The ONLY Rakan build you will EVER need*
The real Rakan Mid build in action (they all died)
Dude that's like asking "Why Zed mid" Rakan mid because it got dang WORKS
For a more detailed answer, Rakan's base damage and AP scalings are ridiculously high for a support champion.
At max level, max rank and full build, including Electrocute proc, Luden's, Lich Bane and Elixir of Sorcery, as well as the 30 AP from Ghost Poro and the 40 minute mark AP from Gathering Storm, you're going to be amassing mighty impressive numbers.
Which granted, isn't on the crazy end of Assassin damage numbers. But for a support? And besides, you're not going to need more damage than this, ever, unless you're facing a pure MR stacking tank or just a regular Sion.
And you might say "Oh, but they just buy Wit's End/Mercury Treads and it halves your damage- Wrong! Totally on purpose and not something i realized randomly later, attacking a recently shielded enemy/enemy below 1000 HP with your W, will apply all that damage above with a majestic:
Dealing pure true damage to anyone unfortunate enough to not have above that number. And since every champ has between 30-61 base MR at level 18 (minus mega-gnar), they have to invest in several Magic Resist items before you'll start to notice a difference. So yeah, though this is just half of what makes Rakan Mid good, I hope I've piqued your interest in the matter.
ONTO THE GUIDE ITSELF!
Our primary rune page is gonna look like this. It offers everything we need for Rakan to function properly as an Assassin.
- Main runes
Electrocute is the most solid rune choice, because unlike Dark Harvest, it reliably always deals hefty damage throughout the duration of the game, compared to Dark Harvest which either out-damages or gets out-damaged, depending on if you're ahead or behind. And for Electrocute, hitting your two main combo-starters guarantees a window to proc electrocute. ( R - W - AA/Q | W - R - AA/Q )
Sudden Impact and Ultimate Hunter are self explanatory, but Ghost Poro is majorly a personal choice. I love the vision it can grant and it severely rewards deep warding as you'll get twice the vision time, a warning ping when it spots an enemy, AND 6 seconds of vision on the enemy it saw. But Zombie Ward and Eyeball Collection work just fine as well.
The secondary tree is because, although it is not PEAK damage, (that'd be picking Absolute Focus), Transcendence helps a large amount with letting you do more in the game, by letting your cooldowns be up just a tiny bit faster, as well as removing a moderately large chunk of your abilities cooldowns when you one-shot someone. Gathering Storm is self explanatory, Rakan is a late-game assassin.
This build is one I always go in Clash games and very tough team matchups.
- Hard Matchup
It helps you scale a large amount faster as you'll be picking up more gold from assists with Triumph, by simply shielding an ally before they get the kill. And if they have heavy tanks/bruisers, you'll be able to deal a lot more damage to them with Cut Down.
With this playstyle, Rakan becomes a surprisingly tanky and massively damaging burst assassin. He has excellent base damage, only massively amplified by his stupid large AP scalings, hence why he fits so well into the midlane.
First is the full build, then after that I'll go into items individually.
Then, at full build, it's going to look like this.
You're ending up with what is often times enough damage to kill basically every champ in the game, minus MR stacking tanks, Sion's, and stuff like that.
As we delve in-depth with the different items, for my explanation for why Luden's, I shall also delve into the age old discussion about which item fits Rakan mid better.
The main discussion revolves around whether Hextech Rocketbelt, Luden's Tempest, or Night Harvester, is the better option. Right off the bat, Night Harvester in general is really stinky. It's stats and passive is simply in a bad place right now.
So with that out of the way, which is better? Rocketbelt or Luden's?
The very obvious answer is... They have different purposes. They're both for AP Rakan, but the simple answer is, Rocketbelt is for when your team lacks engages, Luden's is for when you need to oneshot and assassinate someone.
