Updated for patch 1.3.
Raigon is a great champion for newbies because his skills are straightforward and he’s tough to deal with in the lower leagues. His base kit is pretty good on its own, but his battlerites are what give him most of his power.
While it’s true that Raigon gets a lot of flack as a “brainless” champion to play, that’s mostly only true in 2v2. He’s significantly harder to play well in 3v3 because he’s easily punished. Here are some tips to help you take him up the ranks in either format.
Sword Slash (M1)
Raigon’s main source of damage as well as self-sustain when combined with Retribution and Slicing Winds (more on those later). Basically you just stick to vulnerable targets and spam Sword Slash until they can escape. Everything else in Raigon’s kit exists to make that happen, whether as means to close gaps or keep you on pressure output duty.
Like most melees, the M1 > M1 > M1 > M2 cycle is pretty key to Raigon’s sustained DPS. The cooldown reduction mechanic on M1 allows you to keep this cycle up perpetually if you don’t miss, but you should mix it up a bit if enemies start to predict your M2s. Sometimes might only M1 two times, sometimes four, and rarely even five times before M2ing.
It deals between 11 and 20 damage and self-heals for 7 to 13 health depending on how many weapon charges you have. The dash forward also helps you stay within melee range for your next round of M1s. The self-sustain isn’t that much, but when performed every few seconds, it becomes significant. It’s okay to start engagements with M2 even if you don’t have any weapon charges, and is actually a good idea most of the time.
Due to its fast cast time and short cooldown, Retribution is also great for dodging AOE abilities like Ashka’s Flamestrike or Sirius’s Lunar Strike. But it isn’t an iframe, so you can still get caught if you cast too late.
Retribution inflicts a Fading Snare for 0.5s. Each weapon charge increases the duration by 0.3s.
While a potential 1.4-second snare sounds great for sticking to a target, Raigon actually doesn’t have much trouble staying on a target if they have no outs thanks to Retribution’s innate dash. And if the target does have outs, the snare doesn’t do much since you’ll have to chase with Heavenly Strike. For this reason, the Royal Descent battlerite is better if you want more stickiness since they’re more likely to have no outs when you land on them.
The dash length of Retribution increases by 20%.
A 20 percent increase on an already short range ends up being nothing. You can try it out for yourself: compare the range of Retribution with and without Headlong Rush and you’ll barely notice the difference. Theoretically, you can engage targets a split second sooner and dodge AOEs more reliably, but in practice, the impact is negligible except in rare edge cases. Moreover, if you miss Retribution (which happens pretty commonly), you end up farther from the target and lose a bit of your stickiness.
Heavenly Strike (Space)
A devastating ability that’s crucial for setting up permanent damage. Whether you use it to initiate on a target or chase a target, starting things off with 20 missing health (or 26 with the battlerite) means the rest of your engagement is likely to mean something.
The tricky part is that Heavenly Strike is your only iframe and reliable escape, so you should rarely use it strictly as an initiator. It’s a viable move on isolated targets (low risk of being punished), and a lot more viable in 2v2 than 3v3 (fewer enemies to punish your vulnerability). In 3v3, it’s generally a bad idea to engage with this ability.
Raigon has many other ways to approach and initiate on targets. Instead, when you’re already engaged and have something big to dodge or need to escape pressure, use it to dodge while initiating on some other target at the same time. That said, if you ever need to escape, it’s perfectly fine to Heavenly Strike an empty spot just to get away.
By the way, the hitbox on this ability is huge. You can land next or even in front of a target and still hit them if you’re close enough.
Decreases the minimum range of Heavenly Strike by 50% and increases the maximum range by 30%.
Can be useful when you’re a newer player who struggles with good positioning as it allows you more leeway when jumping, but entirely unnecessary once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of movement and range. The fixed range of Heavenly Strike is easy to play around. The only real benefit to Acrobatics is that it may take enemies by surprise a few times, but once they know you have it, they can easily adapt their own play to it.
Heavenly Strike inflicts a 50% Weaken for 2s.
A strong pick, especially against melees. With a successful Heavenly Strike opener, not only do you start the engagement with a damage lead, but you can now pull ahead even further. You hit for full damage, they only hit for half. They’ll feel the pressure.
But it shines even brighter when you use Heavenly Strike to chase down supports. They burn an out to get away, you Heavenly Strike to catch up, and now they can barely heal themselves up while you slash away. You might also pick it against fortress comps with lots of healing, keeping the weaken on the healer as often as possible.
