Kassadin Build Guide by m4dbragi

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 m4dbragi

Kassadin - The Purple People Eater (AD/Hybrid)

m4dbragi Last updated on April 3, 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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater

Just imagine: There is a legendary hero with a unique sword. This champion was lost in the void and after many, many years of misery he finally managed to get out of this nightmare. In the meantime there is a war going on in Valoran. A war between the two major forces on the continent: Noxus and Demancia.
Of course our hero wants to join in and fight for the greater good.
Awesome story, truly outrageous!
He is taking his good old sword and wants to Rift Walk in right away, but what the hell the summoner is doing?
"Use ure pink bubble and your purple shampoo-void-wavesto scare those bastards of" he commands.

WTF am i? A stupid Yordle??? Is this ****ing Pokelol??

In order to prevent our dear purple people eater from further outbreaks of rages, here is my suggestion: Why don't we let him use this weird sword and see what happens?

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Change log

- Sunday, 1st April 2012: Added chapter about team-composition (thanks a lot to Duh_Cookeh_Monstar for the inspiration!)
- Tuesday, 3rd April 2012: put on "Require comment to vote" so that I "don't get trolled", thanks for the hint, JoZHa :)

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what the hell is this guide, and what does it do?

So, after playing League of Legends for nearly two years now I finally came upon an idea that I find worthy to be posted. Not because I will revolutionize League of Legends or the way Kassadin will be played but because I just think that this build is a lot of fun to play and there might be even some potential - in the right hands - which are probably not mine, cause they tend to be clumsy. ;)

The first question that suggests itself is: Why would I want to play Kassadin rather ad than ap? All his spells scale with ap, don't they?

I'll try to give five answers to this legitimate question:
1. great mobility. Kassadin is one of the champions with highest mobility, which makes him great eliminating enemy ap/ad-carries. Especially against ap-champions Kassadin is very effective due to his silence and bonus magic resistance.
2. Kassadins Nether Blade is synergizing well with this build.
3. Kassadins early/mid game is quite strong, making it easy to farm and keeping the opponent under control. Especially after lvl 3 his Null Sphere deals quite some dmg - even without having ap/mpen-runes or early ap/mpen-items.
4. After using his spells, an ap-Kassadin can't do much, whereas this Kassadins build starts to deal the real dmg after using his spells to shut down the opponent (that is just true for the second part of the game though, but i will explain that later on).
5. It is just great fun to play something non-mainstream and still don't fail completely :)

So, let's just give it a try and see, and let me explain the ideas behind it to you.

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Wait a second! What about Team compositions?

There might be one big problem, that occurs when you play ad-Kassadin in mid:
The team composition that is very often played at the moment is: 1 mage in mid, support+ad range bot, off-tank solo top/jungle, tank jungle/ solo top.
What happens if you throw in a champ like ad Kassa in mid? Won't you lack magic damage?

It is absolutely true, this build will make this ordinary teamcomposition imbalanced due to the lack of magic damage.But what I think is, that you will always have to pick champions depending on what your team members and your opponents pick. And it's not too hard to rearrange teams a bit, so that you put your dmg output in balance again - even if you put an ad-champion mid.

Ive got a possible solution for this problem:
Let a tanky mage like Vladimir, Sion, Gragas, Morgana, Fizz or Swain take solo top lane. They should be able to deal with off-tanks, whom they're going to face.
The role of the off tank could either be played by the tanky top mage, or by your jungler. In that case you would have to send your carry on bot-lane together with a tanky support like Alistar or Leona. But I think you could also completely skip the off tank, if you've got a tanky mage, and a pure tank in jungle like Shen or Rammus, or maybe even Maokai if you are still worried about the magic dmg. A third possibility would be to send an ad-carry bot, that also deals magic dmg like Vayne or Miss Fortune, Ezreal, maybe even an ad- Nidalee.
You see, there are still a lot of possibilities for a balanced team, even if you send a melee ad carry mid. Just tell you're team members of your plan, and hope, that they have either read this guide, or are broad minded. ;)

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Pros and Cons

+ ad-assassin (pretty cool)
+ high mobility
+ very strong laning-phase from lvl 6 on, especially vs mages
+ ap dmg early on, ad/ap midgame, ad late game -> diversified playing style
+ silence, slow
+ notmainstream
+ fun to play

- new way to play Kassadin, therefor a lot of flame against u if u fail
- Not quite as strong as ap-Kassadin early game
- squishier than off-tanks, but same job (take out carries)-> practice when to jump in, positioning is quite important
- not a good farmer very early on (especially if playing vs ranged carries)

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Who might be interested in this Guide?

