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Rakan ADC – Strzelba

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This League of Legends Season 10 Ultimate Rakan guide is the only guide that you will need in order to play Rakan Mid. This guide will include builds, combos, counters, synergies, keystones, and runes.  

 

Rakan is the great Vastayan battle-dancer and troublemaker. He was once wild and free but gained a new purpose through the eyes of Xayah, the love of his life. They joined together to use their magic and harmonically reclaim the power that their people once lost.

This guide was written by our team of writers along with the help of the Challenger player, Strzelba, who is an expert in everything Rakan.  He is considered by many to be the best in the world at this champion.

Rakan Overview Infographic

We put together a Rakan overview infographic that has the best builds, runes, strengths, weaknesses, combos, skill orders, counters, synergies and anything else that you need to quickly learn the basics of Rakan.  Make sure to share with your friends and check back here to get the latest updates.  We will be updating this infographic as changes happen so check back often! 

Rakan's ADC League of Legends Overview Infographic for Combos, Runes, Builds, Skill Order, Strengths and Weaknesses

Who is Strzelba

Nathaniel, 21 years of age. Currently playing with the summoner name Strzelba. He has over 2.4 Million mastery points on Rakan and he peaked at 642 LP in Europe West Challenger. With over 3300 games, he has a KDA ratio of 2.83 with a 54% win rate in all his seasons. The first time he played league was when he saw Jayce’s login screen on July 7, 2012. This made him play for a while and stopped. He then revisited the game when he saw Panda Annie skin on February 8 of 2013. In season 3, he ended up in Silver 4 and rose to Platinum 3 in Season 4. Then, for 2 and a half years, he was stuck in Diamond 4 with 0 LP. It all changed when he started playing Zac support with Kalista on Season 7. This turn of events magically paved his way to Challenger. Since then, the top was always there for him to reach.

 

Strzelba is well known for playing Rakan in almost every role. He dives through multiple enemies and charms them with his awesomeness. Giving the perfect opportunity to his team to follow up and delete them.

Table of Contents

Why Play Rakan

Before we start on the Ultimate Guide to Rakan we first want to tell you why you should play him. His overall strengths and weaknesses are as follows:

Strengths

  • OP late game.
  • Strong 2v2.
  • Possibility to 100-0 enemies even before level 6.
  • 2 supports are stronger than ADC + support until late game

Weaknesses

  • Relies on support before level 6.
  • Relies on items.
  • Weak wave clear before Hextech Protobelt-01.
  • Every CC counters Rakan’s combo.

Rakan Counters

These champions give Rakan a hard time in-game due to having a kit that can stop Rakan from doing what he wants to do. Here are some of the biggest issues and how you can try to overcome the challenges they bring.

Zyra Icon

Zyra

Zyra is considered a counter because she can hold down the engaging ability of Rakan. She can use her E (Grasping Roots) to stop your W (Grand Entrance) whenever she wants to. Unless she uses it to poke you in the lane, you won’t be able to start the fight. Wait for it to be on cooldown before activating your W. If she Flashes, activate your Flash + R combo to taunt her back to the fight.

Tahm Kench Icon

Tahm Kench

Tahm Kench is considered a counter because of his W (Devour). Whenever Rakan attempts to engage, TK can slow him down with Q (Tongue Lash), keep hitting him with his tongue and then gobble him up. This prevents Rakan from dashing back to his support. He can also throw minions at you to deal damage and reduce your movement speed. Try to avoid thrown minions and Tongue Lash. Use your E (Battle Dance) to dash to your support and dodge TK’s skill shot, and then knock him up for your support to chain CC and kill him.

Taric Icon

Taric

Taric is considered a counter because he has his ultimate (Cosmic Radiance) to activate whenever he sees Rakan charging with his charm. This negates all incoming damage to him and his bonded allies after the channel. He also shields and heals very efficiently, which is troublesome for you. Use your combos and harass the enemy duo in the bot lane before Taric gets his ultimate. You can easily dodge his stun and deal damage with your support, giving you lane advantage early in the game.

