Kassadin Build Guide by CasterMaster

This build has been archived and is for historical display only.

PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.


1,174 VOTES
Rate Up LoL Guide Rate Down LoL Guide
League of Legends Build Guide Author CasterMaster

Excellence Is Null ~ A Comprehensive Kassadin Guide

CasterMaster Last updated on December 15, 2013
5,634,862 521
Build 1 (Cheat Sheet)

Champion Build: Kassadin

Health 1837
Health Regen 15.95
Mana 2040
Mana Regen 27.7
Armor 134.6
Magic Resist 87.06
Dodge 0
Tenacity 0
Movement Speed 410
Gold Bonus 0
Attack Damage 122.5
Attack Speed 1.039
Crit Chance 0%S
Crit Damage 0%
Ability Power 454.85
Life Steal 0%
Spell Vamp 0
Armor Penetration 7.2
Magic Penetration 20.83
Cooldown Reduction 0%


Recommended Runes + Notes



Ability Sequence

1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
4
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R

Masteries + Notes

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tenacious
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 9

Guide Top

Introduction: An In-Depth Guide


space

For those who do not know, Hi, my name is CasterMaster, and welcome to my Kassadin guide! My goal with this guide is to be able to help players understand and grasp the concept of such an amazing and powerful champion. This is based on my opinions that I would like to share with the rest of you. As with any other guide, be sure to read what you need to know, comment on your own personal thoughts and advices and tell me about it! Now, PREPARE TO BATHE YOURSELF IN THE GLORIOUS POWER OF THE VOID.

space

Kassadin is a melee caster-typed anti-caster, making him extremely powerful against AP carries. He's able to jump into a team fight, quickly assassinate his target, and jump out unscathed. His laning skills are mediocre, but provide that his Null Sphere hurts like a truck, you can usually trade damage against an enemy. He is easily countered in lane pre-6, but after that you should have no problem. His specialty is Riftwalk, being a short cool-down ultimate that offers extremely mobility, damage, juking potential, and of course, skill. Kassadin is not an easy champion to play, and not even easy to master. However, this guide will make you become that pro Kassadin player you've always wanted to be (and probably exceed Ocelote). So prepare to enter the void!

space
I saved this best song for awesomeness only, so jump in the void!
space
(Credits to TubeMastah for this video, song by Two Steps from Hell, song called "Jump!")


Guide Top

Why Play Kassadin and When?


space

This section here will provide reasoning for why you would want to play Kassadin and when to play him as well. Let's start off with WHY you would want to play Kassadin:

space
WHY PLAY HIM?
  • Arguably one of the strongest Anti-casters in the game
  • Short cool-down ultimate
  • Powerful nuking potentials mid~late game
  • Good skins
  • Affective crowd-control throughout the game
  • Hard to gank post-6
  • Extreme mobility
  • Very fun to play
  • He just looks so BADASS!

With that said, now we can take a look at some reasons WHEN you should play him. There are tons of times when you can play him, such as if he isn't banned (in ranked) or you just feel like playing him.



space
WHEN TO PLAY
  • You need (or want to play) a strong anti-caster
  • Mid lane champion required (or AP carry)
  • You have a champion on the enemy team you want to counter
  • Low CC on the enemy team (stuns, silences, suppresses, knock-up)
  • You want to reinforce allied lanes quickly and efficiently through ganks

Yeah, I'm sure there are more reasons, but you can say that yourself. Kassadin makes an extremely good assassin as well, so there are just so many reasons why you would play him.


Guide Top

Pros / Cons and Description


Before we can simply learn and understand Kassadin, we need to know his strengths and weaknesses. All champions have strengths and weaknesses. Some have more than others, while some have hardly any weaknesses it's unnoticeable. Kassadin is blessed with a lot of pros but cursed with many cons as well. Here are some of Kassadin's powerful pros and vicious cons:


spaaace
  • Very powerful ganks post-6: Riftwalk allows you to abuse travel distance, making it very easy to go from lane to lane. You can easily push your lane out then give a different lane a helping hand if need be.
  • Not extremely item dependent early game: Kassadin is not very item dependent. Late game however, he is. Luckily, with a strong early game, you'll get a good late game.

space



space
  • Very weak early game: Being a melee champion, Kassadin will have a hard time farming minions without taking a lot of damage. Ganks and potions will suffice.
  • Misplays are extra costly: If you blindly Riftwalk into fog of war and suddenly find yourself surrounded by the entire enemy team, then you could be done for. Caution and analysis is key.
spaaace
  • Requires a large amount of mana control: Many Kassadin players are not good at controlling their mana, especially with Riftwalk stacks. Controlling your Riftwalk stacks will help solve this problem.
  • Item dependent late game: Kassadin needs a good build for late game. Most of the time you won't be running the exact same build. Your item choices DO matter, as well as your purchase order. You'll learn what items to choose from later on.

