Cassiopeia Build Guide by Ssyrak
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Hello and welcome to my guide for Cassiopeia. The Serpent's Embrace is a quite underestimated champion. I experienced that not a lot people play her and I really wonder about that as she is a strong AP Carry.
As Cassiopeia is really fun for me I tried to play her in different ways and as I watched somebody jungling with her I just had to try that myself. It's really fascinating. As there is no Jungling Guide for Cassiopeia so far I want to share my way of playing Cassiopeia with you.
I won't tell you that jungling is the only way to play her. I also won't tell you that you will own every match just with following this guide. I wrote this guide to help YOU. But it's totally up to what you make out of that.
I hope you enjoy. ;)
Who is Cassiopeia?
(+3,2 / per level)
(+75 / per level)
(+50 / per level)
(+0 / per level)
(+4 / per level)
(+0 / per level)
(+0.1 / per level)
(+0.15 / per level)
Always answer this question to yourself before you play any champion. You need to understand Cassiopeia's role to play her effectively. Cassiopeia is a AP Carry that deals a lot of damage with her spells.
She deals decent AoE damage and can stun the entire team with her ultimate. Her overall good damage makes her a real threat.
Anyway, Cassiopeia is not an easy champion. Playing her is challenging. But if you master her you maybe got one of the strongest mages in game.
Cassiopeia is not the strongest nuker. She can nuke squishies but she can't deal as much damage in a few seconds as Veigar (for example). But in contrast to usual nuke mages Cassiopeia's does not decreases when they used their nuke. Just have a look at Veigar. He is not toally useless when he used his ultimate. But his damage - in comparison - is much smaller and he has to wait for his cooldowns to be gone. Cassiopeia can deal a lot damage the whole team fight through what makes her - in my opinion - to a threat that can't be countered that easy. You can avoid Malzahar's or Veigar's nuke pretty easy. But this does not work against Cassiopeia as she is spamming her abilities. You might be able to dodge or block one. But that's neglectable.
Why should I jungle?
A jungler should be an essential part of your team. A jungler grants you a solo lane that can level up faster and farm more money than in a duo lane. The jungler as well can level up pretty fast - early to mid game - and earn money without getting annoyed.
The great advantage a jungler is granting to your team is that he is able to help any lane that needs help. It's not rare that your team is facing enemies that dominate a lane. Some good ganks by your jungler can help to reach a level and gold advantage so your team mates will be able to hold their lane more easily. A jungler also can hold a lane when a team mate wants to recall. So your towers are save from being pushed.
In addition to that it is much easier to get kills in your lane when you have a jungler.
Why should I jungle with Cassiopeia?
It is important to have a balanced team composition. A pretty common tactic is getting an AP Carry for the mid lane, an AD Carry + Support for the bottom lane, somebody for a solo top lane and a jungler.
A perfect team composition would include 2 AP, 2 AD and 1 Support champion. So you should choose a solo top and jungle champion that grants you this composition. If you got an AP based solo top champion just like Mordekaiser, Rumble or Galio you want an AD based jungler like Nocturne or Olaf.
But if you already have an AD based champion for the top lane you should get a AP based jungler like Amumu, Maokai, Fiddlesticks.... or Cassiopeia.
Cassiopeia is one of the rare AP based junglers. And in comparison to other AP based junglers Cassiopeia's damage is one of the highest. So if you already got a tank and a mid lane Cassiopeia is a great choice to complete your team composition with another AP champion.
- fast jungler
- dangerous ganker
- strong AP champion from mid to late game
- good amount of CC
- needs blue buff to jungle fast
- pretty easy to counter jungle early game
- not easy to play
I wouldn't write this guide if jungling with Cassiopeia doesn't work. Here is a typical statistic I'm used to have. I totally dominated the lanes what gave us an early win. I already said Cassiopeia is a fast jungler and dangerous ganker, especially after lvl 6. Once I noticed enemies began to buy wards I got an Oracle's Elixir to destroy them. As my enemies were very CC heavy I decided to buy Mercury's Treads.
Runes are something personal. These are the runes I prefer. But this does not mean that you need exactly these.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: These marks increase your damage. As people will get some magic resistance it is important to get some magic penetration.
Other viable options: Greater Mark of Scaling Ability Power, Greater Mark of Ability Power, Greater Mark of Cooldown Reduction, greater mark of replenishment
- Greater Seal of Evasion: I love these little Runes as the increased chance of dodging combined with the according masteries can save your life more than once. So dodging can also improve your movement speed what will it make more easy to save your life. I chose defensive seals because they make jungling easier and saver. And in contrast to armour seals dodging seals are useful the whole match.
Other viable options: Greater Seal of Armor, greater seal of replenishment, Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration, Greater Seal of Ability Power, Greater Seal of Cooldown Reduction
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration: Cassiopeia is pretty mana hungry. Even her passive can't compensate this. These runes can help to get mana when you don't have blue buff. So you actually can jungle without that buff (slower).
