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
, 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
Best Overall Build
My recommended rune set for Rek'Sai is
with Inspiration secondary.
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,
Coup de Grace
are always solid options. In some games, you may want
(against several stuns/roots). You can opt for
for better 1v1 prowess, but
Coup de Grace
is typically more useful in ganks.
For your Inspiration runes,
allows you to forgo buying boots and instead work on building your
lowers the cooldown on
, 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
in fights that only last a couple seconds, I feel that
Rek'Sai can still perform fine in these situations while also having a useful keystone for extended fights.
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.
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.
Burrow between jungle camps to regenerate health by spending Fury.
The healing from Fury can also save you from finishers like Ignite or Karthus R.
You can generate a full bar of Fury very quickly in fights, so don't be afraid to consume it.
You lose 20 Fury per second if you haven't generated any in the last 5 seconds.
Prey Seeker doesn't generate Fury or reset the 5-second timer.
Queen's Wrath resets your basic attack timer. You should always try to use this function for an extra attack in fights.
Queen's Wrath slightly increases Rek'Sai's attack speed (despite the tooltip not stating this) as it speeds up her basic attack animation.
Queen's Wrath's cooldown starts when you finish the third attack, or when the ability times out after 5 seconds. This means you can't prime the ability between jungle camps for a shorter cooldown, and you lose DPS if you fail to attack 3 times.
Queen's Wrath is an empowered attack, which means it can't be Flashed. You can sometimes kill enemies with it after they've Flashed. :)
Prey Seeker grants vision of targets hit, so it can be used to safely check bushes or fog of war. This is especially useful while Burrowed, since you'll have reduced vision.
Prey Seeker's cooldown is close to the per-target cooldown of Unburrow. This'll give you an idea of when to Burrow again to cast it, especially while clearing the jungle.
Prey Seeker has a brief cast time which will stop your movement, but it's fast enough that it won't slow you down very much. Don't stop to cast it if you're running away though, as it's not worth the risk of slowing down enough to get killed.
Burrow greatly reduces your vision range, but you'll still retain vision from allied units, wards, and vision-granting abilities like Prey Seeker.
Despite your lack of direct vision Rek'Sai's Tremor Sense will warn you with a visual and audio cue when enemy or neutral units are moving near you. The size of the circular indicator will give you a clue as to what type of unit is moving (e.g. minions will show a small circle, while a champion will show a large circle).
Tremor Sense's audio cue is a sort of humming sound, which will be different depending on the skin you're using. If you're used to playing League with music, you may want to lower the volume or opt to play Rek'Sai without music so you can consistently hear this audio cue.
It's a little imprecise, but Tremor Sense can be enough for you to land Prey Seeker even without vision of the target. Placing a ward to prevent the enemy from juking your Prey Seeker or Tunnel is sometimes necessary.
Tremor Sense is great for spotting counterganks before you commit to a fight, even if the enemy jungler is camouflaged or invisible. If the enemies are standing still however, you won't know they're there.
Burrow is on cooldown for 4 seconds after you Unburrow.
Invading while burrowed can allow you to detect the enemy jungler clearing their camps.
Unburrow only applies the main knockup to one target. If you press W, it'll be the closest enemy or neutral monster. If you right-click a target, Rek'Sai will knock up that target instead.
Unburrow's maximum range is longer when you use W to cast it rather than right-clicking. This makes W optimal to use if no other enemies are next to you, while right-click sacrifices range for precision. You'll need to make use of both techniques.
If you miss this ability, you'll have to wait 4 seconds to Burrow, plus the 1 second cooldown of Unburrow in order to try for the knockup again. To avoid missing, try to get between your target and their escape route, or bait their Flash by moving underneath them without Unburrowing (then use Flash, Prowler's Claw or Tunnel to follow them).
There is a 10 second per-target cooldown for the primary knockup of Unburrow. You can see the status of this cooldown via a circular effect underneath a target that you recently knocked up. Enemies hit by the small secondary knockup are not affected by this cooldown.
While burrowed, right-clicking an enemy that dashes in your direction will cause you to knock them up as soon as they enter your range. This is useful against enemies who will dash to engage on your team, or who will try to juke your knockup. Even if the dash is super fast like Irelia, Kai'Sa or Akali, you can still interrupt it if the enemy is dashing directly past you.
At 100 Fury, this ability deals true damage with a massive 1.7 bonus AD ratio. It's long cooldown means you'll usually get one cast off in short fights, so make sure you fully stack your Fury before casting it when possible. Casting E at less than 100 Fury will cause it to deal less than half the damage due to armor mitigation. The only time you should use E at less than max Fury is if the target is about to escape with low health or you're about to die.