I can teach you a lot about Kassadin, but most of the stuff you have to learn and apply yourself. This is what makes up a strong Kassadin player. It revolves around these key terms: COMMON SENSE, REACTION-TIMING, AND ANALYSIS. If you have these three traits (or maybe two), then you'll become a pro Kassadin player simply by reading. Otherwise, you may need to practice a bit. Remember, practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent!


Guide Top

Rune Setup








Here is my rune page set-up for Kassadin. Most of my choices are pretty self-explanatory except for a few things. Let me explain:


Greater Mark of Magic and Hybrid Penetration
This is optional for many players. Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetrations are expensive, so if you do not have any or do not want to buy any, Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is just fine. You won't see a great difference. However, this setup allows me to dock off 2 magic penetration for 7 armor penetration. As with any other setup, this is for dealing increased damage.
space
Greater Seal of Armor
Grabbing armor reduces physical damage by an immense amount. It helps reduce incoming damage from your lane opponent's basic attacks and skills (if the skills deal physical damage) as well as from minions. There are many other options for seals, but beyond this one, it's just versatile and good in a lot of situations, especially if you tower dive or gank a lot.


Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Reduced damage from opposing magic damage. Combined with Void Stone and you'll realize they won't deal as much damage as you thought they might. It's effective because you take less damage meaning it'll be harder for your opponents to poke you out of lane. Not much else to say, except you can trade these out with AP runes for more damage if you want. Player preference.
space
Greater Quintessence of AP
Gives an amazing boost to your early game damage. It's like getting the Doran's Ring as a starting item for damage output. Just very useful, and I find it to be fantastic for harassment.



space


First off, if you aren't at least level 20, I'd suggest that you do not buy runes. It's just a waste of your Influence Points and they can be used for champions or tier three runes (which are the best). Those who already have a decent caster rune page can use that. There are tons of different combinations you can use but this is the best set-up that I've found. It provides a good balance between early and late game which is something you really need.


Guide Top

Masteries





Here is my masteries for Kassadin. As there are many ways you can run masteries for him, it's usually standard to run the new 21/0/9. Masteries are player preference, and based on how you would like to play Kassadin. There isn't really anything wrong with whatever you choose (unless you're grabbing armor penetration on a mage or something of the sort), but I'll quickly explain them here:



space
space
space
space Double-Edged Sword is fairly powerful on Kassadin, allowing you to deal 2% more damage. Sorcery reduces cool-down by 5% and allows you advance the next tier. Butcher can also be taken in place of Double-Edged Sword if you are not confident with last-hitting minions. Expose Weakness helps your allies deal more damage to the targets you deal damage to. Mental Force gives you +16 ability power at level 18, or 0.89 AP per level. Great for scaling into late-game damage. You could also take Feast, which will help in lane sustain against your opponent. Arcane Mastery gives +8 AP at level 1, greatly increasing your damage output for poking. Executioner grants a massive 5% bonus damage for champions under 50% health, which really makes Kassadin what he is: an assassin. Spell Weaving isn't a bad choice either, although normally one would use their full combo before doing any basic attacks (if any) mid to late game. Archmage grants 5% bonus AP, giving even more damage. Dangerous Game is a possible mastery as well, since restoring 5% missing health and mana is fairly powerful when diving into towers or fights, as well as surviving Damage-Over-Time skills. Devastating Strikes gives 6% armor and magic penetration which again, helps deal tons of damage. Arcane Blade provides great synergy with Nether Blade and helps with damage and last-hitting. We finish with Havoc , allow you to deal +3% increased damage.



space
space
space
space
space
space
Phasewalker is great for reducing the cool-down of Recall by 1 second. This is useful for escaping fights in the nick of time. Every second matters. Meditation helps you gain an increase of 3 mana regeneration per 5 seconds, allowing you more mana to activate spells. Fleet of Foot could also be taken instead to increase movement speed by 1.5%. This helps you travel faster, wherever you go. This includes ganking, escaping, chasing, returning to lane, or helping you stick to targets. Summoner's Insight reduces summoner spell cooldowns by 10%, which is quite useful for mainly Flash. Alchemist makes your potions more useful by extending their duration by 10%. Finally we beef up those potions into biscuits with Culinary Master , upgrading your Health Potions into biscuits that restore additional 20 health and 10 mana. Both Alchemist and Culinary Master are great summoner spells to make up for Kassadin's poor sustain. space


Guide Top

Summoner Spells


space

space
Flash
Your get-out-of-jail card. One of my favorite summoner spells of all time, I would take this on almost ANY champion except for some special circumstances. You'd want to use Flash to escape (if Riftwalk is unavailable) or to better help position yourself or engage/disengage easier. You should know how to use it, and if you don't, read the above. It's mostly common sense. If you throw yourself into a team fight, make sure you have Riftwalk off cool-down so you can escape if the heat turns up. A good tip: If you know escape is inevitable, don't waste Flash for a mere attempt to try and do so. It has a higher cool-down than your death timer, so use it wisely!