Luden's provides AoE burst and a large chunk of bonus damage whenever you hit an ability, while also providing movement speed in the same proc. It's absolutely amazing for poking as you can hit for 600 damage only 2 items in by just throwing a Q out, and it also provides nice movement speed when you hit an ability, helping you chase or run away from people after hitting abilities. Luden's also gives you mana, which lets you play more aggressive and invest more into damage runes than Rocketbelt, as Rakan doesn't have the highest mana-regen.
Rocketbelt is amazing in it's own way, not for the damage (as it is significantly less than Luden's due to it's much higher 40 second cooldown compared to 10>), but for the engages it can allow. A 275 unit dash, plus 30% movement speed towards enemies for 1.5 seconds is PERFECT on Rakan, letting him get engages off with W or R that he normally wouldn't have been able to achieve. BUT you are losing a large amount of killpower by not having the on ability-damage proc from Luden's, and you're running the very large risk of running out of mana after combo'ing like twice.
With that being said, my guide focuses on assassination and raw, unfiltered damage, and thus we will be going Luden's.
Here is where I go in-depth for why I've picked the items for this build.
- Item explanations
There are several matchups that Rakan heavily dislike. Primarily they are the ones with very low cooldowns, that Rakan can't punish as heavily as a result. But especially the characters with tons of dashes, who are able to dodge Rakan's AoE engage.
Champions like Katarina, Fizz, Kassadin and Akali are all the best champions to ban in my opinion.
The best Champion Synergies in the game are as follows
Yone, Rell, Orianna, Diana, Amumu, Jarvan, Cassiopeia (not in any specific order)
They all have abilities that stun many champions in one place, perfect for any Rakan engage.
Rakan is definitely made to be a support. His abilities all scream it, with a unique get in, get out quick while cc'ing enemies and shielding/healing allies. What does NOT scream support is the absolutely bonkers AP scalings paired with the very high base damage. These scalings are what makes Rakan mid as viable as it is, because he is quite unique among his support brethren with this. Champions like Karma and Janna all have incredibly weak AP scalings, clearly on purpose, to ensure that they remain in the support role and rely on heal and shield power to be useful. But for some reason with Rakan? Fuck it, 90% AP scaling on his passive shield.
As you are indeed a midlaner, you will be maxing your W first, and then your Q for maximum damage. Depending on your jungler/support, you may wanna put a second point in W for the bonus damage.
- Skill Path
Rakan's passive is, to quote the almighty PhD haver and original AP Rakan builder, Darkk Mane, ✨ a shield ✨ And I'm not gonna pretend like any more explanation is needed for that, after all Darkk Mane has several PhD's, making him a lot smarter than us common folk, but still I feel like some uncultured Rakan beginners might need more than the words of a god (with many PhD's).
So, what makes this shield so special?
...90% AP scaling. Full build you're gonna have a huge healthbar. Your passive is gonna be around 900-1000 HP strong and it's on a FOURTEEN second cooldown. Not to mention, all damage the shield takes will be instantly regenerated after 5 seconds of not attacking or being attacked. It's a very strong laning tool, and even more perfect for letting you survive when you engage lategame.
Rakan also has a secondary passive, this:
But it's hardly ever applicable since, y'know, solo-lane.
Rakan's Q throws a quick projectile out in front of him, stopping on the first enemy hit. If it hits a enemy champion or epic monster, a small zone will generate around him, healing himself and every allied champion around him after a 3 second duration or instantly if an ally is very close to Rakan.
This skill is an essential part of Rakan's AP kit, as it's both the tool that lets you farm effectively in a losing lane, but also the tool that'll let you chunk the enemy Janna's HP when she gets just a bit too close before a teamfight.
The damage is pretty small level one but scales rampantly throughout the game, especially after you finish Horizon. And that's not to even mention the heals it can provide. The base heal scales with level, so only through AP and Heal and Shield Power can you actually increase it, but it has a 70% AP scaling so... Get ready to hit for 700 damage and heal several allies for the same amount.
Grand entrance is Rakan's most important move. Not just for AP Rakan, because it's his move that's gonna deal the most damage, but also in general, as that ability combined with your R is the only reason he's played in pro play.
