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Cassiopeia Build Guide by Xavier Senori

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Xavier Senori

In-Depth S6 Competitive Cassiopeia Guide (Patch 6.20)

Xavier Senori Last updated on November 18, 2016
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

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


Threats to Cassiopeia with this build

Threat
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Threat Champion Notes
1
Karthus One of Cassiopeia's easiest matchups. You outharass and out DPS him ten times over. Make his laning phase a living hell because he scales in a fashion very similar to you. Harass him whenever possible, and don't be afraid to trade with him, as you should win all 1v1 trades. Consider buying a zhonya's mid game to counter his ultimate.
1
Ryze Ryze is probably Cassiopeia's easiest matchup. All of your skills outrange him, and he has to face you in order to use his combos. When he goes to combo you post-6, just ult him in the face. During the laning phase, harass him to hell, and outscale him into the late game.
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Introduction



PLEASE READ: In the last year I have started medical school and have almost no time at all to play League of Legends. HOWEVER, I still closely follow the meta and WILL keep this guide updated as often as possible. Thanks for your understanding.

Welcome to my Mobafire guide on Cassiopeia, one of the hardest yet most rewarding champions to play in League of Legends. My name is Xavier Senori, and I am an S5 Diamond Cassiopeia main. Cassiopeia is an incredibly high skill cap AP champion who can put out the highest single target DPS in the game. She is tough to play and even harder to master because she is highly dependent on skillshots and positioning. One wrong move and your DPS drops considerably. Furthermore, correct or incorrect use of her ultimate, Petrifying Gaze, can singlehandedly win you or lose you games. This being said, if you are willing to put the time and effort into learning her, she will reward you beyond your wildest dreams. A good Cassiopeia can heavily influence the outcome of a game. A great Cassiopeia is absolutely terrifying and can easily carry the game by herself.

I have been playing Cassiopeia since season one, and have played more games with her than I can count. During season 5, I used her almost exclusively to climb to diamond in 36 games. I have heavily theorycrafted with regards to item build, runes, masteries, matchups, etc and know the intricacies and little known nuances about Cassiopeia than even some of the better Cassiopeia player still don't know. I hope that you can use this guide to improve your Cassiopeia game by learning exactly why this champion is so incredibly strong when played correctly and efficiently.

In the recent patches, Cassiopeia's gameplay has changed dramatically. With a new passive, the grounding utility of her W, the less punishing E, and overall skill cooldown changes, her item build and power curve have shifted. However, what remains true is that she is still an incredibly strong harasser, dueler, and roamer.


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Pros / Cons




Pros

+ Highest DPS in game
+ Great utility
+ Strong 1v2
+ Ult wins games
+ Hyper carry scaling
+ Great baron/dragon DPS
+ Extremely rewarding
Cassiopeia is a decent pick in S6 solo queue due to her high DPS and utility. She works best against non dive heavy team comps and with teams that can protect and peel for her. In teamfights, if not killed immediately, she can often put out more DPS than the rest of her team combined due to low cooldown high damage E and Q spam. Her late game damage potential is unparalleled. Furthermore, her dragon and baron DPS are insane, allowing for the rapid taking of these objectives at any point.


Cons

+ Very squishy
+ Requires great positioning
+ Very high skillcap
+ Weaker early game
+ Dependent on farm
+ No escape
+ Mana issues early on
+ Easily focused
Cassiopeia is incredibly hard to play well. This is because she is an AP champion that plays like an adc. She is very skillshot and position dependent, especially in teamfights. If you die early in a teamfight your team loses out on a huge portion of its potential damage, as you do damage over time, not burst damage. She is incredibly susceptible to early jungle ganks because she has no natural escape. On top of this, her early game is weaker due to high mana cost abilities. Finally, as with most AP carries she is rather squishy, especially early on, so she runs the risk of getting bursted down easily.


