Renekton Build Guide

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Renekton: Putting the 'Tank' in Tanky DPS

written by Valderius Rex

Renekton Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    So you've decided to play Renekton. Good call. He may not have the infamy or the ability to get into late-game hypercarry mode like his brother Nasus, but Renekton can absolutely wreck HAVOC with anyone unfortunate enough to be on the other side of a lane. The Butcher of Sands is one of those champions that can both dish out heavy amounts of damage as well as take an absolute beating without going down. This guide will be focused on how to build and play Renekton to fill the role of 'main tank' on a team as well as be a constant threat in team fights, lane fights, jungle ganks, and anywhere else you decide to dive jaws first into. I'll be (hopefully) updating this guide as major content comes out that is relevant to Renekton's build and play style. So with that, onto the good stuff!

  • Abilities

    Reign of Anger
    It's not really a passive. you get bonus fury under 50% life, but really it's a placeholder. Moving on. What is important is when you have 50 or more fury, your next skill will do massive damage and have some sort of extra effect. Learn to manage this fury and you will tear your opponents apart like wet tissue paper.

    Cull the Meek
    AoE damage, lane sustain, harassment, farming, yup. This one does it all. Skill it early and use it often. Cull the Meek scales very well with level so it will be high priority to max out first.

    Ruthless Predator
    This is what lets Renekton hit like a bus. With a whopping 2.25:1 damage to AD ratio when enraged, you don't need more than 1 rank for this to slice massive chunks out of the enemy champions. As if that wasn't enough, it also lets Renekton do his best Sion impression by laying down a very reliable stun. Save your rage for this one whenever possible, but skill it up last.

    Slice and Dice
    Mobility at its finest. Rank it up second mostly to decrease the cool down but also to increase the damage. Slice and Dice enables Renekton's hit-and-run harassment game in lane as well as lets him initiate team fights, escape like a boss, and catch fleeing enemies. The most important thing to learn when using this spell is its range. Nothing sucks more than stopping just short of your target, doing no damage, and leaving yourself stranded because the second dash didn't trigger. This will happen to you at some point, and you will feel like a total scrub. Try to learn from it and not let it happen next time. Finally smart-casting this ability (default shift+E) will really help you land your dashes as you won't have the situation where your target moves out of the way while you're lining up the dash.

    What's better than a big bad croc? How about a bigger and badder one? Renekton is extremely hard to kill with the massive HP bonus this grants and the constant AoE damage means you can mess up the enemy's team fight simply by standing there. As you get good with Dominus, you can bait enemies into overextending to finish you off, only to ult up, turn around, and smack them into the ground with your sudden extra HP. Finally, don't be afraid to use this as an escape. Burning your ultimate's CD and escaping is a LOT better than dying and feeding the other team gold.

  • Masteries + Runes

    The pregame setup for Renekton is all about balancing his tankyness with his offensive damage output. If you can't survive your enemies attacks, you aren't very good as a tank. Likewise, if you can't do any noticeable damage, everyone is just going to ignore you in the teamfights. I'll break each section down into "my choice" and "other options". The picks I list as my choice are just that, the choices I happen to make when playing Renekton. They work for me, but you may have other preferences. That's totally legit. My views are by no means the end-all, beat-all definitive answer to Renekton. This guide is just that, a tool to GUIDE you while playing the champion your own way. With that in mind, let's take a look.


    My Choice:
    Armor penetration is a great choice as it adds big chunks of damage to Renekton's skills as well as helps him scale into the late game as enemies get that much harder to crack. This armor pen will stack with any you gain from other sources such as runes, items, or an enraged Slice and Dice.
    Other Options:
    Flat/Scaling health quints will make the already beefy Renekton even harder to bring down, and this is a very good thing. If you're looking to play Renekton in a duo lane as a more supportive champion, the GP/10 quints will help you get your much needed items without crippling your carry's farm. I stay away from Move Speed quints as Renekton already has some killer mobility in the form of his double dash so the slot is better used in other ways.

