Kassadin Build Guide by Staw

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 Staw

Kassadin - Effective Development [Mid Guide]

Staw Last updated on October 30, 2012
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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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hey everybody!

I am Staw and even though I just reached lvl 30 with my first account, I wanted to share my ideas of how to build Kassadin, and concerning the top rated guides how I would like to change them. If you would like to improve something, please don't just downvote me, but tell me in the comments of your opinion. I wrote a little bit more to explain my thoughts, but you will always have graphics if the texts are too long for you.

Kassadin is my most favorite champ with his mysterious style, his great burst damage and his cool ultimate. I play him as mid AP carry, since there he is best. At least you should not jungle with him ;-)

This guide provides a constant damage increase while also granting some defensive stats, as Kassadin has a short to middle range, and after using his ultimate he will be next to the opponent very often. If you are not solo-queuing and you have a team which you can rely on and/or play very careful, you can play him full damage. I will talk about that later. As always it is only a guideline, so feel free to do some personal changes.

I hope you like my guide and have a lot of fun with it!

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Pros / Cons

+ Gigantic burst damage
+ Great Ulti -> free Flash, but longer range and with damage
+ Strong against AP casters
+ Strong late game
+ Blue buff is very effective on him
+ Fun to play: funny ult, OP look, OP sayings

- Easy to harass early game with some champions
- High mana costs, needs good management
- Vulnerable to CC
- Only mid-range skills, melee autoattacks

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power


Marks: Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Reason: They increase your damage and will make you deal almost true damage in combination with your Sorcerer's Shoes against champs that don't buy magic resistance items early. Moreover, a mixture of penetration and ability power runes works best.

Seals: Greater Seal of Replenishment
Reason: For your early game mana supply and thus to counter Kassadins mediocre early game. They will make you able to harass your opponent with your Q much more and finally zone him or get him low, so you can kill him with a combo later.

Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Reason: For further damage increase. A high burst damage is what will make your enemies fear you. The glyphs damage enhancement will grow over the game.

Quintessences: Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Reason: For higher early game damage. While the glyphs provide AP that gets more till level 18, these quints give you 15 AP strait from the start. Consequently, you have a mixture of early and late game runes.


Marks: There are no real alternatives to the recommended ones in my opinion.

Seals: Greater Seal of Armor for more early game tankyness.
Greater Seal of Vitality for more late game toughness, when you may buy an armor and a magic resistance item. I would not recommend to take flat health seals, as health is only effective when you are ahead in armor and magic resistance.
Furthermore, I would not take level dependent mana regeneration seals, as mana problems will mainly occur in early game phase when Kassadins base mana regeneration is low.

Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction as CDR will mean greater spammability of your skills. You can take these e.g. if you want to replace my recommended CDR item in late game phase with another item. I would not take flat ones, because you need CDR when you already have a decent mana supply and enough AP and magic penetration.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist for higher late game defense against APs, when these are the strongest. If you take them, I would chose the level dependent ones, as in early game your passive is an existing MR mechanism.

Quintessences: You can change them with armor, magic resistance or health ones, if you already know your mid opponent, but I prefer to stick with the mentioned ones. You simply need the early damage. They will be better than the AP per level ones until late game. Due to his ultimate, Kassadin doesn't need movement speed like some other champions.

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I recommend to go 9/21/0.

This is simply because Kassadin is not a long ranged champion and his ultimate will often get him near enemies.

Offense tree:
If you pick Exhaust and Ignite, you will only need 1 point into Summoner's Wrath to improve both.
Get the 3 AD of Brute Force for better lasthitting,
4% CDR of Sorcery
and 10% magic penetration of Arcane Knowledge for damage increase.

Now, I wouldn't go further into the offense tree. Havoc would not make a noticeable change, if you calculate it. Executioner is only ok for you: Kassadin is a nuke champ, dealing a lot of immediate damage with only a few skills. Low health enemies will die with your next skill anyways. In comparison I think Juggernaut of the defensive tree is much better for you. It is always active and helps you versus CC too.

Defense tree:
Put the points as listed at the start of the guide. These 21 points give you nice defensive stats and some wanted CDR per level, which is important as an AP carry. Like I said before, Kassadin needs some toughness cause of his medium range and his ultimate. These defensive stats work well together with your early Rod of Ages.

Utility tree:
I prefer to leave it out. Nine Points in this tree would mainly give you a better mana supply and longer buff duration. When you chose my recommended way, you have mana regeneration seals and an early Rod of Ages, so it would be worthier to put the points elsewhere.