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Runes



Runes

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
2

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
1

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
6

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
3

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9


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Masteries




Masteries


Masteries
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1

Going 18/12/0 gives you access to all the offensive masteries you want while also offering Secret Stash . Secret Stash gives Cassiopeia a lot of extra sustain to help her get through her weaker early game. Cassiopeia is one of the few mid champions on whom I don't take Runic Affinity . This is because as long as you are properly using your E to last hit minions, once you get Tear of the Goddess and/or Catalyst of Aeons you shouldn't have any mana issues. Because of this, I often avoid taking blue buff during the early/mid game and thus this mastery as well. Its often a much better idea to just let your jungler take the blue buff, since they likely benefit from it much more than you do. PLEASE NOTE: If you are having trouble managing mana in lane, take Meditation over Merciless and If you don't plan to buy rylai's for the slow, take Bounty Hunter over Oppressor

Masteries
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/1
1/5

I run this 18/0/12 mastery page occasionally, specifically when I am truly afraid of getting bursted down, or when I know that I am going to get harassed a lot in lane via auto attack or long range spells. The defensive points help to mitigate some of Cassiopeia's early game weaknesses, while making her slightly tankier. You give up a lot of really valuable mastery points like Dangerous Game but you make up for it by not dying as often. If you aren't certain that you can win your lane, plan to build tanky with RoA, or fear the enemy mid laner, run this page.

Masteries
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/1
1/1

I run this 12/18/0 mastery page when the matchup is very favorable ( Ryze, Karthus, etc) or when the enemy team is very squishy. The extra burst from Thunderlord's Decree really helps to blow up squishy units. However, If there are tanks on the enemy team, the sustained damage of Deathfire Touch is more valuable, as Cassiopeia spams her abilities, and the cooldown of Thunderlord's Decree is a bit long.

Masteries
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/1
1/5

I run this 12/18/0 mastery page when I don't need the extra DPS, and what I really need is kiting and/or chasing potential. Against enemy dive comps in which you have several champions like Jax, Irelia, Diana, etc that like to stick to your face, I like to run this setup.


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Spells



Summoner Spells




Flash: Standard summoner spell for most mid champions. It is a get out of jail free card, a re-positioning spell, and can be used both offensively or defensively. Cassiopeia has no natural escape, and has no blink, dash, teleport of any kind. She absolutely needs this spell to function.

Ignite: Secondary summoner spell that most mid AP carries run, Cassiopeia being no exception. Your goal as Cassiopeia is to carry your team and secure kills. This spell allows you to do this. It is also a great to have for its healing reduction. Don't take against hard matchups.

Teleport: I like to take this when playing a more defensive lane, when playing top lane, when I plan to build tanky with RoA, when my top laner doesn't take Teleport, or when I know my lane opponent is going to play really safe. It allows you to teleport to your lane, or any other lane as a gank, a counter gank, or to defend a turret. More importantly, you can show up at any time to objectives like dragon.



Exhaust: Cassiopeia already puts out ludicrous damage late game, so I often opt for this spell over Ignite. It helps save you from aggro mids, jungle ganks, and allows you to protect your teammates in teamfights. I pick this often against dive comps, like those with Irelia, Jax, etc, or against specific champions like Yasuo.

Barrier: Run this summoner spell when up against burst mid laners like LeBlanc or Zed or burst enemy team comps. Unlike Exhaust, this summoner spell can be used to mitigate damage even when the enemies are untargettable, out of range, or moving/dashing too quickly to click on. It can also be used in conjunction with Seraph's Embrace to bait out enemy engages.

Cleanse: Run this when up against a CC team, or specific CC that will surely ruin your day. I take this against champs like Brand who plan to stun, ignite, and burn you with their passive, all of which can be instantly cleansed, leaving them helpless and at your mercy. Against long CC like Fiddlesticks jungle or Morgana support I sometimes take this as well.


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Abilities






Serpentine Grace: Cassiopeia cannot purchase boots, but instead gains 4 - 72 (based on level) bonus movement speed, for a total of 332 - 400 (based on level) movement speed. Following her recent rework, this has become Cassiopeia's new passive. This passive allows you to forgo boots and buy a 6th item instead, making her potentially the strongest late game AP carry.

Tips and Tricks
  • You cannot purchase boots, which means you have an extra 6th item slot!
  • The scaling on this passive is a bit slow early game, hence why we run 2X Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed. If we don't, the enemy mid laner will temporarily outscale her speed as soon as they buy boots.
  • Cassiopeia has 400 movement speed (not counting items) at level 18.