space
Ignite
It's your finisher spell. I usually take this spell on almost ALL casters, and why not on Kassadin?. Sometimes your nuke won't kill somebody. In that case, you're going to need to whack them a few times with Nether Blade. Quickly kill them by putting Ignite on them to amplify your damage output. Just an amazing skill.

space
Teleport
If you aren't taking Ignite and you love traveling across locations, you could also take this skill. It's very good for ganking the side lanes or finishing up enemies from a disastrous fight. You could even use it to backdoor your opponents! A well-used Teleport can result in many kills, more than even Ignite could provide. An excellent skill itself and also good against champions with ridiculous and constant harassment.

space

space

space
Cleanse
It's Quicksilver Sash as an item, but this spell also reduces the effects of the next incoming CC by a portion. If the enemy has tons of CC that prevents you from using your skills, you could take this skill (or just buy Quicksilver Sash). It's especially important on Kassadin because if you Riftwalk in and get stunned immediately, you're done.

space
Exhaust
This skill is just devastating. It can really completely disable a single target. Since that's your role and your job, you just want to finish your enemy off. It's an alright spell though I don't think you should be the one to take it.

space
Ghost
If you hate Flash because you either don't like it or you've had enough with Wall Flashing, then you could also take this spell over Flash. Personally, Flash DOES take a higher skill level to perfect, but sometimes you just want to move really fast. Of course, always an option, and I'm not limiting you or anything =P.

space

Barrier
This skill shines out in the fact that it can save lives better than Heal, although very self-centered. Another quick fix it provides is its low cool-down. Against any good player, they probably won't touch you once you've activated it, so it's quite a situational skill. Unless you know you're going to get bullied pretty hard in lane and later on, this might not be an amazing choice, but still not bad if you're looking for a safer lane.


Guide Top

Skills Summary & Explanation



Void Stone
Kassadin takes 15% reduced magic damage and transforms this damage into bonus attack speed.

This is one of the reasons he's such a powerful anti-caster. His innate ability to reduce incoming magic damage by 15% and turn it into attack speed isn't bad at all. Most people only take advantage of the 15% magic damage reduction. It's extremely powerful against casters which usually deal 95% of their damage as spell damage. But what are we going to use the left over attack speed for? It'll be useful to attack the enemy with Nether Blade, since you're going to have a lot of AP and it now scales. Otherwise, the 15% magical damage reduction is just fine.

spacespace
Null Sphere
Kassadin fires a void bolt, dealing 80/115/150/185/220 (+0.7) magic damage and silencing the target for 1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5 second(s).
Cost: 70/75/80/85/90 Mana
Range: 650
Cool-Down: 9 seconds

Your bread and butter skill. It's on a relatively long cool-down, and in a team fight you basically got one shot. It DOES have some nuking potentials, but the main point of this skill is the silence that continually gets longer every time you level it up. It's also a very good skill to harass the enemy. That's why I take Nether Blade at level 2. It's so I can gain that mana regen to spam more Null Sphere's against my lane opponent. It's also possible to completely ZONE your enemy with this skill. It just shows you how deadly it is. You may even want to save this spell for when the enemy has channeling spells like Nunu's Absolute Zero or Katarina's Death Lotus. Since it's on a relatively high cool-down, choose the best time to use it. Getting blue buff and Elixir of Brilliance or cool-down reduction items like Deathfire Grasp or Athene's Unholy Grail may not be a bad idea.
The combined damage of Null Sphere and Force Pulse. It is an extremely deadly nuke mid-late game and has very high kill potential so long as you hit the right targets and don't miss.

spacespace
Nether Blade
Passive: Kassadin's basic attacks draw energy from the void, restoring 8/11/14/17/20 Mana each hit. If the target is an enemy champion, the Mana restored is tripled to 24/33/42/51/60. Active: Kassadin charges his nether blade for 5 seconds causing his basic attacks to deal an additional 30/45/60/75/90 (+0.15) magic damage.
Cost: 25 Mana
Range: 125 (Melee)
Cool-Down: 12 seconds


This is an important skill in Kassadin's kit. It gives increased magic damage based on your AP (so it scales). A lot of people underestimate this skill, but its actually really strong. You'd be surprised how much more damage you deal. However, I take one point in this early mainly for the mana regeneration I desperately need to fire more Null Spheres and to attempt to zone the enemy. Basically, you can use Nether Blade to amplify your auto-attack's damage and gain a charge on Force Pulse and makes last hitting minions at your turret a lot easier.
Using Nether Blade here will help you last-hit minions you normally wouldn't be able to. Extremely well when the minions are at your turret.

