Kayle Build Guide by Hahano
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.
Kayle is a very high damage ganker coming from the jungle. I have recently taken a liking to her in the jungle and saw no guide for her, so here we are. I feel she is a strong jungle pick on teams that don't need a tank and an excellent solo queue champion. Her ultimate changes games and her ganks deal a ton of damage. So sit back, enjoy and kick some *** with Kayle: The Judicator. Bacon
Also, this guide will not be recieving the amount of attention it deserves. I have many other obligations and wanted mostly to spread the word about Kayle. My free time will be going to writing articles and improving my "Who is your jungler and what does he do?" guide.
Early Game Items
I like to start off Cloth Armor and five Health Potion. I'm sure other starts are viable, but Kayle's sustainability is pretty low as is. With that out of the way, I'm sure you're wondering what exactly to build after Giant's Belt and why I'm mentally defunct enough to put Elixirs as a finished build item. Here's how it will break down:
Game Start -Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion. Use your first health potion after starting blue, use your other health potions when moving from Wraiths to Golems. You will be chugging from then on out, so keep it up.
First Recall -Madred's Razors. You get a movespeed buff from your Divine Blessing, which makes boots not as necessary early on. The Razor will give her much needed sustainability and damage.
Second Recall -Berserker's Greaves. This in combination with Madred's Razor will give you much needed attack speed. This is more important than finishing Wriggle's Lantern because you don't need the life sustain as much as want the attack speed for clearing team objectives and ganking.
Third Recall and On -Finish your Wriggle's Lantern and purchase whatever piece of Wit's End you have money or need for. I typically get Wriggle's Lantern and Null-Magic Mantle to even out my resistances. With those two, you'll be hitting around 80+ dual resistance, which will be important when you go to gank high-damage lanes.
Wit's End is Done -I generally build tanky, or at least Giant's Belt, to help me survive. After the belt, you can go damage if you're fed or tankiness if you're behind.
Early Skilling Order
Many Kayle players choose to level Reckoning over Righteous Fury, however I do not. I find that an additional 10% damage from Reckoning and the 1.0 AD Scaling is worthless in the early game. My build does not prioritize attack damage and the base stats on Reckoning are not quite so high as to justify running it. This, as with anything here, is a preference. The utility in clear speed that Righteous Fury offers is better than an extra kick to your ganks.
Early Jungle Route
Aggressive Ganking Route:
Wolves > Blue (need a leash) > Wraiths > Golems > Gank
Wolves > Blue (need a leash) > Wraiths > Golems > Red > Wraiths > Wolves > Recall
Very simple, I'll have a video for it later. Jungling routes are a hoax anyway, just play your way through this and you'll be fine.
This will be your overall skill path in any game. I hardly ever deviated from this when I was set on a build and I think it is the optimal skilling.
Kayle's basic attacks against enemy champions reduces their armor and magic resistance by 3% for 5 seconds (stacks up to 5 times).
This is a pretty deceptive passive. At a glance, it looks pretty ridiculous, but overall the amount of change is makes is fairly insignificant. Even at maximum stats of a -15% reduction, you'll see nothing more than a 5% damage increase. This in combination with her Reckoning allows for ~15% damage increase to a single target, but it's still not significant. Damage is damage, though, so I guess I shouldn't complain.
This skill is pretty awesome. The % damage increase, as mentioned above, isn't really that significant. I find I use it for extra Smite damage more than anything else, but the real reason this is strong is the slow. A 35% slow at 1 rank of this skill makes it very useful, and the fact that it lasts 4 seconds is hilarious. This is akin to a Nunu gank, however she has not only a move speed buff but ranged damage. This skill is pretty much the reason you can jungle her.
Blesses a target allied champion, healing them for 45 / 85 / 125 / 165 / 205 (+35% of ability power) health and increasing their movement speed by 15 / 17 / 19 / 21 / 23 % for 2.5 seconds.
This skill gives Kayle some much needed early sustainability otherwise not given. She also can use this to plow through the jungle faster and to buff an ally in need. The heal portion of it is relatively insignificant, however the movespeed boost has saved many lives. You'll only need 1 level of this baby and you're set.
