6 months ago
5
Patch 5.7
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Free Agent - EU

Hi! Maya here! Long time Paladins player and a Rei main since she came out. I personally think she is very under-utilised at the moment so I figured I'd make a guide to assist the joined effort of pushing her meta game to the limit.

I've been through pretty much all of the stages of a Rei main, but maybe not in the order most people would expect. I used to be a Focus player, then I switched to Extension, and now I'm a Restraint player. Every switch was the result of active testing and theory-crafting. And at every stage I held the opinion that my current talent was the best option. Restraint has stuck around though. And I would like to explain why.

The downsides of Extension have been discussed a lot as a justification for running Focus. But the downsides of Focus itself are vastly under-discussed. Focus literally nerfs every other ability in Rei's kit. Changing link target mid chain heal bounce to heal boost an additional teammate is completely out of the picture. And your ability to reactively use Envelop and Vivify to save a teammate is a lot worse. Dying to burst damage next to a Rei with Envelop up should be nearly impossible, but with Focus it happens all the time. Even with really good Rei players. Add all of this to the fact that it also nerfs some really strong cards, and it becomes pretty difficult to justify.

Rei's kit is absolutely incredible, and Restraint is the only talent that doesn't have a downside. That is honestly its main strength. The upside is just a bonus. Or at least that's what I used to think when I first started using it. The effect is actually just straight up amazing. With enough Restraint experience and some champion knowledge it becomes really easy to predict when people are gonna heal. And let me tell you; 100% healing reduction is very different from 90%.

Builds
Build Section
Notes

Build notes before going into the actual builds:

- The text on Aico Forces is wrong here. The base damage reduction is applied to champions that receive a chain heal bounce. And it can stack with itself if they receive more than one bounce.

- The items are listed in order of priority.

Main build
Restraint

Restraint

Spirit Link

While Envelop is active and you are Linked to an enemy, prevent them from Healing.

Level 1

Midnight Stroll

Midnight Stroll

Spirit Link

Reduce the damage done by any enemy you are linked to with Spirit Link by 20%.

Level 5

Aico Forces

Aico Forces

Chain Heal

Reduce the damage you take by 5% for 2s for each ally hit with Chain Heal. This effect stacks.

Level 5

Threat and Subject

Threat and Subject

Armor

Increase your Movement Speed by 24% for 5s after earning a Killing Blow or Elimination.

Level 3

Magic in the Blood

Magic in the Blood

Weapon

Reduce the Cooldown of your next Chain Heal by 0.1s after hitting an enemy with Sigil. This effect stacks.

Level 1

Future Generations

Future Generations

Chain Heal

After taking -125 damage, your next use of Chain Heal does not cause it to go on Cooldown.

Level 1

Chronos

Chronos

Armor

Reduce the Cooldown of all your abilities by 10%.

Level 1

Nimble

Nimble

Armor

Gain 7% Movement Speed.

Level 1

Resilience

Resilience

Armor

Reduce the duration and effectiveness of Crowd Control and Slows by 25%.

Level 1

Kill to Heal

Kill to Heal

Armor

Getting a kill or elimination heals you for 200 Health, unaffected by Anti-Healing.

Level 1

Notes

Rei is known as the ult charge support, but I think she holds a much stronger niche as the damage reduction support. Midnight Stroll is by far her strongest card in my opinion, and I consider it one of the strongest cards in the game. The ability to just lock on to an enemy with an auto targeted, infinite duration, 20% damage reduction is just absurd. You are the true anti carry. Anyone who dives your backline will suddenly be drastically weaker than what they are used to, and you can reduce the impact of a lot of ultimates. Combined with Aico Forces and your defensive abilities and you can turn anyone on your team into an immovable object.

During combat I prioritise linking to enemies for the damage reduction, but swap to an ally before casting chain heal if i think they need the 30% bonus. When there is no enemy to attach to, I always attach to the ally with the most important ultimate who isn't already at 100% charge. At the start of a round it's important to link to an ally before getting on your mount and then follow them to the battle in such a way that it doesn't break.

