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Kha'Zix Build Guide by SpikeThePike

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League of Legends Build Guide Author SpikeThePike

[6.9] Kha'Quick - a faster start, change is good

SpikeThePike Last updated on June 13, 2016
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 12

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 18

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

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I'm a Shyvana main who plays Kha'Zix for fun (or in games where Shyvana is banned or already taken). If you are picking two jungle champions to main, these two compliment each other quite well: Kha'Zix teaches you to think more strategically, looking for assassination targets without risk, Shyvana teaches you efficiency. Although the two champions have very different mechanics and styles, there are some similarities: both have an auto-attack reset on Q, and both have a leap/dive with a range of 1000, one of the longest range gap closers in the game.

This will be a short build guide. I am writing it because I have a faster start and jungle route on Kha'Zix which I think can be more effective than the meta. When I say 'meta' I mean Tinjus' guide, an excellent guide with outstanding explanations of Kha'Zix basic and advanced mechanics, I recommend you read that first.

For the rest of the guide, I'm aiming for the usual high damage build, with additional defence and team-fighting capability for the late game. So the late game is tending towards an off-tank build while keeping high damage - Titanic Hydra is a high damage item as explained below. With that item, and The Black Cleaver and one fully defensive item, and the suggested runes, this build is about 25% tankier than most other Kha'Zix builds. The aim is to have that tankiness in the late game without stopping Kha'Zix from being his essential and murderous self.

This is still a new guide (April 2016), please excuse the parts which are still work in progress.

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Patch 6.9 Details

Patch 6.9, as well as making many changes to mages has also made important changes for junglers.

In brief, the changes are:

  • Early jungle camps will give slightly more XP, so junglers can reach levels 5 and 6 faster than before. This strongly favours fast early routes as covered in this guide. And jungle camp XP is not shared - as long as the jungler last hits the jungle monsters, the jungler will receive all the XP and the leashers will receive none.
  • A new jungle enchantment, Enchantment: Bloodrazor (with a yellow gem colour). This gives 40% attack speed and 3% of the target's max health as bonus physical damage. It's a weak item early, and no contest for the excellent Enchantment: Warrior which remains the best choice for Kha'Zix.
  • Red buff and blue buff are now stronger at higher champion levels, but don't last so long - the buffs last for 2 minutes on first clear, 1:30 after that
  • Rift Herald is about twice as tanky as before, and gives a nice permanent (OK, 20 minute) buff which is perfect for Kha'Zix: it's a 5% damage reduction on all incoming champion damage when fighting alone, and deals bonus damage when 100 charges have been buily up (similar to Statikk Shiv)
  • The Dragon buffs will be different each game according to the elemental nature (colour) of the Dragons which spawn, which is randomised. The new buffs are mostly stronger than the old Dragon buffs, especially if your team can stack up two the same.
  • New Elder Dragon spawns at 35 minutes and gives very strong buffs.
  • Boots enchantments have been abolished.
  • Guinsoo's Rageblade has been changed, to give phantom hits every second attack when it is stacked, similar to the old Sated Devourer.
If following the fast start in this guide, Kha'Zix is well placed to take advantage of the XP changes, he can be one of the fastest champions to level 6, so there is now less reason to gank before level 6.

The new Dragons

Each elemental Dragon provides permanent buffs for your whole team which stack up to higher levels according to how many elemental Dragons of the same type your team has killed. At first level some of the buffs are better than the old Dragon buffs, some are worse! Details:
  • Fire Dragon (Infernal Drake) is like the old first Dragon buff, but bigger: it will increase AP and bonus AD (purchased AD) by +8% / +16% / +24%
  • Earth Dragon (Mountain Drake) gives +10% / +20% / +30% bonus true damage against turrets and epic monsters.
  • Water Dragon (Ocean Drake) gives epic sustain - restoring 3.33% / 5% / 10% of missing mana and health every 6 seconds.
  • Air Dragon (Cloud Drake) increases out of combat movement speed by 15 / 30 / 45.
The Water Dragon is the best early, with astonishing sustain (stronger than blue buff and red buff combined). The Fire Dragon is the best mid game and late, if your team has two or three Fire Dragon buffs it would be hard not to win. Earth Dragon helps to take Baron and turrets faster, but in reality it only shaves a couple of seconds off the time and is semi-useless (Kha'Zix can already take objectives fast). Most people think Air Dragon is the weakest but it's pretty nice for Kha'Zix himself - out of combat movement speed helps him cover more of the map and reach kills when the opportunities arise.

The elemental Dragons each have a different attacking style, for example the Water Dragon applies a slow to you, but none should present too much of a problem. The Fire Dragon does a bit more damage than the others but a level 6 or level 7 Kha'Zix should be able to solo kill it.