spacespace
Force Pulse
Kassadin draws energy from spells cast in his vicinity, gaining a charge whenever a spell is cast near him. Upon reaching 6 charges, Kassadin can use Force Pulse to deal 80/130/180/230/280 (+0.7) magic damage and slow enemies by 30/35/40/45/50% for 3 seconds in a cone in front of him.
Cost: 80 Mana
Range: 400
Cool-Down: 6 seconds


Surprisingly this skill is on a lower cool-down than Null Sphere. I take this a lot later than most people do. I will explain why in a second. The main thing about this skill is it's an AoE burst that slows. In low levels, this skill won't deal a lot of damage (just like Null Sphere). In fact, Null Sphere and Force Pulse do the exact same amount of damage. Take this at level 2 if you know your jungler is ganking for you. It'll help secure a kill/ Flash by adding a slow. Some players may max this skill first, but I believe it's not very reliable as you require charges in order to fulfill its activation requirements.

spacespace
Riftwalk
Kassadin teleports to a nearby location dealing 80/100/120 (+0.8) magic damage to surrounding enemy units. Additionally, each subsequent Riftwalk within the next 7 seconds costs 100 additional Mana and deals 50/55/60 (+0.1) additional damage, stacks up to 10 times. Damaging an enemy champion with this skill will also refund 50% of the mana.
Cost: 100 Mana
Range: 700
Cool-Down: 7/6/5 seconds


Once you get this skill, your lane opponent should be real scared. You can pop out anytime and spell disaster to them in a quickly. They won't have time to react because your Null Sphere will keep them pinned down. Anyways, back on topic. This skill has a higher teleport range than Flash after its nerf. There are a ton of different possibilities you can use this skill. Whether just for damage, juking, or escaping a dangerous situation, this skill will serve you happiness. 90% of the time you get ganked, you'll escape, and 90% of your own ganks should be successful (unless it's Morgana). It's a rewarding skill and also a suicidal one, so always be certain and safe with it.


Guide Top

Skills Sequence and Combos





This is how I run my Kassadin about 99% of the time. Take Null Sphere at level 1 because there really isn't a better skill to take. I take Nether Blade at level 2 because let's face it. The only time you'd need to use Force Pulse at this early of the game is if your jungler is ganking for you right away. If you arranged a gank attempt with your jungler and is going to gank mid really early, then take Force Pulse at level 2 instead and Nether Blade at level 4. You really don't need any more points in Nether Blade because the main thing we use it for is to regain mana and to last hit some minions at your turret that you normally wouldn't be able to get, so after maxing out Null Sphere, you max Force Pulse. Once they're both maxed out, you should be really threatening to your enemy. Obviously take Riftwalk whenever possible.

space
space

Now we're going to learn some combos you can pull off with Kassadin. Whether it be sick or just plain simple, they're usually the ones you'll use in a game. Well, why not I show you them?

space
Riftwalk--> Null Sphere--> Force Pulse--> Nether Blade--> Ignite

The standard assassin's combo. With Riftwalk being the lowest cool-down, use that first so that you can use it again if the combo fails. Follow with Null Sphere and Force Pulse to ensure the enemies escape is nullified. If your burst didn't kill them, then Nether Blade at them! Use Ignite if its available. If you have Lich Bane, auto-attack between each skill use to maximize damage. You could ALSO use Null Sphere before Riftwalk, but that depends on the situation.

space

Flash--> Riftwalk--> Force Pulse--> Nether Blade--> Null Sphere

This is a very devastating combo. It's so powerful that if you fail it, the chances of you dying are REALLY high. This is the ultimate gap closing combo that can rip your enemy into many pieces. This is mainly used:
  • to tower dive
  • to chase low-health victims (gap closing)
  • Surprise attacking massive burst combo
The risks are VERY high. Don't attempt this if you are not 100% sure you can kill your target (and get away alive). Sometimes, things in life aren't worth it, and this is usually one of them. However, when perfectly used and can escape without a death, this is the strongest combo you can pull off (as well as its juking and escape potentials as well).


Guide Top

Items


space

As Kassadin is a caster (and if you're familiar with casters you should already know how to build him) there are a few ways you can build him. Each have their own style and can lead a game to victory. Before we get into builds, let's take a closer look at some of the items you will want to build throughout the game:

space



space
x4
Boots and Pots
Pretty self explanatory here. Boots of Speed to dodge skill shots/escape ganks and Health Potions to help you sustain (especially since you're melee). This however may not be very helpful against some champions.
space
x5 x1 x1
ManaRegen, Potions and Ward
Faerie Charm is a very strong start for Kassadin. It can eventually be built into a Tear of the Goddess which is very crucial on as we want to farm up a lot of mana. The Health Potions will provide great sustain so you don't have to worry about returning to base anytime soon (unless you want to buy your tear and/or other items). If you took Culinary Master , you'll have 5 biscuits to snack on instead, all lane long.