When you have a team that you can rely on, e.g. premade, and you play carefully, it could be more suggestive to put 21 points into the offense tree.
In this case you can take for instance
1 point into Summoner's Wrath ,
3 into Mental Force ,
3 into Brute Force for better lasthitting,
4 into Sorcery ,
1 into Arcane Knowledge ,
4 into Blast ,
4 into Archmage ,
1 into Executioner

and either in the utility tree
3 points into Expanded Mind ,
1 into Summoner's Insight if you took Flash, Clarity or Teleport (if not take 1 into Improved Recall ),
3 into Meditation ,
1 into Swiftness
and finally 1 into Runic Affinity

or in the defense tree
3 points into Hardiness ,
1 into Summoner's Resolve if you took Cleanse or Heal (otherwise take 1 into Resistance ),
4 into Durability
and after that 1 into Veteran's Scars .

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Core Items

1. Start with Boots of Speed (for getting to the minions faster to lasthit them (you have melee autoattacks) and better harassment) and 3 Health Potion for sustain.

2. Only if you have problems against your opponent, buy Doran's Ring, but I wouldn't buy more than 3.

3. Get your Catalyst the Protector, which restores some of your mana and health on level up -> sustain.

4. Finish the Rod of Ages. A very good item on Kassadin, giving him important health, which is good in combination with the recommended defense mastery tree and your Void Stone passive, mana for your skills and a good amount of AP. The 10 minute stat-increase is not too long.

5. As Kassadin is only an ok farmer, get a Kage's lucky Pick to let the gp5 start ticking. The 25 AP means damage, and damage is what we need at that time. You can build it into a Morello's Evil Tome or a Deathfire Grasp later.

6. Now you have so much AP, that increasing magic penetration leads to a higher damage output raise then getting more AP. Consequently get the Sorcerer's Shoes now. Additionally, they get you more running speed.

7. Get Rabadon's Deathcap, your main damage item. Its passive will also enhance the AP of your Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power, Greater Quintessence of Ability Power, masteries and items.

Advanced Items

Now, after we have finished the core item part, we have the needed damage to work and need to look at the game situation. At first I will give you information on my recommended advanced items, then I will introduce you situational items and lastly those I wouldn't recommend. Chose the order of the items, including those of the recommended advanced items, adaptive to the enemy team and how often you are dying.

8. Buy Zhonya's Hourglass as your armor item. It gives you much further AP, armor and a life-saving active. It is particularly for situations, when you could use your ultimate to flash out of danger, but it is on cooldown. Late game, the ultimate has a very low cooldown, so it is very annoying to die when you only would have had to wait 2 more seconds. Just switch it on and ult away immediately after. Get this when you are doing badly or average and the enemy team has strong ADs.

9. Morello's Evil Tome provides further AP and especially 20% CDR for a reasonable price, which brings your CDR to the cap of 40%, thus increasing your potential. At that time you have 12% CDR of your masteries and 20% of Morello's, so with Crest of the Ancient Golem (blue buff) or Elixir of Brilliance you will hit the cap. The mana regeneration helps you out, because more CDR = more skills used = more mana needed. Finally, the active is ok too. With a long range you can activate it before the actual fight. Get it when you are doing average to well or when the enemy team has healers like Swain, Master Yi or Fiddlesticks.

10. Buy Abyssal Scepter as your magic resistance item and get more AP, MR and a very useful aura. The MR is an effective investment as you already have the health of your Rod of Ages. Get this when you are doing badly or average, the enemy team has fed AP carrys and generally low MR. If there is already one in your team you should swap it for another item.

Situational Items

Banshee's Veil

Use it instead of Abyssal Scepter if you need even more magic defense, for the additional health enlarges your effective magic health and even effective armor. When the enemy team has a lot of CC and you couldn't activate Cleanse or a Quicksilver Sash active in time, take Banshee's. It sucks, when the only reason for your deaths are stuns.

Quicksilver Sash

If you are able to get the active popped immediately after you got CC'd and the enemy team has much of that, take the Sash. It provides a good amount of MR for a quite reasonable price. In teamfights I personally am too slow and get it only then activated, when the CC is almost over, so I prefer Banshee's, but it's up to you.

Frozen Heart

If the enemy team has got extreme AD power, you can replace your Zhonya's Hourglass with the Frozen Heart. The massive amount of armor and attack speed slow will strongly decrease their damage output. Also, you get more mana for spamming your ultimate, but don't forget, that without Zhonya's active you should only jump on your enemies if they couldn't kill you fast. Concerning the nice 20% CDR you might change your Morello's Evil Tome or Deathfire Grasp into another item, because you will exceed the CDR cap otherwise -> less cost effectiveness.