Noxious Blast: After a 0.4-second delay, Cassiopeia blasts the target area with Noxious Poison, dealing magic damage every second for 3 seconds to all enemies it hits. Cassiopeia gains bonus movement speed that decays over 3 seconds if Noxious Blast hits an enemy champion. Your harassment, escape, and Twin Fang enabler tool. It is a bit expensive during the early game, but does much more damage then it used to. Use this skill to poison minions before killing them with your E for easy last hitting.

Tips and Tricks
  • Use Noxious Blast to check bushes. An icon will pop up above your skillbar informing you that you have received your increased movement speed buff if you happen to have hit a hidden enemy in the bush.
  • The 0.4 sec cast time early game requires you to predict where your opponent will be. A good tip is to wait till you opponent stops to auto attack a minion to Q under him, guaranteeing a hit.
  • When running away, continuously spam this on the chasing enemies to increase your movement speed. Don't underestimate the utility of this spell.
  • With 40% CDR, the cooldown drops to 2.1 seconds!
  • Use this skill for the damage, but even more importantly, for the utility it provides.
  • At max level, this ability offers a temporary increase in movement speed of 50%!
  • With the recent rework, damage has been shifted into this skill, making it more appealing as a damaging skill. However, the mana costs early game are high, so you usually want to max E first anyway.
  • Poisoned enemies now have an audio effect that you can hear. It sounds like repeated clicking every time a poison tick goes off.
  • Noxious Blast does not reveal you when you are in the brush.



Miasma: Cassiopeia spits forth eight bolts of venom in an arc, leaving toxic clouds of Debilitating Poison where they hit the ground for 5 seconds. Debilitating Poison deals magic damage to enemies standing upon it every second, also grounding them and applying a slow that decays over the area's duration. Miasma has a minimum cast range. This is your second way of poisoning your target. If you miss your Q, drop this on the enemy to insure that they stay poisoned until your Q cooldown is up.

Tips and Tricks
  • A unit that is grounded cannot activate mobility spells, including flash and all dashing/blinking abilities.
  • Because this ability has a minimum range, you can no longer drop it on top of yourself in order to fend off an enemy that is diving/on top of you.
  • This ability can go over walls.
  • Miasma no longer gives you vision.
  • When you miss your Q, smart enemies will try to come in to harass you during your Q cooldown. Surprise them by dropping Miasma on them and beginning your E spam. Remember, you have two ways of poisoning opponents.
  • One Q+W combo will poison the caster minions on the backline and set them up for killing with E.
  • Use Miasma to zone the enemy mid laner by effectively removing a part of the lane that they can use or to save yourself from a gank.
  • The slow is significant, but the damage is not. Use this skill mostly for its utility, not for its damage.
  • Miasma does not reveal you when you are in the brush.
  • Drop this right in front of fleeing enemies with movement abilities to either force them to flash over it or stop them from escaping.



Twin Fang: Cassiopeia launches her fangs at the target enemy, dealing them 52 - 120 (based on level) (+ 10% AP) magic damage. If the target is poisoned, Twin Fang deals bonus magic damage and heals Cassiopeia. If Twin Fang kills its target, it refunds its mana cost. Your bread and butter skill. Spam this skill on poisoned targets to nuke them down. If you land it on a non-poisoned target it pretty much does zero damage, however, it doesn't go on a lengthy cooldown like it used to.

Tips and Tricks
  • Look for the "poisoned" icon above enemies to double check that your Twin Fang will be hitting a poisoned enemy.
  • Don't use this in lane (except when last hitting with it) if the enemy isn't poisoned. It does almost no damage in this scenario and isn't worth the mana cost.
  • You can spam this on enemies affected by Twitch, Singed, Teemo, or even Gromp poisons for the full damage effect.
  • Try to always last hit minions with this skill (even if they aren't poisoned), as it returns the cost.
  • In a recent update Twin Fang was changed from an AoE skill to a single target skill. This means that it procs double slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
  • Twin Fang reveals you when you are in the brush, so do not cast this on an enemy when you are trying to use bushes as an escape.



