Peelmaster Rath, a detailed guide to playing Rath

Some people say that Rath is heavily dependent on his team, I’m here to tell you differently. This triple sword wielding vampire is one of the most mobile assassins in the game. His mobility along with the hard CC he brings to the table makes him one of the most fearsome additions to any team composition.

(Peel means to get enemies off of your teammates, in Rath’s case he uses his knock up to peel enemy characters from diving onto his support)

Skills and Passive

Catalytic Smash

After a short wind up Rath smashes the ground in front of him causing a wave of energy going forward from him causing anybody hit to be knocked up.

This is Rath’s bread and butter. It allows him to save exposed teammates from enemy CC or punish enemies who have stumbled out of position.


Creates a slow moving projectile from his swords that damages enemies. Good for finishing off low health targets and activating his passive for slight amounts of healing.

Genetic Syphon

Rath’s passive allows him to lifesteal 9% of melee hits and 13% of damage from skills. Provides him a slight amount of sustain, but will be augmented at level 5 for greater sustainability.


After a small windup Rath begins to spin causing a small AoE around him causing high damage to all targets close to him. Can be devastating if used at the right time, but leaves you vulnerable to crowd control.

Helix Options

Level 1

Slowing Strike enables your crossblade to slow any enemy damaged for 3 seconds. This helix is very useful to deal with high mobility characters such as Caldarius or Mellka.

Concussive Smash makes it so that catalytic smash no longer knocks up enemies and the range of the smash is extremely reduced. However, it allows anybody who is hit by crossblade to be stunned by the smash. This option is extremely limiting as to what Rath is capable of. It’s fun to mess around with, but you lose so much CC potential by taking this choice.

Waveform Smash causes catalytic smash’s distance to be shortened, but spreads out to the left and right. This is my preferred choice as it makes Rath’s peel absolutely incredible. Teammate got pulled by Ghalt? No problem, because their entire team got knocked up because of this beauty of a helix. (P.S. you can get multiple of the shockwaves to hit a single target to get some crazy burst damage)

Level 2

Shield Syphon allows crossblade to steal your opponent’s shields. This pick has very limited uses and would only be helping in a handful of situations throughout a match.

Eviscerating Blade gives your crossblade 60% shield penetration. Crossblade’s primary use is to finish off oponents that are out of your range and nobody is going to be running around with low enough health to make this very useful.

Anger’s Echo is the only choice I ever pick. It causes crossblade to return back to Rath when it gets destroyed, causing 50% less damage on the return.

Level 3

Terror From Above allows Rath to double jump, allowing him to get to places like the overgrowth perch and monuments stairs. Also allows him to bait skillshots such as Galilea shield throw and Toby stun mines fairly effectively.

Spin to Win adds an extra spin onto Rath’s primary melee combo. This actively hurts his DPS because spin cancelling is a thing (see below for an explanation on spin canceling).

Level 4

Crimson Fastness causes Rath to leap forward before he smashes, this causes the windup on the smash to increase significantly and makes targeting enemies more difficult. (The leap itself can cause damage so this effectively increases smash’s damage, but it hurts the skill moe than it helps.)

Catalytic Flash silences all targets hit by the knock up for three seconds. This provides great synergy with his ultimate as it prevents any retaliation from skills for a short time.

Level 5

Skillful Syphoning adds 20% extra lifesteal to all Rath’s skills bumping up his lifesteal from 12% to 32%. It allows him to smash/crossblade a wave and almost fully heal himself. It also gives him a bit more durability during his ultimate and if you catch a minion wave as well as a couple battleborn in your ultimate you are nearly immortal. This is my preferred choice if I have a good consistent healer.

Swordsman’s Salve is a better pick if you don’t have a dedicated healer. It increases his lifesteal from his melee to 30%, but removes his ability to lifesteal with skills. This leaves him very vulnerable in his ultimate, but gives him much better consistent sustain.

Not a Vampire gives him an additional 11% lifesteal to melee attacks. Just take Swordsman’s Salve if this seems appealing.

Level 6

Brutal Blade gives 15% additional damage to crossblade. I typically pick this option in meltdown where smash range isn’t quite as important.

Catastrophic Smash doubles the wave length of catalytic smash, the synergy between this and Waveform smash allows you to knock up an entire lane easily.

Level 7

Evasive Maneuvers gives Rath an extra 30% move speed for 6 seconds after his shield breaks, this helps his escape dramatically and makes him extremely good at diving low health targets and escaping.

Spin to Slow makes his spin attacks slow targets for one second. This is useless because you shouldn’t be spinning.