The damage will go off as long as you start the cast animation, which means you'll sometimes get kills on people after they Flash away. :)
The main use of this ability is as a dash. Use it to get over walls or close the gap on targets. In most cases, you'll want to dash to cut off your target's escape rather than dashing directly at them, since the slow speed of this ability makes you easy to juke.
The dash has a static range which can only be altered by using terrain. Tunneling through large walls can slightly extend the range of the dash, while tunnel towards a wall can leave you with a very short tunnel.
The tunnels you leave behind can be reused by right-clicking them, but there is an internal cooldown per tunnel that prevents you from immediately reusing them. Tunnels that you've just created start on cooldown. This internal cooldown starts at 10 seconds, but goes down to 2 seconds at max rank.
Tunnels can be destroyed by an enemy champion standing on either entrance for 1.5 seconds, granting them 5 gold. You can sometimes repeat-gank an enemy laner if they think you're gone and stand on your tunnel while you're waiting at the other end.
You can have a maximum of 8 tunnels on the map at once. After that, the earliest tunnel will be replaced. Tunnels also last for 10 minutes before being destroyed.
Despite ostensibly being underground, you are still targetable while using or creating a Tunnel. You can be interrupted by airborne effects while tunneling. The tunnel will still be created, but you'll stop in your tracks.
Rek'Sai retains her Burrowed or Unburrowed status upon exiting a tunnel. However, if you were Unburrowed when you entered the tunnel, you will apply the effects of Unburrow when you exit, since Rek'Sai travels through the tunnels in a Burrowed state. This also doesn't put your W on cooldown which is neat.
You can't enter a tunnel while immobilized, grounded or silenced.
Tunnels that allow you to traverse over walls are almost always better than tunnels that simply move you forward slightly faster. I recommend using tunnels between your jungle camps rather than creating a chain of tunnels from fountain to the map.
Using E to hop a wall into the enemy jungle provides you with a safe escape route, as long as you aren't caught out while that tunnel is on cooldown.
This ability makes you untargetable for 1.5 seconds, allowing you to dodge CCs or high-damage abilities. This is very effective against telegraphed ultimates like Diana or Leona R.
Enemies can only dodge your R if they move 1500 units within the 1.5 second window. This means it can't be Flashed or dodged with most dashes or blinks. You also cannot be interrupted by crowd control while pouncing on your target.
This ability makes you untargetable, serves as a gap-closer and deals execute damage. All three of these functions are super useful on their own. Making use of 2 or 3 functions at the same time is even better (e.g. dodging Jax stun while gap-closing onto a low-health Jinx).
Post-6, initiate tower dives by taking aggro first, then use R to drop aggro when you get low. Make sure you use R before the target dies or you could die to tower unnecessarily.
Rek'Sai will only tag enemies with the debuff that allows her to ult them if she currently has Void Rush skilled up. This means you can't hit someone, level up to 6, and then cast R. You'll need to hit them again before you can actually ult them.
You can target enemy champions that you've damaged with a basic attack, ability or Chilling Smite in the last 5 seconds. This includes Prey Seeker, which is your longest range option to apply the mark.
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.
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
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 has a low enough cooldown that you can use it liberally.
(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
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.
(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.
Chilling Smite is the preferred option for Rek'Sai in most cases. It enables you to more reliably catch up to enemies in order to land your knockup, plus it gives you a way to mark an enemy for Void Rush from range without relying on a skillshot. You can also use Chilling Smite to outrun pursuers if you're caught out.
Challenging Smite is still better for fighting tough opponents up close, and it deals more damage over time than Chilling Smite. Rek'Sai isn't the greatest duelist (though she's competent) and you'll lose a lot of ganking value from Chilling Smite, so be sure that Emberknife is actually going to make a big different against the champions on the enemy team before you sacrifice your slow for better 1v1s.
This is currently the dominant mythic on Rek'Sai. The gap-closer provided by the active is immensely useful as it provides either an increase to your maximum engage range, or an additional gap-closer after you've used your Tunnel to get close. It's very difficult to avoid Rek'Sai's full combo if she has Prowler's Claw completed, and you'll deal a ton of extra damage to your target. Even in tough games, you'll often be able to go 1 for 1 in kills against multiple opponents, or take out targets in team fights that are much more fed than you. The only downside to this item is that it doesn't make you tanky, but playing for team fight phase by buying a bruiser mythic is not worth sacrificing the huge power spike from Prowler's, since your best chance of carrying is by snowballing the early game rather than scaling and team fighting.