Yuumi Icon

Yuumi

Yuumi is considered a counter because she is untargetable most of the time. You can’t hit her with Q (Gleaming Quill) to trade and heal in the lane. Even targeting their ADC with your Q is most of the time not worth it because she can quickly heal the damage. Yuumi can boost the movement of her ADC and slow you. Try to focus on harassing her with your Grand Entrance while your support harasses of the enemy carry. This will force her to go out and assist her ally, which is perfect. It reduces the offensive and defensive stats of her ADC, giving you the chance to easily kill him and leave Yuumi defenseless.

Rakan Synergies

These champions work well with Rakan and should be considered being picked alongside him if possible. Here are some of the biggest synergies and how you can abuse them.

Zyra Icon

Zyra

Zyra works well with Rakan, as their abilities can easily hold the enemy for a long period of time. You charm the enemies with The Quickness, and then add Zyra’s high AP build and her rooting ability to your combos. Securing kills and gold for Rakan ADC in the bot lane will be easy along Zyra.

Brand Icon

Brand

Brand works well with Rakan because he lacks the early game pick potential in the bot lane. Brand can stun enemies with just 2 abilities (E + Q or W + Q), which gives Rakan the chance to knock the target up with Grand Entrance and deal damage combined with the burn of Brand’s passive.

Pyke Icon

Pyke

Pyke works well with Rakan because he delivers the AD output that you lack. Bone Skewer plus Phantom Undertow will pull and stun targets in the lane. Rakan can then go in with Grand Entrance and out with Battle Dance. You focus on supporting Pyke in the early game and then carry him in the late game.

Karma Icon

Karma

Karma works well with Rakan because of her ability to give him movement speed. Her Q (Inner Flame) can slow targets, giving you the necessary setup to land your own abilities. She can then protect you with E (Inspire), which grants a shield and a boost of movement speed. She also empowers one of her abilities, often to strengthen the defenses of her allies in teamfights.

Rakan Summoner Spells

Rakan’s recommended summoner spells are Ignite and Flash because these are the strongest spells he can take in the bot lane. Using these summoners gives him more damage and pressure. His support should use Exhaust and Heal to fully optimize Rakan’s skills in the lane.

Rakan Runes and Keystones

Rakan is a flexible champion who can work his way around games using different runes. Each choice relates to a playstyle Strzelba applies in the lane or when he is facing a specific composition. Runes are encircled to show which are the best and worst with designated colors.

– Sorcery – Scaling (Gathering Storm).

– Precision – Tenacity (Legend: Tenacity).

– Inspiration – Gold advantage spikes for snowball (Future’s Market).

#1 If you are the only AP damage and enemies don’t have much CC

Rakan's ADC #1 If you are the only AP damage and enemies don’t have much CC
Rakan's ADC #1 If you are the only AP damage and enemies don’t have much CC
rakan-legend

Minor runes explanation:

Primary Slot 1: 

  • Cheap Shot – will always do less damage than Sudden Impact.
  • Taste of Blood – it’s ok against some matchups where you can’t use W for a poke combo, like against Taliyah. Otherwise, you need to get as much damage as you can as Full AP, so it’s better to take Sudden Impact.
  • Sudden Impact – best damage option, can be triggered by W, E, Protobelt, and Flash.

Primary Slot 2:

  • Eyeball Collection – stacks the fastest.
  • Ghost Poro / Zombie Ward – you can’t stack them effectively. No reason to use them because you need raw AP.

Primary Slot 3:

  • Ravenous Hunter – useless because of big cooldowns.
  • Ingenious Hunter – good for wave clear with Protobelt.
  • Relentless Hunter – ok rune. Usually when you want to roam you want to have your ultimate too. So, in my opinion, Ultimate Hunter is better
  • Ultimate Hunter – you don’t build much CDR early on, and this rune solves that problem. Also, it allows to fight more.

 

Secondary Slot 1:

  • Nullifying Orb / Manaflow Band / Nimbus Cloak – you take Sorcery to scale, so Transcendence and Gathering Storm are much better.

Secondary Slot 2:

  • Transcendence – it gives 10% CDR. Protobelt gives 10% CDR. Then you get 10% from Fiendish Codex and an additional ~5% CDR from the stat rune. Transcendence helps you get early ~35% CDR and then gives quite a few AP in the late game.
  • Celerity – this rune gives almost nothing overall due to the movement speed cap mechanic.
  • Absolute Focus – compared to Transcendence, it’s better only in the first ~10 minutes, but only above 70% HP.