This is the coolest skill ever. Well maybe not, but it's certainly super badass. This is what makes Kayle's jungling so quick as well as her ganks deadly. The 400 range is nothing to scoff at, either, especially since the range is on par with her slow. When you're using this, try to step and attack like you do in Starcraft micro. This allows you to remain close enough to do damage throughout a gank.
Kayle bathes a target ally champion (or herself) in a holy light, rendering them immune to all damage for 2 / 2.5 / 3 seconds.
Absolutely ridiculous. This skill makes Kayle viable late game and invaluable to a team. Learn to use this properly to not only save an ally, but shed damage as well as dive turrets. An amazing skill that requires a lot of judgment to use properly.
My original builds were intentionally vague above. I follow that like it's my core in almost every single game, with a few exceptions, which I will go over below.
Itemization has to be on a custom basis, there is no set item path for anyone. If you're playing an AD carry and they have 3 AP burst AP lanes, you have to get something like a Negatron Cloak. If you're dying too quickly, you must build tankier. If you're out ahead you should build more damage. The list goes on, and the purpose of this is to make you think of what to build.
Normal Game, Not Behind:
These items are very good to be broken into pieces and built over time, giving you a much easier curve to the top. You can itemize them for damage or survivability or in pieces if you need one right away or can't afford another.
|MM||This is a solid item to have on Kayle. It's not the best choice, but if you have a lot of squirmy opponents, it gives you tankiness as well as inescapability.|
|MM||A solid item against an AD heavier comp if you have to take damage.|
|MM||This gives you a lot of damage as well as tankiness and attack speed. I ran this on games when I felt I needed to be hitting their team harder.|
Normal Game, Behind:
These are the items you'll want to build when times are tough. If you were early counter jungled or perhaps died on a few of your ganks, turn here. You will want to pick up one or two of these, and then return to your damage or attack speed oriented build. Don't continue to build full support into the late game as you'll fall even further behind. These have small pieces and large, cheap benefits to help get you out of the gutter.
|Philosopher's Stone||MM||Any GP5 item works very well when you're behind, and this one will also leave you at a higher life and mana total in the jungle. It's not great on her, but you can always build it into a Shurelya's Reverie|
|MM||Another GP5 that helps your tankiness and sustain. You want to build like a support when you're behind because they have cheap, effective items that help their late game.|
||MM||Cheap and effective. Get one early against heavy damage like LeBlanc or Tryndamere.|
You Are Fed:
These are items you can build to push your advantage once you've already gotten it. I classify fed on a jungler as having more than 3 or 4 kills in the early/mid game. A single kill is a nice boost and can help buy your core, but you need a lot more in order to snowball.
|MM||It may not be as good as it once was, but you can get it in pieces early to continue to push advantage hard. Having a Bilgewater Cutlass on top of Wriggle's Lantern and Berserker's Greaves in the early game will make you a dunking machine.|
|MM||This item works well for Kayle on many levels. You can itemize out Recurve Bow early and then build this just in time for their tanks to get life. It will shred things so hard if you're fed and isn't worth rushing if you're behind.|
|MM||A lot of damage, armor shredding and attack speed, Kayle's formula for success.|
|MM||Armor penetration, attack speed, move speed and a damage boost. An early The Brutalizer is also a very strong ganking tool to have, plus the cooldown reduction is great for Kayle.|
Items I don't like:
These are things I don't like on Kayle, whether they're popular or not.
|MM||The extra damage is meh, you don't want AP that much, nor do you do AP damage. This can maybe help if you have an AP heavy team, but they're not going to fear your 50 splash magic damage.|
|MM||I so hate having to stack it up. By the time this is useful in a fight, it's over. By the time it's useful in the jungle, the creeps are dead. Mostly preference, but this item is garbage.|
|MM||I tried it out when I was fed and was underwhelmed with it. It offers a lot of things she wants, but her damage isn't really coming from TF unlike the popular abusers such as Udyr or Irelia.|
MMMKayle really isn’t too hard to play. You have to practice judgment on both your Intervention and learn when to gank. If you’re strong with another jungler, the skills will transfer over nicely and she does a lot of damage by just auto attacking. You want to be walking when you’re auto-attacking, so you will have to practice your micro.
MMMKayle’s jungling speed is insanely fast. Righteous Fury dishes out a lot of pain to the minions, which makes your clear very quick. Kayle also builds attack speed more than damage in most circumstance, leaving the camps to be taken down quickly without wasted splash damage. She isn’t as fast as Shyvana or Udyr, but it’s pretty close.