Most teams have a Marksman and often 1 or more other physical threats as well. Towers and neutral objectives also deal physical damage, so these boots will always be at least decent. They're a must-buy against teams with multiple AD champions that rely on basic attacks, like Tryndamere, Urgot or Yasuo.
Merc's are good vs teams with several strong stuns or roots (not knockups or knockbacks, as they're not reduced by tenacity). They also give magic resist, which obviously is going to be more useful against teams with more AP threats. Keep an eye on both the enemy team composition and itemization, as well as who on the enemy team is getting fed in the early game. Even if the enemy team has fairly evenly split magic and physical damage champions, you might want Mercury's Treads to deal with the 5/0 Annie rather than Steelcaps against the 0/2 Twitch.
The lethality stacks nicely with Prowler's Claw, and this item still makes you a bit tankier for mid-game fights. The spell shield will usually get decent value, but note that in some games it'll be exceptionally useful and in others it'll just block one Ezreal Q or something. If you feel that the shield won't get value against the enemy team, you can opt to skip this item.
The premier armor item for bruisers. Get this right after your mythic and boots against AD-heavy teams. It's also just a generically good item that'll usually fit around the middle of your build. You can delay it if magic damage is a more pressing concern.
In the ideal Rek'Sai game, you get fed early and then try to end the game without throwing your lead. Guardian Angel is perfect in these situations, as can prevent you from throwing the game with a single mistake. If you're behind and dying in a lot of fights, do not buy this item. The cooldown is very long and the stats aren't great by themselves. Get an item with better stats if you're having a rough game. You can also sell this late game if it's on cooldown and you have enough gold to replace it with something else.
Maw is quite good after its buffs, though obviously you'll need to ensure the enemy team has enough magic damage to warrant the item. Rek'Sai performs better with Maw rather than Wit's End, since she has great AD scalings.
This item is pretty generically good, but doesn't excel in any area other than softening up tanks for your AD teammates to kill. While Cleaver is never a bad choice, it's often not the most important buy. If you find you don't need one of the above items, or if you're in desperate need of armor pen (usually if your team is full AD), you can look to buy this. It's also a lot better if you're peeling off melees in team fights rather than diving squishies.
Sterak's is a bit overrated after the nerf. It's pretty bad early game since the base AD bonus requires levels to be useful. It's still a solid option against mixed damage late game, but you can't build it with Maw, which means its best niche is against incidental magic damage like Maokai and Lux (against which you probably don't need Maw) rather than dedicated threats like Syndra or Cassiopeia. Keep in mind the shield scales with bonus HP, so it combines well with items like Edge of Night and Black Cleaver.
This is a late game option to deal with a single enemy threat (usually the enemy AD carry). Late game carries will have % pen items which make tank items less effective. If there's only one champion on the enemy team likely to kill you late game (and you're okay with building an item that gives no AD), the % damage reduction from Anathema's can't be itemized against.
Force of Nature is often overkill with the options of Mercury's Treads and Maw of Malmortius, but if the enemy has mostly AP threats, it can give good value. Again, you won't get any AD from this, so build it later in the game when your usefulness as a damage threat is falling off.
This item is actually outperformed by Anathema's against a single target (except during the 4 seconds where Randuin's debuffs the enemy). Rather than building Randuin's to counter a single fed ADC, build it against teams with several AD threats late game, especially if those champions build crit.
This item counters shields and can help you snowball against champions like Lulu and Ivern, but it's a big risk. The lack of survivability means you'll be very squishy in the mid game, so if your team hasn't established solid map control or forced the enemy team to surrender, this item can be a liability later on. If you're not in a fairly commanding position by the time you've finished your Prowler's Claw, you might want to build a bruiser item instead.
Not the most efficient item in terms of stats, but the healing reduction is necessary against certain champions like Vladimir or Soraka. In a perfect world, someone on your team will build healing reduction so you don't have to, but solo there are no guarantees in solo queue. Pick it up when necessary, but know that you're giving up a better item in order to get this healing reduction, so it had better be worth the sacrifice.
The 1v1 vs Warwick is virtually unwinnable. You simply don't have the right tools to kill him through his damage reduction and self-healing. He can also use his Q to avoid being knocked up by your Unburrow. It doesn't get any easier post-6, since his ult is even stronger in 1v1s than yours. Your best bet to beat Warwick is to abuse his poor clear speed and look for ganks that he can't match. Path away from him if you can. Warding is also strong vs Warwick, as he doesn't have any fancy wall hops or crazy gank tools, so he's easy to nullify with vision.
