Why Is Everyone Picking Rek’Sai?

Jul 12, 2016

It took me a long time to really understand Rek’Sai. I kept trying her (yes, Rek’Sai is female) out in normal games in an effort to understand why professional players seem to love this champion so much. Rek’Sai has been picked in nearly 74% of Summer LCS games across all regions. Just this past week of games alone Rek’Sai was picked 50 times. What were pro players seeing in Rek’Sai that I wasn’t?

It’s Hard To Mess Up

First off we have to talk about how simple Rek’Sai’s kit is. She is essentially the jungle version of Garen. You’ve got a spinning basic attack steroid, some light crowd control by means of a knock up, some true damage, and a pseudo-teleport. This is not a sexy kit. The fanciest play you can make on Rek’Sai is a flash multi-man knock-up. Aside from that you are left chasing opponents who have huge kiting potential against you.

Because of how simple Rek’Sai’s kit is it’s difficult to misplay and relatively easy to master the champion. Misplays largely come down to poor decisions or the occasional cancelled auto when looking for an auto reset. The bottom 95% of League of Legends players can win games by making less unforced errors than their opponents. Rek’Sai is a champion that can help you make less mistakes by limiting you to basic abilities with little risk.

High Mobility Throughout the Game

Pool Party Rek'Sai jungle
Rek’Sai’s high mobility makes closing the gap, or escaping, stress-free. You feel even faster with the pool party skin. Photo via NewsOfLegends.

Rek’Sai’s mobility is also a major reason why she is such a strong pick in the jungle. Tunneling forward can put you in prime position for a juicy gank or mark a safe exit out of the enemy jungle. Void Rush (R) allows Rek’Sai to be on the map at all times which should earn you a decent experience lead over the opposing jungler.

Here’s what optimal use of Void Rush looks like:

  • Start on the top¬†side of the map, farm your jungle, look for a gank.
  • Head towards the bottom side of the jungle, farm it all, look for a gank.
  • Back, buy your next item, and Void Rush back to top side where your jungle is respawning.

There is zero downtime for Rek’Sai. In the late game you can even split push away from your team as long as you have a few well placed tunnels you can jump back to if things go bad.

Flexibility in Build Path

One of my favorite parts about Rek’Sai is the flexibility you have in build path. You can decide what you want to build depending on the success of your teams early game. Sometimes this means Warrior enchantment, Titanic Hydra, AND a Black Cleaver. Other times your team needs a real tank with Cinderhulk and Spirit Visage. There is a lot of flexibility in your build path on Rek’Sai that allows you to adapt to the flow of the game.

Utility: Knock-ups and Sonar

Rek'Sai Tremor Sense
Tremor sense makes entering parts of the map without vision much safer, but it’s not perfect. If your enemies aren’t moving, you won’t see them.

On top of simplicity, mobility, and flexibility, Rek’Sai also offers utility by means of knock-ups and her Tremor Sense passive. Tremor Sense enables Rek’Sai and her allies to see where nearby enemy champions are moving. This can prevent tragic late-game face checks and make invading the enemy jungle much safer throughout the entire game.

Creating knock-ups can be done in a few different ways. The easiest is right clicking on an enemy when burrowed. You need to close the distance for this to work. Flash knock-ups are very common and nearly guarantee kills when the enemy’s flash is down. Finally, you can auto-knock-up an enemy dashing towards you (think Lee Sin Q or Katarina E) by attack moving before the enemy champion reaches you. That one feels good.

Trying Rek’Sai

After seeing Rek’Sai in nearly every competitive game of League of Legends I finally decided to force myself to play 10 Rek’Sai games to try and understand what makes pro junglers love this champion so much. Well, I think I got it. Rek’Sai offers everything you could ask for in a jungler, plus the flexibility to play out the game in a variety of different ways. If you’re looking for a new jungle champion be sure to give Rek’Sai another try.

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Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs is a bot lane main who once won 17 consecutive Janna games. His favorite champions are Thresh, Kalista, and Bard. Jamie writes about competitive League of Legends and the professional gaming scene every week at Esports Edition.
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