I would consider myself a just-for-fun player. Even though I have played about 2500 games and played on three different servers, I would still consider myself average. I'm mainly playing solo, non-ranked games and therefore can't tell, if this guide is potential for ranked games as well (But I am going to test this, if you don't hear from me again, I got banned due to trolling, then this build is NOT working on ranked games =) ) .
I would not advice this build to people that are playing in competitions or to people that are ambitious or consider themselves "pros".
The important Thing about this guide is rather to present a new idea about a champion that i am really fond of, than to create a Pwnadin-Guide. If u are looking for such a guide you might get disappointed (even though I'm not sure, cause this Guide might work on higher skill-lvls as well, i just can't prove it, due to lack of skill :P ).

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Suggested Runes

Which Runes you wanna have, depends on what runes you've got in first place, what your play-style is like, which enemies you assume you will face, or which of your skill-deficits you want to have compensated. So this chapter is more like a guideline which runes I consider to be useful for this build.

Greater Mark of Desolation I use those ones, because they help your Void-Man to increase the dmg-output in mid- and late-game a lot!
If u want to dominate early game you can also use those: Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration or even those Greater Mark of Magic Penetration.
I've never tried Attackspeed-Runes with this build, but they should be quite nice as well, because they synergize with Nether Blade.

Greater Seal of Armor those are pretty useful. You are a melee-fighter and thats the reason why making you tougher can be considered to be a good idea. Especially early on those runes increase your staying power a lot and are therefor very useful. Later on they'll help you to do your job - taking out the enemy dmg-dealer(s) - easier.
As alternative i would consider those Greater Seal of Vitality (especially when the enemy-team consists mainly of magic-dmg-dealers) or those Seal of Scaling Mana Regenerationif u got mana-problems early on or if u want to harass a lot in combination with Greater Mark of Magic Penetration.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist those are pretty decent. You will probably face a mage if your team lets you take mid lane. This helps you early on, but it also helps to survive teamfights. Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown ReductionThose are pretty decent as well but more offensive orientated .

There are a bunch of options for this category. I use Greater Quintessence of Health for more staying power. Health is also quite nice in combination with your Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist runes. Another possibility would be to go for Greater Quintessence of Desolation or even Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed. The problem I see there is that you sacrifice early game dominance for late-game-improvement. This could go terrible wrong if you get outzoned due to your squishyness. But if you feel skilled enough, or if you know that you are going to face weak players you can definitely go for a more offensive orientated build.

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Masteries and Skill Sequence

As masteries I use a 21-9-0 build. It is along the lines of some off-tank mastery-builds and provides us with staying-power and improves our dmg-output.

The Skill Sequence is like Riftwalk> Null Sphere> Nether Blade> Force Pulse (after spending 1 Point at lvl 2 for the slow)

The early points in Null Sphere provide you with a good harass-power or make it easier to last hit minions (if the opponent tries to deny your farm with your auto attack). When u reached lvl 3, your Null Sphere will do noticeable dmg to your opponent - even without early ap-items or mp/ap-runes. At lvl 6 it should be quite easy for you to harass him with combinations of Riftwalk and Null Sphere. Do not use Force Pulse to harass, it's only purpose at this phase of the game is to slow down the enemy to escape or to ensure a kill. After you've got your Wit's End you're Nether Blade gets more and more important. This should be around lvl 10 (min 14). Always make sure to activate it and hit the enemy a few times when you Riftwalk on him.

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Summoner Spells

Which summoner spells you use also depends on your personal skill. Personally i tend to use Flash. It is simply very nice to have another Spell like Rift Walk in case you overextend and need to gtfo or to get an careless enemy by Flash, Rift Walk and Null Sphere.
Cleanse would be best though i suppose but if you're not fast enough to immediately hit d/f after you got stunned, it's not that awesome. For example if you need 1 second to realize that you are stunned, and another 0.5 second to react then Cleanse it's quite pointless to pick this spell at all. In some cases you still can use Cleanse over Flash. For example if u are playing versus an Ashe and are as skilled as I am at avoiding Enchanted Crystal Arrow, then Cleanse can help to skip a long stun that might result in a sudden death. ;)
Another situation where Cleanse can be considered to be superior, is if the enemy team consists of a lot of champions with cc (especially stuns tend to make our purple people eater the purple people eaten).

