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Kassadin Build Guide by GrandmasterD

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League of Legends Build Guide Author GrandmasterD

GrandmistressD's Kassadin - Your Lack Of Faith Is Disturbing

GrandmasterD Last updated on April 19, 2013
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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





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 0



Table of Contents


Quick Guide

Preface

Basic Information

Advanced Tactics

Wrapping Up

Items
Synergies and Counters
Summoner Spells
Runes
Masteries

About the Author
Introduction
Who is Kassadin?


|

Kassadin's Skillset
Skilling Order
Itemization


|

Laning
Roaming and Ganking
Teamfighting
Strategy and Tactics
|

Synergies
Counters
Epilogue



|


Quick Guide

Starting Items


Sight Ward


or



or



Core Builds




Offensive Items




Defensive Items




Situational Items




Synergies and Counters



Kassadin is good against:
Kassadin is countered by:
Kassadin synergises with:

Summoner Spells



or

or

+

Personally I like to go with Cleanse and Ignite as I find that Flash loses its edge once you've reached six. Sure, it's a very safe spell for early-game and it still has its uses afterwards (daburu blinke OP) but that's entirely your choice. Ignite is a must on Kassadin as its damage is often vital to secure kills.


Runes


Presumably one of the strangest rune setups you've witnessed but well let's evaluate what it does, shall we? It grants a good boost of health regeneration early-game and more as the game is progressing. What does this mean? Well I'm simply using health regeneration as a form of sustain. Spell Vamp won't help early-game when we need it and Life Steal and Doran's Blades aren't really suitable for Kassadin. Even though it feels like a ridiculous rune page; you'll seriously notice its strength when you play.

Alternative Setups


Masteries

A fairly standard 9/21/0 page which is probably not what you're used to on Kassadin. Well, Kassadin has very high base damages so he doesn't need a load of ability power to actually deal damage. Secondly, the masteries in the offence tree, like deep down aren't actually that strong if you examine them closely. However, the defence tree grants him several very useful stats. Masteries such as Unyielding , Block and Tenacious are super strong on Kassadin. We still take nine points in offence for the cool down reduction, magic penetration and ability power per level.

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About the Author

'Sup MOBAFire, I'm GrandmistressD; a platinum ranked player on the Europe-West server who mains mid-lane. Kassadin is one of my most played champions and I've always done extremely well with him.


Introduction

Kassadin is a magical damage dealing assassin who is played in the mid lane. He possesses a huge amount of utility and is extremely disruptive in teamfights. He is known to be easily countered when first-picked due to his melee range and poor early-game as a result of that.

My approach to Kassadin is slightly unorthodox but it's a method that still allows Kassadin to do what he does but then in every possible situation and matchup. I have a lot of success with him in both solo- and arranged queue and I've never lost a lane.


Who's Kassadin?

Pros

+ Very disruptive
+ Item-independent
+ Excellent roamer
+ Few counters
+ Strong laner
+ Badass character

Kassadin's Strengths

Kassadin's laning phase is superb; that is after he reached level six. His roaming, damage and crowd-control are all very very strong - making him a very dangerous mid-laner. He doesn't have a lot of counters and can catch enemies easily with his famous and disruptive Riftwalk + Null Sphere + Force Pulse combo.

Kassadin's Limitations

Kassadin's main weakness lies in the levels one to five. He has not a lot of range and no escape without his ultimate: Riftwalk. Kassadin does poor against strong pushers and he has trouble with long-duration hard CC which, of course, includes silences. Surpress and knockup cause the most problem for him as these aren't Cleansable.

Cons

- Terrible early-game
- Hard to play
- Melee ranged
- W is lackluster
- E requires spellcasts


Kassadin's Skillset


Void Stone
(Innate): Kassadin takes 15% reduced magic damage after magic resistance reductions have been applied. Kassadin converts each point of this ignored damage into 1% bonus attack speed for 4 seconds. This bonus attack speed stacks indefinitely, with the duration refreshing each time Kassadin takes magic damage.

Additional Information



Null Sphere
(Active): Kassadin fires an ethereal bolt of void energy to a single target, dealing magic damage and silencing the target for a few seconds.

Additional Information



Nether Blade
(Passive): Kassadin's melee attacks restore mana. This effect returns triple the mana when striking champions.

(Active): Kassadin's normal attacks deal bonus magic damage for 5 seconds. The damage dealt by Nether Blade will trigger on-ability effects.

Additional Information



Force Pulse
(Active): Kassadin draws energy from spells cast in his vicinity, gaining a charge whenever a spell is cast near him, including his own spells. Upon reaching 6 charges, Kassadin can use Force Pulse to deal magic damage and slow enemies in a cone in front of him for 3 seconds.