Rek'Sai loses the 1v1 to Nocturne, which is really bad considering Nocturne scales better into mid game. You still have the pre-6 advantage for map pressure, and your Tunnel can be used to pretty reliably disengage over a wall if he catches you out. Nocturne also doesn't have great escapes, so baiting him with lane priority can work as well. He tends to work better in smaller fights, so you can win in countergank situations (especially 3v3 bot) if you can predict where he'll ult. Invading him to slow down his XP gain is good too, but you might need an ally to actually help you kill him. If he's high HP, he can just E you and walk away, even if he misses his spell shield. Speaking of spell shields, you'll want to bait out his W by moving next to him while burrowed, but don't use Unburrow until the shield wears off. You could also break the shield with Prey Seeker, but don't do this unless it's a 2v1 in your favor. Breaking Nocturne's spell shield gives him a huge amount of attack speed which is very bad for your survival in a 1v1.
Rek'Sai is stronger than in the current meta, but the mechanics of this matchup still favor Elise. Your Tunnel makes you very predictable, allowing Elise to line up easy Cocoons. Elise can dodge your ult with Rappel and you'll need to be careful when you Unburrow to make sure you knock up the champion and not her spiderlings. Elise tends to be squishy, but her Cocoon and Rappel make it difficult to find opportunities to actually fight her in melee. In most cases, you'll end up getting stunned and chunked before you can respond. Like Rek'Sai, Elise can deal a ton of damage if she gets ahead early, but she also performs poorly from behind. Your best bet is to avoid fighting her directly (path away from her or look to counter her ganks rather than running into her directly). Both champions have good level 3 ganks, but Rek'Sai has more options for gank paths and a faster clear speed, giving you an edge in the early game outside of 1v1s. In team fights, mainly try to find a way to be useful to your team without tunneling into a Cocoon. Usually the best way is to wait until Cocoon is on cooldown before committing to Tunnel, or use Tunnel to flank the enemy and dodge the Cocoon with Prowler's Claw or Flash. Mercury's Treads are very helpful in this matchup, and Maw of Malmortius is a good pickup if Elise has 2 additional AP champions on her team.
Pillar can interrupt your Tunnel, which not only blocks your engages but can cut you off from escaping. Trundle dumpsters most AD melee champions in a 1v1, including Rek'Sai, and especially once he has level 6. He's also a pretty healthy clearer, so invading him is not really an option without help from teammates. His ganks are pretty underwhelming and his ultimate doesn't help in ganks at all, so your main advantage is his poor lane pressure. Use vision and jungle tracking to avoid running into him or getting counterganked. If you look for ganks where he can't counter, you should still do fine in the early game. He remains scary in team fights but is vulnerable to being kited. If you have any strong ranged champions on your team, the best play is often to simply knock him up with Unburrow and then back off while your team kites him for a bit. You can re-engage when he's low on health. Otherwise, looking for picks on isolated enemies rather than direct team fights is usually a good idea.
This matchup leans towards the tougher side, but it still mostly comes down to who makes better plays. Vi will usually win fights if she lands a charged Q on you, since she maxes Q first. This means facechecking her is really bad, so use Prey Seeker to scout bushes and watch/listen for Tremor Sense when walking into river. Even though her dueling potential is a bit better, you still have more reliable pre-6 ganks. Post-6, Vi's ult is scary, but you can dodge it with your ult if you mark her and cast R quickly enough. If she chains Q into R, there's not much you can do. Counterganking her is good since she commits her main escape tool (Q) at the start of fights. Otherwise, avoid fighting her on her terms. You can still go for 1v1s if she face-checks you, since even if she can land a charged Q in your face, you'll be able to hit her while she charges up. Her team fighting is slightly better, but you're similar enough that you'll still be able to carry if you have a better early game.
I'm listing Kayn as Medium because Rhaast actually counters Rek'Sai, but Kayn's early game is weak enough that you should have a consistent advantage against him. This matchup becomes easy if you prevent him from freely farming and ganking pre-transformation. When you're winning early against Kayn, the game can be over by 15 minutes. If you fail to generate a lead early, you're in for some rough team fights as Rhaast outperforms you. Shadow Assassin is easier to punish but is still dangerous when fed.
