The ultimate Rek’Sai Guide (Builds, Runes, Tips) | Updated for Patch 9.4

In this guide you will learn everything regarding Rek’Sai. Before you go on; I will heavily focus on a very damage heavy playstyle. Rek’Sai is not meant to be played as a tank and there are much better options if your team needs a tank. If you want a duelist that is almost impossible to kill in an early skirmish, has tons of damage and enormous early game power then Rek’Sai is for you.

PS: Rek’Sai is female even though she doesn’t look very female

Rek’Sai’s Abilities

Passive: Fury of the Xer’Sai

Instead of mana you have fury. 25 fury is generated for each auto attack, Unburrow  (W), burrowed Q – Prey Seeker (new in Patch 9.4) and Furious Bite (active E spell). If you are burrowed and missing health, fury is converted into HP over a short period of time.

Q Unburrowed – Queen’s Wrath

Empowers your next three auto attacks by increasing damage and adding AoE. This is your bread and butter spell. It’s essential for your jungle clear and gives you enough damage to duel. 

W Unburrowed – Burrow

Rek’Sai burrows herself into the ground, reducing her sight radius and increasing her movementspeed. In that state she is unable to auto attack. Additionally Tremor Sense is activated. Tremor Sense is what you see in the GIF below, moving enemies are indicated by circles, roughly showing their position.

E Unburrowed – Furious Bite

Rek’Sai bites her enemy. If you have 100 fury the bite deals true damage.

R Void Rush

Passive: Her damage marks enemies
Active: Briefly becomes untargetablethen leaps onto a marked target. Important: This spell is best used for execution because it scales with your enemies missing HP.

Q Burrowed – Prey Seeker

Launches a missile damaging and revealing non-stealthed enemies. This spell is perfect to mark enemies for your ultimate or to remove items suchs as Banshee’s Veil, Warmogs Passive etc.

W Burrowed – Unburrow

Rek’Sai knocks up a single selected target. If there are multiple enemies only one is knocked-up, the rest is knocked aside.

E Burrowed – Tunnel

Creates a re-useable tunnel. Each one lasts 10 minutes. There can me a maximum of 8 tunnels on the map at a time. Enemies can destroy it by stepping onto it.

Skill Order

Maxing Q is your standard skill order which will be used 99% of the time. If you have gathered some experience, know what you are doing and playing Rek’Sai Toplane then you can pick the second skill order (maxing E first).

Standard Skill order
Skill order for Toplane

Runes

There is constant discussion among Rek’Sai players on which rune page is the best. After all it always comes down to preference. The two best keystones are Hail of Blades and Aftershock

Since the Hail of Blades buff a few patches back, it has risen in popularity dramatically. Xin Zhao and Rek’Sai have made particularly great use of it. It is now considered the standard runepage and has knocked Electrocute of the throne.

Hail of Baldes – The most frequently played Runes.

Aftershock is the second best keystone right now. It’s especially important for playing Crit’Sai (more on that later in the item build section). Some players prefer the overall tankinessthis rune provides. I would encourage you to run it as Support Rek’Sai.

Aftershock – More Tankiness

This runepage was mostly dedicated for laning. But the rework of Conqueror in Patch 9.4 made it a viable choice for jungle again. Only time will tell how well it’s suited for Rek’Sai. Thanks to many testers it seems to be very good though.

Conqueror – the new runner up in Patch 9.4

Item Build

This is my go-to item build. Sidenote: I will only include damage builds for the jungle as everything else is pointless. Rek’Sai is a very strong early game skirmish champion. Almost no one can beat you in a one versus one fight early on.

The warrior enchantment and Black Cleaver are absolute musts though. You build those every single game. After those core items the items depend on your current game situation. The picture below shows an example for a AD-heavy enemy team while being fed. If you are not super fed I would advise you to go Sterak’s Gage first. Titanic Hydra would be my last item, if I am still massively ahead and I still haven’t managed to finish the game.