Petrifying Gaze: After a brief delay, Cassiopeia blasts enemies in a cone in the target direction, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit. Enemies facing Cassiopeia are stunned for 2 seconds upon being hit by Petrifying Gaze, and all other affected enemies are instead slowed by 40% for the same duration. A incredibly powerful and potentially amazing AoE stun ultimate. Most useful in defensive situations where you can guarantee the enemy will be facing you, or during re-engages. Even if you miss the stun, the Rylai's Crystal Scepter enhanced AoE slow is almost as good.

Tips and Tricks
  • Camp bushes you know enemies have to pass through in order to guarantee the stun.
  • Don't be afraid of ulting an enemy facing away from you, the damage and slow are still incredibly strong.
  • Sometimes it is best to hold off on ulting early on in teamfights. Using Petrifying Gaze as a re-engagement tool can sometimes be even more effective.
  • Try to land this on both the jungler and the enemy mid when you are getting ganked to ensure a getaway or a 1 for 1 trade.
  • You can ult then flash mid-ult to Petrifying Gaze anyone in the direction you flashed regardless of where you were facing. This effectively removes the cast time and can easily catch people off guard.
  • Reveals you in the brush.


General Skilling Order


> > >


Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

This is the skill order I take in most of my games. Max Twin Fang first because it is your main damage dealer and costs less then Q. Max Noxious Blast second as additional damage. Take Miasma at level 4 for its utility (slow, grounding, and backup poison), but max it last. Start with Q at level one to scout bushes for potential invades, or E at level one if a lvl 1 teamfight is imminent.


Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Maxing Noxious Blast over Twin Fang first is very situational. I only ever do this when I want to farm from a distance and/or when I don't want to trade with the enemy mid laner. A fed mid laner, or a scary burst champion like LeBlanc might merit going this route so you can farm from a safer distance.

Main Combos



-> ->


Standard harassing combo. Depending on how close you are to your enemy and whether they are running away or not, you may only be able to get in two Twin Fangs between Noxious Blasts. Cassiopeia's auto attacks are very responsive and very strong. Weave them into your combo to maximize damage.


-> -> -> ->


Use this combo when you catch someone walking into a bush in which you are camping out. Drop miasma before the ult to maximize the amount of time that they are standing in it and thus the amount of damage they are taking. Weave in auto attacks and ignite if necessary.


-> -> ->


Use this combo when you miss your initial Noxious Blast and require the enemy to be poisoned before starting your Twin Fang spam. Your Noxious Blast should be back up again after two Twin Fangs.


-> -> -> ->


Use this combo to initiate or during teamfights. Save your Petrifying Gaze for the most opportune moment, either as an engagement, disengagement, or peeling tool.


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Items



Starting Items




Doran's Ring + 2x Health Potions is the standard AP mid start right now. I take this in 99% of my games because it gives mana regen, which as Cassiopeia you will sorely need early on.

Take Boots of Speed + 4X Health Potion when you are up against BOTH strong ganking skillshot dependent junglers + heavy skillshot dependent mids (ex. Ahri + Elise). It could mean the difference between dodging a skillshot and getting killed.

Starting with The Dark Seal is definitely an option since its recent buffs. It allows you to start with three Health Potions instead of two, and is incredibly gold efficient even without stacks.





First Buys




Tear of the Goddess is an exceptional item on Cassiopeia. This is because she has some serious early game mana problems that can be remedied by simply buying this item. On top of that, as Cassiopeia it is incredibly easy to max out, as your skills are spammable. I buy this item first in pretty much every single one of my games. The shield that you eventually get from Seraph's Embrace has saved me more times than I can count.

Catalyst of Aeons should be purchased right away after Tear of the Goddess if you plan to go the defensive/tankier/HP route. This is so that you can upgrade it to Rod of Ages and begin stacking it ASAP. This item helps alleviate early game mana issues, and returns health to help you sustain in lane against enemy poke. Do note that this item offers no offensive stats by itself, so buying it puts you at a slight offensive disadvantage for a bit.


Your first buy should always be Tear of the Goddess because Cassiopeia has huge mana problems early on, even with proper E management. This item solves this issue for the most part. Like Catalyst of Aeons, Tear of the Goddess sets you behind the enemy mid laner because it offers no real offensive stats while you sit on it, but it pays off when, by the 16-20 minute mark, you can get Seraph's Embrace, which gives you huge offensive stats and kill potential.

