[GUIDE] Renekton - Lavish Brutality
Before you read the rest of this guide, I want you to answer three questions. If you answer no to either three, change your answer:
Do you like to engage despite not being a tank?
Do you like to tower dive?
Do you like to carry?
Renekton is not a tank, and building him like a tank will not work. However, this build gives him a proper amount of hp and armor/magic resist to make him a real off-tank. Your engage/disengage and AoE damage/life steal abilities make you a great engager, as does your AoE damage health-giving ultimate. These same skills allow you to tower dive. These same skills have a high cool-down rate early game and will most likely get you killed because of the aggressive style Renekton plays at. These same skills will make you unkillable mid to late game. If you are unwilling to play like an evil Egyptian crocodile deity, then you shouldn't be playing at all.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Table of Contents [001F]
II. Runes and Masteries [002F]
III. "How to Play" [003F]
IV. Core Item Build [004F] (Skip to here if you just can’t remember the build)
V. Evaluation and Synergy [005F]
RUNES AND MASTERIES [002F]
Greater Marks of Desolation. 15 Armor Penetration
Greater Seals of Resilience. 13 Armor
Greater Glyphs of Warding. 13 Magic Resist
Greater Quintessences of Celerity. 7% CDR at level 18
23/6/1 masteries. Deadliness, Cripple, Sorcery, 3/4 Alacrity, Sunder, Offensive Mastery, Brute Force, Lethality, Havoc. Resistance and Hardiness. Haste.
"But Sargun! Didn't you just say building him like a tank wouldn't work?" Yes, faithful reader, I did. I also said that he was a great off-tank who needs to dive and play aggressive. Flat armor and magic resist runes with two defensive masteries give him a huge advantage at level one: he goes from 19/30 armor and magic resist to 38/49. Renekton has good armor scaling (3.8 per level) and decent magic resist scaling (1.25 per level) so you'll rise above fifty in both be level 4. 33% damage reduction at level one on a character meant for melee DPS gives you a huge advantage in the early game in terms of survivability and provides a decent boost late game, when all of those extra percentages shaves off a lot more damage. You'll have 21 armor pen at the beginning of the game and this synergizes even better with a Furious Dice (more on how this works with builds later). 7% CDR? "But Sargun! Why would you waste money on CDR when you could get health or more defense?" Because, my pretty, the core build of Renekton is only four items, and they give you 30% CDR. 7% runes + 3% masteries + 30% items = a flat 40% before late game. You'll see why we go CDR later.
Also, grab ghost and exhaust.
"HOW TO PLAY" [003F]
Max your Q out as early as possible, putting one point in E and one point in W by level 4. Your Q will be your main damage dealer and will keep you alive. After Q, max out E. W will be last, because until mid-late game when you have far more damage, W will be useful mainly for its stun.
BUY: Doran's Shield, Ionian Boots of Lucidity. You should be working on a Brutalizer or have finished it before the laning phase ends.
Renekton is extremely volatile in the laning phase. He has an eight second life steal that does a decent amount of AoE damage and is even better against champions, and with the runes and masteries above he will be a lot harder to kill. I have found it easy to get first blood on Renekton by waiting near the far edge of your bush with a teammate and waiting for an unwitting opponent to come near. Properly done, you can Q, autoattack, exhaust, ghost, continue to autoattack, and then Q again for a kill on many characters. Think of him like Garen at this point: you spin to win. If the opportunity does not arrive itself or some other circumstances do not allow this early gank, don't try to force it. Renekton is a great opportunist and great chaser, but early game he can and will get decimated by a tower.
Like Phreak showed in the videos, a great strategy to use is to Slice in, Cull the Meek, and Dice out. This deals, at level 3, 180 damage to just about all enemy minions, and allows you to safely get away without repercussions. While not the greatest of farming abilities early game, it can be used on creep waves at mid health early to get a lot of minion kills. By mid game, this strategy will clear waves. By late game, you can clear more than four bunched up waves in a second, gaining health along the way. Renekton is an exceptional farmer and, by mid game, an exceptional jungler. The SCD strategy (Slice/Cull/Dice) will last you throughout the game and you should do well to perfect your timing in the early game. There is a high cooldown on the SCD burst (20 seconds after Dice) early game but by late game it will be negligible. Again, perfect the SCD burst and watch it wreak havoc by mid game. It's also a perfect way to harass ranged opponents or melee opponents or squishies who hide behind their minions.