Doran's Ring + 2x HP Pot
Doran's Ring start is rather a gambit. You'll have a lot less sustain but you'll poke for much more damage, regain much more mana and fight skirmishes and team fights a lot healthier. A notable start on Kassadin.
space
x3
Flask and Potions
The ultimate lane survival kit. This is one of the most common starting builds as well for good reasons. You infinitely sustain the lane with all your potions meaning that it will be very hard for your lane opponent to force you out (unless you die via ganks or getting outplayed). Normally you'd want to play very passive with this setup and get as much farm as you can without taking too much damage. Crystalline Flask also restores mana so you can fire more Null Spheres at your opponent too. One of the best starting choices next to Faerie Charm and is highly recommended for all players.

space



space

Tier 2/3 Boots
Getting tier 2/3 boots really early on are extremely situational. Not a great focus, but is viable in some cases. Focus either on Sorcerer's Shoes or Mercury's Treads.
space
x2
Double Dorans
After getting some farm, you can pick up a few Doran's Rings. They'll add to your damage, mana regeneration and effective health. If you didn't pick up a Crystalline Flask from the start, you should also pick up some Health Potions as well so you can make trades. You'll start dealing a bit more damage once you get this. Always good to get damage, you're an assassin after all.


The Tear of Mana
This is the item you want to get as FAST as possible. You want to charge it up ASAP, since you get more mana the more spells you cast. Once you get this item, start farming it up. It will become very useful for you later into the game.
space
Catalyst Build
If you're going for a Rod of Ages build, then instead of getting a Tear of the Goddess you can get a Catalyst the Protector instead. You could even go straight for a Blasting Wand for even more damage. Remember, you either build Archangel's Staff or Rod of Ages, usually not both. This build will mean you'll be more tankier but more mana-reliant. However, you can infinitely sustain your lane even harder (this is not necessary if you started Crystalline Flask).

space



space

Staff of Much Mana
An absolute must for an Archangel Kassadin. The mana you get from this item is ridiculous. Let's not forget the hefty amount of AP you also get, dramatically increasing your damage output. Once you've fully farmed this item (getting 750/750 mana), this will become Seraph's Embrace, an item that can grant you a significant shield to absorb damage based on the amount of mana it consumes. If you prefer a Rod of Ages build instead, replace Archangel's Staff with Rod of Ages.
space
Cap of Death
A mage's strongest weapon. This item gives the most amount of AP in the game, totally 120 AP (tied with Zhonya's Hourglass and Deathfire Grasp) and 30% increased AP. This lets you nuke your opposition and deal incredible amounts of magic damage. A must get for any build, damage is key for assassins. You want to go in and kill your target or leave them with fairly little health remaining. Always a good item to get mid-late game.



The Non-Abysmal Scepter
Ability Power and Magic Resistance. A great item on Kassadin. It also provides an aura that reduces nearby enemy's magic resistance by 20, allowing you to plow through their magic resistance and deal a lot more damage. Its great because you can take full use of this aura by being a close-range assassin, able to reduce everyone's magic resistance. It gives great stats as well, allowing you take take more magical damage and deal more magical damage. Great synergy with Zhonya's Hourglass.
space
Delightful Invincibility
A perfect defense item and gives a LARGE amount of AP and some decent armor. Mainly the item's active alone is just devastating and can really save your life. Just when you want to Riftwalk out but its on cool-down, you can use its active to shorten your cool-downs as well. Just a really great defensive and offensive item for Kassadin, and basically a must-buy.
space
Staff from the Void
This is a Void Staff. Kassadin is from the void. Coincidence? I think so. Void Staff helps ignore a large amount of your opponent's magic resistance and helps you deal damage to tanks you thought you couldn't do. This item is great all in all, and is best built later into the game when your opponents feel the need to build a large amount of resistance against your magic-based attacks.

space



space

space
Banshee's Veil
An alternative item. If there's just a lot of poking going around, you should think about getting this item. However, it's not that great anymore due to the changes, but it's still an optimal defense item at your wish. Builds out of Catalyst the Protector so you can think about Banshee's Veil instead of Rod of Ages if you want.

space
Athene's Unholy Grail
If you get this item, then use it to replace Abyssal Scepter or Void Staff. A very strong item for Kassadin as it allows you to be able to spam more Riftwalks in team fights. You also gain additional magic resistance, a standard amount of AP and cool-down reduction. A few CDR can definitely help Kassadin. A suitable item and definitely worth mentioning.

space
Guardian Angel
If death should be defied, then this item is your best friend. Gives a good amount of armor with a small amount of magic resistance to go along with your anti-mage abilities. Not to mention the ability to have a Zilean ultimate on you at all times, until you die and use it, then you wait 5 minutes until you defy death again once more. Perfect defense item, if Zhonya's Hourglass isn't enough.

space
Rod of Ages
I have seen too much use of this item. As myself, I have used the Rod of Ages build many times too. Of course, people change and so do their preferences. I see greater potential in the Archangel's Staff build, and that's why I chose it over Rod of Ages. However, never forget that Rod of Ages is still an incredible item on Kassadin and this build can be chosen whenever you want or feel like it.

