Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Ever since Rek’Sai’s release, she has been a very strong addition to the game. She’s a champion unlike any other in the game which is a good thing because League of Legends desperately needs more champion variety. Many players have been having a hard time adapting to Rek’Sai and her overall strength actually caused Riot to nerf her a little bit in the 5.2 patch. So now the question is, is Rek’Sai still worth getting?
Rek’Sai is a manaless champion and instead generates Fury as a resource. She is one of four champions in League of Legends that uses Fury (the others being Renekton, Shyvana, and of course Tryndamere). Rek’Sai generates five Fury for every basic attack landed and ten Fury for each damaging ability.
Rek’Sai’s passive is approximately named Fury of the Xer'Sai and consumes Fury to heal Rek’Sai whenever she uses her Burrow spell . As long as she remains burrowed, she will consume 20% of her Fury per second to heal. This passive helps keep Rek’Sai on the battlefield after being injured in battle. Rek’Sai is adept at getting into and out of combat thanks to her other abilities, which we’ll discuss in a moment, but that wouldn’t be as useful if she’s low health. This passive helps keep her healed up and in the fight without having to constantly recall.
Normally I would go down the list of abilities starting with Q but since Rek’Sai’s most important ability is her W, we’ll start there. Rek’Sai’s W is called Burrow. Burrow is the cornerstone of what it means to play Rek’Sai. Burrowing and unburrowing has a very low cooldown so you can pop in and out of the ground pretty much at will. When burrowed, Rek’Sai no longer can use any basic attacks, loses almost all of her vision, and her other abilities also change.
So why burrow at all if you don’t auto attack or see anything you ask? Well first of all you get a significant movement speed bonus while burrowed (+15 at level 1 up to +30 when the spell is maxed out). She also ignores unit collision. This means that when you’re moving around the battlefield you’ll want to be burrowed most of the time for the simple fact that it will get you to your destination faster.
What about your vision? Don’t worry about that because although you can’t see much, you can sense it. While underground Rek’Sai gains a passive ability called Tremor Sense where she can see pings in the fog of war whenever an enemy moves thus betraying the location of an enemy champion or minion sneaking up on you. Tremor Sense has a huge range on it (check the screenshot above). Unfortunately, despite the fact you are burrowed, this doesn’t mean your opponents can’t see you. You don’t go invisible or anything like that – they can see you just as if you weren’t burrowed at all.
Rek’Sai can unborrow at any time but you want to be close to enemies when you burst out of the ground since it can damage and knock them into the air for a short time. Unburrow deals a respectable amount of physical damage and can knock enemies up for up to one second depending on how close you are to them when you come up. If you’re directly underneath them you’ll get the full one second knock-up but if they are just close to you, you won’t get the full effect.
So now that we’ve covered her Burrow ability, let’s go back and talk about her Q. When Rek’Sai is unburrowed, her Q is called Queen’s Wrath. This is a temporary buff that grants her next three basic attacks bonus physical damage as well as an area of effect. Instead of just attack one enemy, she’ll attack all enemies around her. Not only is this useful for its increased damaged but hitting multiple enemies simultaneously really boosts your Fury generation. And you want Rek’Sai to be as angry as possible!
When Rek’Sai is burrowed, Queen’s Wrath turns into Prey Seeker – a skill shot spell that launches a void blast out in a straight line on front of her. Prey Seeker has a very long range at 1,650 (this is further than Nidalee’s Javelin Toss for comparison) so it is an excellent tool to harass with or check bushes. It deals magic damage that scales with AP but since all her other abilities use AD, you’ll probably want to build that instead. Prey Seeker isn’t really useful as a damage-dealing ability anyway but more as a scouting and harassing tool as well as to generate Fury while burrowed.
Fury isn’t just useful for healing Rek’Sai with her passive. It is actually very important when it comes to dealing damage because her E ability is heavily reliant upon it. When unburrowed, Rek’Sai’s E is called Furious Bite. This is an execute spell sort of reminiscent of Volibear’s Frenzy bite. Furious Bite deals damage based on her AD plus one percent bonus damage for every point of Fury she has at the time of casting it. Here’s the kicker: if she casts Furious Bite with a maxed out Fury bar, the ability does true damage instead of physical damage. When the ability is maxed out, that’s true damage based on 240% of Rek’Sai’s AD. That’s almost like hitting them with a Darius ultimate!