This is a very volatile matchup. Kha'Zix has the tools to win 1v1 (especially after Q evolve), but he has a lot of other weaknesses you can exploit. His farming speed is mediocre, and he lacks any CC for ganks. You can also interrupt his Leap, or even if you don't, you can often still chase him since he has no other escapes other than his ult at 6. Your Tremor Sense will track him when he's invisible, making it easier to avoid being juked. Play around your laners with priority and/or lanes where you win 2v2 or 3v3. Avoid playing into Kha'Zix's strengths by not letting him fight you while you're isolated, unless you're confident you're strong enough to overpower him. You can spam gank and snowball your lanes much easier due to your CC advantage and the fact that Kha'Zix is more item-reliant and needs more gold and XP to stay relevant.
Ekko starts off on the weaker side, but his item scaling is disgusting. You have a window to punish him early game, but once he has his ult and an item or two, he'll become a serious threat. He also has great team fighting, which makes long games work to his favor. As is the case with many Rek'Sai skill matchups, the outcome of the game will largely be determined by how well you can snowball before the enemy jungler outscales you.
Your ability to interrupt Zac's Slingshot is a huge nuisance for him. Early game he can clear quickly and his ganks start to become strong at levels 6, 7 and 9, but without items, he's actually quite easy to kill. You have a large advantage early game, but it'll mostly evaporate once he has 1-2 defensive items. Denying him early gank opportunities by mirroring his pathing and invading when possible will help you get ahead while he's still weak. In team fights he vastly outperforms you, but you can mitigate some of the difference by interrupting his E with your Unburrow to peel for your team.
Your ability to track Shaco with Tremor Sense while burrowed makes his tricks a lot less reliable. Unfortunately, you don't have a great way to deal with his boxes (other than sweeper of course). Both champions have pretty good early ganks and decent clears. Warding his camps can make it easier to predict his pathing and give your laners more warning before he jumps into their lane, invisible. He can dodge your ultimate with his, which is a pain. Overall Shaco doesn't do anything too scary to you, but it's hard to punish him. Counterganking is effective since he's much more vulnerable once he's committed Q to engage. He also can't fight you directly early game if you're high HP (though he'll often have Ignite to somewhat offset this disadvantage, so be careful when you're low), but he's hard to chase down to kill if he saves cooldowns to use defensively. He eventually outscales you but you can remain relevant mid game, so whoever makes better use of the early game will usually be able to carry. Worth noting that AP Shaco is tougher to deal with because he'll often save his Q to escape and play more from range, while AD Shaco still scales well but can be punished.
The 1v1 vs Rengar is not great, but you actually perform pretty well against him in the team fight phase (which is rare for Rek'Sai). Be wary of facechecking him or getting counterganked early. He can be tough to kill if he uses empowered W to run away, even if you start a 1v1 with an advantage. Your main advantages are your superior pre-6 ganks and your Tremor Sense (plus Unburrow knockup). You can spot which direction he approaches from when he ults and tries to jump on your teammates. Due to your CC advantage, you can peel him off your team and focus him in skirmishes or team fights. Rengar still outscales you in terms of actual fighting ability, so it's still best to win early rather than let the game drag on, but don't panic if you reach mid game without completely shutting him down, as you can still defend your teammates against him fairly effectively in fights.
This matchup is great for you early game and great for Fiddle mid-late game. He only has his Q for defense, and you'll be able to easily outdamage his healing from his W with your Conqueror. You'll likely want Mercury's Treads and possibly the Legend: Tenacity rune to reduce the effectiveness of his self-peel. When warding against Fiddlesticks, try to place (some of) your stealth wards away from bushes. Fiddle can't buy Oracle Lens, but his effigies can reveal wards after level 6. He'll often place his effigies in bushes to prevent enemies from killing them for free (kinda like control wards), so he's less likely to clear out vision that isn't close to a bush. One thing to note is that Fiddle can clear very fast since he can use W to clear 2 camps at once. It's difficult to punish him on the first clear since you'll need to get level 3 to fight, but if you catch him clearing later on, he's quite vulnerable, especially if you interrupt his W and put it on its full cooldown. When he has ult and Zhonya's his much harder to deal with and you can't easily peel him off your team, so take map control early before you get to team fight phase.
This matchup is a lot like Fiddlesticks in that you have a large advantage early game, but his clear speed and scaling can become a problem if you fail to secure early advantages. Karthus is another fast clearer and will often try to steal your Raptors (or other camps) if you leave them up. He's generally pretty easy to kill as he has no escapes, but he deals a ton of damage, including with his passive after death. Do your best to kill him quickly and get out fast, and be ready to juke his Qs as you run away after killing him. Trading kills with Karthus is bad because he scales much better with gold than you. Maw of Malmortius is worth considering if Karthus starts getting strong. It requires another champion to target, but you can dodge Karthus' ult with your ult if you time the untargetability to line up with the Requiem detonation.