The Elder Dragon, which spawns any time after 35 minutes (6 minutes after the last elemental Dragon was killed, and then again 10 minutes after each Elder Dragon is killed) is much tougher, even more health than Baron but slightly easier to kill because it does not deal such high damage as Baron. When killed, it grants a 2 minute buff which enhances any of the dragon buffs which you already have by +50%, and gives all your attacks and damage spells bonus true damage, increased for the number of elemental Dragons your team has killed. This buff has the same beautiful golden glow effect as Aspect of the Dragon had before Patch 6.9. If you didn't take any elemental Dragons, the Elder Dragon buff is extremely lame, and the main benefit of killing the Elder Dragon is simply to deny the other team.

There will normally be 5 elemental Dragons total killed in a game (5 could be taken at let's say 08:00 minutes, 15:00, 21:30, 28:00, 35:30). If teams are slow to take the Dragons (or for example the first Dragon is so contested that neither team can take it) then maybe only 4 elemental Dragons will spawn before the 35 minute mark. 6 elemental Dragons is theoretically possible but not realistic: to achieve this, a full 4 man or 5 man team would have to go to take first Dragon as soon as it spawns at around 3 minutes and every other Dragon would also have to be taken immediately when it spawns - this will not happen in a real game.

If 5 elemental Dragons spawn, there's a 12% chance of having three dragons of the same type in any one game - that's a 3% chance of three Fire Dragons, a 3% chance of three Earth Dragons, etc. Because Dragons are so contested, it's going to be rare for any team to achieve the level three buff from any type of elemental Dragon.

The Dragon changes seem complicated, but they're actually pretty simple: you want to be sure to take every Dragon, without fail. All the Dragons are good, definitely worth dying for (OK maybe not the Earth Dragon). And because elemental Dragons will stop spawning after 35 minutes (instead, there's the Elder Dragon), it means that a team which misses out on the early Dragons will never be able to catch up.

Overall I think these changes are very exciting, they are likely to increase the influence that a good jungler has over the game.

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Fast Jungle Route

Kha'Zix is able to use the "4 small camps" start which is used by junglers with fast clear times: his clears are not too slow. Starting this way overcomes one of his main difficulties: he lacks sustain in the early jungle clears and has to go back to Fountain several times.

It is good for Kha'Zix because, in a normal start which takes buffs at level 2, he receives a lot of damage from the Blue Buff and Red Buff camps, and he also takes those camps quite slowly: he only has to stare at those buff camps aggressively and he already loses half his health. The start here lets him leave off taking the buff camps at level 2, he will not take them until he has level 4 and the upgraded jungle item with higher sustain. There's no good reason to take the Blue Buff and Red Buff camps at level 2: all the jungle camps, large and small, give about the same gold and XP, so it's better for Kha'Zix to take the easier camps first.

Although Kha'Zix can overcome his lack of sustain by taking Rift Scuttlers, there is a time penalty for that: the Rift Scuttlers are slow to take (and if he smites them then he won't heal up so much) and there is also time to walk to the Rift Scuttler and back. And a good opponent jungler will know to contest the Rift Scuttlers if facing Kha'Zix, because it's known that Kha will go to them when he is low on health. Therefore it's better for Kha'Zix to avoid the Rift Scuttlers until he is stronger.

The plan is to complete one quick early clear (4 camps), go back for items. While you are backing, those small camps will all reset, so you have a fresh 6 camp jungle for your next clear (and a small point: some of the reset camps will be level 3, which improves your gold and XP on the next clear). And you can carry out your next clear faster because you will be level 4 when you take the buff camps.

After first back there are various options, depending on how soon you want to switch from farming to ganking:

  • Option 1: clear one whole side (3 camps and a Rift Scuttler to heal up), to reach level 5 and start ganking with a buff.
  • Option 2: clear one side, go back a second time for a Long Sword, then clear the other side to reach level 6, you can be on level 6 before top and bot lanes. You are now well on the way to Caulfield's Warhammer - this route works well if you took a Hunter's Machete + Long Sword option on first back (see below).
  • Option 3: clear one more camp - for example Red Buff - to reach level 4, then go to gank immediately when you have level 4 and high health.
  • Option 4: clear Krugs - Red Buff - Blue Buff to secure the buffs and reach level 5, then go to gank lanes with double buffs.
There's also flexibility in here to give your first blue buff to your mid-laner - your need for it is not so great if you are backing at level 3, but note that giving up the buff will now (in Patch 6.9) also result in you having none of the XP from it.

Starting with the 4 small camps has the nice advantage that at level 2 Kha'Zix will not be where the opponent expects him to be (that's Blue Buff, most likely, or Red Buff if he is on blue side of the map and starts bottom). This makes him less vulnerable to a cheesy level 2 invade from an enemy jungler who is strong early, like Shaco, Warwick, Udyr, Vi, Xin Zhao or Shyvana.

