This is my, Puddingskinmcgee's, Raelynn build, currently suited for patch 1.18 and is arguably the most effective non-specialized Raelynn build today. It utilizes a complex internalized 'build tree', maximising both damage output and utility. It focuses heavily on 'cutting out the fat', that is to say; any upgrades or build orders that are crutches or only good in specific instances. That means that this build is harder to use than others, but the final effect can be devestating.
Time-rift: Nuclear Warhead, Retro Spaceship, HC-Bomb.
Damage+slow on rift is NASTY in the end-game, and at that point it could be used as both a defensive and offensive tool. It ruins any character who can't quickly escape (basically Froggy G and Blaze Coco) with both large damage and an extrememly heavy time-modifier slow. HC-Bomb is basically a must in the new meta, because the burst that you can achieve with it is too high not to take. But let's look at the other upgrades in comparison; Height isn't bad and can make for a very annoying rift, but it feels rather un-needed if you're a good shot with landing the rift. You can already block off turret pathways, so the extra height is more for annoyance than helping yourself. Works with certain CC/DPS (depending on what you switch out) extremely well, but not ideal for Solo-queueing.Droid spawn, again, is situational but effective for that situation. It makes you pushes harder and assists well in turret-cheesing, but is a little too situational and a little too buggy for me to want to take. But this can help to make really hard pushes with a Genji/Voltar on your team. Duration is a little lack-luster. You can no longer double-up rift, so this is now only good for a defensive tool for constant area denial. In the heat of battle, it doesn't help you all that much seeing as how the enemy will usually either be dead or would have escaped by the time the duration is up anyway.
Snipe: Pump Rifle, Flashy Glasses, Gryc Lubricator.
Damage=yes. Always. Flashy Glasses is actually better than solar tree, and frees up the extra utility slot, which is more important than the extra snipe slot. I would not recommend doubling up Solar Tree and Flashy Glasses, as that makes you miss out on many important early-game aspects. The third slot is basically wildcard, although I perfer range. Cooldown is good, range is good, blind is decent but only really shines when takes with range, and CC shield is... Interesting. Extrememly situational and doesn't actually go well with how this build works. Is UP in my opinion, and I believe that it needs a revision.
Cuddles: Skull Bracelet, Joe Doll, Receding Ponytail.
You got your damage for HC-Bomb, allowing you for 52 damage per HC-shot. With pre-loading? 104 damage in about two seconds. With snipe? 179 damage in three~ seconds. That is absolutely devastating. The reason I don't take damage to 'nauts, though, is because the burst that you already have is enough to finish off most, and that the DPS given to you by Joe Doll is irreplacable for you kiting skills and the DPS that you do to turrets. But let's look at the others; Monkey Hand is a bad upgrade and you should feel bad. It's far too situational, and even if you are making tons of kills it's still not that effective compared to the extra damage on Cuddles. Unknown Alien Hand isn't bad, but again; it's lack-luster compared to whatever else you can get.
Utility: Med-I-Can, Denny's Boots, Piggy Bank.
Pills are not needed on her; she is already given free pills and is a character who is often not in the middle of danger. But regen allows her to counter Gnaw more than she already does, and gives you the chance of turret-cheesing extreme. Boots are totally mandatory on her, she's incredibly slow without them and pretty darn fast with them. Piggy bank is better on a Raelynn with Flashy Glasses than any other upgrade you could take, really. And Baby Kuri Mammoth is again, too situational for me to want to use.
The purchase order won't be too imposed, as Awesomenauts is a dynamic game where each match is different; trying to stick to a very specific order can mess you up a lot. But I will give you this;
Always pick up Piggy Bank and base Snipe first, and then use the extra solar to get either Boots or Flashy Glasses, depending on the map and enemies. But there is another option, that can be very useful; Pick up both snipe and an extra teir of damage. This will bring us into our 'grace period', which will be explained later.
After that, scale Snipe damage to utilize Flashy Glasses. Then get yourself some damage on Cuddles and build directly into HC-Bomb. Then, pretty much get everything that you havn't already gotten.
If there's a Gnaw on the enemy team, get regen early.
Play Style and Tips
Aiming Snipe us very important, because linear aiming tends not to do the trick. Also learn to aim time-rift and HC-Bomb, as that can be very important.