    My Choice:
    Just like the quints, more armor pen means more damage. These two are the key pieces in making sure you will be considered enough of a threat for the other team to burn all their CC/cool downs trying (in vain) to bring you down.
    Other Options:
    Renekton has some beastly AD ratios so stacking up the AD can help your burst output a great deal. Pretty straight forward.

    My Choice:
    Flat armor seals, combined with some early armor items, make you a huge brick in lane against AD champions. These will also help you mitigate creep damage and tower shots in the early game, further helping you throw your weight around.
    Other Options:
    There's quite a bit of leeway here that's really up to personal preference. There is room for even more HP stacking here, scaling armor to make you even tougher late game, or HP regen to help mitigate harassment in lane better. As for flat vs scaling, do whatever you prefer. Flat is better early and in the lane phase, scaling is better late and in team fights.

    My Choice:
    I prefer the scaling magic resist glyphs as my core build tends to have more armor than MR in it so i need these to balance out my resistances late game when the heavy tanking starts.
    Other Options:
    CDR glyphs on a skill-based champion like Renekton is comparable to buying attack speed on DPS autoattack champions. They let you slam out your heavy hitting attacks faster and do more damage over time. A good pick for sure, just remember the 40% CDR hard cap (you shouldn't have too much trouble with that.)

    With Renekton, I use 9/21/0 masteries to get the very useful 10% armor penetration as well as some of the absurdly powerful masteries farther down on the defensive tree. I see a lot of guides recommending 21 in the offensive tree, but that doesn't give the durability Renekton needs to be a tank or a DPS considering he has to go screaming into melee range to do any damage at all. Here's a link because the Leaguecraft builder seems broken ATM.

    Highlights here are the massive HP/HP regeneration bonuses from [mastery_icon=Veteran's Scars], [mastery_icon=Vigor], and [mastery_icon=Juggernaut] as well as the great gold generator [mastery_icon=Mercenary]. You will bring in plenty assists as tank Renekton so the extra gold is going to pile up fast.

    (At the time of posting, Leaguecraft's icons are a bit borked. The mouse-over text on the masteries is correct, the icons are not.)

  • Summoner Abilities

    With the new summoner rework, Renekton actually has quite a few viable options. I'll give my breakdown of each skill and you can pick the ones you like for yourself.

    Top choices:
    : Enables a very nice 'flash 'n dash' escape or initiation as well as lets you jump over walls too think for your natural dash to cover. Always a sold pick even after the recent nerfs.
    : As far as pure mobility goes, ghost is unmatched. This and your double dash ensure no one escapes you on low health, and even Rammus can't catch up to you if you do it right.
    : A great pick for Renekton, allows you to CC a single target into oblivion between this and your stun on and secure a kill. It also lets you take multiple targets out of commission for a short amount of time in team fights by splitting your CC onto two enemies.
    : If you're playing a solo top lane (which you frequently will be as Renekton) you will be able to head back to base more safely as well as have a killer amount of ganking potential by teleporting to wards in the river bush to maul someone in another lane. Finally, if no one else on your team is taking Teleport, consider grabbing it just to halt that split-pushing Master Yi who is nearly at your turret.

    Good/Situational Choices:
    : The damage on ignite is better for burst casters who can nearly kill someone in a swift combo and need a little extra to finish them off. You don't have quite that much burst, but this can still net you a first blood or surprising double kill in conjunction with your ult. Also considder taking this if you're up against someone with berserk HP regen like Dr. Mundo in lane.
    : While lackluster in a solo lane, Heal can be a great pick for a "support" Renekton. You don't have a natural sustaining abilities of your own, but your tankiness combined with this heal can be a serious block to anyone trying to knock out your carry in lane. This will also help a lot in team fights by keeping you up longer so you can soak even more damage.
    : Very situational, use this if you expect to be hit with more CC than you can handle. Usually a Merc Treads and/or a Quicksilver Sash can get you out of any jams you find yourself in, but Cleanse isn't BAD.