Other viable options: greater glyph of replenishment, Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration, Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power, Greater Glyph of Ability Power, Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction, Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
- Greater Quintessence of Health: These quintessences will grant you the life points you need to jungle save. They can make the difference between death or alive and are especially useful early game.
Other viable options: Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration, Greater Quintessence of Ability Power, Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power, Greater Quintessence of replenishment, Greater Quintessence of Scaling Mana Regeneration, Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction, Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction, Greater Quintessence of Evasion, Greater Quintessence of Experience
I was thinking a lot about Masteries and I finally decided to go for 9-9-21. It is giving me a great damage boost from offensive masteries, granting some defense for saver jungling and a lot utility.
Let's have a closer look at that.
- Plentiful Bounty (1/1) is a nice buff to Smite as it is reducing cooldown and giving some gold when using it.
- Archmage's Savvy (3/3) is a decent buff to my Ability Power
- Sorcery (4/4) is giving some CDR what is boosting our damage as well.
- Archaic Knowledge (1/1) is essential on each mage as it is granting a lot magic penetration
- Resistance (1/3) is not the most important mastery but, well, it is giving some magic resistance.
- Hardiness (3/3) is granting more armor what is making jungling easier.
- Evasion (4/4) is a must-have when using dodge seals. If you dont have these seals go for Defensive Mastery or Harden Skin instead.
- Nimbleness (1/1) ... 10% more movement speed when dodging an attack. This tool is amazing. Together with your decent dodge chance this will save your life more than once.
- Good Hands (3/3) is a much better choice than Perseverence as you will most likely die at least 2-3 times. 10% is a lot here.
- Perseverence (1/3) has to be taken.
- Awareness (4/4) is essential for a jungler as you want to level up as fast as possible.
- Meditation (2/3] is giving you some more mana regeneration what is important on Cassiopeia.
- Utility Mastery (2/2) helps you to keep your blue buff as long as possible. I already said that this is essential when you want to jungle with her.
Okay, this is not the only way to build Masteries for Jungle Cassiopeia. If you plan on building her on your own these are masteries that are also viable for her:
Go for Veteran's Scars , Ardor and Tenacity . They are boosting your defense as well as your Ability Power.
Quickness is making Cassiopeia faster. It's pretty useful as she isn't that fast anyway.
Intelligence and Presence of the Master are very viable for any mage.
When using the corresponding Summoner Spells you might want to get Haste or Blink of an Eye .
Every jungler needs smite. It is making jungling faster and saver what will help you to level up faster. Being able to gank earlier and more often is essential for a jungler. Even it late game it's still useful as it will help to save Baron, Dragon and Buffs.
Because you are using Plentiful Bounty you will get gold whenever using Smite. This means that you should use it whenever possible as long as you don't plan on doing Baron/Dragon/Buffs!
It is also showing how important wards are. I will mention that aspect later on.
Both Summoner Spells are great escape or harass tools. That means they can either save your life when you get focussed or ganked or help to kill an enemy that is running away. It is up to you what Summoner Spell you use for that. On the one hand Flash is great because it helps to jump over walls or e.g. avoid Veigar's stun area. On the other hand Flash is pretty useless if you jump over a wall and all enemies just do the same. Ghost may be a good counter for this reason.
- Deadly Cadence helps Cassiopeia to spam her abilities. Anyway, in early game this won't solve your mana problems at all.
- Noxious Blast is not easy to aim but deals some serious damage. When you hit your enemy you are able to use Twin Fang twice before the poison ends. It is essential to hit with it when ganking. Otherwise it will be hard to follow an escaping enemy. It is also a great tool to escape yourself.
- Miasma deals more damage the longer your enemies stay in it. So you should use it when the team fight already started to make sure you deal as much damage as possible. When enemies are running away try to predict where they are going to slow them. It is also great to save allies or yourself when getting ganked.
- Petrifying Gaze is an awesome ultimate. Actually there is not a lot to tell about. Just try to stun as many enemies as possible.
I level Noxious Blast followed by Twin Fang. It allows you to spam Twin Fang till all jungle creeps are dead. I just put one point in Miasma and level it last as it deals minor damage in comparison to the other abilities and I just need to slow early game. Leveling Noxious Blast and Twin Fang together grants me a most effective damage output as I will not always be able to spam Twin Fang on enemy champions when ganking a lane.
Items | How to build Cassiopeia
We start with a Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions. We need the armor to jungle saver by getting less damage from creeps. Health Potions help to gain life points when you get damage.
This is our core build. There is no particular order for getting these items. 2 Doran's Rings give us some essential life points, a decent amount of Ability Power and enough mana regeneration you need when you don't have blue buff. Boots of Speed are increasing your movement speed. This is important to stay mobile. Hextech Revolver is giving you some Spell Vamp. After you get this item you don't have to buy any Health Potions.
These are your mid game items. Sorcerer's Shoes are granting you enough movement speed and some decent magic penetration.
