IntroductionRengar is a champion which has, since release, undergone a lot of changes in terms of how he is used and appreciated. He began by being criticized as an underpowered or average jungler, then transitioned into an AP burst champion, and is as of time of writing FOTM AD top bruiser. Personally I have always played him as AD top in both ranked and normal, and this guide shall aim to show you how I play him. This is by no means a definitive THE-ONLY-WAY-YOU-CAN-PLAY-RENGAR guide, it's simply my personal build.
Its a pretty straight-forward guide too, without too much fluff.
MasteriesSome people prefer 21/9/0 on AD Rengar but personally I find that in teamfights when you initiate, the enemy team tends to aim you, so 9/21/0 feels a bit more comfortable to me. Your choice really!
RunesThe rune setup is pretty typical of most AD tops. However, I like going MS Quints just for the added gap closing potential especially when chasing down champions, since you don't begin to level Rengar's E to much later and thus it is on a pretty long cooldown.
Swapping out MS Quints for flat AD quints is perfectly fine. I've heard of some people swapping out MR/level glyphs for CDR glyphs, and I could see how that might work, but like I said teamfights might be a problem.
Ignite and Flash really is the only way to go. Ignite for burst and to negate the healing of some high sustain champions top. Flash for escape or to close the gap so that you can land your E to slow a running enemy champion. All other summoners will really just be lacklustre.
Passive: Unseen Predator
While in brush or stealth, Rengar will leap at the target when using his basic attack. Rengar builds 1 Ferocity with each ability he uses on enemies. When reaching 5 Ferocity, Rengar's next ability becomes empowered, granting it a bonus effect.
An amazing ability once mastered. Learning how to abuse the lane bushes with this ability makes your lane harass a lot stronger.
Rengar's next basic attack deals bonus damage and grants him increased Attack Speed for a short duration.
Ferocity Bonus: Rengar deals enhanced damage and his Attack Speed bonus increases.
Pretty simple mechanics on this skill. Press Q, autoattack the enemy champion, do a significant amount of damage. With max ferocity, the damage is pretty crazy. Learning when to continue hitting after landing Q (so as to benefit from the attack speed buff) and when to just back off are essential for Rengar players. I max this first for the raw damage.
W: Battle Roar
Rengar lets out a battle roar, damaging enemies and gaining bonus Armor and Magic Resist for a short duration.
Ferocity Bonus: Rengar heals himself for a large amount.
A strong all-rounded skill. Gives bonuses to defense and has a bit of AOE damage for offense. It took a slight nerf in the latest patch but is still a strong skill. I max this second mostly for the CDR so that I can proc the heal more often with max ferocity and sustain in lane.
E: Bola Strike
Rengar throws a bola at his target, slowing them for a short duration.
Ferocity Bonus: Rengar roots the target.
A pretty meh skill. Applies a short slow, but when ferocity is built up to max it applies a stun as well. Make sure to land a stun with this when your jungler comes to gank.
R: Thrill of the Hunt
Rengar activates his predatory instincts, stealthing and revealing all enemy champions in a large radius around him. He gains Movement Speed and rapidly generates Ferocity while stealthed.
This skill is amazing, really. It has a decent cooldown, serves an both an escape/initiation skill, grants vision of nearby champions to nullify those jukes, and builds you towards full ferocity. Proper usage of this is make or break for Rengar players.
Skill OrderR > Q > W > E, with E/Q/W at levels 1, 2 and 3 respectively.
Item BuildsRengar's core item build is mainly to build up his tankiness and damage output, whilst gaining some CDR. Everything else is really just there to scale along with the rest of the players in the game. The choice of boots depends not on your lane opponent, but on the amount of CC in the game. CDR boots are sometimes possible, but is usually too risky.
Deciding between getting a / and getting neither is pretty straight-forward. If your lane is heavy harass such as Riven (for AD) or Rumble (for AP) then buy the relevant optional item.
Zeke's Herald is a good way to counter the effects of Frozen Heart if your opponent has built one.
Your Post-Core items mainly aim to make you tankier, as late game you are less bursty and more sustained damage (your will have such a short cooldown it'll almost always be up during teamfights). Guardian Angel is a definite must, because Rengar tends to draw the attention of the enemy team whenever he engages.
Note: Trinity Force is a possible item route, but I just don't like it.