My standard hard-carry item build

All of the items shown below are viable options. For Magic Resist against AP-heavy enemies Mercury Treads and Hexdrinker/Maw of Malmortius are really great. I would generally not advise you to buy any tank items. Your role is not soak up damage you want to one-shot an important enemy. Rek’Sai is not a tank. However, if you are behind you have to survive the midgame and need some resistances to do so. At that point you are mostly useless though. Nevertheless here are the viable tank items:

  • Dead Man’s Plate
  • Spirit Visage
  • Randuin’s Omen
  • Adaptive Helmet

Optional Items – pick as necessary

Crit’Sai


Item build for Crit’Sai

This item build is very unique, not many people know that it even exists. It is even more snowbally than any other damage build. Critical strike items are really expensive this means that it requires you to be even more fed than normally. If you are massively ahead however, this critical strike items are absolutely disgusting. I have killed full life ADC’s with as little as two auto attacks. Squishy enemies will be haunted in their dreams remembering Rek’Sai’s screams and abnormal damage.

So how do you destry one? First of all, you need Aftershock as your rune set. Without it you won’t survive any fights. Warrior as first item is standard but afterwards it gets really funky. Infinity Edge into Phantom Dancer. At some point you should get some Mercury Treads, mainly for the tenacity they provide. Afterwards Essence Reaver is really nice for cooldown reduction and even more crit chance. For the last item there are many options, including:
• Black Cleaver
• Guardians Angel
• Lord Dominik’s Regards
• Frozen Mallet

Counters

Luckily you don’t have to fight in hard matchups and can just look to gank lanes to get them ahead. Most Tanks and Juggernauts are better than you in lategame. That’s why it is very important to get a lead as fast as possible. There are some champions that will make your life particularly difficult though.
Champions that can beat you early:

  • Warwick
  • Xin Zhao
  • Udyr

Champions that outscale you and beat you in late:

  • Shyvanna
  • Trundle
  • Volibear
  • Olaf
  • Master Yi
  • most Juggernauts
  • Generally champs that can kite particularly well

Jungle Pathing

Here are all of the Jungle Paths that I personally use.
Obviously, all of the routes can be used on red-side as well.
Route 1 and 2 enable vertical jungling; perfect for certain matchups and competitive plays.
Route 3 and 4 are very focused on Rift Scuttler and early ganks.
If you want to avoid early fights pick route 1 or 3. When executing route 2 and 4 you are more likely to face an opponent in the river.
My go-to route is 2 as it is the best of both worlds.

1 – Lvl 3 After 3 Camps -Has risen massively in popularity
2 – Another 3 Camp Lvl 3- this time with scuttle control
3 – High Priority Rift Scuttler Control
4 – My personal variation of a high priority Scuttle route

Ganking / Full Combo

Thanks to Patch 9.4 the extra fury provided by the burrowed Q (Prey Seeker) your combo is more versatile and you can use your true damage bite faster than before.
Here are the two full combos:

  • Burrowed Q > knockup > Q > Q > E > Q > R/Auto depending on HP
  • knockup > auto > Q > Q > E > Q > Auto/R <- combo when missing burrowed Q

Always save your Tunnel as long as possible and only use it, if the enemies gap closer is down or you are very certain that you can get the kill nonetheless.

Full Combo for maximum damage ganking

Statistics

Rek’Sai Winrate by Tier in Patch 9.4 (16.02-23-02)
Rek’Sai Winrate
Rek’Sai Pick Rate by Tier in Patch 9.4 (16.02-23-02)

Those two statistics from Lolalytics show two very important things. The first one is quite obvious; the higher the elo the higher the winrate. This is due to the shorter game times in higher elo and also the better understanding of the game. Rek’Sai’s kit itself is relatively easy to learn. Mechanically she isn’t really hard but your macro game has to be strong. This is one of the reasons why so many high elo players like to smurf with her. I remember watching a video from Foxdrop which is called “How Master Tier Junglers Smurf”. This was the reason I picked her up in my champion pool. And she is perfect for smurfing and stomping enemies. This might look somewhat contradictory to the last image. But it makes perfect sense basically new players don’t pick her up or lose a lot when trying her out. Smurfs on the other hand increase the pick rate in lower elos.

Competitive / Pro Builds

Generally speaking Rek’Sai is not picked in competitive games. Her downsides are even more noticeable than in SoloQ. Broxah has pulled her off several times though and this semifinal showing is just amazing. This is a perfect example of how hard you can snowball even in professional play. In other games he has played her more tanky, adapting to the current state of the game building Cinderhulk, Titanic Hydra and more Tank Items.

Broxah popping off in Worlds Semifinals on Rek’Sai

2 thoughts on “The ultimate Rek’Sai Guide (Builds, Runes, Tips) | Updated for Patch 9.4”

Leave a Comment