    Bad Choices:
    : Needs a buff, really not useful on anything except extreme corner cases.
    : Not a jungle guide, skip it
    : You don't use AP nor do you rely on attack speed. This is a no-go.
    : No mana champion, no use Clarity. Next.
    : Renekton already has issues over pushing his lane, running promote kinda screams "gank me now!"
    : Solid spell, not really a great one for you to take. Save it for champions who don't really need their summoner spells.

  • Skilling Order

    A picture's worth a thousand words, so here goes:

    Levels 1-4
    , , ,

    If you like, you can switch your level 3 and 4 skills if you want the stun earlier. This is just how i prefer to play.

    Levels 5-18

    Is your primary lane skill and has the best level scaling of your abilities, so max it first. , despite having wicked damage output, scales better with AD than with level so you aren't as worried about leveling this up as you are knocking down the CD on . Of course, always take a rank in whenever you can.

  • Farming/Lane Phase

    Renekton has an extremely strong lane phase with the ability to lay down constant harassment, farm like a boss, and sustain himself in lane. Because of his high mobility, he is also very good at setting up jungle ganks with his reliable stun as well as using to escape enemy gank attempts. Here are a few tips to help you dominate your lane:

    Bask in their Blood: Unlike most other champions, Renekton actually wants to fight right in the middle of the enemy creeps. While normally this is a really bad idea as you're just giving your opponent extra damage, Renekton can take brutal advantage of the opposing creep line in two ways. Firstly, a vast majority of your damage doesn't come from auto attacks. This means you're NOT going to just be sitting toe-to-toe with your opponent slugging it out and pulling tons of creep agro. In fact, it's possible to use your entire harass combo and dash to safety only taking a few shots from enemy minions while your opponent catches a face full from your creeps if they attempt to retaliate with basic attacks. The second reason is . You build more fury and heal more HP for each target you hit, so fighting in the middle of the enemy ranks can charge your fury in no time at all as well as keep you nice and healthy as you rip into your lane opponent.

    Ambush Predator: Renekton's dash can take most opponents by surprise simply due to the raw speed he moves with. Whenever possible, camp the bushes on the side of your lane until an unwary enemy comes too close. Then, like his real-world animal counterpart, lunge out of the bushes and tear into your prey with blinding speed. Many times this will cause your opponent to panic and burn their flash/escape mechanism unnecessarily as well as give you a great psychological edge in your lane. This trick works especially well in a duo lane where you can let your partner free-farm while you lay in wait to ambush anyone who tries to harm them.

    Slice 'n Dice: While it can be tempting to spam off every one of Renekton's skills in one brutal burst, you will get much more damage output if you abuse the fact that every one of his spells has 0 cast/channel time. Weave auto-attacks into your skill combos and and activate the your or the moment you land an auto-attack to essentially make 2 attacks in the time you would normally do one. This same concept applies when you're chasing a fleeing enemy. Dash through them with , land a basic attack, dash again, basic attack, then use whatever skill is off cooldown (preferably for the stun).

    Anger Management: Learning to build/conserve Renekton's fury is one of the best things you can do to maul your opponents in lane. When Renekton has more than 50 fury, his abilities are blatantly OP, doing massive amounts of damage to your poor opponent. Getting to this state reliably, however, is difficult. You're going to have to auto-attack creeps as much as you can without over-pushing your lane to maintain a healthy fury gauge. Also, with the exception of an enraged in the middle of 4+ creeps for the purpose of healing off harassment damage, NEVER use an enraged attack to last hit. Save that beautiful red fury bar to unload a monsterous on someone's face whenever possible. Also, keep in mind that you can use the FIRST dash of without consuming your fury. Only the second half (dice) will use up your rage so feel free to make that first jump even if you're seeing red.

    Leave them in Pieces: Renekton has a famously strong harass combo. Dash into the opponent (making sure to hit at least one creep on your way in to trigger the second dash), strike with , auto attack, , then dash to safety with . Doing this whenever possible will not only help you sustain yourself in lane due to the life stolen from Cull, but will knock off painful chunks of the enemy's life bar and force them to leave or die.

