The largest and fiercest of her species, Rek’Sai is a merciless predator that tunnels through the earth to ambush and devour her prey. Her insatiable hunger has laid waste to entire regions of the once-great Shuriman empire. Merchants, traders and armed caravans will go hundreds of miles out of their way to avoid these vast areas, though cunning bandits have been known to lure the unwary into her killing grounds. Once Rek’Sai detects you, your fate is sealed. There is no hope of escape; she is death from below the sand.
Passive: Fury of the Xer’Sai
Rek’Sai gains fury whenever she attacks her enemies. Burrowing consumes her fury, briefly regenerating her health.
Q: Queen’s Wrath/Prey Seeker
Unburrowed – Queen’s Wrath
Rek’Sai lashes out, dealing damage to all enemies around her with her next three basic attacks.
Burrowed – Prey Seeker
Rek’Sai fires out a pulse of void energy in a straight line skillshot that detonates on the first enemy struck, damaging, and revealing the target and all nearby enemies also hit by the missile’s explosion.
Unburrowed – Burrow
Rek’Sai burrows underground, gaining Tremor Sense (a unique mechanic that shows Rek’Sai all enemy movement in a wide area around her) and increased movement speed at the expense of vision range and access to her basic attacks. She ignores unit collision as she moves around.
Burrowed – Unburrow
Rek’Sai bursts out into the open, knocking up and damaging all surrounding enemies.
E: Furious Bite/Tunnel
Unburrowed – Furious Bite
Rek’Sai bites her target, dealing increasing damage based on her fury, or true damage if she has a full fury bar.
Burrowed – Tunnel
Rek’Sai digs toward a target location, creating a pair of long-lasting tunnels at the two ends of her path.
R: Void Rush
Passive: Rek’Sai gains attack speed.
Active: Rek’Sai channels briefly before burrowing and dashing towards any of her tunnels, briefly gaining significant movement speed once she emerges.
All of Lux’s abilities synergize well with Rek’Sai’s at every stage of the game. Early Light Bindings help Rek’Sai move into place for her knock up, while in teamfights, Lucent Singularity and Prey Seeker grant long-range vision of their targets. And while Rek’Sai is not the most delicate of flowers, Prismatic Barrier helps her soak up extra damage as she moves in to engage.
Come mid game, Kassadin and Rek’Sai can pair up to form a small and mobile death squad. Both have enough mobility to jet around the map, and once Rek’Sai locks their target up with Unburrow, Kass has plenty of damage to earn his team a kill.
Crowd control’s the word when Rek’Sai and Malphite buddy up for teamfights. Unstoppable Force is the perfect area of effect initiation tool for Rek’Sai, who can tunnel in and send her enemies skywards once again with Unburrow before working on her targets with Queen’s Wrath and Furious Bite.
While Rek’Sai punishes those she can stick to, she struggles against champions who can kite effectively, particularly Kalista. Martial Poise enables the Spear of Vengeance to continuously dart around the Void Burrower while she lays down punishing damage with her basic attacks and Pierce.
One of League’s eminent counter-junglers, Lee Sin’s got the damage, sustain and mobility with Sonic Wave and Safeguard to hunt down and kill Rek’Sai whenever she tries to tunnel her way into the Blind Monk’s jungle.
Hexplosive Minefield and Satchel Charge make Ziggs a difficult target for Rek’Sai’s ganks during laning, but the problems don’t end there. Even if Rek’Sai is able to split push a sizeable minion wave into the enemy’s turret, the range and power of Mega Inferno Bomb can quickly wipe out the wave and rebalance the map.
Rek’Sai is a mobile menace at all stages of the game, creating tunnels throughout her own jungle to help her dart from camp to camp. But she doesn’t just burrow quickly; she kills at speed, too. Queen’s Wrath brings mass carnage to each camp’s monsters, dealing solid area of effect damage to every enemy around her, while Furious Bite deals powerful single target damage. Monsters will fight back, but Rek’Sai – once she’s generated enough fury – can sustain through the slaughter by burrowing, which restores her health and speeds her toward the next camp. And once her jungle’s empty, it’s time for Rek’Sai to turn toward the enemy jungle.