Soft Gaming Skills
Although this guide is focused on how to play Rengar, playing Rengar top requires you to have some soft gaming skills as well. By this I mean things like warding, potions, things like that.
You will generally want to return to lane with at least one ward to ward the river. Warding the river bush is decent. If you can convince your AP mid to ward the part of the river that leads to purple team's wraiths, then all you can ward top lane's tribush for even earlier warning.
Potions are only really necessary if your max ferocity W sustain is insufficient. Do not go overbored buying potions or your item build will be severely delayed.
If you manage to down your lane opponent's tower early on, run down and call your team to do Dragon ASAP. Due to Rengar's stealth on R, They will not see that you are there as long as you are standing INSIDE the baron pit. If the enemy team tries to stop the Dragon attempt, hit R and aim for the squishiest enemy champion.
Rengar tends to be ganked easily early on. If you find yourself getting camped by the enemy jungler, it might be safer to not attempt harassment from the lane bushes and instead just stand behind your minion wave, using your abilities to farm. DO NOT STAND NEAR BUSHES UNLESS YOU ARE STANDING INSIDE IT. DOING THAT IS JUST ASKING TO BE JUMPED. Pretty obvious but that is a very common mistake.
Early Gameis taken at level 1 mostly for last hitting creeps that are too far away and not really for harass. Rengar does not truly begin harass till about level 2, when you have . At level 2, step into the bush, leap out and land an auto-attack, then immediately hit for the animation reset. Run back into the bush to lose minion aggro. If you find yourself at around half health and your lane opponent much higher in health, stop the harass and try to land your abilities on the minion wave in order to build ferocity for max ferocity (heal).
IMPORTANT: When attempting to go for a lane kill, remember that your builds max ferocity again. a good way of abusing this is to spam your , autoattack a bit to maximize your attack speed buff, then use R midfight. This will disengage you, leaving your enemy confused for a short while, and as long as you stay near him, you have a max ferocity to land once again. This method does a LOT of damage.
Mid GameBy level 10-12, you should have your core item build. If you don't, the rest of the game will be pretty rough because Rengar is one of those champions that becomes kind of useless if you don't at least keep up with the rest of the enemy team. Max level does a LOT of damage to the tower. Build max ferocity, cast twice on the enemy tower, and try to drop their T1 as fast as possible. Doing this will allow you to roam with relative ease. Rengar's ganks are quick and dangerous, and his burst in the mid-game is rather high. Use this to your advantage and don't get stuck farming in lane all game.
Note: During this phase of the game you aren't very tanky yet, unless you are very far ahead. The key to a strong mid game is to constantly go in and out of fights, so that you can have more opportunities to cast your and maximize your healing potential.
Late GameAs late game comes around you'll find that you can no longer knock off 80% of an enemy champion's health in 1 or 2 rotations of your skills. This is when rengar transitions from a burst champion to a sustained DPS champion with the near-perpetual attack speed buff uptime. Use R to initiate for your team on the enemy AP or AD carry. It is important to decide whether you want to use a max ferocity for a quick burst, or max ferocity for the 1 second stun. I would use the stun when my team is a bit too far behind and they need that CC to catch up, but mostly I use the . After initiating, you will generally have to run out of the fight because everyone will be aiming you. If you have a frozen mallet, their carries will have a very hard time shaking you.
CountersRengar has a pretty hard time laning against Yorick. Then again, most top laners have a hard time, except maybe Cho'Gath and Trundle for obvious reasons.
Jayce will begin the lane with a small amount of harass on you which you can handle. Around level 10-12 his damage output will rape your face. This shouldn't be an issue if you manage to reach your core item build by this time and are able to roam though. Aim to secure map objectives and stop laning against him.
If you are not careful, this guy will burst you down really quickly. Try to dodge Qs, and do not take unnecessary reckless swings.
Lee Sin's ability to outlane you depends on 2 things - how aggressive he is and how well he lands his Qs. His duelling ability is stronger than yours, and his sustain is still decent.
Renekton will bully you out of the lane. Assuming he is good, he will zone you out and render you unable to build ferocity off minions, preventing you from healing with W. Ask your jungler for help and DO NOT pick Rengar if you see your opponent pick Renekton.
Final CommentsThis guide is only a first draft so I will likely edit it more in future. Let me know what you think in the comments below and thanks for reading!