Kassadin Build Guide by Sirus867
Not Updated For Current Season
Kassadin (Patch 5.20)
If You're Doing Well
Example of Finished Build
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.
The New 5.20 Kassadin
After some changes to Kassadin in 5.5 after he got some distance back in his Riftwalk Kassadin is usable again. I believe the best way to build him now is to try to reach you spikes asap. You wanna get ROA Luden's as soon as you can and move around the map and help your teammates. Teleport is a much more viable pick now instead of Ignite it's definitely seen much more these days. I usually don't look to kill my laning opponent at all, I'm usually just pushing the wave and looking for opportunities to gank.
Another decent way to build him is to stack mana and go for the late game. You might think, wait but his mana cost is so much less than it was in 5.3 and even lower than 5.4. Hear me out, if you have 40% CDR your Riftwalk is a 1.2 second cooldown and you hit max stacks very quickly, which normally would be a bad thing but if you stack mana and defense, you can stick to squishy targets while dealing lots of damage for a bruiser. I believe he's best pick into slightly heavy AD comps and just winning lategaame. Once Kassadin gets some armor and CDR you can't peel him off squishies, you have to kill him, but doing so is difficult because he's so slippery with max CDR and tons of mana.
In 5.7 Kassadin got a slight well deserved buff that make his stacks go away faster, from 20 sec to 15, I thought they would change it back to 12 but this is fine too. The most effective builds in my opinion are Kassadin (Patch 5.20) and Kassadin Late, if you really want to build bruiser, Kassatank is honestly only really effective if they have only 1 or less AP on their team and they're not really doing that well.
Playing for late game Kassadin is still very good too, in fact, it's usually what I build most when I play Kassadin in the hopes of becoming an instant bursting monster. If you're going to build Kassadin with pure late game damage I suggest my second build; Late Kassadin.
How to play Kassadin
Some of the most important things you need to know about Kassadin are his strengths and weaknesses. First off, his weaknesses. He is extremely weak in lane with little to no harass and no lane superiority. It doesn't matter how good you are, there's not much you can do as Kassadin before you reach level 6 and get Riftwalk. Now, I'm not saying it's impossible to get first blood before 6 or anything, because it happens, sometimes people get outplayed or make mistakes. However, expect to be bullied a lot in lane, as long as you stay up in cs and make sure to get at least a little harass out, you may be able to out sustain your opponent. Which means you have to be wary of using your Null Sphere to last hit, try to avoid it. On the other hand, don't go and stand right next to your laning opponent to get a last hit either, just stay back, and when you go for a last hit, Null Sphere your laning opponent, go in and aa the minion, and get out, they more than likely won't be able to return with much damage thanks to your passive and shield.
Once you hit level 6, the people who were once pushing you around, better get the hell outta the way! If they think they can out trade you, they're more than likely wrong. It's pretty simple, hit them with Null Sphere then Force Pulse, then Riftwalk away. They should've lost about 1/3 of their health when you didn't lose a single point. Now that they're at about 2/3 health, the next time your Force Pulse is at 3 or 4 stacks, you can do the same thing, except this time Riftwalk right on top of them, hit them with Null Sphere, slow them with Force Pulse (and not to mention chunk) auto-attack WITHOUT activating Nether Blade then activate Nether Blade for the auto-attack reset and AA them to dust! If they're still alive after all that, then just drop the Ignite and walk away in style! If you took heal, don't be afraid to use it for the movement speed and health to keep up with them for more AA's. Free kills are the greatest aren't they? If you can't kill them if they're just too tanky (looking at you Spirit Visage) then don't bother, save your burst for the squishies bot lane.
Once you've killed your laning opponent, just roam bot or top (whichever is more pushed out) and pick up some more kills. Be sure to ping before you jump on people, you'd be surprised how often your own teammates are just as surprised as the enemy to see you jump on them!
After the nerf
Laning with Kassadin after patch 4.4 is a little more difficult because he has even less damage than before, and no silence. One of the only upsides is that you don't need to be constantly auto-attacking to gain mana, you only need to aa once your Nether Blade is off cooldown, which is about every 6 seconds. What I've been doing is just using my Nether Blade whenever I possibly can to gain as much mana as possible and spam Null Sphere at every opportunity. It's about the same theory as before the nerf, when a minion is low health you Null Sphere your laning opponent last hit the minion and go back behind the minion line, the only difference is now they don't get silenced instead you get a small shield to absorb some damage, to be honest, I prefer the silence.