Tremor Sense is central to Rek’Sai’s counter-jungling runs, which focus on killing enemy camps while her counterpart’s away rather than dueling directly. By checking for movement in her intended direction, Rek’Sai can at least understand where her opposing jungler isn’t, then use that knowledge to burrow in and steal camps, effectively starving her opponent out of their jungle and forcing them into premature ganks, or worse yet, into Rek’Sai’s lair. Pity those who dare stray too deep into the burrower’s home: her tunnels offer incredible mobility, and with good vision control, Rek’Sai can easily coordinate her allies as she hunts down wandering targets.
Then there are her ganks. Rek’Sai’s relative lack of burst damage means she thrives best when she ganks for her high-damage allies, using her considerable utility to slow and stop her target’s escape. Most crucially, Rek’Sai’s tunnels give her unique angles of attack into enemy lanes, from which she can damage her mark with Prey Seeker before unburrowing beneath them. The knock-up provides a strong enough window for most assassins to secure their kill, but even if her enemy’s still alive, Rek’Sai can turn to her own abilities – Queen’s Wrath and Furious Bite in particular – to add extra damage into the mix.
Come mid-game, Rek’Sai operates best when she takes advantage of her unique vision and tunnels, using her knowledge of the enemy’s movements to split push or pick lone targets. In split-push situations, she makes short work of minion waves with Queen’s Wrath, shoving her own minions into towers and forcing the enemy team to react. Tremor Sense ensures she’s always aware of her enemy’s whereabouts, too, allowing her to dive through the myriad tunnels she’s already created and skirt around those who come to stop the shove. But her mobility doesn’t end there. Void Rush gives Rek’Sai the ability to burrow to any of her tunnels, potentially crossing over the entirety of Summoner’s Rift in seconds.
But when to ult? If she’s attracted enemy attention with her split pushes, Rek’Sai can quickly relocate to join her waiting allies in another lane, using their newfound numbers advantage to force down towers or claim other objectives. Alternatively, a sneaky tunnel in the enemy base sets up a perfect late game backdoor attempt, while tunnels near her own base give Rek’Sai the opportunity to dash back and help defend when the enemy forces come knocking. During the early and mid game, Void Rush gives Rek’Sai instant access back into her jungle whenever she recalls, meaning she can carry on clearing camps and gaining experience and gold while her counterpart heads back to their jungle.
In large-scale teamfights, Rek’Sai works best when she can follow up on a solid initiation, following in and locking up priority targets with the knock up from Unburrow. Once she’s engaged, Rek’Sai has to work fast, generating fury as quickly as she can before crippling her enemy with Furious Bite. The ability scales in damage depending on how much she’s filled her fury bar, and deals true damage when full. Once she’s laid down her punishment, Rek’Sai needs to focus on survival. Burrow gives her both the movement speed and health regen she needs to dodge and recover from the enemy’s retaliation, and gives her opportunity to peel for her damage dealers by Unburrowing beneath their would-be killers.
Rek’Sai, game design by Beat Punchbeef
When we started working on Rek’Sai it was with two concepts in mind: Burrower and Land Shark. As we started running with the idea it became clear very quickly that first we needed to identify what was unique and fun about being in the ground. Initial prototyping helped us determine being invisible wasn’t quite right. Permanent stealth is something Evelynn does well already but more importantly, the most terrifying thing about a shark is seeing that iconic and ominous fin circling around you and knowing deep down that there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
Once we knew the basics of being burrowed it was time to figure out what you’d actually do in that state. The first idea that came to us was the concept of feeling vibrations from movement in the ground and using that to track prey. This gave us the ability to gain information about your targets in similar ways to stealth without needing to worry about a lot of the frustrations experienced by players on the other side of it. It also creates emotional highs for players on all sides. Rek’Sai gets to feel like a stealthy hunter while her enemies get to feel the tension and dread of knowing there’s something out there watching them.
Now that we have a burrowing character who can track prey at great distance without their knowledge, what’s left? To be a true hunter, it’s not enough to simply know where your prey is. It’s about finding the right moment to strike. To do this, Rek’Sai needed to be flexible in how she moved around the map, to dance around the target she was stalking while remaining undetected. This is where Tunnel comes into play. Underground, Rek’Sai is the master of her domain and she doesn’t care for paltry restrictions like walls. Tunnels give her the freedom to be anywhere on the map at any time and really think about how and where she wants to strike at her unsuspecting prey.