Fury in the laning phase is not particularly useful. 50% extra damage on a low-damage Cull of Slice/Dice is not particularly necessary nor is the armor reduction unless you're going for a gank. The only early game fury you should be using is your Ruthless Predator (W, the stun), which will do a good bit of damage (about 200) and stun for a second and a half at first level. Using this on a squishy who isn't at first health is a great strategy, especially if you Slice from the brush, stun, Cull, autoattack, and then Dice after them and autoattack once more. Even if you don't get a kill, you'll just have done 400+ damage in four seconds. With a teammate, this is a great strategy for kills early. However, RP's main use is, again, the stun: it only gives you ten extra base damage per level and one extra second of CDR, which isn't as useful as 30 extra AoE damage with a higher healing cap on your Q or 30 extra S/D damage with a two second CDR.
By the time you're out of laning phase, you should have been aggressively pursuing the SCD strategy. By the time you have Dominus, you should also have (or be able to get) your Boots of Lucidity. Your CDR should be around 18%.
Mid Game/Gank Time:
BUY: (Finish Brutalizer,) Phage, BF Sword. If you get a lot of kills (as you should), stay in and just go for the full Black Cleaver instead of a BF Sword.
This is where Renekton starts to become the ultimate killing machine. By level 11, you should have a maxed out Cull and three levels in S/D. You should also have around 30% CDR at this point. This makes your SCD have a total cooldown time of 11.2 seconds. Every 5.6 seconds, you can Cull the Meek for about 200 damage for a 150 heal. You will be farming like a boss in mid game but you should also be the essential team member in any ganks or team fights at this point. I suggest that before you start ganking or getting into team fights you get your Phage. Phage will give a decent boost to all your damage but the 225 health and the passive are very valuable at this point. I will write this as if you have your Phage or at least the Ruby Crystal and Long Sword.
By level 11 you should very well be out of the laning phase and on your way getting kills. If you are fed, you should be fine for the next fifteen minutes. If you are not, then you will be soon. Grab dragon as soon as possible. You can solo dragon but you shouldn't, as the enemy team may have wards or may already be there - it's just smart to bring a teammate or two. Once dragon falls, head into the jungle - either team's. If the enemy team doesn't have a jungler, you will have solitude and the chance to make the enemy team **** their pants. If they do, then quickly patrol your jungle and then set yourself up for a gank. The Wraiths and Wolves will fall quickly and give you good gold for it, so try to get them as often as possible. Relieve your teammates who are at towers and being pushed: you can wipe out the creep waves and defend towers with ease by now. Be your team's guardian: be everywhere at once, protect your towers, be in jungle, and for the love of God coordinate and use pings. Nothing is more dangerous than a Renekton with a team behind him.
SCD out of mid or top/bottom river brush is an effective tactic for ganks, but instead of Dicing out, simply Dice right ahead of them. You'll now be ahead and in prime position to stun them and continue to pound on them. You should not be ganking solo, so make sure your teammate is there to hit them with crowd control or an exhaust. If an exhaust is not possible and they are running to a turret, hit Dominus and man the hell up. You can and will dive this mother****er with your teammate, regardless of the consequences. You will do a 75 dps with Dominus simply by existing so if they are at extremely low health, you can SCD in and out of the turret and get a kill. If not, take the turret damage and hope you can Dice out. I find saving my Ghost for situations like these works really well. I've also found that Renekton's best friend is Shen: his taunt on an enemy can draw turret fire for you and makes stunning a lot easier, and his ultimate can protect you from a last-ditch crowd control/damage-in-the-turret strategy that works with characters like Lux.
Your jungling and farming and ganking at this point will amass you a lot of gold and keep you at an average level. Your escape mechanisms should keep you alive or at least with relatively low deaths. I mark the end of the mid game with the purchase of a Black Cleaver.
BUY: Youmuu’s Ghostblade, Frozen Mallet.
I’ve put this subphase in here distinctly because mid-late revolves around you getting the necessary ~3000 gold to finish your Ghostblade, Frozen Mallet, and getting to level 18. Why level 18 counts is because once you finish your Ghostblade and get to 18, you will have a flat 40% CDR with items that fit right into his beefy DPS build. With low attack speed, Renekton isn’t particularly great at pushing turrets, so the Ghostblade’s active will come in handy if you need to push or if you are exhausted. I’ve found the Ghostblade works as a great escape or chasing mechanism as well - as long as you REMEMBER TO USE THE ACTIVE.