See my Shyvana guide for a fuller explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of this start. The main disadvantage is that your blue buff could be stolen, but that's more of an annoyance than a real problem: you don't need blue buff anyhow with this start.

Ultra fast start

Starting with only 1 health potion, Kha'Zix is able to clear the 4 small camps without dying. He can even complete this 4 camps clear without a leash if his clears are perfect (see Tips and Tricks), though that is risky if you are still learning the champion, it is certainly easier and faster with a leash. Kha'Zix therefore does not need to start with 3 health pots or a Refillable Potion. Instead he can hold back 100 of his starting gold unused. 100 gold is like having 1 jungle camp for free.

This is a very fast start because it means that on first back, after clearing 4 small camps, he will have enough gold to buy the Hunter's Machete and another item immediately. Once he has both starting jungle items, he is well into his build already at level 3, and he will have more sustain for his levels 4 and 5, opening up more possibilities for early ganks.

The route is Krugs (smite) - Raptors - Gromp (smite) - Wolves, and back with 650 gold. With 650 gold you can buy Hunter's Machete and Boots of Speed, alternatively the upgraded jungle item Skirmisher's Sabre / Stalker's Blade immediately to have the upgraded smite early and maximum sustain at levels 4 and 5. Another possibility could even be Long Sword and Boots of Speed if planning an immediate level 3 gank. The Tooth & Nail pairing of Hunter's Talisman and Hunter's Machete gives most of the benefits of the upgraded jungle item, but it doesn't give the upgraded Smite - which is very good for your early ganks and also a good defence against jungle opponents who might try to counter-jungle you.

Variation: Krugs (smite) - Raptors - Rift Scuttler - Gromp (smite) - Wolves. This variation fits in a Rift Scuttler (best taken on the Blue Buff side of the map). This route is slower but, if you are uncertain of your ability to clear 4 camps without dying, it is easier to carry out due to healing off the Rift Scuttler, it gives vision and so discourages a Blue Buff steal, and it means you can back with 750 gold on your first back. That's enough for Hunter's Machete and Long Sword and a health potion, which is an ideal way to be starting your next clear!

I recommend start with 1 health pot, because with that you can safely achieve this early clear even if the micro-management of your clears is not perfect. Or, if you enjoy playing risky (or if you took some masteries in the Resolve tree), you can do the same start with no health potions: it's possible as long as your leash and clears are perfect (see Tips and Tricks), you can go back with literally 1 hp, or you can take the longer route fitting in a Rift Scuttler. The advantage of the no health pot start is that you can clear 4 camps quickly and have 700 gold on your first back, which is exactly enough to buy a Hunter's Machete and a Long Sword. The Machete and Long Sword combination makes your level 4 and 5 clears faster (so you take less damage) and gives reasonable ganks.

You need to have minimum 300 health after Raptors to safely take the Gromp and Wolves, so look at your health bar at that point. If you start like this and you have less than 300 hp because something went wrong - for example your leash was weak - you should instead take the longer route which fits in a Rift Scuttler before Gromp. The extra walking will give you some time to regenerate health.

Worst case, you can back after the Raptors camp to have at least your Hunter's Machete immediately.

On Kha'Zix it's a genius start:
  • It overcomes his early difficulty, i.e. weak clears of the large jungle camps and not enough sustain to continue in the jungle unless he spends time taking Rift Scuttlers.
  • It overcomes his vulnerability to level 2 counter-jungling from the enemy jungler.
  • Because these difficulties are gone, it means that you do not have to focus runes specifically on the early clears, it's OK for Kha'Zix to go back at level 3 with just 1 hp. And he actually doesn't want those early clears to be faster because he wants to hit exactly 650 gold on his first back.
  • His levels 4 and 5 are strong, because he starts level 4 on full hp and mana and with an additional item.
  • Unless the buffs were stolen, he can have double buffs during his levels 4 and 5, giving him plenty of sustain in the jungle or for ganking. (If a buff is stolen, too bad, he wouldn't have had two buffs at levels 4, 5 and 6 anyhow with a more standard start. And it means the enemy jungler wasted a lot of time walking the whole way across the map just to steal 1 buff.)