MMMEarly on she takes more damage than I would like and pretty much requires a Cloth Armor start. While she has no mana issues at all, her early life and squishiness are the things that come into play. She won’t be too sustained until after you pick up lifesteal, which is late enough in the game that she is vulnerable for her first 6 or so levels.
MMMShe has a strong slow at level 3 as well as a ton of damage in a gank. Most times I can just walk in and solo their laner, which is saying something for a jungler. After her Intervention she is able to tower dive like a beast and becomes a real threat to laners. High damage and good CC gives her very powerful ganks.
MMMAs I said earlier, her early life isn’t anything to write home about. She can dish out some serious damage in the early levels, but can’t really take any herself. This leads her pretty weak to a strong invader. Combine this with her wanting a lot of farm to make herself more tanky leads to a relatively flimsy deflection.
MMMShe is pretty solid in countering, but is nothing remarkable. She will do high damage to anyone she invades, but has to be very careful about it. Her camp clear is extremely fast, but also doesn’t leave much opportunity to cripple. This isn’t really the reason you play Kayle, but it’s possible.
MMMEven if you’re 0-50, one word needs be said to make this rating high: Intervention. The utility this brings to a team is crazy and is a real noob insulator. AD Carry out of position? Now he doesn’t die! Top lane super fed and can DPS their whole team down? Now he doesn’t die! It’s an extremely useful ultimate for any game and it has a low cooldown to boot. When Kayle isn’t behind, she will also do crazy DPS to their team and shred the tanks down fairly well. When built as an aspd bruiser, Kayle will really dish out some hurting.
Tips and Tricks
- Learn to “step” your auto-attacks with Righteous Fury. This means if you’re far away from your target, attack, move towards them, attack again, move towards them. It will be difficult to master, but is essential in maintaining your DPS for a gank or moving target.
- In the early game, don’t pretend you’re invincible. Be very careful before you have Intervention and don’t take many risks.
- When you’re going to gank, use Divine Blessing on yourself first. This will give you an extra kick in the *** to fly out of the bushes and slow them.
- Righteous Fury and Reckoning have the same range, so you whoever you can slow you can hit. When you try to activate both quickly, make sure it did it. I had issues when I quickly pressed QE and E doesn’t activate or Q doesn’t fire. You can E first when coming out and then Q and attack at the same time.
- Intervention is not Chronoshift. You do not have to use it like a life saving device, you can use it in many ways. Learn the effectiveness of the ultimate exploit it, don’t just try to save the one person who will die.
- Respect her damage, but realize that it comes at a cost. She has to be relatively close to beat you up and is not tanky early on. Her ganks can turn on her in a hurry, so be aware that she’s killable.
- Her Intervention is good, but it’s not without its faults. Try to spread your damage out or CC Kayle in order to have it be ineffective.
- Kayle can fall behind pretty quickly if she gets killed or invaded. Much like other high-damage users in the jungle, not having farm or kills puts her behind and makes her relatively useless.
- If you don’t have a lot of burst damage and see her coming to gank you, run away immediately. Her slow has a pretty high range and her attacks hurt a lot. Don’t risk your life, leave right away.
MMMKayle goes well on any team, really. She is ineffective as a tank, though, so try to fill that role on top lane. She also synergizes very well with CC effects and weaker early laners because of her high damage, early ganks.
>Example Team: Jax (top), Janna (mid), Kayle (jungle), Graves (bot), Taric (bot)
Top lane has a weak early sustainability and CC to use on a gank, which works out well for Kayle. Mid lane has a shield that, when combined with Intervention, makes a person on your team nearly unkillable, while also offering 2 forms of CC for your gank. Bottom lane is a CC-high burst lane that will drop a target instantly.
>Good against: Solo queue idiot carries on your team, anything she’s not bad against.
>Bad against: Sustained damage teams, lots of CC (like Amumu) and strong early invasion.
In conclusion, Kayle is a solid jungler. Her lack of a reliable late game can make her play very variable, but having high damage ganks as well as a "noob insulator" in your ultimate allow you to have consistent games with enough skill. She is a fun and rewarding character to play, only costs 450 IP and is a nice addition to most teams.
If you have any other comments and remarks, be sure to post them.