Preloading: Before you go into the heat of the battle, plop down a rift so that you alredy have HC-Bomb at your disposal. This allows you to hit it twice in a very short amount of time, as Rift would already be off cooldown.
Super Raelynn Combo:
>Pre-load an HC-Bomb
>Use it on target
>Plop rift on target
>Use HC-Bomb again
>Whiddle them down with Cuddles as they try to escape
>Snipe them as they run
Using boots effectively: This will sound weird, but it's totally a thing. If you can make a kill by chasing an enemy, maybe with Rift or HC-Bomb instead of the face-to-face you have at the moment, stop the fight early so that your boots will charge up and you can chase them down. Sounds wonky, but it works and enemies don't expect you to re-engage.
Kiting: Raelynn has range, and she has speed. For many 'nauts, most notably Clunk, it's easy to keep them at arms length and still do damage. It's what makes you able to out-brawl characters like Skolldir and Leon, because they can't get close enough to you to do damage. If you can use this to you advantage, you can become a brawling monster as well, especially if you have HC-Bomb at this point.
Cheese the turret: Basically, you can go at max blaster range from the turret and jump up and down while firing. This makes it so that you will land most of your shots while the turret misses most of its. This is glorious when used with regen, and even more so if you have PPT as well. This gives you the kind of edge that it takes to turn games around, and it helps with keeping constant pressure on turrets. With a fully upgraded blaster, you can easily wreck turrets with no assistance. Just be wary of Leons who will pull you in to the turret and body-blockers/stun-lockers like Derpl or Froggy coming in from behind.
Constant lane presence: What this means is... You will ideally always have a way to take out droids. You can do this by:
-Using pre-loading to take droids out.
-Using Damage-Rift to take out the next wave.
-Using HC-Bomb again on the next wave.
-Using snipe on the next wave.
-Time-rift should be off cooldown and all waves cleared, so rinse and repeat.
Grace periods: "Grace period" is the term that I use for the period of time in a match when you can take out droids with one use of an ability. For Raelynn, her grace period ability is snipe. Droids start with 55 health, and level up every six minutes to gain +15 health, so you can achieve your grace period by getting one stage of Pump Rifle before those first six minutes are up. This can be further extended to twelve minutes if you max out pump rifle. So, why are grace periods important? Because, they are the ideal time to farm creeps and get the advantage that you need for mid-game. If you are constantly laning, then that means that you will easily be able to set up pushes and can net yourself a lot of money. Although I consider the possible grace periods to be over at twelve minutes, building into a Damage Rift, or even just Cuddles, can help with laning in general, as seen in Lane Presence.
Stats and Numbers
Let's begin with the upgraded blaster damage- The DPS of a fully upgraded blaster with this build will be 42.25. The DPS of the blaster with Air Freshener instead of Joe Doll will be 42.5 against 'nauts and 32.5 against non-'nauts. First of all, the DPS difference between Air Freshener and Joe Doll is so small that it makes absolutely no difference. But the real difference comes from the fact that the DPS for Air Freshener against all who are not 'nauts is significantly lower than the DPS for Joe Doll. This makes Joe doll superior to Air Freshener for DPS.
Now listen to the HC-Bomb numbers; With both damage upgrades, HC-Bomb caps at 52 damage per shot. That is an ability in itself. With Air Freshener, it caps at 68 damage per shot. This makes it tempting to get Air Freshener, but Joe doll is superior because it gives you so much utility and damage outside of killing 'nauts. And as everybody knows, kills don't make the winner. It's much more useful for you to have the pushing power than just waiting to gank everybody, not to mention that you don't even need the extra damage to secure most kills.
But here's another thing... Unlike other similar upgrades, HC-Bomb does not go away after x amount of time. What this means is that you can pre-load it, as stated above. If you plop down a rift while coming into the fight and let it have it's cooldown, then you can hit with HC-Bomb>Plop another rift because it's off of cooldown by now>Use HC-Bomb again,>Snipe em', for a final result of 179 burst. WOAAAHHH. That's a sure kill on almost any 'naut, if you hit it all and do at least 2 seconds of DPS with Cuddles. Take in damage-rift to the equation and they're dead.
Conclusion and Other Information
Thanks so much for reading my build, feedback is appreciated!
My forums account, Steam ID, and Tumblr all use 'PuddingskinMcgee', if you would like to contact me for any reason.
This build guide will be changed with evolving metas and patches, so check back for any new updates!
Currently suited for patch 1.18.