  • Items

    This is probably what you're all here for; the item build. Remember, this a a TANKY Renekton build. You'll still do plenty of damage, but don't expect to flat carry the team unless you're uberfed (which can certainly happen).

    Almost always I start with Doran's Shield. It gives you ~700 HP at level 1 including your runes and masteries, a nice chunk of armor, and boss HP regeneration. If you think you can out-harass your lane oppenent and don't expect to suffer too much damage, Doran's Blade is a legit, but not my favorite, start. Boots of Speed and Health potions are also a great choice, but the comfort a shield provides really can't be matched in my book.

    If you're up against an exclusively AP top lane (Cho'Gath, Rumble, AP Sion, Galio, etc.) Considder starting with Null-Magic Mantle and potions. Skip the Doran's Shield and build into a quick Hexdrinker. More on that below under situational items.

    These are the ones you're going to get as quickly as you can in nearly ever game.
    Doran's Shield The Brutalizer Ionian Boots of Lucidity

    The 25% CDR, armor penetration, and extra AD make Renekton into a monster in lane by letting you constantly lay down the punishment with his skill combos. Keep in mind, if you're facing an exceptionally CC heavy team (including pests like Fiddlesticks, Sion, Rammus, etc.) it may be wise to swap those CDR boots out for Mercury's Treads.

    Now that you have your offensive setup all sorted out, it's time to bulk up. Start with a quick Giant's Belt for a bunch of Extra HP then pick up Negatron Cloak and Chain Vest in whatever order seems reasonable for the game you're in. These three items will provide a skeleton for the rest of your build as well as get you the base amount of tankiness you need to survive the early team skirmishes.

    From here, you have plenty of options. The best thing you can do is look at the enemy team and identify threats. Who is fed, who is playing well, who has abilities that can really screw you and your team up? Buy items that counter those champions effectively and you will have a much better time than if you blindly stick to the same build every time.
    At this point, I typically build three of the following items:
    Sunfire Cape Frozen Mallet Warmog's Armor Atma's Impaler [item=Force of Nature]

    These items are aimed at creating the crucial balance between offense and defense Renekton needs to maintain his status as 'holy crap, here comes Renek, run'. I'll give some more detail below.

    Sunfire Cape: A natural item for Renekton. Gives beefyness, armor, and adds some extra area damage to his ulti in much the same way it stacks with Garen's spin-to-win. Great pick against AD-heavy teams.

    Frozen Mallet: I typically grab this one when my team already has an Amumu or Malphite and I need to be a bit more of a damage dealer than a main tank. The slow is applied by so no one is getting away alive when you have one of these.

    Warmog's Armor: Perhaps one of the best 'pure tank' items in the game. Renekton can farm up the HP on this thing in no time and the massive HP also meshes with the HP boost from his ulti. One thing to note about Warmog's is that it is typically a poor item to rush as your 4th item, but is a devastating 5th or 6th pickup.

    Atma's Impaler: Unless you have a Warmog's or a Sunfire or a Mallet, this isn't a killer item. When you do have those, however, this is an absolutely absurd piece of kit on Renekton. If you plan on going atmog Renekton, pick up the Impaler first as the HP from a Giant's Belt+your ulti is usually enough to provide a fair bit of AD in the mid game. Just don't neglect your HP or you'll find it being a less devastating item then it otherwise could be.

    [item=Force of Nature]: The premier magic resist item, the FoN is my default anti-mage pickup. Make sure you have a respectable HP pool for the FoN to regenerate when you grab it or you won't get your full money's worth out of buying it. The fact that you move faster with it is just a fun bonus.

    If the game is just dragging on forever, go ahead and upgrade your The Brutalizer into Youmuu's Ghostblade and sell your Doran's Shield to free up space for another fancy endgame piece of gear. The Youmuu's upgrade is relatively low importance for Renekton because, despite the useful stats, Renekton is not an auto-attacker so it's not the most cost effective item out there.


    Quicksilver Sash: Malzahar ulted me, but it's K. If you're up against a nasty suppression effect, grab it. The extra MR is just gravy.