Magic in the Blood (lvl 1-3) and Future Generations (lvl 1) are must haves. Future Generations activations aren't lost on death, so if it was up when you died, you'll usually be able to double cast when you get back to the battle. You'll still have to wait for the first one to stop bouncing before casting the second one though. This is one of the reasons not to use Extension, as it often spends more time in the air. Magic in the Blood can be adjusted in level, but I find that lvl 1 is usually enough for this build.

Threat and Subject is such an underrated card. Getting eliminations on a support is super easy and the extra movement speed is extremely useful. Controlling LOS is one of the most important skills on Rei. It's important for controlling chain heal bounces and to avoid breaking spirit link. Making sure to always LOS a teammate is also what enables us to throw hands with pretty much any character in the game, because we need something to bounce chain heals off of. The extra movement speed helps with all of this. It also helps us get to people who need saving a lot quicker and to finish off low targets who are trying to run away. I get extra saves and kills from this card in almost every single game I play using it.

For items I always start Chronos and Nimble. Chronos doesn't really need an explanation and Nimble is important for the LOS control I just talked about. After that I get Resilience if needed. Otherwise I just go straight for Kill to Heal. Kill to Heal is very strong on support because of how easy it is to get eliminations. It also isn't affected by anti heal, so it's really good as a 3rd or 4th item. If I don't need Resilience I tend to gravitate towards Morale Boost or Lethality in the 4th slot, but wrecker is also a nice choice into certain comps. And because healing falls off in the late game, it's nice to have an option that can boost your damage.

Update:

The new item changes don't affect our build path all that much. Chronos and Nimble are still 1st and 2nd. The addition of Armor Plating is really nice as Envelop tends to be a lot more useful against abilities. Arcane Warding is more situational, but great into characters with a lot of DOT or chip damage abilities like Omen, Grohk and Lillith. Sentinel is awesome as it covers the cc that tends to be the most problematic for us while simultaneously acting like a pseudo Kill to Heal since shields are unaffected by Cauterize. Unbound is obviously great into relevant cc. Blood Bath is technically an even better support item than Kill to Heal was, but I find it difficult to justify building early in Rei, which means we'll have to worry about Cauterize. Other supports use it a lot better.

My go to build this patch has been:

Chronos -> Nimble -> Armor Plating -> Master Riding

Focus Build
Focus

Focus

Spirit Link

Spirit Link's Cooldown is increased to 7s and it now only lasts for 4s, but its base effects are tripled.

Level 1

Midnight Stroll

Midnight Stroll

Spirit Link

Reduce the damage done by any enemy you are linked to with Spirit Link by 20%.

Level 5

Aico Forces

Aico Forces

Chain Heal

Reduce the damage you take by 5% for 2s for each ally hit with Chain Heal. This effect stacks.

Level 5

Magic in the Blood

Magic in the Blood

Weapon

Reduce the Cooldown of your next Chain Heal by 0.30000000000000004s after hitting an enemy with Sigil. This effect stacks.

Level 3

Future Generations

Future Generations

Chain Heal

After taking -125 damage, your next use of Chain Heal does not cause it to go on Cooldown.

Level 1

Rest and Relaxation

Rest and Relaxation

Weapon

Increase your maximum Ammo by 2.

Level 1

Chronos

Chronos

Armor

Reduce the Cooldown of all your abilities by 10%.

Level 1

Resilience

Resilience

Armor

Reduce the duration and effectiveness of Crowd Control and Slows by 25%.

Level 1

Kill to Heal

Kill to Heal

Armor

Getting a kill or elimination heals you for 200 Health, unaffected by Anti-Healing.

Level 1

Nimble

Nimble

Armor

Gain 7% Movement Speed.

Level 1

Notes

As stated previously I don't think Focus is Rei's best talent. But it can be very strong as an offensive tool in combination with Midnight Stroll. The extra damage and slow combined with the 20% damage reduction can completely strip almost any target of their agency.