Tips and tricks:
  • Smite the large Krug as soon as it spawns, so that your first attack on it immediately stuns it.
  • Start with the W ability, and do not use your first W ability on the Krugs until you have already taken 60 damage from the camp, otherwise you will be wasting its heal.
  • At the Krugs camp, for the strongest leash you can attack the small Krug while your leashers attack the large Krug, this means your leashers will stay longer (1 or 2 more hits) - so you attack the large Krug once at the start to stun it, then you switch to attacking the small Krug 5 times which will near kill it while the leashers continue attacking the large one, then for your 6th attack you go back to attacking the large Krug for another stun.
  • From level 2 when you have Q, always clear the small jungle monsters in each camp first, as every Kha'Zix player must know, so that the large monster will be isolated and will take more damage from Q.
  • If Q is off cooldown and a small monster is one hit away from death, use a basic attack on the small monster and save the Q for the large monster once it is isolated.
  • Always auto-attack before using Q, because Q can be used immediately afterwards to have an auto-attack reset.
  • Activate W in between auto-attacks, otherwise its spell animation will delay your next attack.
  • While key abilities (Q, W) are on cooldown, you can kite the camp by moving around to slow down its attacks on you, every time you force the monster to move that delays its attack - this is most effective on Red Buff and Blue Buff which do the most damage, but you should practice doing it on all the camps (it's also a helpful way to finish the camp when you are already headed in the direction you want to go next)
  • When you go back into the jungle after backing for your jungle item, you will still be level 3, but you should achieve level 4 with just one camp (e.g. Krugs)
  • You can possibly achieve level 4 earlier by taking the Raptors camp from a position deep inside the camp, close to mid lane, because normally here you will be close enough to a couple of minion deaths in lane to share the XP (unless the lane is very pushed) - shhh, don't tell your mid laner that you did this!
  • The Fury and Savagery masteries strongly help to achieve this first clear quickly and without dying, they make about a 10 second difference.

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Build goals

Kha'Zix is a super fun champion to play, leaping on opponents and often killing them. He does extremely high burst damage which can be enough to one-shot opponents. He is weaker against grouped opponents: he loses the advantage of isolation and he can usually only burst down one opponent. But his leap allows him always to choose whether or not to engage.

Build goals:
  • Maximise damage at all stages of the game
  • Reach level 6 as fast as possible
  • Good defence for the late game
  • Out of combat movement speed
We achieve the defence, without reducing Kha'Zix damage, by taking defensive runes, and by choosing high damage items which also provide health or defence. Late game Kha'Zix can have a respectable 3400 health, 150 armor and 105 MR with the example full build shown - note that is with only one defensive item: that's a good amount of defence for a champion who damages so hard.

Kha'Zix job is to find isolated enemies and kill them, over and over, as simple as that. The more damage he deals out, the more effective he is, and he especially wants to have high damage in the mid-game when he is at his relative most powerful, levels 6-11 is when the kills should really be starting to stack up. You need to be looking to have Enchantment: Warrior as quickly as possible, as it gives a large power spike. An early kill at levels 3-5 is the best way to do that, but you need to be lucky (an enemy lane weak / over-extended). You should always be checking up on the lanes to see when there might be an opportunity.

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The benefits of the fast start allow me to take different runes and masteries from the meta, for a stronger mid and late game. My goal is to have more defences in the late game because without defences Kha'Zix really struggles in the late game. Although he can one-shot people once he has built AD, half of the opponents can one-shot him if he has no defence, and if he is squishy he also becomes very ineffective in team fights.

Scaling MR glyphs are excellent on all junglers, because junglers do not need magic resistance before around level 5/6 - jungle camps do no magic damage, and if you are ganking earlier even an AP opponent can't do too much damage to you because he will not have built any AP yet. CDR glyphs are not necessary, you don't need faster abilities in the earliest clears, indeed with the 4 small camps start, the timing without any CDR is exactly right to achieve 650 gold after 4 camps. By mid game you will have maxed CDR at 40% so any CDR glyphs would be wasted. In the late game having +27 MR, for free, from glyphs is too valuable to consider any alternative. It helps him to become a Kha'Tank.

Greater Mark of Armor Penetration Armor Penetration marks are the strongest marks on Kha'Zix, it's incredible to have +11 armor pen from runes. This will help all game, including your earliest clears. All of Kha'Zix abilities scale off his bonus attack damage, but all of Kha'Zix abilities (except his passive) also scale off armor penetration because they all do physical damage. If you don't have a rune page with Armor Penetration marks, then flat Attack Damage marks are the next best alternative.

For seals, scaling defences are taken, which are the strongest seals if you are able to have them, because their benefits at level 6 are already substantial (the same as the flat runes), and late game they provide extra defence for free - Kha'Tank. You can look at it like this: compared with the meta which is 9 flat armor seals, these rune choices allow for a stronger level 6 (with more health) and noticeably more armor and health later (an extra +10 armor and +96 health at level 18). These seals are not viable on a jungler unless you have some armor early: in order to have these and still survive levels 1-5, we have to take 1 flat armor quintessence: 1 flat armor quint gives more armor than 4 flat armor seals.