As second summoner spell I would recommend Exhaust. It is quite useful cause you can either use it as defensive or as offensive spell. Another positive side effect is that you can easily take out high dmg-dealing champions by rift walking, silencing and exhausting them.
Other options would be Ignite or Heal. I would pick ignite if there are champs like Dr. Mundo, Nasus, Vladimir, Soraka or other champs on the enemy team, that need recovery skills to stay in team fights. Heal can be useful sometimes, because you can save a team member that is low on health easily by Rift Walk, Heal, Force Pulse, Null Sphere on targets, that do have cc-spells.

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Now we are in the probably most interesting chapter of this guide: the item build section.

To start with: at the first few minutes of the game this build is not that different from other Purple People Eater-guides. You start with a Meki Pendant and 2 Health Potion. The first thing you should do when retreating to base is to upgrade your Meki Pendant into a Tear of the Goddess. This will satisfy the mana-thirst of our little buddy. After you got your Boots of Speed it is getting unorthodox and therefor interesting:
Our first item that will provide us with attackspeed will be Wit's End. It is not only providing us with quite strong bonus of 42 magic damage but also with bonus magic resistance that is further increased if we start auto attacking! Together with our passive Void Stone this makes us an awesome counter versus every mage. The magic-damage that is blocked by our passive will increase the attackspeed. This will make us hit faster and thereby will keep our stacks from Wit's End up. Combined with Nether Blade you will now deal around 140 bonus dmg ( Nether Blade lvl 5) per blow in addition to your base damage!

Even though Wit's End is a great Item for our little fellow, there are situations where other Items might be required. Especially if you are facing ad-champions Madred's Razors can be a good alternative investment to keep up lane dominance/your farm going.
But usually you will face a mage in mid and therefor mr will be better. If facing a mage, I would advice you to buy Null-Magic Mantle before Recurve Bow.

After you got those two items you got a lot of possibilities, depending on what direction your game is going. If you do have lane dominance and the impression that it might be an easy game you should go for Sheen and Manamune. If its not going too well and you think u might wanna have more staying power, get Ruby Crystal, go for Phage as fast as possible and buy a Vampiric Scepter next. Afterwards you can go for Manamune and then - depending if your situation improved or not - go for more offensive power or more defensive stuff. For example if you can't even get to the enemy carries cause you get disabled all the time, then go for Banshee's Veil. If one of the ad-carries is already too fed, to take him out 1 on 1 you can go for Frozen Heart or Guardian Angel (get Chain Vest first).

If the game is going well then you can go for a more offensive orientated playing style and head for Trinity Force next. This is a great item for this Kassadin build and it will increase your dmg output a lot! After Trinity you can either go for more ad-style and form a The Bloodthirster out of your Vampiric Scepter, which you already should have by then or - especially if your team already got heavy ad - you can go for either Madreds Bloodrazor or Hextech Gunblade. Madreds Bloodrazor is also a very good choice if the enemy team is very tanky and stacking loads of armor.

Of course there are other viable items such as Malady, Guinsoo's Rageblade, Hexdrinker or the new Maw of Malmortius which would turn you into a complete mage-hardcore-counter. The Black Cleaver or Phantom Dancer are nice toys in this build as well. All those items can be useful in specific situation and you should keep them in mind.

But what the hell bragi, do you fight in your Boots of Speed till the end of the game? You got some sort of leather fetish?

Damn, you got me there (not speaking about the fetish though, troll -.-). I was hoping to be able to avoid this question, cause it's sort of a tricky one: I didn't find out, which boots are the best yet. I tend to use Berserker's Greaves but there are also situations where Mercury's Treads or even Ninja Tabi can be a better choice. Also there are some situations/rune/itembuilds where you could consider Sorcerer's Shoes or even Ionian Boots of Lucidity. I will have to try those various options the upcoming weeks and I am going to post my results here.
For the moment I got the feeling that Berserker's Greaves offer much more to you in 80% of the game than the other boots do.

I would upgrade my boots as soon as I've figured out, which boots will be best versus the enemy team but definitely after I've bought Tear of the Goddess, sometimes even after Wit's End.

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Great, now i got a bunch of ad-items on my void-guy. What next?

You should go to your lane and try to pwn!