Hitting an enemy with Heavenly Strike grants you a charge of Slicing Winds.
Slicing Winds turns your next M1 into a piercing projectile, giving it range and a bit of self-healing that stacks with multiple targets. Not bad if you need additional survivability, particularly against Blossom and Pestilus because you can farm hits on Trees and Queens, but it often feels unnecessary if you have a competent healer on your team.
Heavenly Strike deals 6 bonus damage and inflicts a Fading Snare for 1.2s.
Pretty good because the extra damage is punishing and the fading snare makes it easier to follow up with even more punish. But because Heavenly Strike isn’t the easiest ability to land (due to the air time and fixed range), the value gained from this over the course of a round may not add up to as much as you’d expect. Best played as part of a mongo comp.
Your only other get-out-of-jail-free card alongside Heavenly Strike, but isn’t as reliable because it can be overrun by AOEs like Bakko’s Valiant Leap and Ashka’s Flamestrike.
However, the counter-momentum potential is huge against projectile nukes like Iva’s Rockets and Ashka’s Fire Storms, enabling you to return pressure while safely approaching. For this reason, I like to use Parry as an engagement tool against ranged champions as most can’t do anything to you while it’s up. Jade is a notable exception though since her Blast Vault stuns you out of Parry.
Parry is less useful against melees because it stuns them, which interrupts them from beating themselves to death on Parry, yet the stun is too short for you to do anything interesting with. Best to save it as a way to negate high-impact melee attacks such as Croak’s Camouflage or the charged M1 attacks on Ruh Kaan or Sirius.
Each deflected attack heals you for 4 health. The first attack deflected grants you a charge of Slicing Winds.
Pretty useful against ranged comps, especially consisting of Jade or Ezmo. With multiple targets focusing you, it’s easy enough to get 12 to 20 direct self-healing, plus the Slicing Winds charge for even more. And because Slicing Winds isn’t a buff, the charge doesn’t expire. You can hold it for your next encounter and benefit from it then. Not as useful against melee champions anymore because of the innate stun on Parried melee attacks.
Move at 100% movement speed during Parry. Heal yourself and nearby allies for 8 health when Parry ends.
Seems like a battlerite designed for running away, but Parry is most effective as a way to stay in the fight by blocking a big attack and then continuing pressure. Running away with Parry is suboptimal at best, and using it to heal is downright strange, especially when the heal value is as weak as it is here. For better survivability, grab Duelist instead.
Parry ends with a Spinning Slash that hits twice, dealing 8 damage and inflicting a Stun for 0.3s.
Bad against counter champions because the spin hits do trigger counters. The exception to this is when you’re against highly skilled players who know that they can counter the Riposte hits, in which case you can bait their counters by cancelcasting Riposte at the last second. But there are better ways to bait counters (e.g. with Seismic Shock).
Against champions without counters, Riposte is great for baiting outs. If you approach someone with Parry up, they’ll have to jump away or eat the stun hits. If they eat the hits, you can get in a few more hits. If they jump away, you can follow up with Heavenly Strike for even more sustained pressure.
Seismic Shock (E)
An excellent opener, even without any battlerites. You can approach while they’re in the air and then close the remaining distance with Retribution as they hit the ground. Also works well as an interrupter against long cast times and channeling abilities, or as a setup ability for follow-up nukes/disables from teammates. It’s pretty much the only thing you can do during the neutral game, so Seismic Shock accuracy is important.
Also works as an escape tool, granting distance between you and the enemy while they’re airborne just by walking away. Make sure you don’t get it reflected or countered.
Seismic Shock can be recast to leap to the airborne target and strike them, dealing 6 damage and increasing air duration by 0.7s.
A must-pick battlerite if you don’t grab Soaring Speed. It’s a reliable gap closer that makes it possible to engage targets without burning Heavenly Strike. It’s also an iframe, which gives you more outplay potential in all kinds of scenarios. For example, stuck in a Lucie ultimate? Seismic Shock the nearest enemy and Aerial Strike out of there.
When enemies hit by Seismic Shock land, they take 10 damage and nearby enemies take 16 damage.
Perilous Height boosts Seismic Shock up to 20 damage (26 with Aerial Strike), which is pretty nice considering how many Shocks you should be hitting over the course of a round. The area damage is just icing on the cake, and in 3v3 on tight maps with chokepoints, that can add up very fast. Not a bad pick, but can be swapped out when necessary.