Pros / Cons
+ High Mobility after 6
+ Built in mana sustain
+ Kit has lots of utility
+ Can last hit under turret with ease
+ One of the best assassins in the game
+ Low Cooldowns
+ Has some of the coolest skins ever
+ Amazing Burst
Not much to say here, obviously Flash is a must which just leaves us only a few options.
Ignite - I now take this a majority of the time, it secures those level 6 surprise Rift Walks and helps you snowball. The ultimate solo-que summoner spell. Especially, with Heal running rampant even after all its nerfs this is a great summoner to run.
Heal - After all the recent nerfs I don't really take this too often, it counters burst hard which is what almost everyone uses mid but so does Barrier, and I don't really take Barrier, and it's unneffected by Grievous Wounds. The only upsides to Heal are that it heals two people, but you're mid lane alone, and it gives a slight movement speed buff for 1 second, overall, I don't really like it too much anymore.
Teleport - I've been taking Teleport more and more, if you don't think you have much kill pressure in lane then don't waste your time taking Ignite, just take Teleport, especially if you have confidence in your jungler to be there when you need them to secure the kill and hold your lane if you need to port out. You also need to have confidence in your other lanes. Trust me, nothing is worse than teleporting bot lane thinking it's a 3v2 when really it's a 1v2 because your team doesn't trust you and thinks they'll just get killed trying to help.
Exhaust - To be honest I've never tried it, I've seen it used and I laughed but hey, maybe it'll let you get a few more Nether Blade hits in that you wouldn't have, I still feel Ignite or Heal is stronger but hey, try it out and tell me how it goes ;) Especially after the changes to this Summoner Spell, I can see it being viable mid lane now.
When building Kassadin as an assassin, most people like to grab a Tear of the Goddess and a Catalyst the Protector and let me just say, it's not required, with the new changes to Kassadin he now has better base mana scaling and really needs the damage from Lich Bane (which still gives you some mana anyway). I keep hearing people say Kassadin is trash now because of the way his ultimate stacks work, while it's true the old way was better (not to mention his ult USED to scale with AP) this way is still fine. Although your stacks add up a lot easier, it's still manageable, even if you used almost all of your mana to Riftwalk into a fight, using your Nether Blade will restore 40% of your missing mana! Which after your Archangel's Staff and Lich Bane will give you just enough to use another Riftwalk even if you're at max stacks.
When building Kassadin as a bruiser it's best to get your Tear of the Goddess and Rod of Ages asap. Once you have them you want to start stacking armor, CDR and some health. I like getting Iceborn Gauntlet and Frozen Heart after finishing Archangel's Staff as they synergise very well. The mana they offer gives you a lot of damage while also providing armor and CDR. I will usually finish with either a Rabadon's Deathcap to become a tanky assassin or a defensive item based on their comp. I haven't tried getting Trinity Force yet but I imagine it would be very strong on Kassadin he has an auto attack reset and a less than 2 second ultimate that allows you to stick to people and apply the Trinity Force passive. It gives mana, health, ap, ad, all stats Kassadin can benefit from, so I would suggest trying it out at least.
After the 5.5 update I'm probably going to be using variations of the "Kassatank" build and "Mana Cannon" depending on the enemy team comp. I'm going to start building Trinity Force and testing it out for you guys, I've already gone over it's positives and what could make it good on the new Kassadin not to mention he has the highest base AD scaling in the game so the 200% base AD scaling makes Kassadin literally the most efficient champion for this item.
Rabadon's Deathcap a must for any AP carry
Lich Bane extremely strong if you want pure damage, combo's well with Rabadon's Deathcap
Void Staff a must if they're building MR
Zhonya's Hourglass lets you jump into the center of their team burst down any squishy you want, assuming your level 16+ the active on Zhonya's Hourglass will give you more than enough time on your cooldowns to Riftwalk away.
Athene's Unholy Grail - Get this if you need some extra MR, it also gives insane mana regen and great cooldowns, after the nerf this isn't the best item to choose, I usually only grabbed it when I needed the MR, but Abyssal Scepter gives much more now.
