I've reached my 100th game with Rell and I'm really enjoying her. She's not the tank I expected, but she's the tank I needed. It's been so long since I got a botlane tank I resonated with. What I notice, however, is that the general public has a win rate well below 50% with her. As a Rell with a 66% win rate in diamond elo, I'm here to share a few pointers that might help Rell players get the most out of her.
Side note: This won't include the general tank basics like, "Don't initiate unless you know your team and are confident they'll follow and get the job done." These will all relate to Rell's kit specifically.
- Stagger your shields effectively. Okay this one does apply to all tanks, but it's especially true for Rell. If I have multiple shields (W, Locket, Barrier for example), I'll try to stretch the time between them as far as I can. I might be more conservative and use them one after the other with some tanks, but with Rell, always let yourself lose a little health between barriers so you can really stretch that uptime until you're ready to pony up and get out.
- Position is everything! Position is incredibly important for Rell. She has incredibly effective tools for controlling it, but they're limited. Moreover, she can put herself in danger easily if she gets too far out of position. Be very aware of your immediate surroundings at all times, and never let yourself be caught dismounted near an unwarded bit of jungle. Little things that don't matter so much for some champions – like using Crash Down at an angle over a minion wave to escape rather than just escaping straight back – can at times be decisive for Rell.
SHATTERING STRIKE (Q) TIPS:
- Aim for the more distant enemy. In general, you want to Q the enemy further out, because you can just tap the other with an auto and keep the resistance steal from both going by continuing to auto that enemy.
- Use Q to maintain your passive. You can also reserve your Q against mobile enemy lanes who like to run around a lot during fights, giving you a couple extra seconds to close the distance. Not the very best use of your Q, but useful in certain situations. More of a life hack than a rule.
CRASH DOWN/MOUNT UP (W) TIPS:
- Wait for mistakes! It's tempting to use Rell's W to initiate, but especially at high elo, it's much more effective on the regular to wait for the other team to come in and use it to prevent their escape. Rell's dismounted speed means that if you make a mistake or their tank counters by initiating behind you, you could be screwed. If you wait until they come in, you'll have the support of your team should things go bad.
- Watch for knockup. It's tempting to pounce on the enemy Yasuo as soon as you see an opening, but be ever aware that knockup – including those from an enemy Rell in normals – will not only stop your advance, but negate your own knockup. It's the very best way to neutralize Rell's W, so be cautious of it.
- Remember that you move forward. At first it's easy to get so caught up in the point if impact that you forget the move after. Never forget that Rell will move forward a short distance after crashing down. The flat part of your AOE is every bit as important as the round part.
- … Even when you mount up. Don't forget that you get a little forward momentum when mounting up, too. Use this to your advantage, particularly when using Mount Up to get out of trouble.
- Use your W to escape, but use it wisely! Your W can be an effective tool for getting up in your opponent's face and backing them off in lane, then escaping. The shield will buy you precious moments to get away, and the leap displaces you in a good direction. Just be careful about where you do it! A W escape is no good to you if you're too far from support for it to matter. Do it onto your team or do it close to your tower. Anywhere else and you may as well stay mounted. (Edit: Actually, it can be useful over walls too.)
- Hold the line! I like to dismount under turret whenever I'm alone in lane. This gives me maximum survivability and allows me to freeze waves without taking any damage. If the enemy gets aggressive and my shield is getting low, I can mount up and withdraw. What's more, I get another round of shields after a short cooldown. It's always better to be dismounted when you're holding turret. Always.
- Initiate while dismounted. It's not always easy to do, but if you can lure enemies into getting close to you while you're dismounted during laning, this can be a great situation. You start out with a shield in this case (obviously you'll want to use an unwarded bush for this tactic), and you can mount up either to get out of trouble or close distance and hoist a fleeing enemy. A lot of times, it's ideal if you can start the fight dismounted with your W off cooldown.
- Change the pace. While laning, don't underestimate the power of pace. People's brains will naturally adjust to a certain pace while fighting. When you mount up, you suddenly increase that pace and it can really mess up methodical fighters like Jhin or MF. Use that small window of opportunity to shock them.
ATTRACT AND REPEL (E) TIPS:
- Plan ahead with your E… This might seem like common sense to many, but just reiterating because it's so important. Make sure your E is on the team member you want it on before the fight starts, otherwise you'll spend a few seconds wishing you had a stun. Good teams will absolutely take advantage if you switch partners too close to them.
- … but don't be afraid to change it up. If the person you had your E on has to fall back, switch to someone with the health to be up front in a teamfight. Your E's only half as useful if your partner can't be in the fight.
- Be two places at once. There are two ways to use Rell's E both offensively and defensively. One is to put the E on a backliner who's been getting dove all game and keep yourself on the front line. The other is to put your E on your bruiser and stand on top of your squishy backliner. This way, you can be ready to use your E offensively, but you also have it as a way to protect your team's HVT's and keep them mobile.
- Maximize stun radius in lane. If you're up against a support who likes to initiate up close, try to stay a little in front of your carry (towards the enemy tower). That way you either maximize your stun radius, or you discourage their natural tendency to run straight towards their tower after the poke, which can isolate the support from their carry.
- Cut off the ring (also in lane)! When you're good and tanky, you can start using your E's link a bit like a soft wall. By keeping it positioned between eager supports and their carries, you can effectively cut champions like Thresh or Nautilus off from their logical escape route after they initiate, and possibly even box them in for a clean kill.
- Don't wait too long. It's tempting to line up their whole team with your stun, but the stun doesn't really last long enough to warrant that. If the opportunity's there, take it, but don't hold your stun in reserve waiting for an opportunity so long that you end up losing your carry!
MAGNET STORM (R) TIPS:
- W -> R isn't the only way to ult. It's a really visually impressive and honestly fun way, but don't neglect your horse here! Unlike Morgana's ult, Rell can get people back into her pull after they leave, so sometimes it's better against mobile champions to ult while mounted and keep high value targets in your gravity well.
- Pulled units are airborne. Don't forget that those who fall into your ult's AOE are technically airborne. This means, for example, that you can use your ult in addition to your W to set Yasuo up. Note that this is only during the initial pull, which is very brief.
- Either be an anchor… Use Magnet Storm while dismounted to keep enemies under turret, prevent their escape, or keep them from passing your front line.
- … or be a tow. Use Magnet Storm will mounted to pull enemies, ideally towards your melee damage, away from their team, and/or away from your carry.
- Don't give up! If you "miss" your initial ult by a few pixels, you still have a chance to get plenty out of it. Before you go in, pick a target you really want to catch and if need be, stick to them like glue for as long as your ult is up.
- Prepare for those agile foes. If you're trying to lock down a Yasuo or similar, keep moving in the direction you expect them to flash, dash, etc for a chance to keep them locked down. You can even use Crash Down if it's safe.
I hope these tips help some people up their Rell game. I think she's a really fun tank and I'm hoping to see her get over 50%, since I get the feeling people won't give her the same chance I have if her win rate falls too much lower.
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