Landing Seismic Shock grants you a 70% Fading Haste for 2.5s.
A must-pick battlerite if you don’t grab Aerial Strike. Like Aerial Strike, it’s a gap closer that allows you to engage targets without burning Heavenly Strike, but it allows you to initiate on anybody just by hitting Seismic Shock on somebody — you don’t have to hit the one you want to engage.
This lets you approach a target who has their defensives available and could easily dodge whatever Seismic Shock you send their way. And yes, you get the haste even if you Seismic Shock the orb, Trees, Queens, etc. The downside is that you sacrifice the iframe value of Aerial Strike, so you can’t use Seismic Shock for dodging things.
Synergizes well with Tectonic Shock.
Slicing Winds (EX-M1)
Slicing Winds is a weapon charge that turns your next melee attack into a wide piercing projectile. Every target it hits gets damaged and heals you.
Because Raigon doesn’t rely much on his ultimate to do his job, it’s perfectly fine to charge up your weapon with Slicing Winds whenever you find yourself injured and out of combat (e.g. the enemy jumped a wall and now you have to walk around). The self-sustain is darn good, especially if you can hit a clump of targets/Trees/Queens/orbs.
In fact, if you’re injured and you don’t have a support, casting Slicing Winds and then farming hits on the middle orb is a great way to reliably heal up recovery health. If you can then break the orb afterwards, even better.
Tectonic Shock (EX-E)
An undervalued ability that goes unnoticed by many inexperienced Raigon players, yet can be the difference between an easy round or a rough one. It works exactly like Seismic Shock except it casts faster, has shorter air time, and ends with the target incapacitated.
Useful for knocking out an enemy healer while you pummel someone else, or for waiting out an enemy’s long-lasting buff (e.g. Lucie’s Barrier) or transformation (e.g. Ruh Kaan’s ultimate). The only risk is that you can miss, get countered, or even reflected just like Seismic Shock and waste energy. Fortunately Raigon doesn’t need his ultimate.
Note that Tectonic Shock does work with the recast on Aerial Strike, leaving the target incapacitated even after the second hit, but synergizes even better with Soaring Speed. Incapacitating an out-of-position enemy and gaining super speed? Why not!
Dragon Palm (R)
When you’re fighting near a wall, trying to strafe around the target so that you can Dragon Palm them into it. The hit itself interrupts casts (but not channels) and wallbangs elevate this ability from a nuisance into a real source of damage. The fading snare isn’t that important, although it does allow you to follow up with a guaranteed Retribution, and that can be a good amount of damage with max weapon charges.
Landing Dragon Palm allows you to recast it for 1.5s.
A must-pick on tight maps where walls are plenty, but a good pick in general as well. With wallbangs dealing 18 damage, a double wallbang pretty much clears all recovery health and paves the way for permanent damage. Plus you get the extra utility of a second knockback, like kicking an enemy away and then kicking the opposite direction to escape, or double-kicking a Lucie to push her far from her teammates on Dragon Garden.
Wrath of the Tiger (F)
Wrath of the Tiger is a strong but highly situational ultimate, so much so that I try to spend my energy on EX abilities instead of this. The fact that it slashes randomly between all targets in its massive AOE makes it hard to focus the damage, especially in 3v3 on tight maps. It’s definitely a lot stronger in 2v2.
It’s arguably most useful as a zoning tool, forcing the enemy team to back off or scatter to avoid the hits (6 damage per slash), and the initial damage that eats through counters and d-barriers and other negation abilities. Once your target reaches the circle’s edge, you can recast to end it short, land beside them, and resume M1 pressure.
The dash is an iframe and you’re invulnerable for the entire duration, so you can also use it as a last resort escape when absolutely necessary.
The Tiger and the Dragon
Wrath of the Tiger ends with a Heavenly Strike.
In addition to the extra damage of Heavenly Strike, this battlerite is nice because it lets you leap over walls, which isn’t possible with the normal dash. Good for catching up to enemies who think they’re safe just because they rounded a corner, or for jumping out of vision if you used Wrath as an escape. But with how infrequently Wrath is used, it’s hard to justify an entire battlerite slot for this.
Increases movement speed by 10%.
Normally Agility isn’t worth picking because the speed gain is negligible and only helps to escape edge-case AOE attacks, which don’t occur too often. But if you decide to go with Soaring Speed, then the additional extra speed can make a noticeable difference, allowing you lots of room to approach targets or reposition at crucial times. That said, I’m still not sure that it’s worth an entire battlerite slot because it offers no extra utility.