If you are going the tankier/defensive route, buying Catalyst of Aeons after Tear of the Goddess, you want to upgrade it ASAP to Rod of Ages. Catalyst of Aeons's health and mana regen will make laning phase much easier on you, but will set you further behind your lane opponent because it also offers no offensive stats. Do not worry though, this deficit won't last for long!

I go into Catalyst of Aeons in a good portion of my games. Specifically, I run this build when I'm afraid of being bursted down, I'm playing top lane, I don't plan on getting early kills in lane, or when I need to hard carry and can't risk dying because of a stupid mistake. Please note that this route doesn't build Morellonomicon, thus you will need blue buff to hit 40% CDR (assuming you are getting the 20% from runes and 10% from abyssal).





Early Game



If you went with Catalyst of Aeons after Tear of the Goddess, upgrade it to Rod of Ages ASAP so that you begin stacking it as soon as possible, making you tankier earlier in the game. Plus, the additional AP finally adds some offensive power to your build.

If you plan to go the more offensive/glasscannon build, buy this items first after Tear of the Goddess, forgoing Catalyst of Aeons. Whether you build Lost Chapter or Fiendish Codex first is completely up to you. I go Lost Chapter when I'm trading often and going oom in lane, and Fiendish Codex when I'm not having mana problems.



Pick up a Seeker's Armguard if you are struggling against an enemy AD champion and eventually plan to build a Zhonya's Hourglass. I'm not a huge fan of Zhonya's Hourglass because it takes an incredibly mobile champion who need to weave in and out of a teamfight and makes them immobile for a few seconds. However, buying this item early could mean the difference between getting bursted down by a Zed or Talon during laning.

If you are up against a bursty AP or AD champ, you may want to rush an early Giant's Belt or Negatron Cloak. You lose out of the offensive and utility capabilities of other early game damage items but at least you won't die. These build into Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Abyssal Scepter later anyway. Going this route can be very beneficial if you are getting bullied in lane, as survivability during your weaker early game is key.





Mid Game Core Build




You pick this item up usually during the early/mid game. This means that you would have it after Tear of the Goddess and Morellonomicon/ Rod of Ages. This item makes you much tankier, works really well with Cassiopeia's constant ability spam, and allows your roaming ganks to be even more effective, as a slowed enemy is an easy kill. You can forgo this item early on if you are winning really hard, want the extra damage from, say, an Abyssal Scepter or Rabadon's Deathcap instead, and don't need the HP, but eventually you want to get this item, as its almost certainly a core item on her.

Rabadon's Deathcap is strong, but it increases your AP based on the bonus AP you already have. Early game, when you don't have many AP items, you get little out of this item's passive. However, this item synergizes incredible well with Cassiopeia's 6 item, high AP scaling. If I am winning lane really hard and don't need survivability, I will sometimes pick this item up after Rod of Ages/ Morellonomicon but before Rylai's Crystal Scepter. If it's time to build this item, but some members of the enemy team have over 100 magic resist, build Void Staff first instead.

You eventually want to upgrade your Tear of the Goddess into Seraph's Embrace. This usually means that I am picking this item up soon after I max out the tear. Once you get this item, your damage sky rockets, and you get an amazing active that has saved me countless times. This item can be rushed if you are getting bursted down often.

This item is amazing on Cassiopeia. Against team comps with many hard hitting APs I like to get this item for the MR and MR reduction pretty early on. However, note that your Noxious Blast and Twin Fang outrange the MR reduction aura against champions running away from you. That being said, it's great against AP gap closers that get in your face like LeBlanc and Diana. Often times, when I am up against high burst champions like LeBlanc and Veigar, I pick up a Negatron Cloak after my Tear of the Goddess for the early MR and then either sell the Negatron Cloak or upgrade it into Abyssal Scepter ASAP. This item is pretty much core on Cassiopeia. Make sure to pick it up at some point during the game.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter synergizes incredibly well with Cassiopeia. Her Noxious Blast and Miasma proc the 15% slow, while her Twin Fang procs the 35% slow due to now being listed as a single target spell. If an enemy has been hit by her Rylai's Crystal Scepter enhanced Twin Fangs and are standing in Miasma, her ult, Petrifying Gaze, will slow all enemies hit for a whopping 70.43% for almost 2 seconds. On top of this is gives her AP and a nice chunk of health that she needs to keep from getting bursted down. Rylai's Crystal Scepter also works well with Liandry's Torment. Every one of your skills will proc and double Liandry's Torment's movement-impaired burn. This means that you can burn away approximately 10% of an enemy's health with just one spell via the burn alone.

