Cassiopeia Build Guide by Skittlz29

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Skittlz29

In Action: Cassiopeia

Skittlz29 Last updated on June 20, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

Chapter 1

Explanation on How to Control Cassiopeia - The Serpent’s Embrace
Please comment and try the build and strategies before voting. Thank you very much and remember, have fun!
Last Updated on 06/20/2011

Table of Contents
I. Preface
II. Introduction
III. Abilities
IV. Summoner Spells
V. Runes
VI. Masteries
VII. Core Item Build Sequence
--The Boots I Put on my Feet
VIII. Laning & Play Style
--The Game from 1-18
IX. Tricks & Strategies
X. Conclusion
XII. Changelog

In creating this guide, I hope to provide an acceptable view on how to control Cassiopeia in the lane phases while also showing her powerful ability to fight. Also, I want to show the community that Cassiopeia is a very fun champion who is a great choice for an AP champion in a 5v5 arena, or 3v3 for you treeline fans :). Remember, the goal of the game is to have fun. So use this guide to have fun with Cassiopeia, the Serpent's Embrace.

Abbreviated Terms
AA = Auto-attack [Basic Attacks]
CC = Crowd Control [Stun, fear, slow, snare, etc]
FB = First Blood
AP = Ability Power
AD = Attack Damage
MD = Magic Damage
AS = Attack Speed
MS = Movement Speed
MR = Magic Resistance
ArPen = Armor Penetration
MPen = Magic Penetration
LS = Life Steal
SV = Spell Vamp
DPS = Strong Auto-attacker
MDPS = Strong spells; casters
CDR = Cooldown Reduction
OOM = Out of Mana
MP = Mana
HP = Health
MP Regen = Mana Regeneration per 5 seconds
HP Regen = Health Regeneration per 5 seconds

II. Introduction
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Things that I am eventually going to add

-A VS guide for common middle laning champions
-A Side Lane guide in full with partners
-Videos once I can record with fraps and edit, and screenshots displaying different positions and concepts
-I will expand the FAQ once I get a good list of questions from the community and comments
Thanks for reading this! More to come in the future.

-She is a very powerful harassing champion
-She has many skill required abilities
-She provides great AoE damage while also having the capability to nuke down a single champion
-Her ultimate is unique in that it has two possible CC outcomes, and still provides a massive amount of damage

-She can be very squishy at times
-Her abilities are hard to master
-She is a high costing champion (for those who do not wish to spend money on the game)
-Might scare those who have Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes)

III. Skill Explanations
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Deadly Cadence – Deadly Cadence allows Cassiopeia to harass endlessly. Stacking to five times, her passive will reduce the total mana used when continuously harassing in the laning phase. During teamfights, her passive doesn’t shine as bright, because you will hardly ever go OOM in a fight, unless you entered the fight without mana.

Noxious Blast – Noxious Blast is Cassiopeia’s main harassing ability, because it has a very low mana cost, and it does quite a good amount of damage. In combination with Cass’s E ability, she can quickly kill anybody in her path. Another great feature of this ability is the movement speed increase. She can use it to her advantage in order to escape from ganks, or chase an enemy to ensure a kill.

Miasma – Miasma is an extremely overlooked spell. Although it is hard to use to do damage, it slows and poisons a champion. This spell provides synergy in both her Q by making it easier to hit with the blast, and her E by getting a poison on the target. Another great utility of Miasma is zoning. This ability provides great zone control, or area control, because it disables a champion from entering it, and it grows larger for each second that goes by.

Twin Fang – Twin Fang is Cassiopeia’s only non AoE ability. It does a high amount of damage but has a substantially long CD. To counteract the CD, attacks on poisoned targets reduce the CD. The synergy makes the player need to use Twin Fang on a poisoned target in order to maximize damage output.

Petrifying Gaze – Petrifying Gaze is an ability that reminds us how important positioning is when playing League of Legends. There are two outcomes in this ability. If a champion is facing you, then they become stunned. If they are not facing you, then they only become slowed. The 2 seconds of stun along with a nuke can cause an easy kill. 2 seconds allows you to get the slow behind the target, the blast on the target, and go into your first twin fang. The burst will most likely put the target to below half, depending on MR, and be easily killed with chasing or kiting. The other outcome only slows the target, but it still applies the entire amount of damage. Slowing will help chase, but if they turn around to get to you, then you will be vulnerable, because you do not have that 2 second buffer to nuke the target. Instead, you must kite or chase the champion to their death. Without the 2 second stun, kills do not come quite as easy, and the enemy will have a better chance of getting away.

IV. Summoner Spell Explanations
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Ignite goes great with Cassiopeia’s DoT abilities. When a champion runs behind a turret with Noxious Blast ticking away and ignite applied, the chance of death greatly increases, because ignite deals a considerable amount of damage, and prevents healing from helping as much.

Flash is a great spell for Cassiopeia, because it helps any champion escape near death. In this case, Flash allows Cassiopeia to slow a target and get in front of them with flash. Once in front, her ulti will now stun instead of slow, seizing the kill.