When Rek’Sai is burrowed, her E transforms into another ability called Tunnel. Tunnel is another cornerstone of her kit. When Tunnel is cast, Rek’Sai will dig an underground tunnel in the direction of your mouse, creating two distinct holes in the ground. She can then use these tunnels pretty much at will. Tunneling can help you chase down a fleeing champion because it speeds Rek’Sai up even further. Tunnels can also be used to go underneath walls that even champions with jumps couldn’t make it over. The possibilities here are bountiful. You can tunnel under a wall to escape or gank an unsuspecting champion who isn’t used to being ganked from that angle. Tunnels can also be useful for stealing the enemy team’s jungle minions/auras and then zipping back out to safety. One other potential use is to set up a series of entrance and exists all in a row and then hop through each one consecutively. This can get you across the entire map in no time!
Tunnels last for ten minutes (unless otherwise destroyed by enemy champions) and Rek’Sai can have a whopping eight pairs of tunnels on the map at any given time. The one downside is that you can’t use the same tunnel for several seconds after using it. This is to prevent her from avoiding damage by simply zipping back and forth.
Speaking of getting across the entire map, that’s exactly what Rek’Sai’s ultimate ability does. When Void Rush is activated, Rek’Sai will burrow and rapidly dash to a targeted tunnel on the map. She’s untargetable while dashing and will reach the tunnel almost instantly. In other words, you can activate this ability from your fountain and target a tunnel you have in the enemy team’s base, and be there within mere seconds. The usefulness of getting behind enemy lines with this spell is quite obvious. Void Rush does take 1.5 seconds to channel and if she takes any damage during this channeling phase, it cancels the ability so its effectiveness as an escape mechanism is limited.
Because Void Rush doesn’t actually deal any damage, for an ultimate it can be a little on the disappointing side. That’s why Riot also added a passive buff of +20% to +60% increased attack speed. Nice!
Rek’Sai is a physical damage champion so you’ll want to build AD items on her. She’s also at home in the jungles on Summoner’s Rift. Pretty much all her item builds have the same core items: Stalker’s Blade – Warrior, Ravenous Hydra, and Spirit Visage. Stalker’s Blade is strong in the jungle, Ravenous Hydra helps to generate Fury faster by hitting multiple minions with each basic attack, and Spirit Visage boosts her self healing every time she burrows. Trinity Force and Randuin’s Omen are also recommended items for Rek’Sai. The Spellblade passive on Trinity Force synergizes especially well with the short cooldown times of Burrow/Unburrow.
Rek’Sai is not a tank. She’s not even really an assassin either because she doesn’t have much burst damage outside that potentially true damage dealing bite. She is categorized as a “Fighter” but a more accurate description of her abilities would be “Ganker” if that were such a role. Rek’Sai is made specifically for ganking because she can literally come at you from places you’d least suspect to be ganked from via tunnels. Junglers groan when they see a Rek’Sai on the other team because it makes their job just that much harder. Enemy teams will have to buy extra wards just to try to keep tabs on you all game. Your job is to try to fly under their radar and surprise them as much as possible.
Develop as much of a map presence as you can with your tunnels and pick your battles wisely as Rek’Sai. If you notice an enemy champion has low health, make your way over to him and pick him off. Build up your Fury before you go in for a gank. When you Unburrow near an enemy, activate Queen’s Wrath right away right away so you can add Fury faster. Try to wait until the absolute last second to use Furious Bite so that you can milk every bit of damage out of it. Obviously, it’s best when you have max Fury.
If you’re playing against Rek’Sai, make sure you destroy any tunnels you come across. This will help cut down on her mobility. Many players seem to ignore her tunnels and wander past them. This is a huge mistake and could even be a fatal one.
In conclusion, Rek’Sai is an awesome champion. Maybe she was even a little too awesome since Riot had to reel back her Queen’s Wrath and Unburrow damage in the 5.2 patch. She has one of the highest win rates over the last month (currently in the top five) and is the number most frequently banned champion on Summoner’s Rift. According to data from LolKing, Rek’Sai has been banned in over 69% of ranked Summoner’s Rift games in the last month. That right there should tell you something! Rek’Sai is definitely worth getting and her unique abilities make her super fun to play.