Rammus can win by spam-ganking for lane leads, playing around lane priority, and outperforming you in team fights. He's bad in 1v1s without Thornmail (your E true damage punches through his W) and he's a fairly slow farmer. Catching him while he's clearing his camps is really effective if you can sneak up on him, since he'll always use up his W to clear and he'll have no defenses left. You can also interrupt his Powerball with Unburrow, since Unburrow has slightly longer range than Powerball's hitbox. In team fights, you'll have to decide whether it's better to peel off Rammus and protect your backline or to dive the enemy backline when Rammus engages. This depends on team compositions and which team has the stronger ranged carries in that game.
You can interrupt his dashes with Unburrow and you're stronger in extended fights. You're also an early game jungler so you can match his pressure and prevent him from snowballing. As long as Lee doesn't get mega fed this should be easy to win. In team fight stage, buffer your Unburrow by right-clicking Lee and then right-clicking to move away repeatedly. This will prevent him from engaging past you.
Diana is a strong champion right now, but she loses 1v1s to Rek'Sai and you can start snowballing while she's still weak early. Invade if you have lane priority, or snowball through ganks if your lanes are being pushed in. Post-6, use your ult to dodge Diana's ult proc; it's very telegraphed. Diana outscales you but it's your game to lose.
Hecarim has decent early ganks and good farming, but he can't match you in fights. You can invade to steal camps but don't overextend for kills, as he can often just use E to run away if it's not on cooldown. If you match his ganks or snowball while he's farming, you should be able to shred him with your Serrated Dirk and Prowler's Claw power spikes.
Viego is only scary if he gets items. Early game, you have better CC and damage. His clear isn't nearly as fast as someone like Hecarim, so he'll need to find successful ganks to become relevant. If you take control early game you can shut him out of his jungle and leave him poor for the rest of the game. In 1v1s, you can ult to avoid his ult, or just ult to chase and kill him if you're winning hard.
Graves is still annoying if he gets a lead, but his nerfs at the end of last season hurt his ability to become an unkillable lifesteal crit machine. That, combined with the sticking power and damage from Prowler's Claw swings the matchup in Rek'Sai's favor. If he doesn't get ahead of you, you can treat him pretty much like any other AD carry and burst him before he can do much to retaliate.
Xin Zhao's only major advantage over Rek'Sai is his superior level 2. Once you hit level 3, Rek'Sai does basically the same thing as Xin, but she has faster farming and more mobility. If you're diligent about paying attention to lane priority, you should be able to pick winning fights against him, while Xin doesn't have a good way of escaping if his teammates don't bail him out.
Master Yi will beat you in a 1v1 eventually, but the game is completely out of his hands until he gets several items. You should be able to dominate the map early game and prevent him from getting to his item spikes. Be wary of a possible level 2 cheese with Ignite, as Yi's level 2 is deceptively strong and Rek'Sai's is rather weak. He can start his red and invade your blue side if you start blue, but if you avoid dying to that play, he'll be behind and possibly die to your laners.
Rek'Sai deals more damage than Jarvan and has comparable ganks once she hits level 3. Jarvan's a solid team fighter, but he'll only beat you with the help of his laners. Once you hit level 6, you can easily chase him even if he uses his E-Q combo to run away, so play aggressively if you're not in danger of dying to laners rotating to you. If he engages on you, 99% of the time his knockup will work before yours goes off, even if you buffer your Unburrow. It is possible to interrupt his E-Q but I have not been able to figure out why it happens. It seems to work extremely rarely, and in the worse case, you can use up your Unburrow without dealing damage or knocking Jarvan up. It's safest to simply stay burrowed and knock him up after his CC ends.
Nidalee can be a little tricky to fight pre-6 or without Prowler's Claw, but overall she's not too scary. She only has damage if she lands her Q first, and you can interrupt her W with Unburrow. Her short cooldown jump stops being an issue once you have Prowlers or ult. She's killable early, but if you can't find a good 1v1 pre-6, don't worry because your power spikes will outstrip hers. To countergank her
To be honest, I've played very little of this matchup, but Zed has a terrible win rate in this matchup and logically, Zed doesn't really have a way to beat Rek'Sai. Rek'Sai's ganks are better, she can stand up to Zed in 1v1s, and she has a similar power spike at 6. Zed has to build squishy so he'll melt once you have your first item. The one thing he can do is W-E-Q to chunk you from range, but as long as you're not too low on health to start with, he shouldn't be able to kill you. Save your ult to last-hit him after he retreats to one of his shadows. You can also dodge the application of his ult if you ult during the cast time, though you'll have to ult one of his teammates since he'll be untargetable.