Abyssal Scepter - If you need some extra MR, alternative to Athene's Unholy Grail If you'd prefer a little extra damage and MR over the mana regen and CDR, or if you have another fed APC on your team.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Gives a little extra tankiness and really helps you stick to people and even disengage or keep the enemy team from disengaging, pretty decent last item.
Deathfire Grasp - If there's one person on the enemy team that's fed that you guys really need to take out, grab this and blow him up, even gives a little CDR.
Rod of Ages - Alternative to Rylai's Crystal Scepter If you want the tankiness and want to Riftwalk all over the place with the extra mana, since you're not getting it early game, you loose out on the passive and the stacks, but still a decent last item.
Frozen Heart - When building tanky this is a great pick, gives 20% CDR tons of armor helpful passive and gives decent mana, which combined with Archangel's Staff gives a whopping 12 AP
Enchantment: Furor - I'll usually get this to keep up with people after I Riftwalk on top of them, my most common tier 3 boot.
Enchantment: Alacrity - Alacrity is helpful to get into Riftwalk range, it's also helpful for those long escapes where an Udyr or something is chasing after you. I'll grab this if I'm more focused on running away rather than keeping up with them to auto attack.
Enchantment: Homeguard - For obvious reasons. If we're losing and I might need to defend base immediately at a moments notice.
Max Null Sphere first, take Nether Blade at level 2 and Force Pulse at level 4 and Riftwalk whenever possible obviously.
After level 4 this is the leveling sequence you should choose
Riftwalk > Null Sphere > Force Pulse > Nether Blade
If you're more concerned about mana than the ability to stick to people and the utility the increased slow offers, then max Nether Blade however I wouldn't suggest it, because the only way to get the same damage you would have by maxing Force Pulse is to get in their face.
It's pretty simple to farm with Kassadin, although it can be difficult when the other player knows how to harass you properly. All you can do is Null Sphere your opponent when you see a creep that's low go in and last hit it then go back behind your minions. Simple but it can be difficult sometimes.
Believe it or not but farming under tower is much easier. All you have to do is let the warrior minions get hit by two tower shots then auto-attack them once, and for the caster minions once they get hit once by the tower you can kill them with one auto-attack with your Nether Blade active and if you're not behind you can actually just kill them with a regular auto-attack. If not then you might have to use Null Sphere and aa the other minions before the tower hits them, then afterwards as well. If the minions cause too much damage to the melee minions to the point where the second shot will kill them, you can probably kill it with a Null Sphere and an auto-attack or an aa then aa reset with Nether Blade.
Now that you've got some items and team fights are starting to break out, you have to remember your role. You are an assassin. Your job is to go around the side when a team fight breaks out and jump on their squishies. If the enemy team's assassin is doing the same to jump on your ADC, you have to make a choice, analyze the situation and say if both of our teams ADC's are taken out, will this be more benficial to us or them? Which ADC is more fed, yours or theirs? If your ADC is more fed, then when their assassin jumps on your ADC Riftwalk to their aid and together you and your ADC should be able to easily take out the enemy team's assassin and if you've got enough mana leftover then continue using your abilities to get the enemy low and Riftwalk on top of their faces and blow them up. Don't be afraid to walk in and hit the nearest person with Nether Blade if it gets heated you can just Riftwalk out.
Here is an example of a time where someone forgets about Summoner Spells and decides to stick around despite being low health.
Thanks for checking out how I use Kassadin
I'm going to be adding videos of some of my gameplay and gives some tips for some of the players out there that are new to Kassadin, and I just wanted to say, I don't think I'm the best Kassadin player out there, hell I'm not even claiming to be great, but this whole guide was based on the builds and skill sequences encouraged by extremely high elo players.
If you'd be kind enough to subscripe to my YouTube channel, it's pretty new so there aren't too many videos just yet.
I'm also streaming now, so come check me out at http://www.twitch.tv/sirus867
The streams brand new so I don't have any viewers yet, hopefully you guys can help fix that!
If you read this far thank you so much, feel free to leave your opinion in the discussion and feel free to leave a question, I'll answer as fast as I can and above all else remember to ask yourself this question; Do you even Rift bro?