Additional Information



Riftwalk
(Active): Kassadin blinks to a nearby location, dealing magic damage to enemy units surrounding the destination area. Each subsequent Riftwalk in the next 8 seconds will cost 100 additional mana and will deal additional damage. The cost and damage increase can stack up to 10 times.

Additional Information


Skilling Order



1

___
___
___
Q

2
___

___
___
W

3

___
___
___
Q

4
___
___

___
E

5

___
___
___
Q

6
___
___
___

R

7

___
___
___
Q

8
___
___

___
E

9

___
___
___
Q

10
___
___

___
W

11
___
___
___

R

12
___
___

___
E

13
___
___

___
E

14
___

___
___
W

15
___

___
___
W

16
___
___
___

R

17
___

___
___
W

18
___

___
___
W


Despite Kassadin's huge flexibility in his skilling order, the one given above is the usual skilling order. I prefer to max Null Sphere over Force Pulse because it increases the duration of the silence and Force Pulse is dependent on spell casts which, especially during the laning phase, is a pretty nasty restriction.

Maxing Something Else?


Itemization

While itemization seems straightforward on Kassadin, I tend to see a lot of players doing it wrong. A core element in Kassadin's build is Rod of Ages. The reason for this is that Kassadin requires tankiness as he is a close-combat mage. In a 1v1 situation it doesn't feel that necessary and you might feel persuaded to go max-damage but once the teamfights hit; your screen will turn gray before you even can think of pressing R. Here are some explanations on specific items:

Double Rod of Ages?!

Okay GrandmistressD, we all know you are a good player but what's up with this? Drunk when you made this? Well yeah, but I tested it thoroughly. Two Rod of Ages give Kassadin a ton of mana and health - rendering him almost unkillable in teamfights while his damage is still mighty high. Even late-game, you are one tough cookie! Note: I recommend getting the second RoA before the 30-minute mark otherwise just leave it. Banshee's Veil and Ohmwrecker make perfect replacements despite them not granting ability power.

No Tear of the Goddess!

I cannot stress enough how terrible ToG is on Kassadin. The item stacks incredibly slow, grants zero survivability and offers no utility or lane-sustain. When you finally, after 30-40 minutes or so, have your precious Seraph's Embrace; you can choose to drain your own mana for a temporary shield. Hmmm, I don't know about you guys but I rather be permanently tanky with Rod of Ages and keep all my mana for my Riftwalks. Oh and yes, two RoAs still easily beat a RoA and an AA.

Twin Shadows

This new item, often mistaken for support-only, is a nice item for Kassadin. It provides a decent amount of magic resistance and ability power. The real value is the active though. It reveals and slows up to two champions for 2½ seconds. It helps him when ganking and heavily counters stealth champions. This is my main counter against Evelynn. Also, it builds from a GP10 item.

Mejai's Soulstealer and You

An item often found when pubstomping or just simply "because I can". Many players can say that this item is viable only against utter noobs and should never be touched against decent players. While this is true in most cases; Kassadin is an exception. The reason for this, is that Kassadin has excellent survivability. He is very hard to lock down (especially when you have Cleanse) and overall hard to kill due to Void Stone and his CC. Don't rush this thing straight up but if you feel that you are doing well and that you can afford it; go for it! Do roam a lot once you have it - the sooner you have those stacks, the better.

Haunting Guise and Liandry's Torment

Stacking spell penetration on mages seems to have become a thing in season three. Well, it certainly isn't a bad idea on Kassadin due to his high base damages. I find Haunting Guise to work very well on him but I wouldn't recommend Liandry's Torment. The reason for this, is that Kassadin is a burst mage and not a DPS mage. Despite the fact that Force Pulse impairs their movement which causes Liandry's to deal more damage; it is still not a very strong item on him.

Chalice of Harmony?

While it seems like a weird item on Kassadin; it works very well in high-intensity lanes such as Cassiopeia or Zyra. It grants some hefty mana sustain and can be built into Athene's Unholy Grail which, surprisingly, works extremely well on Kassadin due to the CDR and the 12% mana gain on kill/assist. The magic resist is also tough to deal with for your opponents.


Laning

Pre-Six

Kassadin's laning phase is, despite what most think, very strong. His constant harass with Null Sphere is very strong and Void Stone makes trading hard. The real challenge, especially early-game, is grabbing creeps without losing a bazillion amount of health to harassment. Nether Blade is a good tool for getting last-hits and provides mana sustain which is why I grab a point in it early. Crystalline Flask, Runes and Masteries should give you all the sustain necessary to trade properly. Simply plant a Null Sphere in their face whenever they are in range and want to harass you.

Six and Beyond

After you've unlocked your Riftwalk - the fun truly starts. Simply Riftwalk in and splash a Null Sphere and Force Pulse in their face. It's about impossible for them to counterattack to that. Do mind jungler ganks whenever your Riftwalk is on cool down. Whenever your jungler ganks your lane, this combo is usually good to open up with as it cripples their mid-laner; leaving them wide open for a gank.


