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 and you can watch him stream in Twitch.
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!
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:
- Strong 2v2.
- Strong 1v1 at levels 1 and 2.
- Strong late game.
- Good roams. Works really well with literally every jungler.
- If you don’t use W to push without vision, he is ungankable.
- Weak wave clear before Hextech Protobelt-01.
- Every CC counters Rakan’s combo.
- Weak 1v1 at levels 3 to 5.
- Relies on jungler.
- Can’t split-push against champions that were made to split.
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.
Ryze is considered a counter because of his ability to stop Rakan’s movements. He can push insanely fast and he outscales Rakan no matter what. He is also tanky due to the items he builds. Whenever you try to initiate, Ryze will use his W (Rune Prison) to stop you and cast his other abilities in a short amount of time. This neutralizes Rakan’s quickness to go in and out of teamfights. Hold your Grand Entrance and wait for him to cast his Rune Prison on any of your teammates. You can then protect them with Battle Dance before going in and knocking enemies up.
Darius is considered a counter because he has the ability to reduce your healing with Noxian Might. It is also very difficult for you to make an engage, as Darius can just pull you with Apprehend and start doing his combos. You won’t have the ability to escape if your Flash is down. Play safe until your jungler communicates to gank your lane.
Garen is considered a counter because he can use his sword to silence you and negate your abilities. His items focus on HP and attack speed, which is a problem when trading. He can shred your armor with Judgement when trading in the lane. Decisive Strike can stop your combos when you attempt to go in. Focus on farming early in the game and stay out of his range. When he attempts to Q you, just use Gleaming Quill to harass.
Mordekaiser is considered a counter because he has better healing than Rakan. His powerful damage aura from Darkness Rise and shielding from Indestructible make him a big bully against Rakan. Avoid using Grand Entrance against him, as you won’t be able to outrun his abilities. Similar to playing against the other counters of Rakan, stick to farming and focus on surviving the early game to set up great teamfights later in the game.
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.
Kha’Zix works well with Rakan because he can initiate a fight with R (Void Assault). When enemies lock him down, you can quickly use your ultimate and dash with Battle Dance and knock them up with Grand Entrance. This gives Kha’Zix the opportunity to strike the enemies and burst them.
Ekko works well with Rakan because of his ability to get close to enemies. His Parallel Convergence locks enemies in one spot, which gives Rakan a 100% chance of charming them. He can also dash in and out with Rakan and play the right cards in the teamfight with him.
Nocturne works well with Rakan because of his ability to cover the map with darkness. Nocturne can gank the mid lane and use Unspeakable Horror. Rakan will then knock the enemy with Grand Entrance securing a fear to the target, which gives Nocturne the chance to tear him to pieces. Also, Paranoia will give Rakan the opportunity to dash to his targets without being seen.
Rakan Summoner Spells
Rakan‘s recommended summoner spells are Teleport and Flash. This is because of his ability to engage in teamfights. You can Teleport to any lane and assist your allies dealing damage while also saving their lives.
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.
Minor runes explanation:
Primary Slot 1:
- Demolish – if you like, take it. The reason why I don’t take it: if you are behind it’s a dead rune. If you are ahead, you are already ahead and you don’t need it.
- Font of Life – without Athene’s Unholy Grail it’s a useless rune for Rakan, and in this build you don’t rush it.
- Shield Bash – bonus armor and magic resist, which can save your passive when you get poked with 1 skill, so you can wait a while and it will regenerate. Also, it’s bonus damage.
Primary Slot 2:
- Conditioning – just a good rune if you don’t build any resistance item.
- Second Wind – it doesn’t proc if you have passive, you have to lose HP to proc it. Also, you aren’t on the front line to use it, you stay behind and wait to engage.
- Bone Plating – I don’t like this rune because it’s easy to counter it if the enemy plays around it.
Primary Slot 3:
- Overgrowth – good HP bonus.
- Revitalize – in this build you aren’t focused on the enchanter’s role.
- Unflinching – good if you need tenacity.
Secondary 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. However, I would prefer to scale vs matchups like this with Eyeball Collection
- Sudden Impact – good damage option. Can be triggered by W, E, Protobelt, and Flash, but Eyeball Collection will give more damage.
Secondary 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.
Secondary 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.
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’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.
Rakan starts with Corrupting Potion, as this enables him to cast more abilities and provides better sustain.
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.
Banshee’s Veil is core on Rakan because it provides additional AP, magic resist, and CDR. Additionally, it grants a shield that will negate an incoming ability. This item can protect you from pulls, snares, stuns, etc., that would otherwise kill you or prevent you from engaging.
Zhonya’s Hourglass is core on Rakan, as it gives additional AP, armor, and CDR. This item also grants the ability to activate statis. When your Grand Entrance is down, you can use this ability to save your life for a few seconds, giving you the time to escape by Flashing or clicking W again after it cools down.
Use Sorcerer’s Shoes if you want to focus on getting through enemy magic resistance. These will give you magic penetration that will be helpful when dealing magic damage.
Use Mercury’s Treads if you want to have magic resistance. These will also give you more tenacity that will reduce the time you are under CC effects.
Offensive Situational Items
Rabadon’s Deathcap is core on Rakan because it provides a boost of ability power to the user. Once Rakan has this, it will increase the damage he can deal greatly.
If you want to deal with tanks, you can build Morellonomicon because it brings more AP, HP, and magic penetration. Combined with Sorcerer’s Shoes, you can burst enemies before they can build more defenses.
If you want to add another magic penetration item that shreds enemies, you can build Liandry's Torment. It adds AP, health, and magic penetration. It burns your target every time you hit them. These passive will increase the longer you are in a fight.
