Get Rek’t: Putting the Shark Back into Land Shark

By Gentleman Gustaf, Riot Sotere

Let's talk about League of Legends’ resident land shark: Rek’Sai. The Void Burrower hit Summoner’s Rift pretty strong a few years ago, and soon showed herself to be a dominant pick in professional play. Since then we’ve had to trim power here and there from her kit, and by the time she’d stopped warping pro play, we hadn’t left her much in the way of an identity to express. We wanted to take some time to drill deep into what we wanted her identity to be and rebuild her kit around that. So we’re giving Rek’Sai an update which focuses her into a dangerous predator.

Ferocious Predator or Helpful Wingwoman?

Rek’Sai is a ferocious predator who should strikes fear into the hearts of her prey as she hunts them. The way Rek’Sai currently ends up getting played—a vanguard who sets up plays for her team—just doesn’t sync up with that promised fantasy.

Being a safe, consistent tank with high uptime around the map has allowed Rek’Sai to dominate pro play whenever she’s at all good in regular games. In the early game, her tunnels let her put a ton of pressure on the map, and once she hits level 6, her presence levels up from commanding to global. As the game progresses to skirmishes and teamfights, the heavy CC on her kit makes her a solid initiator.

We see a lot of potential for Rek’Sai, and have been viewing this update as an opportunity to really double down on Rek’Sai’s predatory instincts. To capture the feel of a ferocious hunter, it’s critical that she be feared for her individual threat, not the followup of her team. This means a Rek’Sai who does more damage when she’s ahead, but is less consistent when behind.

A New Ultimate

A major way to trim that consistency is by toning down her map pressure. She currently threatens the whole map with her ultimate, and so the degree of that threat has to be kept somewhat lower. We’re giving The Void Burrower a new ultimate that sacrifices her global pressure for higher impact in teamfights.

  • R - Void Rush (Click to expand)

    Rek’Sai marks champions she damages as prey for 5 seconds. She can target a Prey-marked enemy, burrowing before emerging from underground and leaping at her target. Rek’Sai is unstoppable during both the cast and the leap, dealing more damage the lower her target’s health is.

Her new ultimate should help her feel more like a diver by giving her backline access that isn’t merely a product of her tankiness. Now, when Rek’Sai ults, she leaps at her target—only a target she’s damaged recently—doing damage if she hits them.

Master of Tunnels

Outside of her ultimate, Rek’Sai has a lot of general strength and a simple combat pattern: tunnel in, knockup, attack until tunnel/knockup is available again. We wanted to give her a more dynamic combat pattern by making her strengths more specific. In particular, we’re hitting the amount of ambient crowd control Rek’Sai can put out. Instead of knocking up every target she unburrows under, Rek’Sai will now only knock up the closest enemy. If she wants to hit a specific target, basic attacks will prioritize the knockup on the attacked target.

With higher damage and less crowd control, we expect Rek’Sai to begin building more damage than she previously was, but we don’t want to leave her unable to safely teamfight. To help her out, we’re strengthening two of her iconic attributes—her tunnel dashing and her regeneration.

New Rek’Sai can re-enter her tunnels more quickly, allowing her to dance in and out of teamfights much more consistently. To make sure she has the health to go back in, her passive generates Fury far more quickly, giving her more regeneration and letting her get combat ready quickly.

Overall, we’re expecting a more threatening Rek’Sai, but one who doesn’t have the same consistency when she falls behind. We hope the end product is a ferocious shark who can go on a hunting frenzy when she smells blood, but isn’t always Queen of the Sea.

2 years ago

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