If you are facing a very CC heavy team you might want to get Mercury's Treads instead. Against a AD heavy team Ninja Tabi could be a decent choice in combination with your dodge runes and masteries.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter will make it impossible for your enemies to escape. As you are able to spam Twin Fang it means a constant slow. When you are in a hurry you also just need to use Noxious Blast to get a speed buff AND a slow on your enemies. The additional life points are giving you enough defense for mid game as well.
You are on the way to late game. Congratulations. This little item will give you a great boost to your ability power. If you are having some trouble you might want to get a defensive item (listed below) before that.
Many matches will come to an end at this time. But if you are having a long game there are some decent options for additional items.
The following items are optional. Buy any of them corresponding to the actual match.
Jungling with Cassiopeia
Baron Initial Spawn: 15:00
Baron respawns in 7 minutes
Total XP: 900 Global
Total Gold: 300 Global
Dragon Initial Spawn: 2:30
Dragon respawns in 6 minutes
Total XP: 900
Total Gold: 25 + 190 Global
Blue Buff Initial Spawn: 1:55
Blue Buff respawns in 5 minutes
Total XP: 280
Total Gold: 80
Red Buff Initial Spawn: 1:55
Red Buff respawns in 5 minutes
Total XP: 260
Total Gold: 80
Wraiths Initial Spawn: 1:40
Wraiths respawn in 1 minute 40 seconds
Total XP: 180
Total Gold: 71
Wolves Initial Spawn: 1:40
Wolves respawn in 1 minute 40 seconds
Total XP: 190
Total Gold: 57
Double Golems Initial Spawn: 1:40
Double Golems respawns 1 minute 40 seconds
Total XP: 280
Total Gold: 60
2.) After that head towards the Wolves. Keep enemies poisened and spam Twin Fang.
3.) Now it's time to get the Wraiths.
4.) Finish the small Golems and recall.
5.) Get some health potions and Boots of Speed when needed.
6.) Get red buff.
7.) You are now level 4. Look for some opportunities to ganks and jungle after that.
- Use Poison and spam Twin Fang till creeps are dead.
- Save mana for ganks when you don't have blue buff.
- Help your lanes when needed. Ask if you should hold a lane to let somebody recall.
- Gank lanes as often as possible. Use Noxious Blast and Miasma to close the gap between you and your victim. Spam Twin Fang till your enemy is dead. Try to come from behind so your enemy can't escape easily. For this reason you should tell your team mates not to push lanes. Use your ultimate when needed.
- Use wards to gain map awareness.
- Give red buff to someone who really can need it.
- Buy and use Health Potions till you got your Hextech Revolver.
Thanks to Xenasis for his images. If you want to know more about jungling I can highly recommend his guide Jungling 101 - What You Need To Know
Actually, you already know a lot about Cassiopeia now. And there is not much left.
The Importance of Warding
Warding is not your main job. Anyway, helping your support with buying additional wards gives a huge advantage to your team.
What kinds of wards do exist?
- sight wards (75g) should be bought usually.
- Vision Wards (125g) are more expensive but can be used against champions with stealth ( Evelynn Twitch Shaco,...) or to destroy enemies's wards or Teemo's mushrooms. As enemies can't see these wards (as long as they don't have one) it can surprise stealth champions more than a Oracle's Elixir could do.
Why is warding important?
Wards are giving you map awareness.
And what is map awareness good for?
If you can see what the enemy is doing you can counter his actions.
- If you know where your enemy is he can't gank.
- Wards allow to gank enemies when you recognize you are in a superior situation.
- Wards can defend buffs because you'll see when enemies are to kill the corresponding creep.
- Wards let you know when the enemy jungler is doing red/blue buff, Dragon or Baron. Wards are a great tool to steal them with Smite and maybe get a kill.
- To sum that up: Wards help to make game changing decisions. You need to spend money for wards. But actually you will get this money back when you get a kill due to a better map awareness.
Where should I place wards?
Wards should be placed to get as much information as possible. For this reason you should place wards at crossings to check more ways with only 1 ward.
Here is a good example for that. This wards gives vision to 4 paths and blue buff. At least one enemy will most likely pass through the ward's vision range.
The next image is also a good location for wards. You can check the river and baron with it. I usually choose a Vision Ward for this because probably the enemies will have their own ward here. Vision Ward can uncover it so my team is able to destroy them. The same is for dragon. If your team plans to kill either dragon or baron it is important to know if the enemy can see what you are doing.
This image is showing some of the most common places for wards. Credits for it go to Panglot.
When wards are so important, can I do something against the enemy's wards?
Yes. Vision Wards and Oracle's Elixir can give you vision on enemy's wards. Even when the enemies don't have stealth champions Oracle's Elixir is very viable. Check for common ward locations to destroy them.
If you want to learn more about wards I can highly recommend Panglot's
Warding helper - More than your eyes can see
Cassiopeia on Lane
This guide is for a jungling Cassiopeia. Anyway, if you want to play her on mid lane you don't have to change a lot.
Thank you for reading my guide. It took a lot time for writing it. So I hope you enjoyed it. Please share any feedback with me. If you get any criticism please let me know and don't just downvote my guide. I need your help to improve it.