space

Quicksilver Sash
It's Cleanse as an item, enough said. Get this if you're constantly getting hit by powerful crowd controls (ex. if the opposing team have a Malzahar and/or Warwick that are going to hunt you until you are dead). If it's not a lot of CC, you can just get Banshee's Veil, but just another option. Best not to get this item too early however, as you'll lose a lot of your damage output. Just this or Cleanse for these situations (you could also upgrade it to Mercurial Scimitar for literally no reason or if you have completed your build).

space
Liandry's Torment
The Mask of Death is a viable option if you want some magic penetration. Although you will be focusing carries with little magic resistance, this item helps you deal increased damage like most other items. The health it gives isn't shabby and the AP it provides isn't that bad. The magic penetration is fantastic with its own passive that allows you to deal small Ignites per spell damage, and works greatly with Force Pulse. Overall a very well-rounded item and not a bad choice for Kassadin. However, most players would recommend that you only take Haunting Guise right after Archangel's Staff (here we have some Apdo build going on). Eventually you'd sell your Haunting Guise and get your Void Staff.

space
Deathfire Grasp
Single-handedly one of the best items for focusing down a single-target. Normally with Kassadin's burst you can take down targets without the need of building Deathfire Grasp. However, if you are unable to full combo one of their squishy target (somehow), then consider this item. Activate on your target then do your standard RQE and they shouldn't see the light of day again. Also a great counter-measure to an opposing Banshee's Veil or spell shield.

space
/
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
A strong item indeed, it'll make Null Sphere and Riftwalk slow (and I also believe Nether Blade will slow as well). For me, I just think there are more important items, You already have Force Pulse as a slow, and Rod of Ages is more important for Kassadin. If your team has very little crowd control, then consider this item maybe after your Rabadon's Deathcap.

space
Mejai's Soulstealer
My word for this item. If somehow you get 2 or more kills before the 6-7 minute mark, get this item and start snowballing. Gank every lane, secure as many kills and assists and watch as your AP skyrockets. Normally this is very hard to do, so in typical games you wouldn't consider this item very often. However, grab this if you know what you're doing and you know you can grab a lot of assists and kills through ganks and lane-sitting.

space
Lich Bane
A decent item on Kassadin. Most of the time you won't be able to get its unique passive off if you're staying at a distance and is fairly situational. However, the item is very powerful and gives stats that Kassadin wouldn't mind having more of. If you feel that you can get in the fight and be able to use the unique passive of this item effectively, then by all means grab one.

space

space

space
Damage:
spce
, , , , , , , , , ,

space
Health:
spce
, , ,

space
Armor:
spce
, , (iceborn is not really recommended)

space
Magic Resistance:
spce
, ( ), , ,

space

Unfortunately, very little choices in the armor section for Kassadin. This means a powerful team of AD champions can really tear you down. However, Zhonya's Hourglass is a perfect defense item for all cases (as well as Banshee's Veil that can block a physical damaging spell). Don't forget Guardian Angel will be there to help you as always if you choose to take it. You have quite a bit of options for magic resistance (and usually you won't get more then 1 of these items) because already your Void Stone will decrease incoming magic damage for you. Of course, tons of options for damage so we have no problem there. Health isn't a big issue either unless the enemy team has a Vayne, but that's nothing you can really do.


Guide Top

Item Explanation


space

space
Sorcerer's Shoes
Damage. Boots that give increased magic damage. That's how I'd describe this item in a sentence. As an assassin, you'd want to deal more damage. That's why penetrating their magic resistance is very crucial for being a great assassin. However, you can also consider Mercury's Treads. This item gives magic resistance, so you can take more shots but also tenacity. Tenacity is important for reducing crowd control effects, so if your opposing team has too much crowd control and you know it'll be annoying, consider that instead. Otherwise, get damage. You can almost never get wrong with more damage. Overkill is even better.
Other Options: Mercury's Treads

space
Archangel's Staff
It's an absolute must if you're building an archangel Kassadin for obvious reasons. Fully charged, it grants a massive bonus 1000 mana to your mana pool, that's pretty insane. That means you can charge up Riftwalks for more stacks, meaning even more damage It transforms into Seraph's Embrace on its own, giving you a great active that shields you for 20% of your current mana by draining that same amount for 3 seconds, giving you a giant Barrier that's hard to break down. Let's do some math for damage. The item gives 60 AP. Assume you're level 18. Kassadin has 1040 base mana at level 18. A Seraph's Embrace gives 1000 mana, and has a unique passive that gives AP based on 3% of your maximum mana (really? more AP based on mana? and this item gives mana? that seems a bit too good). Basically you'll have 2040 mana at level 18 (not including any runes or masteries and other items). 2040 * 0.03 = 61.2. That's how much AP you get from the unique passive. Now add that with how much you get from the item itself. 60 + 61.2 = 121.2 AP. This item basically gives just slightly more AP than Zhonya's Hourglass and Deathfire Grasp, which is huge damage. Also, assuming you use its active at full mana, you chunk off 20% mana (which would be 408) and convert that to a shield. All in all, this is a magnificent item and I've come to learn that it's probably more effective than the Rod of Ages build (which is still a good choice but not as good as this).
Other Options: Rod of Ages