Rabadon's Deathcap is an amazing item on Cassiopeia because it increases her already godlike damage to even higher levels. If you are winning lane and/or aren't getting burst down, buy this before Rylai's Crystal Scepter in order to rule the early/mid game with your damage.

Finally, Seraph's Embrace gives you a hefty DPS boost while also giving you a massive mana pool and an amazing active. The bonus AP is nice, but it is the mana that really makes this item shine. I often have max stacks on it at 16-20 minutes. I sometimes chose to upgrade it early into Seraph's Embrace, getting a massive damage boost, not to mention incredible lane staying power.

Ultimately, you will probably be getting all four of these items along with Morellonomicon or Rod of Ages at some point during the game.

Most games, I go Tear of the Goddess into Morellonomicon into Rylai's Crystal Scepter into Abyssal Scepter. I then generally build into Seraph's Embrace and Rabadon's Deathcap and/or Void Staff

One thing to note is that Cassiopeia requires some sort of health item to keep her alive in engagements. Cassiopeia cannot afford to die early on in teamfights because she is not a burst champion, she is a DPS machine. Thus, you need either Seraph's Embrace shield, Rod of Ages, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, or some combination of these to fulfill her HP needs. If you go the glass cannon route, you NEED Rylai's Crystal Scepter or at least a Giant's Belt during the early/mid game. However, if you go the Catalyst of Aeons into Rod of Ages route, you can afford to delay the Rylai's Crystal Scepter a bit, since Rod of Ages already gives you some HP. In this way, Rabadon's Deathcap can be built before Rylai's Crystal Scepter if you go the Rod of Ages option. Do note that Rod of Ages into Rylai's Crystal Scepter takes a long time to build, and though it will make you very tanky, it offers very little damage and may put you really far behind. If your team is going to need significant damage output early on, you don't want to rush these two items consecutively because it will leave you lacking the DPS your team might need during the early game. However, if you are are isolated in top lane and aren't going to be needed anytime soon, this is a decent build order.





Late Game Items



Almost a core item on Cassiopeia. There are simply too many cost efficient MR items out there. Even with the burn from Liandry's Torment you are going to have a hard time chipping away at tanks. Even without bonus MR, this item boosts your DPS by ridiculous amounts. Buy this when the enemy team is stacking MR or when you don't need defensive items and want to keep the pressure on your enemies.I buy this item over or in combination with Rabadon's Deathcap in most of my games.

This item is one of those that, in theory, would work really well on Cassiopeia. The problem is that building this during the early/mid game delays her more utility based core items. I can see this item being amazing if you went the Rod of Ages route and built it after Rod of Ages and Rylai's Crystal Scepter. This would allow you to have the damage/tank/utility to be able to afford a pure damage item like Luden's Echo. If you don't go this route, I can only see this being useful as a replacement for your boots once you hit 6 items, similar to what adcs do with Zephyr.

I have mixed emotions about this item. This item is a great purchase against heavy AD team comps or if you feel confident that you can zhonya's a heavy hitting enemy skill. However, because Cassiopeia has no escape, 90% of the time, the active only prolongs your inevitable death. On champions with long cooldowns like Lux that blow their load and then have to wait for their abilities to come back up, this item can be very beneficial because you can wait out your cooldowns during the active. Unfortunately with Cassiopeia you are wasting DPS time using the active. With the recent nerfs in patch 5.13, I favor this item even less now, since it offers less AP.

I get this item as a defensive 5th or 6th item more often than Zhonya's Hourglass. Like I've mentioned before, Cassiopeia is highly susceptible to burst damage and gap closers. You dying early in a teamfight can spell disaster for your team, as they lose out on a massive portion of their damage. This item effectively allows you to cheat death and live after the enemy team has wasted their cooldowns trying to gib you.

I really like this as a late game 6th item against heavy hitting skillshot based champions like Nidalee. If you aren't having problems dodging skillshots or aren't up against heavy hitting AP champs, this item isn't that great though since the gold you spend on the health could be spent on more beneficial stats.