Evelynn is vulnerable to early pressure, since her dueling is terrible and her gank power is mediocre pre-6. Rek'Sai's strong early game is perfect for capitalizing on Evelynn's weaknesses. As long as you use your time wisely and avoid simply trading farm, you should be able to take map control. You can also track her with Tremor Sense while burrowed, which works even when she's camouflaged; this makes it hard for her to countergank you.
Nunu is better in team fights and his ganks are fine, but he'll get stomped in 1v1s and skirmishes due to your higher DPS and true damage from Furious Bite. The Nunu player can win if he out-macros you, but his options are limited when you can match his early pressure and he can't confront you directly. His counterjungling is not usually an issue since Rek'Sai doesn't typically full clear since she spends time ganking. Slow games are bad for you, but if you get your power spikes on time you'll be able to start blowing people up and Nunu won't be able to stop you.
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.
Tryndamere snowballs super hard with early kills, and your Tunnel gives you access to more gank paths than a top laner can ward against. Your ganks aren't too bad even if the enemy top laner builds armor, since you have a big chunk of true damage on Furious Bite.
Pretty much the same as Tryndamere. Riven is a great champion to snowball through ganks and she'll be able to constantly pressure her lane with her lead. She's a viable win condition early, mid and late game.
Camille takes a bit more time to get rolling compared to a champion like Riven or Tryndamere, but her engage range is huge and she has even more gank setup with her ult. This is a solid pairing if you can snowball her to the point where she can get gold off tower plates as well as kills, but she's less likely to pop off off of just one or two ganks.
Pretty much like Tryndamere with better gank setup but slower scaling. If Jax has a good top lane matchup, this pick becomes Ideal, as he can become an unstoppable split-push threat, preventing the enemy from grouping as 5 (which makes your champion less relevant).
This somewhat requires the Aatrox player to actually have decent mechanics, but a fed Aatrox can pressure side lane and also dominate team fights. If you have trouble getting kills early, you can usually dive the enemy top at 6 with your R to reset tower aggro and Aatrox's sustained damage. Your initial burst in team fights will also give him an easy reset for his ultimate.
Darius is similar to Aatrox with worse team fighting but is much easier to execute. He also typically needs less help in lane and can snowball off of one or two kills easily enough.
I've had a lot of success playing around Katarina mids, as they want to fight often and can completely take over a game with a few kills and a well-timed roam to bottom. Using your Flash to start her snowballing mid is usually worth the investment.
I prefer Katarina to Kassadin since she snowballs much faster, but Kassadin can do the work of 3 champions late game, so you have a bit more breathing room if the game goes long. Feeding him kills pre-6 is good if you can do it, but the ganks are a lot more reliable once Kassadin has his ult. Don't be afraid to help side lanes early and start the mid lane snowball later.
Ahri is pretty broken on the current patch and offers good setup or followup to Rek'Sai's CC. In lane you can start ganks with either Tunnel->Flash->Unburrow or Charm->Flash and follow up with whichever CC you didn't use yet. If you're focusing on pressuring a side lane, Ahri is also very safe against enemy ganks. She has good pick potential and roams, isn't a viable late game carry, so make sure you end the game quickly.
Veigar's cage virtually guarantees you either kill the enemy mid laner or blow their Flash for free. He has enough burst for the two of you to one-shot virtually any champion at 6. He doesn't have the same 1v5 potential as some other champions, but the gank setup alone is enough to make this pairing quite strong.
Good roaming mid with great gank followup pre-6 and post-6. Rek'Sai works pretty well with AP assassins since if the two of you are fed, you deal different damage types. Fizz' team fighting is also not bad for an assassin, which makes the mid game less awkward if you aren't stomping.
Fed Dravens can end the game faster than perhaps any other ADC. Feeding him kills for his passive also nets your team more gold per successful gank. You both are bad from behind, but your gank pressure should ensure that both of you get ahead. Preferably pair Draven with an engage support for more reliable kill pressure.
Tristana's huge W range and resets give her great followup on ganks. She can also demolish tower plates to capitalize on winning her lane early. Her ult and W make for good self-peeling abilities, which means you won't have to babysit her too much in fights. She also works well in kill lanes with supports like Leona or Nautilus.