Considerable Summoner Spells

Exhaust works with Cassiopeia, because it helps reduce damage taken, and it helps catch a champion. Although, with the proper use of spells, you will not need the extra slow from Exhaust. Once you get better, Exhaust becomes less viable, simply because you do not need slows, but the damage reduce can save your life.
Clarity is a great summoner spell, because it allows longer laning, but in this case, Cass’s mana problems are solved in other manners, rendering this spell useless for this build.
Ghost is great for chasing, and provides synergy between Noxious Blast, but it could either replace Ignite, which will get kills, or Flash, which in my opinion is the best summoner in the game, aside from CV.

V. Rune Explanations
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Greater Seal of Replenishment

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - The magic penetration from these marks far defeat other options, because the little magic penetration will reduce the base MR from enemies and cause a lot more damage at lvl 1. Also, the minor magic penetration collected from runes allows different item options for the game.

Greater Seal of Replenishment - Mana regeneration greatly impacts Cassiopeia’s playstyle, because she needs a lot of mana to harass. The more mana you obtain in lane, via mana regeneration, the more harassment you can do to easily win the lane. The reasoning behind getting flat Mp5 instead of the per lvl is by the time the per lvl give more mana than these, you will not need it, because you will have your tear and your mana will not be bad.

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction - The CDR helps, because it allows faster everything. When playing Cassiopeia, the goal is to get as many attacks as possible to hit in a small window of time, because an opponent will only be where you want for a small amount of time.

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration - Again, the magic penetration greatly increases early game damage and allows different items. Stacking the magic pen Quints with the magic pen Marks increases the effectiveness of these runes.

Survivability Fix via Runes

Greater Quintessence of Health – Thanks to a post for pointing out this fix to her survivability in lane. By using 2 of these you increase your health pool enough to survive somewhat longer. It is a great option in my opinion, because you only sacrifice two of the MPen quints, or 3.78 Magic Penetration. I played around with it, and it does make some impact to playing her in lane.

VI. Mastery Explanations
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The masteries focus on increasing effectiveness in lane. By increasing mana regeneration, or reducing ability cooldowns, you basically increase your ability to lane as a champion. By taking the Utility tree for 21 points, laning becomes much easier and you become deadlier as a champion. Since Cassiopeia benefits greatly from the mana generation and reduced cooldowns, Utility is the best tree to use. Some examples of things that help Cass are Perseverance, Meditation, Quickness (via her Q), Intelligence, Presence of the Master (via importance of Flash for ultis), and Blink of an Eye (same reason as preceding).

The other 9 points go into offense rather than defense, because Archaic Knowledge is an extremely good point to take as a caster. Early damage is increased, and it scales as enemy champions get more MR. Going into the defense tree is partly viable if you are worried about taking too much damage, and you would get a good amount of laning power with the increased health regen (via Strength of Spirit).

VII. Core Item Build Sequence
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This build focuses on increasing laning efficiency early, and increasing deadliness throughout the game. The boots give Tenacity, a stat that is all around very amazing. Tenacity will increase survivability from things such as ganks, getting focused in a teamfight, even getting harassed in lane. Next, you build your tear for Archangel’s, because you need to start building it and it lets you lane for a long time. Then, get your scepter, because it provides survivability via the health, and slows with attacks. Now, some people question why you want this, because Cass’s W slows a target, but if you use your W for zoning then use your scepter to slow, you can get more harass off while keeping them where you want them. All around, the scepter is a great item for Cass. Deathcap is an item lusted over by many casters. I have seen some people stack five of these and boots. Nevertheless, it is a great item. It increases the power of a single AP point. Using the tear, finish the Archangel’s staff to give more AP and increase the power of a single mana point.

Situational Items
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Nice for some AP and Armor. Also one of the greatest on use effects in the game, in my opinion.

A very standard item, because it is great against casters on the enemy team

I personally do not use Sheen items on casters, because it is hard to get an auto attack off while chasing, in my opinion. Some people use this for Cass, and they look amazing doing it. Like I said, I don’t personally like it. It is fun for using it to get a huge auto attack on a turret though. Try it out, if you like it, use it in place of an item in the build.

Use for a team of balanced champions between AD and AP, or slightly favoring AD. Also, it is amazing if you get focused, because you get free life back, and they waste all their CDs.

philosopher's stone

A very great item. Use if your struggling in lane and keep until you need space. Make sure it pays itself off with the Gold per 10 feature. The Hp5 and Mp5 really help sustain you in lane, but I don't feel like its necessary to put into the main build, because most people will buy extra Doran's or items like this on the side by themselves.

The Boots I Put on my Feet
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As a squishy caster, I tend to grab the Mercury’s treads because I like it to get some survivability behind me. Another great option to add would be Sorcerer’s Shoes because they complement the use of MPen runes. Both are great options, and you should try both to see which you like to use more. As far as other boots go, most do not help casters at all. Dodge is not very beneficial to her, 3 speed boots are generally the most useless ones in the game, and the reduced cooldown will not play a major role, considering her already low cooldowns.

