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Apr 26, 2017

Weird Picks #80: Rek'Sai Top

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When Rek'Sai was first released, she was burrowing all over the place. However, after she found her niche as a jungler, she quickly fell away from top lane, never to return except for some level 2 ganks. Meanwhile, as Riot nerfed her for her overpowering jungle in competitive play, she's fallen into the middle of the pack as a jungler.

Let's try her out in a different position and see how she fares!

Introduction

When Rek'Sai was first released, she was burrowing all over the place. However, after she found her niche as a jungler, she quickly fell away from top lane, never to return except for some level 2 ganks. Meanwhile, as Riot nerfed her for her overpowering jungle in competitive play, she's fallen into the middle of the pack as a jungler.

Let's try her out in a different position and see how she fares!

How to Play
RunesAttack Speed Quints, Attack Damage RedsFlat Armor Yellows, Magic Resist Blues
Masteries: 12-0-18, Grasp of the Undying Masteries
Abilities: Q, E, W then prioritize R > Q > E > W
Summoner Spells: Flash + Teleport
Starting Items: Doran's Blade + Health Potions
Core Items: Titanic Hydra, Ninja Tabi, Sterak's Gage, Deadman's Plate, Spirit Visage, Randuin's Omen

Why It Works

Very Difficult to Gank
Once you cover your top lane with tunnels, it becomes nearly impossible to gank her, especially since she can burrow to figure out if she's being lane ganked prior to engaging on the enemy champion. Since trying to take out her tunnels forces her lane opponents to stand still in one spot, it also opens them up to jungle ganks.

Excellent In-Lane Engage
Depending on how well she is controlling her lane, Rek'Sai can dominant her lane in a way that makes it possible for her to engage from anywhere she chooses. Combine this with good wave management, and it's possible to snowball extremely hard.

Good Early Trades With Q
Rek'Sai's Queen's Wrath [Q] gives her immense early level trading ability, which is often underestimated by laning opponents as it gives a free auto-attack reset and enhanced auto-attack damage.

Flexible Meta
As a top laner, Rek'Sai works well as a tanky damage-dealing top laner that can either front line or split-push depending on what her team requires. Her ultimate is also one of the few remaining global spells in the game, resulting in potentially one of the most mobile champions in the game.

Free Lane Sustain
Although she needs to land some auto-attacks to get her heals off, Rek'Sai is extremely good at sustaining in lane as a result of her manaless status combined with her free heal via burrow + fury.

Potential Pitfalls

One-Dimensional
Rek'Sai's core strength lies in the flexibility of her gank patterns and angles that she can initiate from. However,  as a laner it's fairly obvious where she's coming from and she has little room for outplaying enemy laners.

Low Burst/Ranged Waveclear
Against highly abusive top laners like Jayce, Rek'Sai will have trouble pushing the lane and/or last-hitting in general without taking large amounts of poke damage in a trade.

Isolated Tunnels
As a top laner, Rek'Sai's tunnels will generally be isolated to the top third of the map, especially in the current first tower meta where top laners try not to roam too much.

Conclusions

Top lane Rek'Sai is certainly possible, and I would say it's generally viable, especially if you plan on split-pushing. However, the majority of meta top lane tank champions and lane bullies will likely ruin your day simply because of their scaling ever since Rek'Sai was nerfed for her competitive play dominance.

It's certainly fun to scamper away from would-be jungle ganks via some easy tunnel jumps though.

Suggested Rating: Tier 3

What do you think about Rek'Sai Top? Comment below!


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