Secondary Slot 3:

  • Scorch – you can’t proc it often due to long cooldowns and unreliability to hit spells too often on the mid lane. Also, its damage is barely noticeable after the first recall.
  • Waterwalking – not bad for roaming, but Gathering Storm is just better.
  • Gathering Storm – it’s dead for the first 10 minutes, but after that time it’s already better than any other rune and it can solo win games. After 20 minutes it’s already a game-changing rune.

Shards Runes:

CDR – to compensate for lack of CDR in early game.

Adaptive force – you can take additional resistances, but I prefer additional AP.

Armor / magic resistance – additional HP isn’t good since Rakan has a lot of HP from items (passive counts too).

#2 Early Abuse

Rakan's ADC #2 Early Abuse
Rakan's ADC #2 Early Abuse
rakan-legend

Minor runes explanation:

Primary Slot 1: 

  • Cheap Shot – will always do less damage than Sudden Impact.
  • Taste of Blood – it’s ok against some matchups where you can’t use W for a poke combo, like against Taliyah. Otherwise, you need to get as much damage as you can as Full AP, so it’s better to take Sudden Impact.
  • Sudden Impact – best damage option, can be triggered by W, E, Protobelt, and Flash.

Primary Slot 2:

  • Eyeball Collection – stacks the fastest.
  • Ghost Poro / Zombie Ward – you can’t stack them effectively. No reason to use them because you need raw AP.

Primary Slot 3:

  • Ravenous Hunter – useless because of big cooldowns.
  • Ingenious Hunter – good for wave clear with Protobelt.
  • Relentless Hunter – ok rune. Usually when you want to roam you want to have your ultimate too. So, in my opinion, Ultimate Hunter is better
  • Ultimate Hunter – you don’t build much CDR early on, and this rune solves that problem. Also, it allows to fight more.

 

Secondary Slot 1:

  • Hextech Flashtraption – doesn’t match with the playstyle of this build.
  • Magical Footwear – additional 300 gold and 10 movement speed.
  • Perfect Timing – also good.

Secondary Slot 2:

  • Future’s Market – this is the most OP rune in-game if you know how to use it: 

– makes you be ahead around 300g for a few minutes. 300g that you can use to buy a full item or even buy an Amplifying Tome before an important fight, which can make you ahead again.
– it’s something like being 4 minutes ahead of the enemy support or 2 minutes ahead of the enemy overall.
–  you don’t have to wait and lose experience or minions with Relic Shield.

  • Biscuit Delivery – no matter how strong it is, it’s nothing comparing to Future’s Market.
  • Minion Dematerializer – it is just bad.

Secondary Slot 3:

  • Cosmic Insight – additional 5% max CDR helps with everything.
  • Approach Velocity – isn’t good for this build at all.
  • Time Warp Tonic – in theory not that bad with Corrupting Potion, but still not worth taking.

Shards Runes:

CDR – to compensate for lack of CDR in early game.

Adaptive force – you can take additional resistances, but I prefer additional AP.

Armor / magic resistance – additional HP isn’t good since Rakan has a lot of HP from items (passive counts too).

#3 If enemies have multiple CC

Rakan's ADC #3 If enemies have multiple CC
Rakan's ADC #3 If enemies have multiple CC
rakan-legend

Minor runes explanation:

Primary Slot 1: 

  • Cheap Shot – will always do less damage than Sudden Impact.
  • Taste of Blood – it’s ok against some matchups where you can’t use W for a poke combo, like against Taliyah. Otherwise, you need to get as much damage as you can as Full AP, so it’s better to take Sudden Impact.
  • Sudden Impact – best damage option, can be triggered by W, E, Protobelt, and Flash.

Primary Slot 2:

  • Eyeball Collection – stacks the fastest.
  • Ghost Poro / Zombie Ward – you can’t stack them effectively. No reason to use them because you need raw AP.