Deathfire Grasp

You can build your Kage's Lucky Pick into a Deathfire Grasp instead of a Morello's Evil Tome if you want to maximize your burst, making you capable of killing many of the enemy champs with one combo. Since the patch you might be lacking CDR then and you should only buy it after several AP items, but it is still good against health stackers like Dr. Mundo or Cho'Gath because it does percentage damage to their life pool. Use it when a fight starts or directly after you ulted on an enemy.

Void Staff

This staff helps you to get through the enemy's magic resistance if at least 2 or 3 of them are stacking MR. As a general rule, it gets more effective than an Abyssal Scepter, when the opponent has more than approximately 100 MR. Another argument to buy it is, when you doing relatively well and don't think you need defensive stats right now.

Guardian Angel

If you think that the next teamfight could end the game, you get heavily focused or you have a well organized (premade) team, get a GA. Get it as one of your last items, as a Kassadin with only boots and a GA will make your opponent laugh. The high defensive stats make you kind of tanky and the revive passive can be good on Kass, because the health and mana you get after dying is enough to let you ult away and maybe save your life. The question if you like this item will be a thing of personal preference too.

Athene's Unholy Grail

The young Athene's helps you out when you have some mana problems and comes with nice AP, CDR and MR. You can consider to buy it as your lategame MR item, bringing your CDR to the cap (you should probably change Morello's or Deathfire Grasp then), but ONLY when you don't get Crest of the Ancient Golem , since with blue buff the CDR and mana regeneration would be relatively wasted. Despite its good looking stats, you see it very seldom in games and I had the impression that it is only in some situations good on Kassadin.

Not recommended

Mejai's Soulstealer

Mejai's is a classic AP snowball item. Actually it is working well on Kassadin as he is a nuker, and when he is ahead in AP he will very likely get more kills, but on the other hand it is simply a kind of randomizing item. It will make you either rule the game or get real problems due to money waste and overextending and then dying, so besides it decreases the amount of balanced and thus exciting games, it makes your outcome unreliable - and we want a constant effective performance that you can rely on. Consequently get it only when you are ruling anyways or if you like that playstyle.

Lich Bane

I think Lich Bane is not fitting Kassadin very good, because you need a basic amount of AP to make the passive interesting and this makes it a middle to late game item (there you also want to get the MR). But in late game the provided movement speed multiplyer and the passive proc are ineffective, since you have your ultimate for mobility and you can't get next to the enemy very often in late game. This is because you are not "extremely" tanky and you need to get into melee to hit them with an autoattack for the proc. Also you can work without that extra mana in lategame, when your basic mana regeneration is pretty high. So if you like it buy it, but I personally didn't have the feeling it fits.

Archangel's Staff

Since Kassadin is not a skill-spammer, it would take a long time to load the tear/staff and you wouldn't have much of it all the time. If you learn to manage your mana well, that means for example not to use your ultimate in short intervals with increasing mana costs when you don't really need it, you won't have serious mana problems. With blue buff you don't have mana problems anyways. Then, it is an item that one should buy early in the game to load the passive and it doesn't offer defensive stats, so it has deficits against a Rod of Ages on Kassadin. Regarding these facts, it is simply too expensive and fits other champions better in my opinion.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

The main reason why I don't like it on Kassadin is that the slow gets a reduction for Area of Effect skills and this is relevant for Force Pulse and Riftwalk. Also, it is more helpful on champions with low cooldowns. The high amount of life is in many cases simply not effective in contrast to the price, as you already have some of your Rod of Ages. More health is only good when you are ahead in armor and magic resistance. If you buy it after Zhonya's and Abyssal then the health would be effective, but you might be lacking CDR, and damage output is what you need as an AP carry. It is not a bad item, but I think it wouldn't be a good idea on Kassadin. By all means, it's YOUR free choice to try it.

Sample builds

The sample builds are only a raw guideline. Chose the order of the ingredient items (=lower tier ones) according to the game progress and your personal preference.