The Frozen Mallet puts you at about ~2650 hp with about 40% armor and magic resist. In addition, the passive makes ganking so much easier: an opponent with ghost or flash is much easier to catch up with with the slow on them. In fact, let’s look at a Furious RP:
460 damage base, 1.5 second stun that gives a 40% slow for 1 second AFTER that, while reducing their armor by 45 for five seconds AFTER the stun. With armor reduction on the second and third hits, you get +500 damage base, add in your rune/masteries armor penetration and then the Ghostblade armor pen after that... well, you get the idea.
Mid-Late Game phase Renekton uses the same style of play as Mid Game, albeit with more farming. The purpose here is to finish the core build.
Late Game/Kamikaze Phase:
BUY: Whatever the hell you want.
Late Game Renekton is nothing more than giant, movable Sarlacc: you run around screaming “FEED ME” at every possible chance. Renekton at this point has just below 3000 hp, with about 40% resistance to armor/magic, high armor pen, 200+ damage, and just above 1 attack per second in speed. He can burst, chase, escape, and has an Ultimate that pushes him above 3000 hp and does AoE damage.
In short, Renekton is the very definition of beefy DPS. He doesn’t rely on autoattacks to deal damage so a Thornmail will be armor with a useless passive - I’ve personally had an entire enemy team buy Thornmails and the difference was negligible. His weakness is crowd control, but, as always, a good team will solve this for you. Because of your incredible potential, expect the following:
Redundant crowd control
Directed burst damage
This works for you in every way. “But Sargun, none of those things are good!” Shut up, wimp! You obviously don’t have the testicular fortitude to play Renekton. I suggest you take a crash course in how to be a man and go read The MFing Cho’gath guide.
You ready now? Okay, listen up. Here’s how to deal with being targeted: don’t engage late game. Have your tank or “carry” (ha, you’re the real carry now) go in first. They’re dispensable. If the enemy team doesn’t fall for this, you’re probably at a high enough ELO to where you don’t need to read this. But, if you do, then follow a simple rule:
Go out in a blaze of glory.
Your core build is done. You don’t need any more gold. Anything after this is flavor nonsense and is unnecessary to the point of Renekton. Your ballsacity at this point is through the roof, and unfortunately this means that you will be hit hard. So you go out and you show them what you can do: whatever the **** you want.
Remember to hit your ultimate BEFORE you go in the fight. Slice in, watch as you’re surrounded and dealing AoE damage, use a furious Cull the Meek for health regen and high damage, stun the highest DPS character, Dice after him, and then auto-attack him to death. Exhaust on whoever does the most burst damage or is chasing a squishy, ghost to catch up or run away, and continue to fight. Unlike your squishies, you can regain health, stun, and escape. Repeat this formula until dead or until enemies or dead.
Go after the squishiest, one at a time. You can go after more than one, in fact - just make sure you kill. You will be harder to kill than your squishies but easier to kill than your tanks, so if they target you they’re opening themselves up to damage. If they target your squishies, they’re opening themselves up for damage. Your tank, preferably a Shen, will be up there protecting you. Yes, you, because you are far more important than anyone else on your team. You’re Renekton. You don’t care about KDR, you don’t care about anything other than your team winning because you are Renekton. You are a winning machine.
Wash, rinse, repeat until victory.
CORE ITEM BUILD [004F]
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
BF Sword -> Black Cleaver
Brutalizer -> Youmuu’s Ghostblade
Phage -> Frozen Mallet
After this you have one free slot, preferably to put a Bloodrazer or a Bloodthirster in. These sync well with your W; a Bloodthirster is the highest pure damage in the game with good lifesteal, whereas a Bloodrazer makes you a little bit tankier, gives you a bit more damage, a huge boost to attack speed, and makes your W hit a lot, lot, lot harder. However, I prefer a Bloodthirster for the simple damage and lifesteal, making all of your attacks hit a lot harder.
You can then sell your Doran’s Shield, but only after you have an Advanced or Legendary item in sight with the gold enough to buy it. I’d go for survivability myself, because if the game has lasted this long then you need to survive more in teamfights in order to deal more and more damage to help. That’s just me, though. All you absolutely need is the Boots of Lucidity, the Black Cleaver, the Ghostblade, and the Frozen Mallet.
