Cassiopeia Build Guide by RaiderX21
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.
First Class Cass:
A guide to building an AP Cassiopeia
Created: 2 January 2012
Last edited: 2 January 2012
Here are a couple of notes before I explain my build:
- First of all, Cassiopeia is a very squishy character and a hard one to master, however her characteristics give her a great capacity for damage as well as an awesome position as a team contributor.
- With that said, this build focuses on almost pure Ability Power, it means nothing if you do not have decent skills as a player.
- I do, however, give some tips for those who are learning how to use Cass.
- With this build, Cassiopeia is played mainly as an
AP DPStype character with decent harassing abilities. This means that the way Cass should be played with this build is to have her constantly spam her abilities, therefore this build will focus on increased ability power with just a touch of mana regen.
- Items listed above are just the core build. The rest of the item build is up to the player's choice to create.
For masteries, I use a 22-0-8 pattern mainly for ability power. The offense column is built towards AP, magic pen., and a little ability cooldown reduction. The Utility column is built for mana and mana regen.
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These are flexible and it depends on your own playing style. I recommend Ignite ( ) for the extra damage, especially in your early game because it can help finish off your enemy when your W is not strong enough to slow your enemies down. I would also choose Exhaust ( ) to reduce an enemy's basic and ability attacks, which would come in handy during your combos. Another good spell is Flash ( ) to jump away from enemies when being chased, to jump towards enemies and finish them off, or to ambush them. Ghost ( ) is also another viable pick as Cass is a slow moving champion. Usually I go with an Ignite/Flash combo. For those that have problems with Cass's escape options, you may want to have at least one spell that allows you to escape from multiple enemies so Ghost or Flash are good choices.
Cost: 120 / 160 / 200 Mana
Cooldown: 130 / 120 / 110 seconds
Magic Damage: 200 / 325 / 450 (+0.6 per Ability Power)
Slow: 60% (at all levels)
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. It may not be much, but it still takes off a nice little chunk of the opponent's health. Petrifying Gaze will slow the enemies' movements by 60% at all levels, allowing Cass to better chase down her opponents or make a safe escape.
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 Mana
Magic Damage: 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+0.55 per Ability Power)
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.
Cost: 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 Mana
Magic Damage: 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65 (+0.15 per Ability Power)
Slow: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 %
Cost: 35 / 45 / 55 / 65 / 75 Mana
Magic Damage: 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+0.9 per Ability Power)
Movement Speed: 15 / 17.5 / 20 / 22.5 / 25 %
Movement Speed buff lasts 3 seconds.
As for Miasma (W) and Noxious Blast (Q), I like to level up W to level 5 before upgrading Q. The reason is that I am able to harass with Q constantly without having to ever worry about regenerating mana because the cost remains very low. Another effect of this style is that the slowing effect of W is stronger earlier on in the game and can help give your team a good advantage as team fights start occurring.
If you noticed, I don't use any mana regen items in the core build I have assembled above other than the Meki Pendant. Maximizing Q last helps you stay in lane longer in your early game due to its increasing mana cost. Even though Q is more powerful than W, you will still have enough firepower to take down enemies with your usual spamming combo's if you maximize Q last. I will explain more about this in detail below in the Gameplay and Combos section.
P.S. I start off with Q first because it works as a great harassing ability in the very beginning and also has greater range than Miasma.
Get magic pen. marks and quintessences, mana regen. seals, and ability power glyphs. They should be all solid runes, no per level runes.
You will be getting Sorcerer's Boots later so you can get AP quintessences or marks if you think all that magic pen. is overkill.
This set up is to give you more power in your early game, but its boosts become less noticeable as you progress through the game. The magic pen. runes are to help combat the initial 30 magic resist that most champions start the game with. The AP glyphs simply give you more power while the mana regen. seals help to increase your mana regen.
- Start with a Meki Pendant (
) and two health potions ( ). These help you to stay in your lane for as long as possible.
- Next get Sorcerer's Boots (Sorcerer's Boots). If you think you already have enough magic pen. from your runes and masteries, you can get a different pair of boots. Boots of Swiftness (
) should combat Cass's naturally slow movement speed and Mercury's Treads ( ) should give you some extra survivability.
- Then go for the Rabadon's Deathcap (
). Usually sometime soon after you get your upgraded boots, you will start to see Cass become squishier. She still needs to keep upgrading her ability power therefore either get the Blasting Wand ( ) or the Needlessly Large Rod ( ), then get a Giant's Belt ( ). After the Giant's Belt, finish the Deathcap sequence. Of course, you can finish the Deathcap entirely before going for the Rylai's if you think you don't need the Giant's Belt earlier on.