Roaming and Ganking

Besides being a great anti-caster, you are also a perfect assassin. Kassadin's ganks pretty much bring everything a team needs: powerful anti- Flash CC, an initiate and good damage. Make sure you push out your lane and find the positions the enemy hasn't warded. When ganking, remember that you are the initiator, not the laners. Duo-ganks (ganks with your jungler) are also extremely strong, especially those with follow-up CC. Do not gank extremely tanky champions because you are a burst mage. If your burst doesn't do enough for the laner to finish; you shouldn't ever gank the lane.


Teamfighting

Your job is simple; find a target and destroy it! Casters are often your first target as your Null Sphere renders them completely useless for over 2½ seconds. AD carries and tanks are next. Tanks?! Wait are we supposed to attack tanks? If you can silence an Amumu or Malphite at the right time; you can completely screw over their initiate. A very good example is silencing Amumu after he used Bandage Toss but before he uses Curse of the Sad Mummy. If you, however, absolutely 100% need to get rid of one target (such as a fed AD carry) - get a Deathfire Grasp and jump on them. Kassadin's teamfighting is pretty much going in, burst, going out and repeat. Getting key members to chase you endlessly is also a fun one.


Strategy and Tactics

Now that I've discussed the major gameplay of Kassadin; there are still some nifty tricks to mention. Some stuff that allows you to fully master Kassadin rather than just overall perform decently:

Force Pulse needs six stacks right?

Sure it does but you can fool your enemies by thinking you do not have enough stacks while you actually do. How? Well simply have three stacks up; Riftwalk -> Null Sphere -> Nether Blade -> Force Pulse and there it is! So even though you only had three stacks, you were still able to perform a full combo!

Riftwalk Stacks

Many people see the stacking of Riftwalk as a bad thing. I mean, higher mana cost is always annoying but don't forget that each stack adds more base damage to it. A Riftwalk at 4 or 5 stacks can deal massive damage and is great to deal some additional AoE damage in teamfights or just use it to finish people off. However, do not stack Riftwalk just for this effect; just learn how to make use of this side-effect that arises when teamfighting.

Nether Blade and Void Stone

Nether Blade and Void Stone have an obvious synergy that is often overlooked. If one reads the description of Void Stone properly (yes you may do it now); you can see that it says "This bonus attack speed stacks indefinitely, with the duration refreshing each time Kassadin takes magic damage." This means that each time you take magic damage, your attack speed is further increased and the duration is refreshed. Hence, Nether Blade's damage can become enormous if you're taking damage from a Sunfire Cape or Despair or something similar.

Dealing with Banshee's Veil

An item that has decreased in popularity lately but it's still around and supposed to be a mighty Kassadin counter. Well, yeah it's a real pain to deal with, especially when you are the one going first. A little trick to make sure Banshee's Veil will not block half your burst; is to make sure Riftwalk will pop the Veil. It is a little trickier and requires you to be closer but it's the only way that it will not cripple your burst.

Through the Wall and beyond!

Okay fine, Riftwalk is a blink and, thus, can go through walls. However, many forget that you can actually juke incredibly well with it. For example, you can blink through Javelin Toss or Flash Frost or Bandage Toss and surprise them. Riftwalk has gotten me many kills by making enemies think they could finish me. A quick note: never blink from brush to brush in the sense of: "They'll never see it coming." The Riftwalk-particle shows through the FoW.


Synergies

Kassadin synergises with a great deal champions. He has the best synergy with mobile champions and assassins. Vayne is one of his biggest synergies as he can easily set up kills for her. But he also works well with Kha'Zix, Talon, Pantheon, etc. Rammus and Amumu also work very well as he helps them locking down champions and securing kills. Shaco works well with Kassadin during the laning phase.


Counters

Contrary to popular belief, Kassadin has very few counters during the laning phase. Typically champions who can push very hard with little effort such as AP Sion and Mordekaiser can cause some (major) problems to Kassadin and should be ganked early to give you some breathing space.

During teamfighting there isn't really a champion who can screw Kassadin as he usually does his job. Cho'Gath and Nautilus are typical high-CC tanks that can cause some issues and there is Soraka with her instant, single-target silence Infuse that can potentially be harmful.


Epilogue

This ends my guide on Kassadin, the Void Walker. I hope you will have as much fun playing him as I do and have fun carrying many games with him. He became one of my main champions for soloqueue ranked for many reasons. In case you do not believe me that he's truly one of the stronger mages out there:

I find your lack of faith disturbing,
GrandmistressD

P.S. If you think about downvoting due to its unorthodoxy; I'd recommend to try it out yourself first to see its potential.

Special Thanks