Rakan dashes ahead in a straight line, and upon arriving at the middle point of his targeted area, knocks up enemies around him for a second after a very brief delay. It heavily needs to be noted that Grand Entrance can ONLY be cancelled DURING the dash. Once Rakan arrives at the middle point, and begins the knockup, only death can cancel the AoE.
This move, with it's mighty impressive 290 base damage, combined with it's hot as hell 70% AP scaling, is as mentioned above, your bread and butter. It's what deals the most damage in Rakan's entire kit, only having 10 less damage rank 5 than his R, with 20% more AP scaling than it. You hit this move without being cc'd lategame, and you will have picked yourself up a kill. You max this first, to ensure you reach the big numbers as quick as possible. It also significantly reduces the cooldown of it.
Rakan's E is what makes you not have to build tank, if only my allies COULD GOD DAMN GET WITHIN RANGE PLEASE GOD PLEASE JUST WALK TOWARDS ME 20 UNITS PLEAAAA-
Ahem Rakan's E applies a shield to an ally, and then dashes to said ally, in that order. After using it the first time, Rakan can then cast an identical version of the spell, on a 5 second duration. After the second cast is used, or the cooldown runs out, the move goes on cooldown. And the order of the shield and dash is important, because even if the dash is cancelled, the shield is still applied the same frame you press the ally! It also needs to be noted, Rakan's E dashes you IN FRONT of the ally. If you see an ability like a morgana Q on it's way towards your carry, you can E them to block it for them. Or more realistically, you can wait for the enemy team to use all their abilities on your carry, then E to them last second, grant them a 600 HP shield and then oneshot the enemies squishy carry that no doubt overextended, before instantly E'ing back to your ally to refresh the shield, letting them get out with only slight mental scarring.
And here's another part of why AP Rakan is so strong; His E has an 80% AP scaling. It's max base health is 140, so you're actually getting far more value out of his shields by building AP on him, instead of Heal and Shield Power.
Also needs to be mentioned that
Which again, is hardly ever applicable since you are not in a duo lane.
Rakan's R is, again, combined with his W, the entire reason he's played in pro play. Your ability to guarantee a knockup + charm, PLUS with AP Rakan, the damage that follows? It is ridiculously strong. Rakan being able to entirely negate damage from several targets for 2.5 seconds with the right combo, while also either oneshotting or chunking their health to all hell, is what makes Rakan such a potent assassin.
Rakan's R gives him 75% movement speed for 4 seconds, and during those 4 seconds, if he touches an enemy he vaults over them, charming them between 1-1.5 seconds, and also refreshes the movement speed increase, but only for one champion. For 0.5 seconds after casting R, Rakan is unable to cast both W and Flash. This is because he used to be able to R + instaflash/ R + instaW for an instant basically unavoidable combo, making him far too strong in pro play.
The damage on this is finally reminiscent of an actual supp. High base damage at 100/200/300 but with medium scaling at 50%, it's gonna be consistently good for damage throughout the entire game.
Finally it should be noted that Rakan is unable to autoattack anyone he has not already hit with R during the duration of it.
Rakan's combos are VERY straight forward, and there's not a lot of depth to it. It's mostly about getting used to buffering your abilities so you can do them faster. If you've played Rakan support for a while you oughta already know the vast majority of his combos. Though there are a few very helpful combos to know for dealing damage and engaging faster:
Activate R + Throw Q + Engage with W + AA
This order lets you perform your entire combo extremely fast. Especially if done from bush, it leaves enemies with no time to react as they will have taken your full burst in a literal second. Not to say the regular combo is not sufficient, this is just far more effective.
R during E animation
At the start of your R, notice how there's a 0.5 second cast time where you can't use either Flash or W. Casting R during your E animation both makes it MUCH harder for enemies to see that you cast it, but it also enables much smoother engages, not making you wait the cast time for you to W.
And really, that's the extent of complication in Rakan's kit.
Hello there, I'm your favorite internet twunk that just absolutely despises the meta and is always crafting new ways to enjoy champions.