- Lastly, go for Rylai's Crystal Scepter (
). You will get added survivability and an extra slowing characteristic to add to your attacks.
- The rest of the build at this point is entirely up to you, but build towards high AP. Buy items that fit the needs of your game!
Gameplay and Combos
Deadly Cadence is Cassiopeia's Passive skill, reducing spell costs for 5 seconds and is stackable up to 5 times. This is why Cass's attacks revolve around her spamming her abilities.
- Start the game with Q ( Noxious Blast).
- Spam Q constantly because with your runes, masteries, and Meki Pendant, you will never run out of mana no matter how many times you spam Q in your early game due to Cass's passive ability Deadly Cadence ().
- Starting at level 2 when you get your E ( Twin Fang), stick with using your Q first. It does more damage than E. When you land a Q, try and use E if the opponent is still in range, but only when the enemy has low health. E is expensive so use it wisely. At this point you are still doing the hit-and-run, and your only combo's are: Q or Q > E.
- Starting at level 3 you can use your W ( Miasma) and start your spamming combo since W will keep the enemy poisoned for a much longer time than Q. While the enemy is poisoned, you should be able to land a few E's before having to re-poison your enemy. W is good to either slow enemies that are on a chase or to initiate your combo. It costs about twice the mana of Q, but you should have been keeping up your stacks of Q so the actual cost of W should be significantly lower. Your combo would thus look something like this:
Q > W > E > E > E > Q > E > E > W > E > E > E > Q > E > etc.
If you forget the order, just remember to poison the enemy, then spam your E while adding in Q's and W's every now and then to keep the enemy poisoned. Alternate between W and Q so that while W is cooling down, use Q just before the poison effects of W wear off.
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 because your enemies will have escaped. In addition, the cooldown timer for your E is almost instantly refreshed if and only if it hits a poisoned opponent, so you have to be 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 ( Petrifying Gaze). The combo is almost the same as the previous steps except you start with R like this:
R > W > E > E > E > Q > E > E > W > etc.
Make sure you use W while your opponent is stunned from you using your R. That way if your enemy tries to run or flash away, you can finish that person off or at least deal great damage while that opponent is in your range. Of course you also use that W to poison them which will allow you to start spamming your E attacks.
Playing Strategies and Random Tips
- R is great at stopping enemies when they are unleashing their combos on you! For example, a Warwick is headed straight for you. Usually his first attack is to have you stunned in place while he damages you. Just use R at the last possible moment before he attacks and unleash your combo. You may be too late and you are stuck in his initial attack, but you can still finish him if you use your R right away once the stunning effects are over. Another example of a similar enemy is Akali. Akali can take down her fully healed enemies in less than 2 seconds. If she heads for you, use R at the best possible moment before she attacks or becomes stealthed.
- Exhaust (
) is very effective while unleashing your combos! You can survive 1 vs 1 fights with more health, or you can just find yourself surviving more 1 vs 1 fights.
- 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 think you are far enough away and the enemy is closing in on you, use W on the ground behind you. Once they are slowed down, use Q to boost your speed and flee.
- 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.
- If you choose not to spam in the early game, be conservative earlier on when laning. If you are not pushing, use your normal attacks on minions. Save your mana for attacking opponents. Or you could just get a blue monster buff so you would not have to worry about running out of mana.
- Try to keep your opponents on their feet by landing some Q's on them every now and then. Just remember that with this build, you do not start with any mana regen items. Your mana pool will go down fast if you use too many Q's, unless you want to go ahead and equip some mana regen runes.
- Cassiopeia is requires a lot of patience to learn and a lot of skill to be effective.
- Make use of your summoner spells. The way to use them is described above in its own section.
- Before getting into any match, make sure your teammates can help you. I would recommend having 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 skilled Teemo, Twitch, and/or Singed, forget about having a player to defend for you and go for pure AP damage. Their poison attacks can poison the enemy for you therefore can worry less about keeping the enemy poisoned and just spam your E.
- Also, Cassiopeia works well in any lane.
Notice there are no defensive items in this build and Rylai's is the only one giving you a health boost. Remember, Cass is very squishy. Unless the game is in its early stages and you are in the middle lane, stick with a partner. Anticipation of the enemies' actions is highly regarded.
Your skills as a player are your best defense!
Remember, after the above core build, fill the rest of your item slots with whatever you need. Go for AP items, but if you need a shield or some other defensive item, go for it. You might live a little longer to destroy your enemies.
This build is basically a repost of a Cassiopeia guide that I created under a different account about a year ago with the same build name. Since then, many changes have been implemented to LoL and I have also revised my way of playing Cass.
Let me know how this build works out for you. Your thoughts on what I should add/change are very appreciated.