I run this build when:

1. My team has a second support.

2. My team doesn't have a flank / my other support is good at supporting flanks.

3. The enemy team does not have Evie, Moji, Koga, Zhin or Talus.

A second support makes the hit we take to our other supportive abilities at least somewhat justifiable, and the increase to our damage is very helpful in double support.

Rei is really good at pocketing flanks, but Focus hits this really hard because of the added cooldown and lack of team targeting on Spirit Link. If the other support is specifically designed to support flanks, I'll still run this build. But otherwise it's not worth it.

The flanks mentioned are made extra difficult to deal with by running Focus because of their ability to cleanse it and put it on a long cooldown. Seris can also do this, and Atlas messes with it regardless of which team he's on. An enemy atlas can rewind you or himself to cleanse it, and a friendly one will sometimes rewind the enemy you're attached to, accidentally cleansing them.

This deck has a lower focus on movement speed because our slow is stronger and because our ability to perform clutch saves is worse. Nimble is still nice to round out the build at the end, but we max Chronos before touching anything else.

Magic in the Blood lvl 3 helps make up for the loss of defensive utility, because it increases our healing output and helps us apply Aico Forces more often. It also synergises well with our increased focus on dealing damage. Rest and Relaxation also adds to this synergy.

The more I use this build, the more I start to see linking to an ally as a waste of resources. I will of course always try to save people with Envelop and Vivify if the cooldowns line up when I need them. But linking to an ally for the bonus ult charge is a decision I regret almost every time. Keeping it available for an enemy or to save someone is almost always more valuable. There will always be exceptions, and you can't spreadsheet everything, but I recommend being careful linking to allies during downtime.

Don't be afraid to solo Vivify or solo Envelop. Regardless of what build you are playing you can't keep your team alive if you yourself are dead. There are few things worse than duelling a Focus Rei with Midnight Stroll lvl 5. One of them is duelling one that isn't afraid to burn Vivify.

Cards and Items
Good Cards
Midnight Stroll

Midnight Stroll

Spirit Link

Reduce the damage done by any enemy you are linked to with Spirit Link by 4%.

Level 1

Aico Forces

Aico Forces

Chain Heal

Reduce the damage you take by 1% for 2s for each ally hit with Chain Heal. This effect stacks.

Level 1

Magic in the Blood

Magic in the Blood

Weapon

Reduce the Cooldown of your next Chain Heal by 0.1s after hitting an enemy with Sigil. This effect stacks.

Level 1

Future Generations

Future Generations

Chain Heal

After taking -125 damage, your next use of Chain Heal does not cause it to go on Cooldown.

Level 1

Threat and Subject

Threat and Subject

Armor

Increase your Movement Speed by 8% for 5s after earning a Killing Blow or Elimination.

Level 1

Rest and Relaxation

Rest and Relaxation

Weapon

Increase your maximum Ammo by 2.

Level 1

Decent Cards
Refreshing Break

Refreshing Break

Chain Heal

Grant 0.17% Ultimate Charge to each player to which Chain Heal bounces.

Level 1

Spring to Action

Spring to Action

Spirit Link

Increase the Healing Spirit Links provides every 1s to your linked friendly target by 20 Health.

Level 1

Mystic Mastery

Mystic Mastery

Armor

Increase your maximum Health by 50.

Level 1

Deft Magics

Deft Magics

Spirit Link

Linking to a new target reduces all your Cooldowns by 0.1s.

Level 1

Arcane Manipulation

Arcane Manipulation

Envelop

Reduce the Cooldown of Envelop by 0.3s.

Level 1

Notes

Refreshing Break is nice if you want to lean more heavily into ult charge generation. It synergises well with the same stuff as Aico Forces. Personally I'm not willing to trade that or Midnight Stroll for it, but it is an option.

Spring to Action is honestly pretty nice healing as long as you're not running Focus. But we have enough single target healing as is, and it's not really worth giving up utility for as it reduces our agency in the late game.

Mystic Mastery is a decent health card. I just think it's overshadowed by better cards.