Primary Slot 3:

  • Ravenous Hunter – useless because of big cooldowns.
  • Ingenious Hunter – good for wave clear with Protobelt.
  • Relentless Hunter – ok rune. Usually when you want to roam you want to have your ultimate too. So, in my opinion, Ultimate Hunter is better
  • Ultimate Hunter – you don’t build much CDR early on, and this rune solves that problem. Also, it allows to fight more.

 

Secondary Slot 1:

  • Overheal – gives nothing.
  • Triumph – additional gold and sustain in teamfights.
  • Presence of Mind – if you have problems with mana in fights, then this rune is made for you.

Secondary Slot 2:

  • Legend: Tenacity – the only reason to take Precision.
  • Legend: Alacrity/Legend: Bloodline – bad for Rakan, and the only reason to take Precision is Tenacity.

Secondary Slot 3:

  • Coup de Grace – better than Cut Down and Last Stand, but still not worth taking.

Shards Runes:

CDR – to compensate for lack of CDR in early game.

Adaptive force – you can take additional resistances, but I prefer additional AP.

Armor / magic resistance – additional HP isn’t good since Rakan has a lot of HP from items (passive counts too).

Rakan Builds

Rakan’s recommended items change depending on the situation, however, the following items will give you a good idea of what to build in different situations.

Starting Items

Doran's Ring Icon

Rakan starts with Doran’s Ring, as this will provide the early magical damage and the mana regeneration to cast abilities against the enemy ADC laner. 

Corrupted Potion's Icon

Rakan starts with Corrupting Potion, as this enables him to cast more abilities and provides better sustain.

Core Items

Hextech Protobelt 01 Icon

Hextech Protobelt-01 is core on Rakan because this item provides ability power, cooldown reduction, and health. It gives you the ability to extend your reach. You can combine this with Grand Entrance and Battle Dance. Also, use this to clear minion waves in the lane.

Rabadon's Deathcap Icon

Rabadon’s Deathcap is core on Rakan because it gives additional AP to the user. It also increases your AP by a percentage. Also, having Protobelt + Rabadon or Protobelt + Sorcerer’s Shoes + Needlessly Large Rod, you can 100-0 squishy enemies with Ignite.

Luden's Echo Icon

Luden’s Echo is core on Rakan because it provides movement speed, AP, CDR, and mana. This item passively stacks and unleashes a burst of magical damage to nearby enemies when you cast an ability.

Boots

Sorcerer's Shoes Icon

Use Sorcerer’s Shoes if you want to focus on bursting enemies. These will give you magic penetration that will help you shred enemies early in the game.

Offensive Situational Items

Void Staff Icon

If you want to deal with heavy amounts of magic damage you can build Void Staff. This item will fire up your ability power and make your abilities hurt more. Add this to your build to face enemies who build magic resistance.

Nashor's Tooth Icon

If you want to add spam more auto-attacks between your combos and reduce your passive’s cooldown, you can build Nashor’s Tooth. It gives you AP, attack speed, and CDR. Utilize this item for split-pushing when necessary.

Defensive Situational Items

Morellonomicon Icon

If you want to deal more damage and shred through tanks, you can build Morellonomicon because it gives you ability power and health. It will also increase your magic penetration and inflict Grievous Wounds, which is effective for champions with high amounts of healing and/or regeneration.

Banshee's Veil Icon

If you want protection from mages with high ability power you can build Banshee’s Veil. It provides additional AP, magic resistance, and CDR. Additionally, it grants a shield that will negate an incoming ability. This is a perfect defensive item against mages like Leblanc, Xerath, and Ryze, giving you the chance to deploy your full combos without the worry of getting stopped.

Zhonya's Hourglass Icon

If you want to save yourself in a crucial moment, you can build Zhonya’s Hourglass. It gives additional AP, armor, and CDR. This item also grants the ability to activate statis, rendering yourself untargetable and invulnerable.