EVALUATION AND SYNERGY [005F]
I evaluate champions in five ways:
Primary Stats, aka health/armor/magic resist/attack/ability power/attack speed
Skill Stats, aka armor pen/magic pen/ability scaling
Synergy, most important of all
Primary Stats: Renekton actually ranks relatively average in primary stats. As an off-tank he has above-average health with decent armor and magic resist. He has high attack but low attack speed... but overall there’s nothing that particularly stands out. Regardless, he is a very whole champion. Someone who ranks low in Primary Stats, for comparison, would be Fiddlesticks. He’s easy to kill and relies solely on AP. Someone who ranks high would be Garen, who can utilize a mix of pure tank and pure DPS items, with high everything to make up for his relatively weak skills.
Skill Stats: Renekton gets high armor pen and scales extremely well. Your runes and masteries and Ghostblade and Black Cleaver make you an armor piercing machine, and your skills rely on nothing but attack damage (except for your Ultimate, which you use for the hp anyway) which you are never in a short supply of. Renekton ranks very high on this. For comparison, someone who ranks low on this would be Garen, who has terrible mechanics on his E with an even terribler crit modifier and whose Q relies on attack damage... but whose W and R are not modified at all.
Engagability/Escapability: Just below Ezreal on this, and that’s because Ezreal can come equipped with a flash along with his flash. However, Renekton has a double dash and a temp stun, combined with slowing mechanics and high damage output that makes him dangerous to chase. He can escape well and engage great.
Supportability: Not very good. To be fair, not many champions are... but he has his uses. He is an above-average ganker who can help out a teammate in need, he can defend well, and clears minion waves well. He has no shields or ally-friendly abilities, however. Not good for people who like to play support.
Synergy. Ah, synergy, a word used so often but used correctly so little. Renekton ranks super high with this, especially with this build and with tanky or bursty teammates. Let’s take a look:
Every single rune and item plays to his strengths or covers his weaknesses. Your survivability, which is a bit of an issue, is covered by runes and masteries to a good degree. Doran’s shield early game helps as well. Melee DPS weaknesses in armor are demolished by runes, masteries, and weapons. Attack damage, his main stat, is not stacked super high at risk of being easier to kill but is at a reasonably high level by the time the core build is done. The little attack speed you need is given by a Black Cleaver - and seeing as your abilities are your main source of damage, it gives you just enough to help give you fury or push towers. You can charge in or escape, and ghost/exhaust helps you with either. The Ghostblade and Frozen Mallet give you needed health, armor pen, attack damage, and good passives to survive, and the Mallet and Boots of Lucidity as well as your runes and masteries give you flat 40% CDR without having to sacrifice a core item for something like a Frozen Heart.
In short, you are survivable, deal great damage, have max CDR, rely on abilities so you don’t get shut down by exhaust or thornmails, can engage and escape...
In short, you’re Renekton.
QUESTIONS? GOT CRITICISMS? TOO MUCH OF A GIRL TO FOLLOW MY ADVICE?
Ask them, criticise me, grow some balls... just give me feedback. I’ve played him a lot and this build has never failed me yet. I’m not saying this is infallible or anything but I believe this plays to his strengths, his weaknesses, and makes him an extremely balanced champion overall.
Well done guide. I've been using that exact build when I play Renekton and he's a MONSTER.
I'm just going to flat out and say I find this to be a weak build for Renekton. He's a great initiator yet you build him to be super fragile. Doran's Shield and Phage will not make him strong enough to actually survive "engaging" (initiating?) unless your team can cover you with tons of long range CC and in most cases you can't initiate in the open or you'll simply get CC'd and die instantly.
Your build forces Renekton into a role where he must go in second with a hard CC Tank (Amumu/Rammus/Galio) or third if it's like Singed. You can't bank on getting a lot of kills early and you can't always bank on having a strong team composition to cover your frailty so the way you write this guide causes concern for my own well being if I want to actually play aggressively.
Renekton deals great damage compared to who? Even with pure damage items, he's not as strong as some other melee champs in terms of damage output and you must have super good damage output as Renekton if you want to build him as squishy as you do.
I play a lot of Renekton and also against a lot of them and harassing him early on is super easy with some champs (magic damage in general wreck him hard in the early game like Lux and Teemo) and he really needs a strong lane partner to sit well in a lane or do anything at all. Simply E, Q, E early on is inviting yourself to lose more health for really nothing unless you're getting last hits from that or well... anything. No mention of E, W early on which is a stronger setup to cause people not to harass you as much or stay too close to their minions as you can scare them with a stun allowing you to heal much easier by simply walking up to the middle of a group and just hitting Q and saving your E to get out of danger.