Best lane would be definitely mid lane. You can farm pretty well and you should be superior to most mage-champs, that are likely to play on mid. Another option would be solo top even though it will be much tougher as you probably are facing an ad-offtank or something that might bully you a lot if u get close to the minions such as Irelia, Jarvan IV, Cho'Gath, Garen, Sion, Xin Zhao or even worse Graves, who turned out to be quite a ***** without any humor when I've faced him. ;)
You should leave your bot lane to a support+carry combo. Ranged-ad-champs are quite dangerous to face until lvl 6.
clear and brief: take mid lane. ;)

Try to farm as much as possible. If necessary, last hit with your Null Sphere (make sure you get the Siege Minions, showing up every third minion wave). At lvl 3 you can start to harass your opponent in mid (unless it is a champ like Vladimir who is healing the amount of dmg you are dealing to him easily at this spell lvl of yours - such a killjoy...).
At lvl 6 it is going to be interesting. You've got your Riftwalk and therefor are able to harass more aggressively, if the situation permits. Otherwise just keep on farming.
If you've got your first ad/as items you can Riftwalk on your opponent, instantly use Null Sphere on him, activate your Nether Blade and hit him 2-3 times. This should already cause serious dmg to your target.
Kassadin is great at ganking, so you should try to visit the other lanes from time to time, especially if the enemy team is overextending. Inform yourself whether there are wards placed or not! Otherwise you kinda look stupid going back on your mid lane, sad like a clown. (you already look like a stupid ***-clown to some smart***-wannabepros because of your build, so no need to overextend furthermore ;) )

At 5 vs 5 teamfights always go in after your tank initiated and don't Riftwalk in, if all the disables of the enemy team are still up. When they start focusing your team members Riftwalk on the enemy target, that is causing most dmg (most likely the ad/ap carry) and try to take him/her out. It should be easy for you to get between the tanks and the carries. Keep in mind: The more often you use Riftwalk the higher the dmg of it will be!
If your team wins the fight, you can easily chase fleeing enemies. There is hardly any champion that is able to escape Kassadin
If your team/you fail, try to get out of the sticky situation and rescue as many team members as you can, by silencing and slowing the enemy team but don't get caught!
You will have noticed, that the way you are acting with this Kassadin is changing at mid-game. Early on you are playing like boring standard Kassadin. But after you got your first core items, you will turn into a melee monster. Now you should try to get as many hits on your enemy as possible, because you are going to deal tons of dmg with your autoattack now(in Combination with Nether Blade)
Thats one of the main reasons why I like this build so much:
Your not the only one, that has to change strategies during the game, also your enemies will have to, if they want to stay competitive.

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Here is sort of a protocol from my last game facing a morgana in mid (it was kinda noob game, but the important information you should take out of it, is when you should have what item and how your farm should go):
min 1:00 lvl 1 Meki Pendant + 2 Healing Potions creep kills: 0
min 6:40 lvl 6 Tear of the Goddess + Boots of Speed
min 9:22 lvl 7 Null-Magic Mantle + 3 Healing Potions creep kills: 55
min 14:00 lvl 10 Wit's End
Game ended 21 min, stats 23 13, i got 8.1k gold - 11 champ kills (noob game) = 6k gold due to the 120 creep kills. Magic dmg dealt was 22k, physic dmg 24. But this would have increased lategame.

But I'm sure, you can do better! :)

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Final Statement

Please remember, that this guide is not finished yet. This is just the way I am playing him so far. In the upcoming weeks I will try to improve this build and I wanna make further experiences with it. If I notice interest from the community, I will try to improve this guide and add more chapters/improving the existing ones, that are considered to be stupid.

My main intention was - as said in the introduction - to create a new idea. This guide is far from being perfect. It is also the first guide I am writing which might excuse some of the mistakes, i might have done here.
But it is the idea behind it - to add new ways of thinking, trying out something new - that i like about it, and that forced me to share this idea with the community.I hope that I managed to write it in a way, so that you - dear reader - are able to find this general idea - to question things, that are said to be set in stone - in this very lines.

I would really like to have some feedback from you, maybe also some reports about your experiences with this build. Please notice that English is not my mother tongue and therefor you might find spelling mistakes or - even worse - grammar mistakes.
If some of those mistakes are adulterating the content, it would be nice of you to point those passages out, so I can correct them.

Thank you for reading my Guide and have fun trying it out! :)


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ad = attack damage (physic)
ap = ability power
as = attackspeed
cc = crowd control (slows, stuns, taunts, etc.)
dmg= damage
etc. = et cetera, you troll
F*** = F***
****ing= F***ing
gtfo = Get the F*** out
lvl = level
mr = magic resistance
off = offensive
wtf = what the f***