space
Abyssal Scepter
Gives a good amount of ability power and magic resistance to be able to resist more magic damage and have an easier time surviving. Kassadin is able to make full use of its aura as well, making Abyssal Scepter a very rewarding item and allowing you to be able to handle opposing mages with much less difficulty. There are basically no cons for this item on Kassadin. Works great with Zhonya's Hourglass.

space
Void Staff
This is the tank-shredder item. Make a large portion of your opponents magic resistance futile against you so that damage may actually be dealt against them. This item doesn't shine as much against squishy targets who don't build a large amount of magic resistance, but is still a good item to get. I mean, 35% magic penetration. What's not to love about it? It's the Last Whisper for AP carries, so if it isn't a Deathfire Grasp, then it'll be a Void Staff.

space
Zhonya's Hourglass
Gives you 120 AP (which will literally give you a lot of damage) and a fair amount of armor. It's also good to save yourself because just cause you're an assassin doesn't mean that you'll get out alive. You can use this item to also wait for cool-downs while saving you some trouble for not doing anything and taking unnecessary damage. Unnecessary damage must not be taken!
Other Options: None

space
Rabadon's Deathcap
The ultimate damage amplification item and the strongest AP item the game has to provide. There's no time when you wouldn't get this, it's too good. The bane of all mages. If you want to deal damage, this is the item you're looking for. Rabadon's Deathcap ensures that you're killing your targets that have low health and magic resistance. All your skills will hit like trucks, even against tanky champions if you have a Void Staff although it won't hit anywhere near as much as using the spells against squishy targets.
Other Options:None


Guide Top

Gameplay


In this section I will cover Laning, Team Fighting, and Ganking. This'll help you against your lane opponent with neat tricks, taking easy steps to dominate your lane, succeed and perfect ganking, and focusing down the right target in a team fight. Whatever it is, it'll help you become better at Kassadin's gameplay and style. If you feel like I left something out, tell me and I may put it in the guide!

space

space

space

Your early game should consist of a few things. The most important thing you need to do in your early game is GRABBING THE CS! For Kassadin, this is very hard. Your lane opponent will constantly harass you and weaken your early game so that you can't get a lot of gold from killing minions, hurting your late game. Use Null Spheres on your lane opponent and be wary for ganks. Grabbing Nether Blade at level 2 will allow you to regain mana when attacking the minions. ONLY LAST HIT THE MINIONS SO THAT YOU CAN KILL THEM AT YOUR TURRET. THIS WILL MAKE IT VERY SAFE FOR YOU AND HARD TO THE ENEMY TO SUCCESSFULLY HARASS YOU! Try to get all the CS. When warrior minions are at your turret, they usually take 3 shots to kill. At the second shot, activate Nether Blade and you'll be able to kill that minion. Same for caster minions, except with only 1 shot from the turret.

space
This is the area where you would want to kill creeps, near the proximity of the turret. This ensures security and a safety blanket if you get ganked without backup.

space

space

space

Once you get Riftwalk, you can now zone your opponent. Zoning means to force your opponent to hug their turret and lose EXP and CS because they're too scared to fight you. Fire Null Spheres at your lane enemy to harass them and continually regain mana through last hitting minions with Nether Blade. If you want you can buy a Stealth Ward or use a Warding Totem to monitor the bushes and be more certain against ganks. With Riftwalk in your arsenal of skills, it'll be very difficult for enemy to gank you unless they have a stun. Do as you would normally in your early game, but you can be more aggressive now with Riftwalk. If you're at your turret fighting minions, you can use the assassin's combo to heavily damage your enemy. Doing so can really bring down their health to about 50% (if not more). If you're zoning the enemy, you can also use the time they're at their turret to go and gank a lane (or even the enemy jungler if you know where they are).

space

space

space

At this point, laning becomes less of a necessity, unless you're off to push a wave or clear large amounts of minions. The main focus turns to dragon and baron. Keep these areas warded. Try to pick off lone enemies with your team (or if you're fed, yourself). Make sure you have an escape skill up so that you can make quick getaways if needed, unless you're doing the brick breaker combo. Otherwise, you can apply the same steps as the first one. Depending on you or your lane opponent, you may want to play even more aggressive or less aggressive depending on who's more farmed and who'll be stronger in that situation. Remember to take objectives such as turrets and inhibitors to increase allied gold count and to pressure your opponents while making sure your own turrets and inhibitors are safe.