Standard items for an average game

Item Sequence

Rod of Ages

Rabadon's Deathcap

Zhonya's Hourglass

Morello's Evil Tome

Abyssal Scepter

Against strong APs with low MR
Item Sequence

Rod of Ages

Rabadon's Deathcap

Abyssal Scepter

Banshee's Veil

Morello's Evil Tome

Against strong APs with high MR
Item Sequence

Rod of Ages

Rabadon's Deathcap

Banshee's Veil

Void Staff

Athene's Unholy Grail

Against strong ADs with low MR
Item Sequence

Rod of Ages

Rabadon's Deathcap

Frozen Heart

Zhonya's Hourglass

Abyssal Scepter

Against strong ADs with high MR
Item Sequence

Rod of Ages

Rabadon's Deathcap

Frozen Heart

Void Staff

Zhonya's Hourglass

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Skill Sequence and Explanation

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

Level 1: Start with the Q Null Sphere, which is a nice poke ability and mutes the opponent, so he can't cast back skills immediately. If you are getting harassed and have a relatively full mana pool, you can get some lasthits with it or kill creeps when they are under your tower.

Level 2: Get the W Nether Blade, which helps you to maintain your mana and to improve lasthitting or in case of early fights as additional damage source.

Level 3: Level up your Q Null Sphere.

Level 4: Pick the E Force Pulse, but let it load and use it mainly in case of fights. It does the same high damage as the Q Null Sphere and has a great short ranged Area of Effect slow, so it's good when you hit multiple targets. In combination with your ultimate, you will be able to hunt down runners very good. When the opponent laner is away, you can use it for fast farming, e.g. if enemy creeps are under your tower.

Level 5: Level up your Q Null Sphere.

Level 6: Take your ultimate, the R Riftwalk. From now on you are going to be a real threat to your opponents. You can use it both to attack and to retreat from a fight. Try to get your enemy down to like 50% health, then use your main kill combo on him, which is

Kill Combo

Riftwalk (R) on him,
immediately hit him with Null Sphere (Q),
then use Force Pulse (E) on him,
then (if you took it) cast Exhaust,
switch your Nether Blade (W) on and start autoattacking him,
and at last Ignite him when he is low.

In case you should get low, you can ult away (at least if you have enough mana left ;-) ). You shouldn't wait too long with the Ignite when your enemy has Flash up.
When you use it to escape, try to ult over objects like trees to make it harder for them to hunt you. The ultimate has a greater range than Flash and does damage in a small radius, but try to wait before you cast it another time, as the mana costs will increase heavily.

Subsequently max your Q Null Sphere.

Then max your E Force Pulse.

Finally max your W Nether Blade.

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Summoner Spells


You can get along without Flash, as your ultimate is an improved version of Flash and when you handle it intelligently, your ult will not often be on cooldown when you want to escape. Besides, with Zhonya's Hourglass this will happen even less often. If you take the recommended ones, you will only need 1 mastery point in Summoner's Wrath to improve both.

#1 Exhaust

Really disabling your opponent. Slowing him strongly, so he can't escape, minimizing their damage, especially those of melee enemies, and - if you took the point in Summoner's Wrath - reducing their armor and magic resistance by 10 -> even more damage.

#2 Ignite

The classic finishing off spell. Helps to kill enemies that decide to flash away in the last moment. Also reduces their healing. An unrestricted recommendation.

Also good


Good spell which can save your life and is particularly good for baiting, i.e. when they think your are low and they want to get you, Heal and pop all your skills on their ***es. When you took the defense mastery tree, pick Summoner's Resolve for the improvement. Also heals your allies, so it's super in a team fight or sometimes to rescue allies that run away with like 5% health points.


Actually I think you will get along without Clarity, if you learn to manage your mana well, but if you often find yourself out of mana in teamfights or so, consider to pick Clarity.


If you are fast enough to activate it when you get CC'd, chose it! Your are not a tank so stuns may be your death.


Helps you to get back to lane very fast after death or recall. Great for ganking, getting to a teamfight, pushing a lane (maybe backdoring), defending or simply farming. Try it if you want.


In most cases not as helpful as Flash, but it can be good for chasing your enemy with an activated Nether Blade or for other reasons. Take it if you like it.


Even though I like other spells more on Kassadin, Flash can help you in either offensive or defensive ways. If you end up dying when the ultimate is on cooldown and you don't have Zhonya's or you simply want to get further with your ultimate, feel free to chose Flash. Nonetheless I made the experience that Exhaust and Ignite work better on him.

Don't take the other summoner spells - they are not worth it.

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Performance vs. Champions

Kassadin has a strong laning phase against


Kassadin has a weak laning phase against


Performance Summary:
You can say that Kassadin is strong against classic AP casters that have problems with his mute and passive and that he is weak against champions with strong AD autoattacks and champions which are able to push their lane very hard.

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Closing Words

Thank you very much for reading my guide! I hope I could give you an interesting overview on Kassadin. If you have ideas on how to improve it, please don't just downvote me, but leave a comment to let me know what I could change.

GL & HF!