I take two AD quints, not three, because with these seals 1 flat armor quintessence is needed to have enough armor for the earliest clears. That missing final +2 AD is hardly anything by the time Kha'Zix has the Warrior jungle item, you probably won't notice any difference from not having the third damage quint.

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Highest damage: 12/18/0 masteries

By mid game, Kha'Zix wants to be able to one-shot targets using his full combo, and Thunderlord's Decree is important for that, I think that's the best keystone mastery to have. It also scales off the high attack damage which Kha'Zix will be building.

The Precision mastery is also excellent, that gives up to +8 armor pen which is strong on Kha'Zix, even in the early game it makes a significant difference and it scales well. That same mastery also gives magic pen, which is good because Kha'Zix deals out 20% magic damage, from his passive proccing and from Thunderlord's Decree proccing - at low level it's more like 15% magic damage. I think Precision is better than an extra 5% CDR - there are not too many situations in game where I'm saying "I wish my Q could be available 0.15 seconds sooner", though please note that most of the high elo guides recommend maxing CDR at 45% instead of taking the Precision mastery.

Earlier in the Cunning tree, the Savagery mastery is taken for faster early clears, consistent with this fast start approach. Merciless is important for Kha'Zix damage, because his signature style is to leap and assassinate targets who are fairly low on health (less than 50%).

In the Ferocity tree, Fury is taken for faster clears, it will also help against Dragon, Baron and other large objectives. Dangerous Game for a 3% damage bonus, Kha'Zix has enough defences to cope with this (specifically, those 4 scaling health seals are like a 2.5% damage reduction all game). Natural Talent is good late, but the small amount of lifesteal and spell vamp you can have from Vampirism heals you for around 20-30 hp from each jungle camp, this sustain is important early because Kha'Zix can't safely go to gank lanes unless he has enough health. Oppressor works well with Kha'Zix passive, every enemy he attacks (initiating with either a basic attack or Void Spike) will be slowed and so the damage will be enhanced. Some other guides recommend Bounty Hunter but Oppressor is better until you have killed (not assisted) on two different enemies, and it's hard to reach 5 kills on Bounty Hunter, in most games there are always going to be one or two enemies where either you cannot kill them, or your ally (e.g. the ADC) will take the kill.

Note: these are the masteries which Valkrin takes on Kha'Zix in Patch 6.8. The same rune set will work well on any high damage output jungler.

Alternative for stronger and safer start: 18/6/6 masteries

An alternative is to put 18 points in the Ferocity tree. The spacing of Q's cooldown means that Kha'Zix can be continually proccing Deathfire Touch , which does about the same damage as Thunderlord's Decree , for Kha'Zix, because it scales hard off the AD he will be building. Deathfire Touch is more consistently available than Thunderlords because it has no cooldown. Both abilities have an area of effect (Deathfire Touch will proc in an area of effect if activated by Kha'Zix leap or spikes). Deathfire Touch is nice for an assassin, because it does damage over time like poison or red buff, making it harder for enemies to judge when their health is so low they should disengage.

In this case, putting 6 points into the Resolve tree gives you a stronger and safer start, most importantly Tough Skin which is strongly defensive, and I also recommend Recovery as Kha'Zix will not be stacking much armor to gain the benefit of Unyielding.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

We take W at level 1 for sustain in the jungle (+120 hp from using it twice on the first camp), and because it does higher damage to the Krugs camp because it damages both monsters.But if planning to start at Gromp, you should take Q first, because Gromp is an isolated target.

We take Q at level 2 because it is Kha'Zix highest damage ability overall, and it provides the auto-attack reset, and has a low mana cost and a low cooldown. We take E at level 3: leaping onto the Wolves camp helps to take it down quickly and E can also be an emergency escape if you get invaded. (Alternatively a Krugs - Raptors - Wolves - Gromp start can take a second point on Q at level 3, to maximise damage on the Gromp camp which is isolated, also the low mana cost on Q should let you use it three times on the Gromp even when you are running low.)

I suggest maximise Q first, as this is Kha'Zix most damaging ability due to its low cooldown and due to the bonus if the target is isolated. Then maximise E, to reduce its cooldown and that also gives a nice damage increase, +35 per level. Maximise W last, because points on W do not improve its slow, and do increase its mana cost.

Evolving abilities

It's a hard choice whether to evolve Q or E first.

1: Taste Their Fear I suggest evolve Q first, that gives at least a +100 damage bonus from the ability against isolated targets, and this really starts to hit hard once you have Enchantment: Warrior on your jungle item and with Death's Dance which you will be building next - this is because, when evolved, the ability's (bonus) attack damage scaling increases from 156% to 260% (on isolated targets), so it's good to evolve that at the same time that your damage is starting to become high. Evolved Q should let you take several kills at levels 6 to 11.