To the Point gives an extra 18% damage to his melee damage. This combined with spin cancelling allows Rath’s damage to really become a threat. This is my preferred choice.

Level 8

Energetic Projection doubles the range of crossblade. Crossblade’s travel time makes it so that you won’t hit anything you want to hit with the added range.

Quick cross reduces crossblade’s cooldown by 20% gives more crossblades to hit people and lifesteal with.

Level 9

Softened Target gives 25% increased damage with your crossblade to anybody you hit with Catalytic Smash. This allows for his knock up into crossblade combo to start dealing some serious damage.

Zealous Smash reduces dreadwind’s cooldown by 3 seconds per enemy killed by Catalytic Smash. You shouldn’t be using your smash to kill low health targets so this is nearly useless.

Level 10

Dreadheart gives 30% movement speed while Dreadwind is active, allowing you to stick like glue to whoever you dreadwind. (this combined with the move speed at 7 is very funny)

Unstoppable Assault gives you an overshield when you activate dreadwind. This gives you slightly more survivability while you are ulting.

Desperate Assault gives 45% increased damage while your shield is cracked in dreadwind. This combined with the additional skill lifesteal at five gives him a lot of health and deal a ton of damage.


Max Health

ALways have at least one piece of this gear on. He is extremely squishy and this increases his durability significantly. This is the best piece of max health gear you can get.
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Sprint Speed

Increased mobility allows him to be in and out more effectively and more difficult to hit. Both of these work wonders.

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Health Regen

I personally don’t typically use this, but if there is no consistent healing it works wonders.

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Skill Damage

Allows his knock up into crossblade combo to hurt even more as well as increase dreadwind damage. This piece gives you extra health as well as increase your skill damage.

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Attack Damage

Increases Rath’s consistent damage and pairs pretty well with Swordsman’s Salve.

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My Personal Loadout

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Ability Combinations

Knock up into Crossblade

Most people do knock ups straight into crossblade, but if you add a spin cancel combo you can increase your possible DPS.

Spin Canceling

The final spin in Rath’s combo significantly lowers his damage so if you cancel it with one of his offhand attacks you can deal pretty good damage. Do 2-3 basic attacks and then do his offhand attack to increase your overall damage.

Smash into Dreadwind

The silence at level 4 leaves the enemies open to dreadwind and you can juggle them on your head to not allow them to escape.

Chasing offhand attacks

If you sprint and use your offhand while you’re jumping towards an enemy that is running away you can keep up with them and deal damage because you maintain momentum in the air.

Offhand Damage Amp

Rath’s offhand damage is amplified against all shields so take advantage of that to punish those pesky shepherd bots.

General Playstyle

Rath’s early game struggles so don’t do many hard dives until level 3 and your max health piece of gear is active. When you do meet those requirements, be extremely aware of enemy CC cooldowns. Hard CC hurts Rath particularly hard due to his mobility and low health pool. For the most part play defensively until you locate a low target and it’s safe for you to dive. While you wait for dive opportunities, peel for your allies. A Phoebe dives your Miko? Knock her up and buy the Miko time to escape. Ghalt pull? Knock the enemy team up to prevent any follow up. Be cautious with your Dreadwind because all eyes turn to you once you activate it and you are very susceptible to CC while you are using it.

Feel free to leave any additional questions if I didn’t cover anything you’re still curious about.


If someone lacks one of your items what would you recommend as a backup?

For example I’m missing the skill damage/ health

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Hello, I’m an anonymous, Non-XBax, Scrub;

Which Legendaries should I, as a scrub who needs legendaries as crutches, use on Rath when I want easy, skill-less, wins?

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Is there a reason you use sprint speed over movement speed?

It’s a 50% increase against all shields, not just overshields.


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To be honest, I can’t think on many legendaries that would give him a big advantage. The only two that I think would help him is Bola’s Target Finder and Go-Go Juice.

The blue health regen with more regen when your shield breaks helps a lot with consistent pressure and being able to always be there when your team needs the CC you can provide. On the other hand, if you have a healer you can depend on the purple attack damage combined with max health makes it more difficult for you to get bursted down and helps increase your base damage. Both of these choices are good, but it comes down to what helps you personally more. If you play more passively and typically just take a little poke damage the health regen is better, but if you play more aggressively and dive on people the damage and health is a lifesaver.

You’re right about the shields, made an edit. I take the sprint speed because it gives you a 9.8% increase vs a 5.6% increase nearly double the percentage. This combined with how Rath should pretty much never stop sprinting whether he’s making a dive, escaping from a dive, or coming back from base when he has to port back 90 times in a single match because nobody wanted to play support.