Rek’Sai will be the recipient of a major gameplay rework in the next patch, and her changes turn her into a weird underground hybrid of Kha’Zix and Garen, according to Riot’s official reveal of the project yesterday.
The League of Legends community has known about part of the changes for a little while, as they’ve been on the PBE for a couple of weeks—but this is the first time players have been able to look at the entirety of the changes. The new Rek’Sai certainly seems like another high-damage option in the jungle, to join the ranks of Graves and Kha’Zix. If you’re a fan of the old Rek’Sai, though, we have bad news for you. She’s getting a totally new playstyle, and she’ll feel nothing like she did prior to the rework.
Her current role is as a vanguard tank, the subset of tanks that focus on disrupting enemies with crowd control so the rest of the team can knock ’em dead. That wasn’t always what she was intended to be, however, and this update is essentially going to change what class she falls under to match her original purpose. She was designed to be an assassin-diver hybrid, so that’s what she’s being transformed into now.
The biggest part of her rework is her ultimate. Up until now, her ability to create map pressure has been way too high. She can be anywhere she wants, whenever she wants, removing the possibility for opponents to coordinate and play around her position, like players are normally able to do with any other jungler. This helps her stay useful even when she’s behind, so it was the first to go when the rework was designed. Her new ultimate will make her teamfight presence much more significant… and more terrifying. It will deal a ton of damage, with a significant amount of added damage introduced if the target is low on health, just like Garen’s ultimate ability.
Her old ultimate wasn’t the only thing that kept her usefulness high even when she had fallen behind. The other culprit was her ability to knock several people up at once. Since she doesn’t deal much damage anyway, she’s really only useful for knocking people up anyway, so being ahead or behind doesn’t affect how important she is to the outcome of a game. As long as she could tunnel in and knock people up, she was always at her most useful state. Well, not anymore. She will only be able to knock up one person at a time now, but her damage is being amped up a lot to compensate. She will now deal scary amounts of attack damage with her abilities, so when she zeroes in on a target to knock them up, you know she intends to kill them. And now, she can do it by herself.
That’s not all, though. She will now be able to use tunnels much more frequently, giving her the ability to skate in and out of combat to pick stragglers off each time her cooldowns are up, just like Kha’Zix. In combination with this, her health regeneration while burrowed is being sped up as well, so she can leave, heal up, and come back to a fight at will.
Rek’Sai should be a much riskier champion after her rework, in the sense that she’s only useful if she can actually deal damage—and we mean a ton of damage. She’s moving from tank to diver-assassin, and she has the potential to contend for a place at the top of the jungle meta with other heavy damage dealers. The rework is set to go live with Patch 7.11, which should be released within a week or two if the rhythm for patches stays the same.