Following patch 5.13, Liandry's Torment has become an excellent item on Cassiopeia when playing against a tanky team comp. It does percent current health based burn damage, so it is most useful against high health enemies, as you are getting the most bang for your buck there. Liandry's Torment does 6% current health over the course of 3 seconds. Every 0.5 seconds, you get a 1% damage proc. However, the first 1% proc happens the moment you land your spell, not 0.5 seconds afterwards. In simple terms this means that the faster you cast spells, the more damage you do via the burn. Imagine this, you land a Q on someone (ignoring Rylai's Crystal Scepter proc). At 0 seconds you do 1% burn, at 0.5 seconds you do a second 1% burn. You won't get your third 1% burn until 1.5 seconds, but say you land an E on the opponent at 1.3 seconds. The 1% burn is instantly reapplied. In other words, you have done 3% damage in 1.3 seconds instead of 1.5 seconds. Thus, the faster you can spam spell, the more DPS you put out via the burn. In theory, this item is unbelievably amazing, however in practice, this item is a bit situational. You only want to buy this item when running a poke comp against high health enemy teams. This item really only allows for it's full potential in these scenarios. In most other situations, it simply doesn't offer the same raw offensive capabilities of an item like Void Staff. If you do plan to buy this item, buy a Haunting Guise very early, perhaps after Tear of the Goddessand wait to upgrade it until the enemy team starts stacking health.


Overall, Cassiopeia is incredibly flexible. Even her core items can be altered on occasion. As always, don't build the same way every game, adapt to the situation at hand. Furthermore, this is simply the best way that I have found of building Cassiopeia. There are certainly many other effective and potentially even better ways of building her.


Guide Top

Gameplay




Early Game


  • Focus on last hitting poisoned minions above all else. Your primary goal is to farm and make gold.
  • Once you have Tear of the Goddess farm the wraith and wolves camp whenever your jungler isn't around.
  • Use your Miasma to zone the enemy mid laner.
  • An easy and effective way to land your Noxious Blast is to wait for your lane opponent to come up for a cs. They have to stand still for a second to auto attack the minions, making it incredibly easy to land your Noxious Blast. This will take some practice though, as you need to be watching the HP of the enemy minions AND your own to know when they will come in.
  • Cassiopeia's auto attacks are very responsive. Whenever you land a Noxious Blast on your opponent you can follow it up with an auto attack.
  • Don't be scared of flashing in for kills as long as you don't end up under the enemy tower. You should of course try to kill the enemy, however forcing them to flash and pushing them out of lane is almost as good.
  • Ward both river bushes, or if you only have one ward, ward one side and stick to it. If you blow flash to escape a gank, stop being as aggressive and focus more on farming until your flash is up again. Remember, you have no natural escape once flash is down.
  • In top lane, if the enemy champion is melee, feel free to land as many Qs as you can on them for free harass. However, make sure to have your river warded, as top lane is much less safe then mid.





Mid Game


  • If the enemy mid laner is playing passively, or you fear getting ganked, simply push your lane and roam. Cassiopeia can clear minion waves and push lanes really quickly, allowing her to make her way to other lanes and usually make it back in time to keep up with farm.
  • Once you pick up Rylai's Crystal Scepter start roaming even more. Even with enemy wards, Cassiopeia ganks can still often be successful due to the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
  • Camp out bushes you know the enemy mid laner will pass through when they are returning from farming the jungle or roaming to ensure a free stun and kill with Petrifying Gaze.
  • Whenever you get blue buff, try to set up for dragon. Cassiopeia is easily one of the best early dragon DPSers in the game due to her high early single target DPS. She can take it in a matter of seconds with the help of the jungler, putting your team way ahead or allowing them to catch up in gold.
  • Teamfights will begin to break out at this point. Remember that you are incredibly squishy even with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, so stay behind your tanks and frontline, and avoid getting bursted down at all costs.