2: Leap Kha'Zix E is his signature ability, and we want to evolve that next. The Evolved Leap resets on a kill or an assist, so he can achieve a quick double kill or get himself out of danger after getting in to danger. The Evolved Leap also has an insane range, you can leap onto opponents from outside their field of vision.

3: Void Assault I usually evolve R at level 16, as having the possibility to use it three times gives you more ways to reset Unseen Threat in a fight, it also allows you to escape from an ambush because when evolved the stealth now has long enough duration to juke your enemy.

Evolving Void Spike is not really necessary in my opinion, it does not increase Kha'Zix damage on single targets. Only evolve this if your team lacks CC, or if you are against a Vayne or Graves or Akali - it counters their invisibility.

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Kha'Zix quick combo to assassinate a low health target is:

Leap (E) - Q (mid air)

The Q can be cast mid-air before the Leap has landed, Q Taste Their Fear has a larger range than melee range (and even larger when evolved). This can allow Kha'Zix to have the famous double leap, if the target was low enough health to die from just the Q. Q is surprisingly effective on high mobility targets like Yasuo, Zac and Zed: if you are able to target and activate Q even momentarily, it will still damage them even if they leap / shadow switch away from you. It can kill opponents when they think they retreated safely under turret.

Kha'Zix full burst combo to 100-0 a champion is:

W - Leap (E) - Q -- auto attack -- auto attack

Again, the Q is cast mid-air, so that you get all that damage off on the champion as quickly as possible. For a good setup, make sure that Kha'Zix has his passive Unseen Threat available before starting this combo so that it will apply to the first auto-attack. You also really want Thunderlord's Decree to be off cooldown, normally it will be if you did not engage an enemy champion recently. Following the two auto-attacks, if you have around 30% CDR, Q should be off its cooldown so you can hit quickly with that again. Alternatively when ganking, sometimes you want to hold back the Leap until later in case the target flashes or dashes away.

Late game, for an extended burst, if Kha'Zix has an auto-attack reset item - meaning Titanic Hydra ( Ravenous Hydra and Tiamat are not auto-attack reset items) - then the first Q in the above combo can be immediately followed up by an activation of that item:

W - Leap (E) - Q - Titanic Hydra -- auto attack -- auto attack

This gives a heavy additional hit of damage, quickly because of the auto-attack reset - it's not necessary to wait for a basic attack before activating Titanic Hydra because the Titanic Hydra's auto-attack reset can be used as an immediate follow up to the Q.

Super deadly combo is exactly the same as the above, but starting with R.

R - W - Leap (E) - Q -- auto attack - R - auto attack

So you approach the target under the invisibility from Void Assault to get into the perfect position for casting W, and to give the target much less time to react (and also no opportunity to damage you as you come in to kill). For example, coming from brush to gank a lane, you activate R exactly at the moment when you emerge from the brush. The second activation of R, around 2 seconds later, resets your Unseen Threat passive so that the following auto attack does increased damage and re-applies a slow. With this combination you should be able to 100-0 most targets.

Kha'Zix sustained DPS combo to take down a large jungle camp, including Dragons and Rift Herald, in the shortest time overall (this also works against tanky opponents who will need multiple attacks to take them down) - is:

Leap (E) - AA - Q -- AA - W - AA - Q -- AA -- AA

This is good because the Q will give an auto-attack reset, so the Q hits very quickly after the first auto-attack (similar to Shyvana's auto-attack + Q combo, or other champions with a reset like Talon, Rengar, etc). Thanks to low cooldowns, the Q will keep on becoming available after two auto-attacks, you always want to use it just after an auto-attack started to have most benefit from the auto-attack reset. There is time between these attacks to fire off some void spikes (W): in this example, we wait until after the second auto-attack to give some time for the jungle camp or enemy to damage Kha'Zix, so that there is some benefit from the heal on W, note that Kha'Zix cannot cast W and attack at the same time.

Attack speed does not make too much difference to any of these combos, because of those auto-attack resets.

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The Enchantment: Warrior is taken in all Kha'Zix builds, it's perfect for him with 10% cooldown reduction (available already with Caulfield's Warhammer) and high damage, all of his abilities scale off the bonus attack damage he builds. Rush to complete this item after you have Caulfield's Warhammer, completing it adds +35 attack damage for only 475 gold. For the underlying jungle item take either Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior or Stalker's Blade - Warrior according to personal preference and match-up, both are good. The red jungle item is better against strong melee junglers who might try to duel you, and opponents with tricks or invisibility (for example Shaco) because it provides vision. The blue jungle item is better for early ganks, and generally against low damage, faster moving opponents. Both items do about the same damage with the Smite, the blue jungle item does it instantly, the red jungle item does damage over time (which sometimes means you can kill steal from an ally, that's OK, Kha'Zix is supposed to take kills).