space

Take turrets and catch people who are out of position. Kassadin excels at picking off squishy targets so use that to your advantage!

space

space


For ganking, it's quite easy. You just have to either use one of the two combos and you can usually get a kill if your damage output is high enough. The most important factor is timing. Wait for an appropriate time to gank and then use Null Sphere to silence your opponent from Flashing and Force Pulse for slowing their move speed. Keep an eye out for post-ganks, as other players may show up to the party.

space
Check the ScoreBoard occasionally to find out which allies you need to help and which targets are dangerous. In this example we see that Lucian is quite fed so he's a primary target to gank and focus in fights.

space
Always try and out-number your opponents in fights for obvious reasons. Coordinate with your jungler and ganks will be much more successful.

space


space

For team fights, you shouldn't initiate the fight unless its absolutely necessary. Whatever you do, try your best to stay alive. Once the fight has started, get to the enemy fed carry as fast as possible and Null Sphere so that they will not be able to use skills. Kill the main focus as quickly as possible and if you're still alive, you can Flash out or activate Zhonya's Hourglass and wait on cool-downs. If the enemy focuses you and you get low, use Zhonya's Hourglass to corrupt the enemy team by being unable to focus you. Once the active wears out, jump out of the fight or suicide for another kill if possible. Stick around however, for enemies that exit the fight with bare health, you can easily finish them off with the assassin's combo and that's about it! You don't have to jump into the fight immediately, just make sure the primary focus isn't able to get to use their skills on your team. It's best to effectively take them out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. This way your job is fulfilled and you can switch to another target or flee from the battle.


Guide Top

Warding


space

space

75g for a Stealth Ward and 100g for a Vision Ward. For a simple ward you pay very little for a chance to raise your own awareness of the map AND makes ganking a lot harder. Stealth Wards and Warding Totem won't protect you from ganks, but they can help you analyze where your opposing players are so that you can be aware of a gank and fall back. Keep in mind that Warding Totems don't last very long and have a cool-down so make sure you do buy a Stealth Ward or two every time you return to base. A Vision Ward may be necessary against stealth junglers, however this isn't a great idea since they can easily take out the Vision Ward because it's not invisible like the Stealth Ward. Against champions like Evelynn and Shaco, always be on your guard unless you know exactly where they are.

space

space
These are some of the common locations where you may want to ward in the middle lane:

space
The top bush and purple team's tri-path on the other side of the purple team's red buff are covered here.

space
The bottom bush and blue team's tri-path on the other side of the blue team's red buff are covered here.

space

You can also ward outside the blue buff location. This will work for both blue and purple team and will help you notice incoming ganks from the back. This is extremely common for champions like Fiddlesticks and Trundle, but as well as many other junglers as well. Be on the look out, and constantly analyze the map to see where the enemy jungler is. For example, it's a good idea to fight your lane opponent if you notice the enemy jungler is at bottom lane.


Guide Top

Conclusion


space

I spent very few days on this guide, but that's because I probably spent about 5 hours a day (and going off-task as well). However, I REALLY hope you enjoyed reading that and take these skills to the future. They'll definitely make you a better Kassadin player no doubt. And that's my word. For your word, I would love to have you comment on guide. Tell me what you liked, what you didn't like. This is a guide that I want everyone to appreciate, so do please leave comment, feedback, errors and places I need to update. Your ideas, insights and opinions are greatly helpful because I want this to be the guide that people can go to and learn the most out of it. That's all a guide is for, to learn, improve, and to be the best player you can be! But that's all I have to say. Hope you have fun playing Kassadin (and owning), and JUMP IN THE VOID!

space
jhoijhoi, for the "Making a Guide" guide
Moonedge, for support and encouragement
Searzocom, for support and inviting me to join the Mobafire community
RuminatingWin, for pointing out some suggestions
Neoreborn, for helping me out with some pictures
Albableat, for the epic outro banner
Apdo and Faker, for being lords of mid


Guide Top

LOG


space

March 8, 2012 / Guide officially released
March 10, 2012 / Fixed "Pros/Cons and Description" chapter and added the LOG
March 14, 2012 / Added the "Guide History" chapter
March 26, 2012 / Added the "FAQs and More Facts" chapter and updated a bit more
March 27, 2012 / Added the "Warding" chapter and vamped up the "Sample Build" section
March 28, 2012 / Added more pictures
March 29, 2012 / Gained the top spot! Updated some more.
March 31, 2012 / Fixed some bugs
September 22, 2012 / Update
Decemeber 26, 2012 / S3 Update
July 12, 2013 / Item Update
December 1, 2013 / Season 4 Major Update


space

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL MY FRIENDS AND EVERYONE WHO HAS UP-VOTED MY GUIDE. IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE MAKING THIS GUIDE AND I HOPE THAT IT HAS HELPED EVERYONE POSITIVELY BY PLAYING KASSADIN TO A NEW LEVEL!