Kassadin Build Guide by MerKury
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
LAST UPDATE: 08/11/2012
- Changed Rune Build
- Changed Item Build
- Minor change to Mastery Tree
- Deleted gameplay section (Just wasn't happy with it)
- Added Alternatives for Runes
- Minor cosmetic tweaks throughout the guide
- Cut out useless text (trying to keep it short and simple)
Hello, although I've changed my LoL account name numerous times, my current account name is Saké, and this is my guide to Kassadin, my main character. A friend of mine originally taught me how to play him, but since then I've deviated and experimented with him, so much so I feel comfortable writing a guide on how to build and play him on Mobafire, so, here goes nothing I suppose.
To Start: Kass is an AP Carry, very notable for his ultimate, which gives him high mobility and the ability to juke like no other champ in the game (if you hear people saying "Kass OP" in a game, chances are they are referring to his Riftwalk) He can be devastating at lower skill levels, up to mid level games (I am only SILVER ELO, so I doubt I could pull any of the stuff I normally pull with him in Platinum, even Gold I would have a tough time with)
This Guide: Basically my main differentiator between my guide and other Kassadin guides on here is my risk-takers build order. Probably the thing that most Kass veterans will immediately notice with my build is that I have not included ROD OF AGES. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful item on him, but for this guide, it simply won't do. The focus of this build is to start small, build a few key starter items, and quickly build momentum, regardless of whether you are racking up the kills or not (hopefully if you're not getting kills you're at least farming up a storm) The main turning point for this build is the explosion of AP that occurs mid game, thanks to the Rabadon's Deathcap + Zhonya's Hourglass item combination.
Pros / Cons
- Great snowball champion
- Highly mobile after level 6
- Great for ganking/helping other lanes
- Combo nearly impossible to dodge (due to ultimate)
- Not terribly hard to learn
- FRAGILE, especially with this build
- Needs a decent team to keep him afloat early on
- Defenseless without ultimate
- Easy to shut down early game
- Early game farming weak
Void Stone (PAS) Your passive. Basically translates to less magic damage taken (15% to be exact, and that's after your Magic Resist has been applied) and a higher attack speed.
Null Sphere (Q): Kass' main source of harass and damage early on. Nothing much to say, it's a basic AP projectile that silences the target for a short time after being hit, standard stuff. The jump in damage between the level two and level three null sphere should be noted, maybe it's my imagination, but the damage seems to jump rather quickly. 650 range, average for a projectile.
Nether Blade: (W): An downplayed ability that passively restores mana per auto attack hit and can be activated to deal bonus damage on your auto attacks. Kass is clearly not an auto attacker, so it's obvious why people think this is a "do nothing" skill, but I beg to differ (explained later in the gameplay section) Useful for getting a quick and cheap stack on your Force Pulse ability. Melee range, obviously (125).
Force Pulse (E): More of a mid to late game ability, to be used in conjunction with your combo. DO NOT USE THIS BY ITSELF AS A METHOD OF HARASS because it sucks early game (since you're not prioritizing it as a skill) It's a nice AOE slow that does decent damage, but cannot be used at will. It works like this: Whenever you (or anybody, allies or enemies) casts a spell near you, it charges up your Force Pulse, (you'll see a small counter greyed out with a number from 1 - 5 on it) when you reach six stacks, you'll hear a sound, your icon will turn green, and you will be able to use the ability. You use it, you start from scratch and build up your stacks again, rinse and repeat. 400 Range, rather short, but should be easy to hit because of your ability to blink about.
Riftwalk (R): Oh yeah, this is where it's at. Kassadin's ultimate ability allows him to teleport a short distance anywhere he wants (similar to flash, although this does have a channeling period, albeit a very short one) Kassadin becomes incredibly mobile with this, being able to pop in, land his combo, and run away (or Riftwalk/flash out as needed). This is your first step into any combo (since you have to be in front of your enemy to combo him or her) and proper use and timing of this ability will either make or break you as a Kassadin player. With each consecutive cast within a short period of time, your Riftwalk will cost more mana, but do more AOE damage as a result. 700 range, a very generous range. Just to put the range in perspective, Flash's range is only 400.
1. QE Combo
Description: When in range, silence and then use your force pulse to slow.
2. RQE Combo
Description: Riftwalk over to your target, immediately silence them, use your force pulse to slow.
3. RQEW Combo
Description: Riftwalk over to your target, immediately silence them, use your force pulse to slow, then activate your Nether Blade and auto attack them once or twice before retreating. This helps recover mana and put an extra one hundred damage on them or so.
4. RQERQ Combo
Description: Riftwalk over to your target, immediately silence them, use your force pulse to slow, auto attack as needed, then perform a second riftwalk onto them, fire a second null sphere, and then back off.