Death's Dance is better than The Bloodthirster or Ravenous Hydra or other lifesteal items, because its lifesteal applies to damage from abilities and not only damage from basic attacks: Kha'Zix deals most of his damage with abilities. This sustain really helps Kha'Zix mid game, he can be on full health before he engages, so we want to take this item as early as possible. The +75 attack damage is the highest of any items Kha'Zix will buy (only matched by Duskblade of Draktharr), and really helps his Q damage so it is great to have this completed soon after Q is evolved: it's the best first item after the jungle item is completed. It is also a defensive item, the combination of its lifesteal and damage dissipation is similar to having an extra +300 health mid game, or up to around +500 health late. Another reason to take this item first is its nice build path, each of the individual components is good already, and one can easily be bought every time Kha'Zix has to back with 900-1100 gold.

The Black Cleaver is taken mid game for its damage, health and 20% CDR, this is normally enough to max out CDR at 40%. There is an armor penetration effect which becomes significant in prolonged fights, and Kha'Zix full combo makes good use of it because it will already have been procced twice by the time of the Q, which is Kha'Zix most damaging ability, and six times by the time that the Titanic Hydra is activated. This should kill most opponents. It also provides a movement speed boost following attacks, this is helpful in those fights where you don't secure a kill and so you cannot leap out of the fight, it is also a minor help when taking jungle camps. It is a perfect mid game and late game item on Kha'Zix, but for a first item it is not so good because the armor shredding benefit which gives this item its power does not come until the item is complete, and the incomplete component items are fairly weak for something so expensive: if he builds this item second, Kha'Zix will be waiting a long time to do damage.

Titanic Hydra completes my build and is actually the strongest out of all available damage items for Kha'Zix in the late game when Kha'Zix health is high: this scales off health. The strength is due to its active, which does high damage as well as giving an auto-attack reset, see the extended combo. This active adds up to around +800 damage to the damage from his extended combo (that's +420 damage from having one additional basic attack and +380 bonus damage from the item itself). It is on a short cooldown for an item, similar to the cooldown on Kha'Zix leap, so it should usually be available when Kha'Zix engages. It also provides heavy area of effect damage, which helps Kha'Zix in a 1 v 2 situation or a team fight. It provides health and health regen which are great for him to have: especially combined with Guardian Angel, having +450 health increases his survivability by a large amount. Even after the Patch 6.6 nerf, this is still an extremely strong item on Kha'Zix. Other guides do not take this, for no sensible reason, it is higher damage than a Ravenous Hydra or any other item, and higher defence than a Sterak's Gage unless the Sterak's shield is triggered. It matches perfectly with the way Kha'Zix play style evolves over the game: early game Kha'Zix ganks, mid game he looks for assassination opportunities, and late game he needs to be able to 100-0 all opponents and have a reasonable chance if he takes on two opponents at once.

Optional items / jungle item replacements

Mortal Reminder increases Kha'Zix late game damage against armored opponents, because 80% of his damage is physical damage, also because his abilities all scale hard off AD. Kha'Zix also scales well off armor penetration, it is not possible for him to have too much of it. A combination of % armor penetration and flat armor penetration is the most effective, so this item works best when combined with armor pen runes and masteries, and together with a flat armor pen item like The Black Cleaver or Duskblade of Draktharr in the late game. This is also a good item because of its low cost. An important situational item against tanky enemies with strong sustain powers, like Darius, Dr. Mundo, Volibear and Zac.

You can alternatively build Lord Dominik's Regards if there are two or three tanks on the enemy team, but with this build Kha'Zix will achieve 3400 health by level 18, so only full tanks are likely to have higher health than him to make Lord Dominik's Regards an effective purchase.

Some players do not understand the math underlying resistances and 'effective health' in League of Legends, and so these players believe that you only want % armor pen when opponent armor is high, as a counter to tanky builds. The true position is that % armor pen gives an important increase to all damage you do, including on relatively squishy champions - this is because the benefit of stripping armor is larger when the enemy's armor is low. (Example: a tank with 200 armor takes 33% more damage than a tank with 300 armor. A squishy with 35 armor takes 33% more damage than a squishy with 80 armor.) Even squishy opponents will have some bonus armor, often over 50 armor from Zhonya's Hourglass, although an ADC might only have 9 armor from runes. With flat armor pen runes and items and masteries giving around +30 flat armor pen and a Mortal Reminder as well, Kha'Zix can easily strip a squishy opponent's armor from (let's say) 80 down to around 35.