Full Build Example

An example full build for Rakan(VS no MR rush) can consist of:

  • Hextech Protobelt-01
  • Sorcerer’s Shoes
  • Rabadon’s Deathcap
  • Luden’s Echo
  • Void Staff
  • Banshee’s Veil / Zhonya’s Hourglass
Rakan's ADC (Vs No MR Rush) Full Build Example
Rakan's ADC (Vs No MR Rush) Full Build Example

An example full build for Rakan(VS MR rush) can consist of:

  • Hextech Protobelt-01
  • Sorcerer’s Shoes
  • Void Staff
  • Rabadon’s Deathcap
  • Luden’s Echo
  • Banshee’s Veil / Zhonya’s Hourglass
Rakan's ADC (Vs MR Rush) Full Build Example
Rakan's ADC (Vs MR Rush) Full Build Example

This is the most recommended build path for Rakan, as it increases his ability to do damage to enemies in-game. You want to have the damage to burst their ADC once you complete all your abilities and items. Hextech Protobelt-01, Rabadon’s Deathcap, and Luden’s Echo will give the AP you need to secure a kill, especially against squishy enemies, when their team isn’t fully built with magical resistance. Void Staff and Sorcerer’s Shoes will shred tank champions, while your last item gives you additional protection in teamfights. Rakan is a flexible ADC pick that can potentially outscale the enemy ADC and beat the enemies before they ramp up.

Rakan's Abilities

For a complete breakdown of Rakan’s Abilities, click here.

Ability Skill Order

Rakan's ADC Ability Skill Order
Rakan's ADC Ability Skill Order

The skill order for Rakan is R – W – Q – E.  You’d want your Grand Entrance to have the shortest cooldown possible. This will help you to create amazing roams and plays for your team. Take Gleaming Quill second for its ranged damage and ally healing. You are the ADC and you must focus on dealing as much damage to the other team as possible. Max Battle Dance last, as you are not a support. Have all 3 abilities at level 3 and create plays with your support. if your jungler plans on ganking your lane at level 2, then you can take Battle Dance instead of Gleaming Quill.

Rakan Powerspikes

A power spike is when a champion reaches a level or builds an item that makes him a lot stronger than other champions in the game. Flexible builds create different power spikes for Rakan. You gain better trading ability and pick potential when you purchase your Hextech Protobelt-01, Rabadon’s Deathcap, and Luden’s Echo. They will quickly burst your target as you use your full combo on them. Having these items also increases the healing you can provide to your allies, as well as the shield (0.9 ratio) you receive from your passive. Overall, Rakan benefits from these items because he has a 5.0 AP ratio in all abilities.

Rakan's Combos

For a complete breakdown of Rakan’s Combos, click here.

How to Play Rakan ADC

Early Game

Rakan ADC plays differently compared to top, mid and support. Your goal is to get all your abilities available first as you farm, then wait for your support to engage. Taking the time to get your abilities will increase the likelihood of winning the lane. Your Grand Entrance will always be your biggest asset, so use it wisely. Supports like Pyke, Brand, or Zyra, can increase your chance of beating their lane early in the game greatly. When you reacxh level 6 it will be easy for you and your support to one-shot an enemy. This is where your unique combination shines.

Mid Game

Small skirmishes will most likely happen around this time. Rakan excels at assisting teammates and counter-ganking enemies when they engage on your allies. Being in an ADC role means that you have to survive longer, as your team will rely on your damage in the late game. You can focus on protecting your teammates by dashing in with Battle Dance and activating your The Quickness to charm the enemies. This gives you the chance to knock them up with Grand Entrance. If you are having difficulties reaching your allies, do not forget to use your Hextech Protobelt-01 to help you do so. It is vital to communicate with your team and tell them what spells, items, and abilities you have available at play. Your allies may forget that you are on an ADC role and that you do not want to face the enemy head-on.

 

  • Split-pushing –  Rakan can split-push, but a support must be around. Your focus is to be with your allies and maximize your pick potential. You should do that, as you are not solely protecting allies but dealing damage to your enemies more often. Split-push only when you have teammates around, as losing an ADC before a teamfight is bad for any team.

 

  • Objective control – When taking objectives like Dragon or Rift Herald you’d want to Q the epic monster and heal to your allies. This is very similar to playing Rakan as other roles. Observe the enemy jungler and focus on him when he is about to go in. Block his attempt to steal the objective by charming him with The Quickness while your allies take it.  After you’ve distracted the jungler you can focus on securing kills. Combine plays with your support and one-shot isolated enemies.

