Why I dislike playing Ivern Rengar

How could an Ivern main dislike playing with Rengar?

Why I dislike playing Ivern Rengar

When people think of Ivern synergies, the immediate first thought is pairing him with Rengar. Not only does Rengar get free jumps from any location, but he also gets unlimited shielding to become near invincible. So that begs the question: what's there not to like?

Note: This article is going to be focused on mid Ivern and jungle Rengar, but many of the points here can apply to jungle Ivern. Like most of my posts, this will also be geared towards solo queue.

High Maintenance Jungler

When laning as Ivern, bushes serve many important purposes such as giving onhit damage, dropping minion wave aggro, and denying targeted attacks/abilities. The problem is that since you have to save your bushes for Rengar, you end up being severely limited on your own.

This means that by playing around Rengar, you have to give up your ability to win lane. Since you don't have control over the lane, moving with Rengar to make plays requires you either:

  • Sacrifice waves and go behind in gold/xp
  • Have Rengar stop by mid and unlock the lane for you

So in short, playing around Rengar often requires you to give up all of your own agency on the game. There's no room to express skill or game knowledge, and you usually end up relying on Rengar to do everything for you.

The Rengar still needs to be good

So let's say we've decided to give up everything for this Rengar player. We've ensured we have 1-2 bushes in stock ready to make plays with him. Free win, right? It's still not so simple.

The thing is, the playstyle for Ivern Rengar is very different from standard Rengar. The Rengar player needs to understand their new limits for fighting with bushes, staying in Ivern's shield range, recognizing dive opportunities, etc. This usually isn't an issue for skilled Rengars, but with most junglers it becomes a significant problem. This is made worse by people seeing Ivern mid and getting baited into locking Rengar expecting an easy game.

Let's recap. Not only do I have to give up everything, but there also isn't any guarantee that my Rengar will know how to use the advantage I've given them. I'll still win more often than not because it's a strong combo, but I've essentially sold away my ability to have fun this game for a slightly increased chance of gaining LP.

How Ivern Rengar should be played

As we've established, there's many problems with the "Rengar and Ivern vs the world" playstyle. However, there's 2 circumstances where I'm happy to play the combo:

  • We agree to play normally throughout the early game and only start abusing the synergy during the midgame.
  • We have good communication (through either duoing or posting a discord link in lobby). This allows us to coordinate which plays we're going for and when I'll need to save bushes.

If neither of these conditions are met, it's probably better to play a combo that's easier to pilot.

Closing Thoughts

I don't want to give the wrong idea here - Ivern Rengar still a very strong combo, and it's not like I want all Rengars purged from my solo queue games. This post was just made to explain a perspective that most people don't expect to come from an Ivern player.

There's actually plenty of synergies that I find stronger than Ivern Rengar, which I plan on writing a page on some time in the future. If that's something you're interested in, be sure to stay tuned!