My criticism really is addressed to your opening statement on Renekton. I don't think you play aggressively at all with this build, because... well you can't. You're more passive-aggressive requiring teamwork for kills and you're not really a force until like 30+ minutes when you finish your Frozen Mallet. You play safe, pounce on opportunities, but mainly you're farming which is why you opt for Q to be maxed first. Things like this should be clearly outlined, people don't actually read everything in a guide so skimming through might cause details to be missed (aka clean up the flavor text). It can work, but I don't think it's the best way to play Renekton, your build really pushes Renekton to be a very selfish DPS and as I don't feel like he does as much damage as Jax or Master Yi which can literally run in and obliterate everyone, this comes to be very weird for me. You can rationalize that getting kills helps your team anyways and that it's your preferred method of play, but I don't think he's the most useful on a team built like this.
Basically, I'm saying this can work, but you're not going to be the most useful unless the other team is giving away kills. Your damage isn't on the same level as other melee champs and you're trying to build him to be. He gets a stun as part of his kit to rationalize not having insane burst, but yet you kind of ignore it until last. The play style to make this work against competent players will be extremely muted and if the enemy is cautious, I will be bored out of my mind since I have to rely on my tank to make the moves while I can't really do much of anything except farm. If this is indeed the best way to play him, he suddenly isn't as fun anymore then.
Nice guide, I'll try it out soon.
Have you considered Aegis somewhere in the build? Of course assuming that none of your other mates are willing to go for it.
I find myself building much beefier, rushing sunfire and/or spirit visage + Randuins and/or FON with a ghostblade worked in there when I can. This way I am super beefy with CDR to spam the spells and still have solid damage. Black Cleaver if the game is really long. I haven't tried a straight DPS build such as this, but I feel like it might not be as effective in my (mid) elo. I'll try it sometime.
I agree with the other posters though that the OP's build is far too squishy for my tastes.
Great job on the guide. This is one of the better guides I've read so far. The math backs up the logic and the logic is sound. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I'd just add that patience is needed early game for Ren to establish himself mid-game.
I've been playing an awful lot of renekton recently, and while i agree with most of your suggestions in the guide, i think your item build needs some tweaking to make him more viable against a well-organized team. your build is just a bit too squish for my tastes.
Renekton's skills center around jumping in, doing lots of dmg, and jumping back out. black cleaver is near useless for these situations. sure, the dmg is decent, and the ArP is ok, but to make use of it to it's full potential you need to stand and fight which is counter to his skills. sure, his ult will allow him to do this much more, but why bother wasting the money on this item? there are better choices.
Also, like nasus, to take full advantage of his ult, you need to be a bit more tanky so all that glorious aoe has a chance to actually be effective.
***Ulting before a teamfight is not the best route***
picture this: You are fighting a Renekton, and he's doing well. you see him pop his ult and run towards you. what do you do? run like a *****. derp. contrariwise, you're fighting a Renek, he's doing well, and you've just nuked him down to less than 1/2 his hp. he stays in the fight long enough for you to commit, then pops his ult and proceeds to rape your face. which is better for the Renekton?
my item build usually goes something like this:
boots+3 hp pots (gives early movement advantage, great for those quick bursts of harass from bushes)
boots of lucidity
decision point: finish ghostblade or begin work on spirit visage. finish ghostblade if i'm doing well, begin SV if i'm being harassed a large amount, starting with kindlegem.
frozen mallet (great hp boost, slow, mild damage)
Randuin's or FoN to complete my tank items.
big ticket damage items (bloodthirster/whatever the hell else you want)
by the time you get your bloodthirster, the game should be winding down to an end. if not, you are not doing it right.
Spirit Visage is THE tank item for Renek imo as it buffs cull to give more hp, another 10% CDR and gives you a decent amount of MR for the price. Renek without SV is fail.
I don't really see Renek as a carry per se, a decent team with CC will target you down fairly easily if you are perceived as a real threat to them.
with my playstyle, most of my kills with Renek are early ganks or wtf-how'd-i-get-that-one teamfights due to ult and cull. your build seems to ignore the massive utility of Renek's ult. with all the CDR items that work well on Renek, his ult is up most of the time.
thx you man, gj with this guide :)
Excellent guide. I have always played a range/caster and recently decided to try out melee champs. Thanks to this guide, I was able to play Renekton pretty well. The initial boost in armor/MR thanks to runes/masteries is a huge help. You can actually lane pretty safely at the start.
Good job and thank you.
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