Late Game

Rakan will always be about the teamfighting. Maximizing your kit and assassinating targets with your high AP ratio is the best route to take, but do not start the engage. You would want to wait for your top, jungler or support to do their role and create plays. When you think they have peeled enough for the team, you can then rescue them while bursting enemies who are already low. One-shot them and back to your team with Battle Dance while you wait for your abilities to come off cooldown. When you’ve used up your combos, try to play around the enemy with allies nearby. Rakan excels at dealing instant damage with his ability power without staying too long in the middle of the fight. Beware of ADCs like Caitlyn or Senna, and mages, as their kits can stop your movement. Avoid taking hits from them until you know they have their abilities on cooldown. Taking Baron and Elder Dragon is an advantage for Rakan. You get to heal your allies while you constantly hit the objectives. As enemies approach to contest, wait for the right moment to charm them. When you have great CC like Malphite, Zyra, Orianna, or Sejuani, you can easily stack your CC and secure a kill. If the enemies do not have summoner spells to dodge your charm, then they will have a hard time engaging your team. Always try to aid your team using Battle Dance. This will also prevent the enemy from assassinating you. Play close to the walls around the pit when allies are there to keep you safe. Rakan is an interesting champion, and the ability to play all lanes is amazing. You can happily click ‘fill’ as a role and go around wrecking enemy teams in any position you get.

Rakan Tips and Tricks

  • Hextech Protobelt-01’s dash can be used to get in range for W.
  • Always look for picks.
  • Wait for enemies to engage so you can counter-engage-
  • Rush Hextech Protobelt-01, skipping even tier 1 boots to have wave clear as fast as you can.

Frequent Mistakes/Noob Traps

These are things most Rakan players do that shouldn’t be done at a high ELO.

 

Mistake #1 – Using Lich Bane. Why Lich Bane is bad for full AP Rakan: 

  1. There are core items: Protobelt, Sorcerer’s Shoes, Rabadon’s Deathcap, and situational items that are still better than Lich Bane for Rakan: Luden’s Echo, Void Staff, Zhonya’s Hourglass, Banshee’s Veil, Nashor’s Tooth, Morellonomicon… 
  2. Lich Bane is 82.29% gold efficient without its passive. 
  3. You don’t use auto-attacks in your combo with 2 core items because you don’t have to do it to one-shot.
  4. Tragic build path (Sheen).
  5. Rakan has too high cooldowns to use it properly.
  6. If you want an item for auto-attacks, then Nashor’s Tooth is twice as good (more CDR and attack speed to reduce your passive’s CD).

Similar Champions to Rakan

Listed below are some champions you can use to replace Rakan, as they deal a lot of damage in bot lane fights. When he isn’t available because he is either banned or picked by the enemy team, knowing how to play these champions will give you a variety to choose from, safeguarding your LP from going down and keeping your games awesome.

Diana Icon

Diana

Great assassin. Great initiator. E resets its cooldown if you use it after landing Q. Diana loves to initiate fights as much as Rakan. She uses her ability to cast Crescent Strike and Lunar Rush efficiently in-game. With her new update, she can easily close the gap and draw nearby enemies with Moonfall towards her, giving enough time to her allies to connect and kill.

Ekko Icon

Ekko

Extreme mobility. Carry potential. Strong late game. Ekko is a great champion that also has multiple ways to engage on the enemy. His extreme mobility gives him the ability to roam around the map and easily initiate fights with his W (Parallel Convergence) and E (Phase Dive). Stunning enemies for a quick kill and diving turrets is not a problem for this lad, as his ultimate (Chronobreak) can save him from a certain death.

Pyke Icon

Pyke

Great roam. Assassinates squishy targets. Great mobility. Pyke has a list of people he wants to assassinate. With his Bone Skewer, he’ll be pulling enemies and striking them until their HP drops. He can then use Death from Below and give gold to his allies. ADCs are easy targets for Pyke, and will instantly die when not protected. You can never go wrong with a bounty hunter on your team.

Comment below what you liked or think should change about this guide. Remember to rate it and share it if you found it useful. Good luck on the Rift!

SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

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