Serpentine Grace Makes You Go
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.
Threats to Cassiopeia with this build
|Bard||Can't do anything if he misses Q - Cosmic Binding. If he is going to use E - Magical Journey, cast Miasma near the entrance to prevent him from following through.|
My name is Cephrus; I enjoy theorycrafting strange and peculiar strategies and making them work.
This is my guide to Marksman Cassiopeia, a high-damage AP Carry that can outscale most AD carries and bring utility to a team.
At the time of writing this guide, I have an 80% total winrate with Cassiopeia Marksman, and I have gotten her to level 7 mastery solely in the bot lane. You can view my match history with Cassiopeia here.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.
My other guides:
Why play Cassiopeia bot lane?
Before I explain why Cassiopeia bot is viable, allow me to list the objectives of bot lane:
- High DPS, especially to front lines/tanks.
- Farming for high-cost builds
- Pushing power
With the 6.9 mage rework, Cassiopeia was put in an interesting spot. Her passive, Serpentine Grace permits her to have a full item build of 6 items, instead of 5 items + boots, allowing her to take maximum advantage of the farming nature of the bot lane.
Cassiopeia's Twin Fang serves as both a bursting tool and a DPS ability. The main difference from Marksman Cassiopeia and the standard Mid-Mage playstyle is that this ability is not used solely for high burst damage, but is used akin to an AD Carry's basic attacks in fights.
A downside to this playstyle is that Cassiopeia loses all of her damage when out of mana. Thus it is important to manage mana so that Cassiopeia's team is not left to dry in the middle of a fight with no DPS. Cassiopeia's low attack speed makes tower pushing more difficult, though late game her attacks will be strong enough against turrets to negate this somewhat.
- Bot-APC Cassiopeia deals both high DPS and burst damage with the use of Twin Fang in conjunction with Noxious Blast and/or Miasma.
- Serpentine Grace allows for a more costly, yet more effective item build by enabling Cassiopeia to fare without boots.
- Cassiopeia's turret DPS is very low.
Serpentine Grace gives Cassiopeia 4 movement speed per level, totaling 72 bonus movement speed at level 18, at the cost that Cassiopeia cannot buy boots.
To compare, Boots of Speed give 25 movement speed, Berserker's Greaves give 45, Boots of Swiftness give 55 and Boots of Mobility gives 115 when out of combat.
The main perk of this passive is that it enables Cassiopeia to gain another item slot, allowing her to build another item to suit the situation that most other champions will not be able to build due to the need for boots. It also allows Cassiopeia to carry more item parts at every stage of the game, and have room for wards when other champions would have to choose between different item parts or wards due to confined inventory space.
Noxious Blast is a targeted AoE poison that fires after a short delay and deals 70% of Cassiopeia's ability power over 3 seconds. If this ability strikes an enemy champion, Cassiopeia gains a burst of speed.
This is Cassiopeia's kiting tool, allowing her to utilize Twin Fang's bonus damage and giving her speed to reposition. In conjunction with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Cassiopeia can kite very effectively using both the slow and movement speed from this ability alone.
Miasma is an excellent defensive ability since it is able to ground enemies while also poisoning them. It also deals magic damage every second, but this isn't as important since the poison wears off immediately after the enemy exits the field.
It is important to note the minimum cast range of Miasma, and to position accordingly to be able to use it if needed. Miasma has great synergy with Petrifying Gaze, poisoning enemies so Twin Fang deals bonus damage, and preventing them from escaping.
Twin Fang is Cassiopeia's main damage tool. It deals between 52 and 120 damage, scaling with level, plus 10% of Cassiopeia's ability power. Killing a unit with this ability refunds its mana cost.
When used against a poisoned target, it deals bonus magic damage, scaling with 35% of ability power and heals Cassiopeia. This is where the bulk of Cassiopeia's damage comes from.
It is very easy to farm with this ability using the mana resets, and combined with Doran's Ring it provides easy mana sustain. Do note, however, that it is very easy to get carried away with all-ins early and burn mana unnecessarily, forcing a recall and delaying farming.
Petrifying Gaze is the only hard-CC ability that Cassiopeia has, and it requires that targets face her in order to be stunned. It deals significant damage, especially in the mid- to late-game.
This ability can be used with Flash to catch enemies off guard or to redirect the spell as the animation is beginning. It is useful to use Petrifying Gaze to buy time to reposition if kiting is not effective.
is better than
since all of Cassiopeia's damage comes from abilities.
Double Edged Sword
is better than all the alternatives and boosts Cassiopeia's damage all-around.
Both Vampirism and Natural Talent are viable on Cassiopeia, and it comes down to personal preference. Oppressor has synergy with Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
Since Cassiopeia's damage is purely magical, Piercing Thoughts is vastly superior to Battering Blows . Deathfire Touch amplifies Cassiopeia's damage similarly to how Fervor of Battle empowers an AD Carry's basic attacks.
and Savagery are viable on Cassiopeia, and are dependent on personal preference.
is better for roaming to other lanes.
is better than
since there will almost always be allies around Cassiopeia, preventing use of the mastery.