Deft Magics and Arcane Manipulation are decent for reducing the cooldown on Envelop. The former also affects Chain Heal, but was changed to no longer do it while it's bouncing, making it much more situational.

Bad Cards
Enveloping Magic

Enveloping Magic

Envelop

Increase the maximum amount of damage mitigated by Envelop by 7%.

Level 1

Arcane Maelstrom

Arcane Maelstrom

Envelop

Using Envelop reduces your linked friendly target's Cooldowns by 4%.

Level 1

Leipori Prayer

Leipori Prayer

Chain Heal

Grant 50% Reload Speed for 0.5s to each player to which Chain Heal bounces.

Level 1

Arcane Focus

Arcane Focus

Spirit Link

Heal for 20 every 1s while Spirit Linked to an ally.

Level 1

Desperate Defense

Desperate Defense

Envelop

Heal for 50 when you use Envelop.

Level 1

Notes

The wording on enveloping magic is weird cause it doesn't have a maximum amount of damage mitigated. It has a maximum amount of damage taken. This card definitely does help against sustained burst from something like a Dredge. But it's pretty much never gonna be the difference between life and death and he's just gonna outlast you anyways. You're better off using the movement speed to reposition.

Arcane Maelstrom is too awkward for what it offers. Can be used in a heavy pocketing strat, but there are better options (like Dark Gifts Corvus) for that job.

Leipori Prayer is way too situational and luck dependent for the investment it requires to be even slightly usable.

Rei probably has the best self healing out of any support. The only way to justify getting more of it is to counter anti heal, which Kill to Heal is much better at.

Good Items
Chronos

Chronos

Armor

Reduce the Cooldown of all your abilities by 10%.

Level 1

Nimble

Nimble

Armor

Gain 7% Movement Speed.

Level 1

Resilience

Resilience

Armor

Reduce the duration and effectiveness of Crowd Control and Slows by 25%.

Level 1

Kill to Heal

Kill to Heal

Armor

Getting a kill or elimination heals you for 200 Health, unaffected by Anti-Healing.

Level 1

Decent Items
Master Riding

Master Riding

Armor

Increase your Mount Speed by 15%.

Level 1

Morale Boost

Morale Boost

Armor

Increase your Ultimate charge rate by 10%.

Level 1

Haven

Haven

Armor

Reduce the Damage you take from Direct and Area of Effect attacks by 6%.

Level 1

Veteran

Veteran

Armor

Increase your base maximum Health by 5.5%.

Level 1

Rejuvenate

Rejuvenate

Armor

Receive 10% more Healing from other players.

Level 1

Wrecker

Wrecker

Weapon

Your weapon attacks deal 30% increased Damage to Shields.

Level 1

Lethality

Lethality

Weapon

Increase your Movement Speed by 20% and Jump Height by {60}% for 3.5s after getting an Elimination.

Level 1

Bad Items
Bulldozer

Bulldozer

Weapon

Your weapon shots deal 25% increased damage to Deployables, Pets, and Illusions.

Level 1

Deft Hands

Deft Hands

Weapon

Increase your Reload Speed by 20%.

Level 1

Illuminate

Illuminate

Armor

Increase the range at which you see nearby stealthed targets by 15 units.

Level 1

Terrible Items
Life Rip

Life Rip

Weapon

Your weapon shots gain +10% Lifesteal.

Level 1

Matchups
Champion Section
Strong Against
AndroxusEvieMaeveSkyeZhinBomb KingBetty la BombaStrixSha LinLianCassieTiberiusTerminusAshMakoaAzaanKhanInara
Notes

Rei can throw hands with pretty much anyone as long as she has a teammate to bounce chain heals off of. This is provided you are running Midnight Stroll. She is particularly strong into characters who rely on stealth, mobility, burst damage, or telegraphed/predictable healing.

Note: Evie and Zhin are not good matchups for Focus Rei.

Weak Against
VIITalusMojiKogaLex
Notes

As far as bad matchups go, these are the main ones to watch out for.

Note: Talus, Moji and Koga are even worse for Focus Rei. Focus is recommended into VII.