5. RQEWRQ Combo
Description: Riftwalk over to your target, immediately silence them, use your force pulse to slow, activate your Nether Blade, auto attack as needed, then perform a second riftwalk onto them, fire a second null sphere, auto attack as needed, and then back off.
CLEANSE: Great for getting yourself out of tricky CC situations, 500+ AP might be nice, but it won't mean anything if you're stunned constantly and, therefore, unable to make use of it. Also gives the added benefit of making your mid oppositions' ignite spell completely worthless.
IGNITE: Great for securing early to mid game kills (even late game, but to a lesser degree), taking this spell is AP Caster 101
CLARITY: Not much to say here, early game Kass is pretty bad on mana, but I mean, if you built a Tear of the Goddess as per this guide, it wouldn't be too much of a problem, coupled with your Nether Blade autoattacks, and, hopefully, your jungler feeding you blue buff.
EXHAUST: Meh, you have a pretty good slow, no real need for this, do you really need that 35% reduced magic damage?
TELEPORT: If you're really having problems in your lane where you have to use teleport just to get back to mid, your jungler should be ganking for you a lot more than he is. In terms of getting to other lanes for a ward gank, your top solo should have that covered.
SURGE: If you want temporary AP, that's what elixirs are for
PROMOTE: Merits no explanation
REVIVE: Merits no explanation
SMITE: Merits no explanation
MARKS (REDS) - Greater Mark of Insight (Flat MPen): He's a caster, and since the ap marks are awful to say the least, this shouldn't be the least bit suprising. Out of all the runes chosen for this guide, these ones should be the most common and universal.
Greater Seal of ReplenishmentSEALS (YELLOWS) - Greater Seal of Replenishment (Flat Mana Regen): After much deliberation and testing, I have come to the conclusion that Flat Mana Regen yellows are an optimal choice on Kass. Makes you that much less dependent on blue, and a bigger nuisance via an increase in your ability to spam your Null Sphere, among other things.
GLYPHS (BLUES) - Greater Glyph of Force (AP/Lvl): AP AP AP, you can't say no to AP, CDR runes are also a worthy candidate here, but I prefer the gradual buildup of AP as you level up. A flexible selection for blues.
QUINTESSENCES - Greater Quintessence of Potency (Flat AP): Standard stuff. Some Kassadin players like to swap one or two of these quints for CDR or even move speed quints, but I find it a bit unnecessary.
Greater Seal of Clarity (Mana Regen/Lvl): An issue of early game scaling versus late game scaling. I chose the early game scaling mana regen runes only because early game is when Kassadin has the toughest time getting by. If you can get by without as much mana regen early on, then by all means take these runes. Surpasses flat mana regen seals at Level 7.
greater seal of vitalityGreater Seal of Vitality (HP/Lvl): If you find yourself needing some extra health on you, then these runes are a great choice. A set of nine of these will give you almost 175 extra health at level 18.
Greater Glyph of Focus (Flat CDR): An obvious candidate for blues, since Kassadin relies heavily on his riftwalk, lower cooldowns translate to more riftwalks which translate to more kills. Used to use these, but have since moved on to use AP/lvl glyphs (I just couldn't say no to an extra 28 AP at level 18)
Greater Glyph of Potency (Flat AP): Another issue of early game vs late game scaling. Come to your own conclusions on this one, but to put things in perspective, AP/lvl glyphs surpass flat ap glyphs at about level 8, which is just about when you start to become a real threat to the other team.
There should be no surprise here, this is AP Caster 101. Nercury's Treads are also perfectly acceptable in lieu of Sorcerer's Shoes.
Another AP Caster 101 item here. The 30% bonus AP passive lays the foundation for your items to come.
Great great great on Kassadin. 100 AP for an item isn't half bad, plus the bonus AP as per your Rabadon's Deathcap passive. The stasis active can also mean the difference between life and death, as it gives you two precious seconds for your Riftwalk cooldown to refresh (Explained in the Gameplay section) Once you build this, you'll never know how you got along without it.
A great choice for Kassadin, gives good AP and good Magic Resistance, all in one neat little package. Plus the aura makes you an even bigger threat to other casters.
An obvious choice for any caster, much like Rabadon's Deathcap and Archangel's Staff, gives a decent amount of AP, given the cost, and you can't complain about 40% Magic Penetration.
This should, without a doubt, be the last item you build. If the game has progressed to the point where you have time and money to build this item, chances are, towers are desperately needed. This item makes you a tower/carry chunking machine. Any ability you use primes the Lich Bane passive, allowing you to deal an auto attack equal to 100% of your current AP (Hence why this item is so strong late game; it relies on the fact that you've built yourself up quite a bit)
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