VIII. Laning & Play Style
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This part of the guide focuses on being in MID lane

Cassiopeia is very strong in lane, because she can harass like very few can. Her Q is very annoying, because it is very hard to dodge it when the player behind Cass knows what he is doing. The direct hit does damage and then you get a poison on the target that continues to chew health away. This keeps them in combat too, which is good for champions like Garen, who regenerates only after getting out of combat. Cass uses her W to zone out the enemy champion. Zoning gives you control over the lane and keeps your enemy in fear of where he steps. Her E will give you a nuke onto your target when you are feeling super ballsy, or you want to completely demolish their chance of winning lane. Her ulti can be good to prevent a dive on you (resulting in a double or triple kill, very fun) or get a kill in combination with flash. Playing Cass requires very quick movement of the mouse. You must control your champion with clicks to move while moving your cursor to where you want Noxious Blasts to land. Also, you must keep your camera in a position you want, while pinging and keeping map awareness. If you just read that and your eyes widened in complete confusion, don’t worry, because all of this will come with practice. In the beginning, you want to be able to survive in lane. Once you learn, you will dominate it with all of these skills from zoning to map awareness to control.

The Game from 1-18
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At levels 1-8, you basically want to survive in lane while harassing the enemy. Don’t lose last hits for harassment though. I know I stressed how powerful her harass can be, but last hits are much more important. Once you have your ulti, you are set for kills. By level 8, you should be easily itemized to gank the bottom lane (non-jungle games would be either, or if solo top lane is very pushed in). Getting to a lane without notice is hard, but usually you want to push the lane up and immediately head to a different lane, because they will assume you are just waiting for the lane to push back. Move quickly, because wards will easily give ganks away. Even if you do not get a kill with a gank, you will do some damage to the lane and give control of the lane back to your team. In other words, you might not have gotten a kill, but you helped control the lane. Since League of Legends is a team game based on control, this is a win in most people’s books.

At levels 8-12, you should focus on making sure your lanes are doing well, and possibly move lanes to take a tower down. You should hopefully be high up on the creep kills and sitting on a good amount of items. At this point, the focus should be getting that first layer of towers down while getting kills.

At levels 12-18, you should focus on teamfights. At this point, the teams will most likely begin going to middle, because they don’t have anywhere else to go. 5v5 scenarios develop around Dragon, Baron, the middle lane, and places in the jungle. Stick with your team and follow your tanks lead. Don’t go into a fight ballsy, because they will kill you, and your team will not have your massive AoE damage. Instead, sit back, wait for initiation, and wait for a good time to ult where you get 3-5 of the team in stun while getting hopefully at least 4 to take damage. Focus their AD carry or AP carry. Whoever is fed or is demolishing your team, attack them. Killing tanks is useless, because they are there to take the damage. Wait for their team to die before killing tanks, since 9 times out of 10 the tank will not be able to take your entire team on. Keep getting Blue buff. It provides unlimited mana and a good amount of CDR. Dragon provides a good amount of gold, and at this point you and your team will move there to bait a fight or take it in seconds. Baron becomes the focus of the game around 20 to 25 minutes, because it provides an amazing buff that gives you the edge in a fight. When a lane is pushed, kill your jungle minions, and don’t be sitting there doing nothing. It is always more useful to move with the team than to sit at a tower waiting for minions to come in a bottom lane. Hopefully finish the game in a timely manner, or turtle until your farmed enough to pose a threat to them.

IX. Tricks & Strategies
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-Place W between caster minions and melee minions to maximize effectiveness

-Use flash to get a good position for your ultimate

-Turning around to Q while running is not always a bad idea. It is based on the distance there is between the two of you and your health. Choose wisely.

-Don’t feed. Sit at a turret if you are getting demolished in lane. Call for a switch with another teammate. In the end, if your 0/0/0, its better than 0/0/10.

-Last hit. Learn to do it, and learn quickly. This is the difference between a player in the 900 ELO area, and a player in the 1600 to 1800 ELO area. Quicker items make better gameplay.

-Try to keep five stacks of your passive when you have enough mana. Use your Q in time to keep it up, especially when you have your tear. It keeps mana costs down, while keeping harass up. Letting it fall only means you will eventually just ramp it up again. CAUTION This only works when you have enough regeneration to sustain it. Test to what point it is comfortable for you to do so.

MORE TO COME, post some if you want me to put them here and I will credit you

Cassiopeia is a fun champion with a very high skill cap. When learning her, try out different styles including other MOBAfire guides, because only what works for you will help you learn. Do not follow this guide to the letter! Please. It is best to experiment and itemize based on the other team and based on your liking. The best thing to do when learning a champion is to change it up every time. If you win a game with an amazing score, but then lose with the same build, don’t blame the build, take time to learn the champion and analyze what went wrong. If there’s a flaw in the build or something you thing would be better, make a comment and I will look into it and possible change and credit you for it. In conclusion, better players are better because they learn from many sources, and a MOBAfire guide is just one of the many sources for you to learn from. Try it. Test it. Post a comment and rate me please.

Post questions in comments that you want the answer to or you think is a question new players would ask. Thanks!
XII. Change Log
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- Started the Guide