's Claw
or
Void Rush
to chase down kills if the enemy is losing the fight and retreating.

While peeling (and sometimes while diving too), take advantage of your low

Burrow / Un-burrow
cooldown to knock up a different enemy champion every few seconds. While the per-target knockup makes it impossible to repeatedly CC the same target, you can apply a lot of CC across the enemy team if you use your knockup whenever it's available and you're near enough to a champion that you haven't knocked up recently.

Diving

If you get on top of an enemy carry or squishy support, you should usually be able to one-shot them if you're not behind in levels or items. The trick is getting to your target amidst the enemy's dashes and defensive CCs. Flanking is usually your best bet for finding your target. You can use Tunnel to approach team fights from over walls, sometimes even behind the enemy team (but be wary of enemy wards while setting up a flank). If you do manage to get into position, wait until the enemy front line commits to the team fight before you go for the dive. If you jump the gun, you'll be in a 1v5 with all of the enemy's abilities available to peel you off. If you time it right, Tunnel will get you into position from fog of war (where the enemy won't be able to punish your low dash speed) and

Prowler's Claw
will get you on top of your target for a knockup.



Void Rush
will often make or break the execution of the dive. It's your best way to follow enemies who use Flash or another escape ability to create distance between you and them. It also helps you avoid CC spells, which can make the difference between dying to a stun-chain or one-shotting an enemy carry.

Another way to use

Void Rush
for survivability is to kill your target without it (if possible), then Burrow and use Prey Seeker (or perhaps Chilling Smite) to mark another target before casting R to reposition. This is a rarer case, but it can cause a lot of havoc in the enemy team when one second you're diving their backline and the next second you disappear to a different side of the fight.

Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read my guide. While I still miss the old pre-rework Rek'Sai, her current kit is also super fun. I hope you enjoy your time with this champion as much as I have. Remember to stay cool, /mute all if needed, and carry hard! <3

RekSaiJungleLeague-Of-Legends


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