Despite all the talk of stickiness throughout this guide, you’re going to end up doing a lot of dipping in and out of combat as Raigon. He’s extremely good at punishing vulnerable enemies, but struggles until those openings show up. If your team struggles to force those openings, you will have trouble sticking to targets.
In order of general priority, engage enemies with Seismic Shock and chase them with Heavenly Strike when they run. Against ranged champions, you might prefer to approach with Parry. You can then close gaps with Retribution and Dragon Palm, although Dragon Palm should be reserved for wallbangs because the energy cost demands that you get as much value as you can. In between all of that, spam M1s.
When the enemy inevitably puts distance that you can’t close, feel free to back off. Allow your cooldowns to reset, look for another opening, then re-engage. Rinse and repeat. Use the downtime to grab greens/yellows or charge your weapon with Slicing Winds. Or just walk to your next target. Whatever you do, don’t take too long. As soon as your cooldowns are ready, you should be back in the fray (assuming you aren’t low on health).
When you spot an outless enemy near a wall, you can try for Heavenly Strike > 3 M1s > R into wall > R into wall again > M2 for a whopping 112 damage if you have both Royal Descent and Dragon Mastery. Without either battlerite, you can still pull off 88 damage.
But this is an ideal scenario, and you may have to skip the M1 hits to pull it off sometimes (start with full weapon charges instead).
Tectonic Shock is a huge momentum stopper. Use it as needed of course, but generally speaking, one out of every five or so Seismic Shocks should be Tectonic Shocks. Use it to peel enemies off of your teammates, use it to halt an enemy healer, and use it to set up even more disables from your team.
If you’re injured and without a healer, recharge your Slicing Winds when you aren’t in combat. Sometimes you might even do it during combat — it has a moderately long cast time, but if you time it right with good positioning, you can recharge as you disengage, then walk right back in and resume fighting. Great for when your support is busy or far away.
Use Retribution to escape AOEs like Oldur’s or Pearl’s ultimate. Might not be worth it if you have full weapon charges, but is otherwise a good idea because the cooldown is short.
Need to get away? Reserve Heavenly Strike and consider Dragon Palm instead if you have Dragon Mastery: kick the target away, then kick in the opposite direction and dash again with Retribution. Without Dragon Mastery, you can still kick and then Retribution in the opposite direction, but it won’t be as safe. Only in grave danger should you Heavenly Strike.
Dragon Mastery is underrated for orb control. A double kick plus Retribution with max weapon charges deals 36 damage and pushes the orb away from enemies, usually far enough to safely break the rest of it.
With the Royal Descent battlerite, you can use Heavenly Strike > 2 M1s > M2 to deal 63 damage and break the orb. Not quite ideal because you’re blowing your out, but can be fine if the enemies are pushed out of middle or aren’t paying attention.
Unfortunately Raigon doesn’t have much else except Wrath of the Tiger to zone enemies away, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the last hit. The normal cost-free combo is simply 4 M1s > M2 for a perfect 60 damage.
- Royal Descent (Space) or Overflowing Power (Space)
- Duelist (Q)
- Perilous Height (E)
- Aerial Strike (E) or Soaring Speed (E)
- Dragon Mastery (R)
The Aerial Strike/Soaring Speed and Dragon Mastery battlerites are basically must-picks due to the extra mobility they provide. Perilous Height is useful, not only for the extra on-hit damage but to exploit the likelihood that ranged champions usually stand in the backline near their healers. Duelist lets you approach with Parry and start with a free Slicing Wind. Bolster your Heavenly Strike with whatever battlerite you like best.
- Hawk Dive (Space)
- Royal Descent (Space) or Overflowing Power (Space)
- Riposte (Q)
- Aerial Strike (E) or Soaring Speed (E)
- Dragon Mastery (R)
Basically the same build as the Anti-Range one, except swapping out Duelist for Riposte (better melee suppression for the most part) and Perilous Height for Hawk Dive (which gives you a big edge when trading M1s on isolated melees).
Raigon is an aggressive champion that requires finesse to reach his full potential: his main role is sustained pressure on a single target, but he’s easily punished because it doesn’t take much to overplay your aggression and end up in a horrible spot. Walking that line is the most difficult part, and it takes a lot of experience to get there, but when played well, Raigon can rip a target to shreds and not think twice about it.