Duskblade of Draktharr gives almost exactly the same damage benefits as The Black Cleaver - it has higher AD, more flat armor penetration in the first hit in Kha'Zix combo but less in the later hits, overall it's about the same. The choice between these two items comes down to whether health and CDR is more important than movement speed. Generally The Black Cleaver is the better item because of its CDR, and its health ties in with the tankier build style being followed here. Kha'Zix has enough movement speed already with Boots of Swiftness.

For a more assassin-like build, you could take both damage items - so The Black Cleaver and Duskblade of Draktharr - that should enable you to one-shot all enemies. In this case you would be relying only on runes and boots for defence (that's feasible with these runes) or, for example, you could sell your jungle item to buy Duskblade of Draktharr.

Duskblade has a passive which, once every 2 minutes, adds extra damage to an opponent who is not killed by your burst. This is great for Kha'Zix as it should finish off most opponents, it catches out opponents who juked or flashed away. Unfortunately, it is only available every 2 minutes, but it can improve your KDA.

Trinity Force is a damage, health, 20% CDR and Rage passive item with large overlap with The Black Cleaver. The Black Cleaver is better against any squishy target, because high AD and flat armor pen is very good against squishies. In place of the high AD and armor pen, Trinity Force brings a bit of mana, and higher attack speed which is useful only if Kha'Zix is in prolonged engagements with enemy tanks - normally taking down tanks should be the job of your ADC and other carries, so Kha'Zix should take The Black Cleaver and keep to what he does best (if end-game tanks are a big problem, maybe switch jungle items to take Bloodrazor). But in a 1 v 9 game you might find you need Trinity Force instead.

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Defensive items

For a fully defensive item, the normal choice is between Dead Man's Plate against full AD, Guardian Angel against mixed damage and Spirit Visage against full AP. The recommended build (including both The Black Cleaver and Titanic Hydra, as well as scaling health runes) gives Kha'Zix 850 bonus health and strong lifesteal, so he really benefits from some resistances to go with that.

Guardian Angel gives a decent amount of resistances from one item (though it is less since the Patch 6.9 nerf). These resistances are balanced between physical damage and magic damage, which is fine if you will only be taking one fully defensive item, especially for those games where either the AP carry or the ADC can one-shot you. Its low cost helps to offset the high gold cost of some of Kha'Zix other items. The revive should give you enough time to Leap out of a situation (even if you leapt in, you probably achieved an assist meanwhile if your allies are there, to reset the cooldown on Leap). This item is almost guaranteed to save you at least one death in a game.

Against a team which is mostly AD, Dead Man's Plate offers armor and health, similar to Randuin's Omen but it lacks the unique passives on that item which reduce auto-attack damage from an ADC and other opponents who can crit strike. But Kha'Zix is generally not exposed to too many auto-attacks, he's not much of a team fighter. The reason for picking Dead Man's Plate is that it gives out of combat movement speed. This is great for the map presence and mobility that Kha'Zix requires. There is also a small attack buff on your first attack on a target - the buff increases at 100 stacks and adds a short-duration slow, stronger but shorter duration than the slow from Unseen Threat but both work well together.

The Black Cleaver or Trinity Force makes an excellent pairing with Dead Man's Plate as the Rage passive adds speed when you attack, which helps to counteract the loss of momentum stacks on DMP, without that Kha'Zix feels clanky and slow when he comes into combat with Dead Man's Plate.

Against certain enemies with hard CC (stuns, silences, etc) which disable Kha'Zix leap, he becomes hyper vulnerable to grouped opponents. In these cases take Mercurial Scimitar to have an escape, it also provides a decent amount of magic resistance.

In addition to one of these items, you should take defensive boots in the late game.

I do not recommend Sterak's Gage. From his defensive item Kha'Zix needs additional resistances, not additional health. What's wrong with Sterak's Gage? "Hey, you're being heavily focused and just lost most of your health? Have a rapidly decaying shield." Thanks a lot, Riot! The only situation where it is actually useful is against opponents who have short duration CC - so the shield might keep you alive for 1 second while the CC has disabled your leap, then you can leap out afterwards. In any other situation, you will generally die even when the Sterak's Gage shield pops up - it's almost like a red flag to your opponents saying "I'm almost dead, this shield will wear off in 3 seconds and then I'll be an easy kill". Note also that the attack damage given by Sterak's Gage is base attack damage not bonus attack damage, but all of Kha'Zix abilities scale off bonus attack damage only - so this item adds no damage to his abilities.

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The End

This is a build guide not a full guide to the champion.

I will be adding more to this guide from time to time, probably also refining the build a little as I get feedback on it from other players and from my own games.

As mentioned in the intro, if you want full details of the champion and his mechanics, and a meta build, you should read Tinjus' guide.

For general tips on jungling and counter-jungling, you might like to visit my Shyvana guide.