Late Game


  • Cassiopeia does insane damage late game, especially when she has 6 items.
  • Cassiopeia has the highest late game single-target DPS in the game. If you can make it to late game, you should be able to demolish teamfights as long as you arent caught out and bursted down.
  • With no escape, you need to make sure that you stay far behind your front line and tanks to avoid getting picked off.
  • Do not wander off alone or by yourself.
  • Sometimes it is better to save your ult till halfway through a teamfight than to run in at the beginning putting yourself in harms way. Remember, Petrifying Gaze is an amazing re-engagement tool.
  • Poke the enemy down with your Noxious Blast when it is safe to do so. Though the damage is not that great, any free poke will give your team an advantage when the teamfight breaks out.
  • When getting sieged upon, drop your miasma in the way of the minions. It prevents engages due to the grounding effect, and late game it should do enough damage to make clearing the wave significantly easier for your team.





Warding





Most people fall into the noob trap of warding the side bushes of mid lane. Stop being lazy, and force yourself to instead either stealth or vision ward the bushes in the middle of the river on either side of mid lane. Note how this gives you vision of four different exits/entrances (denoted by the yellow circles) and some dragon control. This will give you plenty of time to react to an enemy jungler when they are near. Ward both sides if you can, however if this is not possible, ward one side and stick to it religiously.




This map should give you an idea of where you should be warding. Obviously early game you will want to have the bushes in river warded to protect yourself against ganks. As the game goes on, however, warding dragon and baron will become increasingly essential. If your support is not doing it, you need to take the initiative and ward. I cannot tell you how often games are won simply because of better vision. Sacrificing a little time/gold for vision goes a long way. Remember kids, wards saves lives. Don't just hold onto the trinket, USE IT!

Switch to this item ONLY when your team is doing an excellent job of warding up without you and the enemy team is also doing a good job of warding. This will help you clear out some of the wards on the map to help you better control the flow of the game

Switch to this item at around level 9, and start spamming it on cooldown. it really doesn't matter where you place the ward, just try to get down as many as you can to give your team as much information about enemy positions as possible.





Gameplay Videos





This is a youtube video of me playing Cassiopeia in early season 3. Though some things like the optimal item builds are different now, the gameplay, strategies, and tips remain largely the same. Yes I know I pronounce Ahri weirdly.




This is a youtube video of me playing Cassiopeia at the end of season 4. This if following patch 4.16 in which Cassiopeia received a rework. Her gameplay changed significantly, as did her optimal item build. That being said, a lot of her playstyle is still the same as before.




This is a video of a high elo Korean player playing Cassiopeia that was released a few months back. It really showcases what a well played Cassiopeia can actually do. Notice the amazing positioning, ridiculous DPS, and high speed action.


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Conclusion and Special Thanks




Thank you for visiting and reading my guide. I hope that you learned something about Cassiopeia and that it will help you towards your goal of mastering her. She is a very hard champion to play well, but do not give up on her. With enough practice you can become the Cassiopeia that everyone fears. Use the tips and trick above and I can guarantee you that you will see improvement in your play. If you have any suggestions, advice, or questions, feel free to leave me a comment here or message me. As always, please try out the build before voting.

Special thanks to Robin, Jeff, Chris, Christian, and Jordan Fawcett for putting up with me over the years and allowing me to mid every game to practice and master this amazingly rewarding champion.

Also, thank you to King Cobra for his insightful guide and tips.


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Updates and Revisions

3/17/14 Initial Posting
3/23/14 Fixed Spelling/Mistakes, Enabled C2V
3/26/14 Spelling
4/2/14 Added a second gameplay video
4/6/14 Updated Runes
4/25/14 Updated item build/section/SS/matchups
5/7/14 Spelling/Grammar
5/10/14 Updated various sections
5/30/14 Updated Masteries
6/12/14 Updated various sections
7/4/14 Updated Tips
7/16/14 Updated Items/runes/SS/matchups
9/7/14 Updated matchup section
9/16/14 Patch 4.17 Update
10/7/14 Updated various sections
10/25/14 Updated Matchup section
11/12/14 Corrected a couple math errors
12/13/14 Incorporated patch 4.21 Changes
1/11/15 Updated various sections
4/26/15 Updated various sections
7/11/15 Updated Masteries, Runes, and Items
9/8/15 Updated Various Sections
9/18/15 Updated Various Sections
11/11/15 Patch 5.22 Mastery Update
6/7/16 Patch 6.10 Update
10/12/16 Updated various sections