    The Black Cleaver: If for some reason you just seem to be untouchable already and aren't worried about tanking up more or the enemy team only have one real type of damage (magical or physical) punish them hard by grabbing this beast. can apply 3 stacks of the armor debuff INSTANTLY so you'll be chewing through your target in absolutely no time.

    Spirit Visage: Against a very magic heavy team, this is a great early pickup for Renekton. I consider this situational because rushing this leaves some very glaring holes in your build but against the right team, it turns you into a killing machine.

    Hexdrinker: Against an AP top lane, this thing is beastly. It's basically a targeted anti-AP wriggle's. You can build it quickly then just continue your build as normal. The shield and MR should give you a huge advantage in your lane and let you be a total bully for the first 12 or so levels.

    Thornmail: Ever had one of those games where Master Yi or Tryndamere jump on you and you're left thinking, "woah, where'd my HP go?" That's why we have thornmail. You're going to have a heavy amount of armor with just the standard build, so thornmail is not something you should be rushing every time. Only pick this up if they have an AD monster that still seems to slice through all your armor like it's nothing. You're not really buying this for the armor at that point, (as you're going to hit some serious diminishing returns) you're buying it for the damage reflection. With Thornmail on, when that Yi is dumb/crazy/overconfident/fed enough to take you on, the damage it returns will be enough for you to drop him well before he drops you. Then proceed tanking the rest of the team as usual and generally causing all sorts of bloody havoc.

  • Working in the team

    So the lane phase is finally over, a dragon or two has been taken, and everyone is starting to gravitate towards the towers to start pushing for real. What's your job? Quite simple my friend. Wreck stuff. You're going to be the guy who dives into the enemy team first (or second if one of your teammates has a better initiation move than you) and starts cutting everything that lives to tiny little ribbons. As soon as you dive in with the first part of , pop your ultimate and start dishing your the AoE damage. should be able to hit pretty much their entire team and a second dash can add on even more team damage. After those AoE bombs have been unloaded, pick out a high threat target like Vayne or Malzahar and stick to them like glue. Stun them with , shred their HP (along with the rest of the enemy team) with and generally make their life miserable and short.

    Using your rage in team fights is a little different than in the lane phase. While you should still attempt to fight near enemy creeps whenever possible (for extra rage and healing) your priorities for what to spend your fury on are a little different. If you've managed to make yourself the main focus of the enemy attacks, go ahead and use an empowered whenever you can. The extra healing will keep you alive a lot longer. If you're not initiating the fight or the enemy focus is more split, save it for to help you do TONS of damage to the squishies. Finally, if you're in a big team fight with your AD carry nearby, it can be beneficial to use your rage on to knock some armor out of the way for your Vayne to go nuts on their faces. Only do this if you have someone else initiating the team fight (Malphite, Amumu, Alistar, Sejuani, etc.) and your team has the enemies properly controlled already. This is the most situational use of your rage but it can actually provide the greatest overall damage for your team.

    If your team is on the receiving end of the initiation, do your best to interpose yourself between the enemy assassins and your own carries. Your team's Ashe can only pile on the hurt as long as she is alive, so stun and shred anyone who even looks at her. Try to push the momentum of the fight into the enemy team so your AoE damage stacks up as much as possible then use your mobility to hunt and destroy the enemy mages/carries.

    Another important item to keep in mind is the crazy amount of HP Renekton can recover with an empowered . Because the recovery is significantly higher when it hits champions, position yourself in the middle of the fray as much as possible to lay into as many enemies as possible. Do this right on a consistent basis and your enemies will marvel from their gray screens at your ability to never die...ever.

  • Summary

    That's about it for now. Enjoy playing and dominating with the Butcher of Sands. More updates will come as useful things are pointed out to me or changes to the game are made that merits an update. In lieu of a traditional 'thank you' section, let me just say that a LOT of the info in this guide was gleaned from other Renekton guides on this same site ( I owe my own experiences playing Renekton to their advice so now I've distilled what I have learned into an updated form for you all to enjoy.

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Submitted by Valderius Rex

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