Both Merciless and Meditation are viable, though Meditation is better for mana sustain, which allows more opportunities for early fights during laning-phase. Bandit is a great mastery which awards free gold for missing creeps and attacking the enemy, though it is possible to take Dangerous Game if preferred.
Early Game/Laning Phase
Early on in the game, the goal is to not die.
This is easier said than done, thanks to jungle ganks and the nature of fighting in the bot lane.
Last hit with Twin Fang to keep getting mana resets, and try not to fight the enemy at all. It is tempting to follow up on a Noxious Blast, but doing so will usually cost Cassiopeia her entire mana pool and force her to recall early.
After buying Tear of the Goddess, it is very easy to duel the enemy lane. Whenever possible, try to land a Noxious Blast. If Cassiopeia's support engages, cast Miasma on the fight and then fight them on it. Whenever the enemy is poisoned, spam them with Twin Fang to force them to either back off or die.
Cassiopeia's lane is easy to gank by the enemy, since Cassiopeia has no mobility, so make sure to keep entrances to the bot lane warded and expect to be ganked otherwise.
Once Cassiopeia has Petrifying Gaze, it is possible to 2v3 if ganked, if played correctly.
The main goal of the lane is to farm for items, so don't get carried away fighting the enemy and neglecting farm.
Team-fights are generally played in this manner:
- Before fighting, cast Noxious Blast on any enemy that comes into range of it. The goal here isn't to all-in them, but to wither their health for the fight.
- Don't use either Noxious Blast, and especially Miasma to push lanes, because if they are on cooldown when a fight breaks out Cassiopeia's DPS is mitigated heavily.
- Whenever the fight looks as if it is centralized around one location, cast Miasma there to poison anyone who attempts to follow on the fight.
- Use Twin Fang unsparingly on any poisoned target in range.
- Avoid using Petrifying Gaze unless it is on either a primary target or multiple enemies.
- Use Noxious Blast on guaranteed hits to poison enemies. Missing this ability significantly lowers Cassiopeia's damage with Twin Fang.
It is crucial to keep farming consistently to complete the build for late-game.
Late-game, it is unwise to part from the team to farm or split-push, since both are generally unnecessary and it is very easy to get caught out.
Fights are played similarly to the mid-game, but with a higher focus on priority targets and fed players.
Unlike the mid-game, skills should not be reserved for the fight. If an assassin jumps onto Cassiopeia, don't hesitate to use Petrifying Gaze to stop the kill. The main focus becomes not dying once more, since death is the best counter to damage.
| Karma has great synergy with Cassiopeia, since her kit promotes kiting potential.
Inspire allows Cassiopeia to reposition quickly and can double as an escape tool. Combined with the movement speed from Noxious Blast, Cassiopeia can easily dodge enemy abilities.
Focused Resolve and Mantra-empowered Inner Flame help Cassiopeia land Noxious Blast on the target and can be chained with Miasma as well to keep the target locked in place.
| Nami has good synergy with Cassiopeia because her passive, Surging Tides, gives Cassiopeia movement speed, which allows her to reposition. Aqua Prison is a guaranteed Noxious Blast hit, and Cassiopeia can kite with the movement speed supplied by Nami's other abilities.
Tidecaller's Blessing is somewhat useless on Cassiopeia other than a tool to grant Surging Tides.
|Thresh's Death Sentence and Flay synergize well with Cassiopeia's Petrifying Gaze], as it becomes easy to land the stun on the target. The Box and Miasma also have good synergy, and it is also easy to land Noxious Blast on targets that Thresh has a hold of. Dark Passage allows Cassiopeia to play aggressively without fear of being surrounded as she has an escape.|
|Leona has a ton of crowd control and can lock a target within Cassiopeia's Miasma, poisoning them for at least the duration of all the crowd control. Unlike other supports, however, Leona does not provide much for Cassiopeia outside of laning phase, like Nami or Thresh with Surging Tides and Dark Passage, respectively.|
| Braum's passive, Concussive Blows is good, but only if Braum himself can get the stacks off, since Twin Fang will not suffice and Cassiopeia will not be basic attacking.
Other than that, Braum is a decent support for Cassiopeia, but he has nothing that stands out over other supports.
|Contrary to popular belief, Teemo support with Cassiopeia is very underwhelming. The only thing that Teemo provides is his Toxic Shot, and he cannot create lane pressure in any other way, being zoned out by other poke supports like Sona. It is a decent cheese strategy, and you might be able to pick up a few kills with the poison from Toxic Shot and Twin Fang, but after the novelty of Teemo support wears off it is unappealing compared to other supports.|
|Sona has everything Cassiopeia would want in a lane: poke, health sustain, and speed for kiting. Crescendo has synergy with Petrifying Gaze, and Song of Celerity gives Cassiopeia repositioning power. The only downside to having Sona support is that the aura from Hymn of Valor goes to waste, since Cassiopeia does not basic attack very much.|