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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.
19 December 2010
A guide to building an AP Cassiopeia
A couple notes before I explain my build:
-First of all, I don't claim to be an expert on Cassiopeia because at this point she's barely a week old, and she really is a hard character to master.
-With that said, this build means nothing if you do not have decent skills to play as Cass.
-I noticed at this point the base stats haven't been added. I forgot to take a screenshot, but I'm pretty sure that her AP is a little higher than that at level 18.
-This is my first build. It focuses on Ability Power and Magic Penetration for Cassiopeia.
Masteries are usually very flexible as they only give you that tiny advantage, but I use a 9-0-21 for those extra little utilities. If you're good and aggressive, 21-0-9 might be more suited for you.
1) Choose Petrifying Gaze (R or Ulti) whenever possible. It is a way to escape, a big contribution to team fights, or that surprise advantage when going 1 vs 1. In fact, this is what gives you the advantage over assassins or other melee champs who like to take you out as fast as they can. You just have to be very quick and very accurate when using it. Also, people seem to overlook the fact that it also does damage to whoever is caught in the cone. At level 18 I can do around 650 damage. It may not be much, but it still takes off a nice little chunk of the opponent's health.
2) Your Twin Fangs (E) is your top priority, excluding your ulti, so maximize this as soon as possible. Remember, this is your main attack. Most of the time you will be spamming this like crazy.
3) As for Miasma (W) and Noxious Blast (Q), I like to level them up evenly as you can see. W is more practical because it slows down your enemies and its poison lasts 7 seconds no matter what level it is. You can use it to help you or your team escape or to set up for spamming E. The main reason for leveling Q and W at the same time is for those 1 vs 1 fights where you and your opponent are focused on each other. A higher leveled W just means it has a higher slow rate and higher damage, but since the damage it does is minimal and the target is not running away, I just need to focus on damage which is where having a good Q comes in handy. When attacking, I do something like: W > E > E > E > Q > E > E > W > etc. That Q comes in after spamming E because the poison from the W runs out and it is still cooling down.
Alternatively, after you maximize E, you can focus on maximizing W first before Q, in cases where team fights occur very early (I'm talking about full on 4v4 or 5v5 fights, not ganks). That way you can better help your team with having a stronger slow attack.
3a) I start off with Q first because it works as a great harassing ability in the very beginning and also has greater range (I think) than Miasma.
These are semi-flexible. Focus on Magic Penetration and Ability Power, which ever gives a greater amount for each type of rune. I chose flat MP and AP runes, but you can also go with "per level" runes. The reason for what I chose is because it gives you an advantage early game vs late game. Early game, you don't have a strong W that will slow the enemies down enough, therefore you need to do more damage. Late game, your W in addition to Rylai's makes your opponents very slow to the point where you can fire off a round of E's without having to chase them down too much.
Early to mid-game
- In the beginning, buy an Amplifying Tome and a health potion
- I chose Kage's Lucky Pick as the first minor item because it gives you ability power, but more importantly gives you a higher income rate. Higher income rate = more gold faster = get items earlier
- Of course get Sorcerer's Shoes for its magic penetration.
- The Giant's Belt is important to get next because Cass is a squishy character so you will need the health boost, plus you need it for Rylai's Scepter later on.
- Next is the Haunting Guise for its magic penetration, and also some AP.
Mid to late-game
- Then finish off your Rylai's Scepter. This item is important! Cass is a slow character even with boots on so the slowing properties will help her finish off her enemies. It also adds more AP and a little more health.
- Get Void Staff for a lot more AP and more magic penetration
- Then Zhonya's Ring for even more AP
- Remember that Kage's Lucky Pick you bought earlier? Upgrade it to a Deathfire Grasp. It gives you more AP, mana regen, cooldown reduction, plus a nice active damage ability similar to Ignite.
If you notice, everything up to finishing your Rylai's cost under 1500 gold. You finish your early build quickly so that you have an advantage in getting your late-game items earlier on. You build up 40 magic penetration from the Haunting Guise and the Sorcerer's shoes, 45 AP from the Haunting Guise and Kage's Lucky Pick, and 430 health from the Giant's Belt. That should be enough to give you a great edge against enemies around your level, giving you time to finish off your Rylai's and start building for AP in the second half of the match.
Playing Strategies, Combos, and Random Tips:
- Start the game with Q. Use it whenever you think you can land a hit, not just when they get too close. At this point any damage you inflict is important. Think of this phase as the hit-and-run phase.
- Starting at level 2 when you get your E, stick with using your Q first. It does more damage than E. When you land a Q, try and use E if they are still in range. So at this point you are still doing the hit-and-run, and your only combo's are: Q or Q > E.
- Starting at level 4 you can use your W and start your spamming combo. I use W a lot to either slow enemies that are on a chase or to initiate a fight. So when fighting with W, your combo will be: W > E > E > E > Q > E > E > W > etc. Remember, early on in the game, the slow effects from W will not be much so you will probably stop after your first or second E. Also you have to move quick. If you're worried that the poison effects might run out soon, forget about landing another E and use a Q or W instead.
- Starting at level 6 you can use your R (ulti). The combo is the same as the previous step except you start with R like this: R > W > E > E > E > Q > E > E > W > etc.
- R is great at stopping enemies when they are unleashing their combos on you!
- If you notice, Q also gives you a boost in movement speed if you land it on an enemy. Use it when your opponent runs away from you. Predict where he will go and attack that area. If you can keep a calm, steady mind when you are the one being chased, you can also use it to boost your speed when running away.
- When your health is low and you are being chased, W is a great ability to use, provided the enemy isn't too close. Cass has to stop, turn around, and spit, letting your enemies close the distance between them and you. If they are too close, use your ulti instead. At that point, you can either run away or finish off your enemy. The latter being a nice deceptive attack.
- Be conservative when laning. If you are not pushing, use your normal attacks on minions. Save your mana for those spamming attacks on opponents. Or you could just get a blue monster buff so you would not have to worry about running out of mana.
- Notice there are no defensive items in this build and Rylai's is the only one giving you a health boost. Cass is very squishy. Unless it is still early game and you are in the middle lane, stick with a partner. Stay behind your minions unless it is absolutely necessary to move past them and finish off your opponent. Your skills as a player are your best defense!
- Cassiopeia is requires a lot of patience to learn and a lot of skill to be effective.
- Before getting into any match, make sure your teammates can help you. Have at least 2-3 melee/tank champions on your team.
- A partnership with a tank or melee champ is preferred, but if you can team up with a good Teemo, Twitch, and/or Singed, forget about having a player to defend for you and go for pure AP damage.
- Cassiopeia works well in any lane.
Let me know how it works out for you. Your thoughts on what I should add/change are very appreciated.