Defensive Situational Items
If you want to boost the damage you and an ally can deal in the teamfight, you can build Zeke’s Convergence because it provides armor, cooldown reduction, magic resistance, and mana. Its protective stats will give Rakan the defenses he needs when initiating fights. With this item, Rakan bonds with an ally and makes their auto-attacks burn. It also activates a frostfire storm that deals magic damage and slows enemies when clicking R.
If you want to increase the protection you can give to your allies, you can build Athene’s Unholy Grail. This item provides ability power, cooldown reduction, magic resist, and health regeneration. It charges up and adds more power to your heals and shields, which is perfect for Rakan when he casts Gleaming Quill and Battle Dance to help his team.
Full Build Example
An example full build for Rakan Top can consist of:
- Hextech Protobelt-01
- Sorcerer’s Shoes
- Zhonya’s Hourglass
- Banshee’s Veil
- Liandry’s Torment
This is the most recommended build path for Rakan, as your priority is to have the best protection you can have against bruisers. Most toplaners have enough mobility to easily secure a kill from you. Hextech Protobelt-01, Zhonya’s Hourglass, and Banshee’s Veil will give you time to escape their gap-closing abilities. You can get more damage later in the game. This will increase your chances of bursting someone in the mid to late game phase. Liandry’s Torment and Morellonomicon combined will shred the HP of frontline tanks, while increasing your damage the longer the fight progresses. You will be able to burn them and inflict grievous wounds to reduce their healing. Having these items will be good against Vladimir, Camille, Aatrox, and Tryndamere in small skirmishes.
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 will be a menace later in the game. As a top laner, you’ll be setting up teamfights and engaging for your team. You usually take E at level 3, since junglers tend to gank top lane first. If your jungler isn’t near topside when you get to level 3, you can skip taking E until your jungler is nearby. Anyway, you have to take E at level 5.
A power spike is when a champion reaches a level or builds an item that makes them a lot stronger than other champions in the game. Flexible builds create different power spikes for Rakan. He doesn’t reach a power spike through solely leveling one ability. He becomes a monster when he gets his core items. These defensive items will give you the survivability to go in and out of fights safely for your team.
How to Play Rakan Top
Playing Rakan top in the early game is still similar to the mid lane. Levels 1 and 2 are where you should play aggressively against the toplaner. AD bruisers lack their all-in capabilities around these levels. If you have early game junglers which can cheese-gank, then it will give you an advantage early on when done properly. When you reach level 3, things start to get harder, as most top lane bruisers like Renekton, Darius, Mordekaiser, etc., can use all their abilities, while you can only make use of 2 due to Battle Dance being an ally-based ability. Focus on farming while you freeze the minion wave near your turret for safety. Once you see an opportunity to gank bot lane, do not hesitate to do so. Your Battle Dance can turn the tables in small skirmishes, as you give shields to your teammates. As you approach level 6, things start to be more fun and exciting for Rakan. You can now roam faster and surprise laners off guard with your ultimate and combos.
Rakan is great at assisting teammates and counter-ganking enemies in small skirmishes, and building AP items increases your damage drastically. Use your ability to reach targets with Hextech Protobelt-01 and burst them with your combos. Your rune page will increase your tankiness and will keep you alive in fights. Maximize the gain of defenses and HP after level 10. Try to Teleport whenever needed, as teamfighting is your biggest asset to the team.
- Split-pushing – When you are using Rakan in the top lane, you want to play like a toplaner. Help your allies whenever possible and split-push when necessary. You want to put pressure around the map and provide assistance when important buffs are being contested.
- Objective control – Communicate with your allies and ward the objective while you split push in the top lane. This forces either a destroyed turret or an acquired soul. Either way, you gain advantage with this play. If you think your allies are going to have a heavy teamfight for the Dragon soul, then you should be setting up the plays. When you have midlaners like Orianna and junglers like Jarvan IV, you will be able to wombo-combo their team when done perfectly. This will give you the soul while picking some champions off their team.
Rakan in top lane is more robust than in the mid lane. If you are dealing with frontline tanks, play around them while you circle your team. Do not extend too much, as you will lose the ability to get back. The Resolve rune page and the early defensive AP items that you have built is your foundation to success. Late game is where you burst the enemies with more AP. Having Morellonomicon and Liandry’s Torment will shock squishy targets and they will be easily killed. Use opportunities to take more Dragon souls and Baron. Don’t forget to Q the epic monsters to heal nearby allies around you. Junglers will always try to steal, so watch out for their engage. Charm their allies at the back with The Quickness and follow up with a knock-up. Extra CC will secure the kills and give you the advantage to take the buffs uncontested and possibly the victory.
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-level elo.
Mistake #1 – Using Lich Bane. Why Lich Bane is bad for full AP Rakan:
- 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…
- Lich Bane is 82.29% gold efficient without its passive.
- You don’t use auto-attacks in your combo with 2 core items because you don’t have to do it to one-shot.
- Tragic build path (Sheen).
- Rakan has too high cooldowns to use it properly.
- 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 provide a frontline damage dealer in the top lane for the team. When Rakan 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.
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.
Great sustain with Sap Magic. Can peel for the team. Tons of CC. Maokai is a treant that deals magical damage to enemies who get in his way. He seeks the balance nature once had. Now he fights as a frontline tank that peels for his team while locking his enemies down with Nature’s Grasp. Aiding allies is his specialty. Let the tree guide you to victory.
Great at kiting. Good waveclear. Ability to poison enemies to death. Chasing enemies is one thing, but playing around them is completely different. This champion places a trail of poison that drops the HP of surrounding enemies slowly. Chase him? You die. Run away? You are still going to die. Chugging his Insanity Potion will drive him mad until he is able to kill his opponents.
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