Jhin can always chain his W with your knockup, and he can even R for kills if he's not in range to follow up with basic attacks. Jhin is strong at every stage of the game, which makes him a pretty consistent carry to play around.
Jinx is arguably the strongest hypercarry on the current patch, so obviously she makes this list. She relies a bit on her support to succeed in fights in lane, but giving her a 3v2 advantage will let her run down the enemy laners for a double kill in many cases. In team fights, killing one enemy to activate her passive can be enough to win a fight, and as with other reset champions like Katarina and Tristana, she can often turn a winning game into an early surrender by wiping the enemy team repeatedly.
Pair Leona with an ADC that can snowball and you have a recipe for an easy victory. Leona has great engage and loves junglers who can visit her lane often. She also can engage team fights better than you can and she's tanky enough to take tower aggro early or tank baron late.
Your gank pattern of flanking the enemy bot lane and knocking them up in melee range gives Braum a guaranteed gap-closer with his W. You and your ADC will apply his stun after the knockup, which often results in a kill or at least a lot of summoners being blown. Braum can also peel for his backliners well, which gives you more opportunities to dive the enemies without your carries dying to divers.
Pyke can struggle to win lanes 2v2 but he has fantastic gank setup or followup, especially when either of you have Flash to guarantee your CC. Pyke's ultimate also snowballs your team faster, which is good for ending games before Rek'Sai falls off. The only downside is your ults are both executes, but the upsides are worth the overlap.
Nautilus has a ton of CC, but can struggle a bit more in the 2v2 compared to Leona. He thrives with jungle pressure, and every gank will usually lead to at least one kill. His hook can be used to get picks in the mid game, as he can pull an enemy out of position long enough for you to safely burst without having to tank too much damage from the enemy team.
Orianna's early game damage is rather pitiful. She can shore up your weaknesses in team fights and you can deliver her ult, but Ori works much better with junglers that can play the game slower and engage team fights more reliably.
Zed is easy to gank for, but he often doesn't need your help to get solo kills, and both of you are somewhat countered by Zhonya's. With a Zed mid, you're also more likely to have too much physical damage on your team. Zed usually prefers a magic damage jungler like Elise or Nunu.
This combo can work on paper, but in reality every Jayce you gank for will 100% throw their lead. I don't trust solo queue players to 1v5 on Jayce and neither should you. It's simply too easy for him to make a positional error or overcommit to a fight and make the game take too long to close out.
This rating is for Gragas solo lane. Gragas can reasonably followup ganks but he just doesn't have the carry potential as AP or tank to justify spending time on him. Having him on your team can still be fine as long as you have other carries to play around.
Not only is Caitlyn fairly weak right now, she also doesn't mesh well with Rek'Sai's playstyle. Cait players will usually push the lane early, which leaves you with invading or diving as options (neither of which are guaranteed to work pre-6. Post-6 dives are fine, but Caitlyn doesn't have the same capacity to take over a game compared to a number of other AD carries. If you play around her, it's fairly likely she'll eventually get caught out while sieging a tower and you'll lose your edge. You are both very bad from behind and I prefer other ADCs either for better gank setup or more reliable scaling.
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.
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.
You want to gank a specific lane (either top or bot).
You want to path towards a laner that will have priority.
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
. 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
top vs a
, and a
bottom vs an
. While both of these lanes would be good to snowball, ganking bottom is much more likely to be successful with
' CC, while
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
top might be able to set up kills for you against
, but your ganks are unlikely to change the outcome of that matchup. Likewise, ganking for
might be difficult, but your
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
will have to back off and respect your map control when your
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
) will want to stop you from making plays, while others (like
) 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 (
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
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 -> 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 -> 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 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).
shows up top lane with the first wave, while the enemy bot lane hasn't shown yet on the minions. This indicates the enemy
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
, who can solo her first clear without help. Champions with strong AoE abilities like
are likely to start Raptors if they're soloing their first camp. Others like
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.
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
wants to get level 3 and gank, while
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.
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
push and crash this wave so she can recall without losing minions.
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
crashes a cannon wave, which results in
losing gold and XP while Quinn gets some easy tower plates.
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
dies and I fight off the low health
, 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 gankif 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.
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
or utility champs like
), since you can use the gold to snowball other lanes. Take less gold if your laner is a strong carry like
, 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 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.
Rek'Sai can do a good job of peeling against certain champions, and is overall an acceptable frontliner even with the relatively squishy
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
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
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.
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
will get you on top of your target for a knockup.
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
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.
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