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.
FOR BUILDS CLICK ONE OF THE KASSADIN ICONS ABOVE. DIFFERENCES EXPLAINED IN GUIDE
Hello there. Today I am going to teach you how to use Kassadin properly in 5v5 matches.
This is my first guide here, so I will keep this as straight-forward as I can.
You should first test out this build in 3v3, since it's a lot easier there to get used to Kassadin.
Note: just added images! Enjoy :)
In this guide I'll be covering:
- Why choose Kassadin in the first place?
- What runes to buy and why
- Explaining the items and more.
Who is Kassadin?
Kassadin is an awesome Rift Assassin, who doesn't only look great but is also very FUN and exciting to play.
Pros / Cons
-Flash spell with 4 seconds cooldown.
-Good nuking potential
-The element of surprise
-A great escape artist
-Very good finisher
-VERY, very squishy
-He shreds through a lot of mana in a short time if you're not aware of RiftWalk's 7 second stacking
-Pretty hard to master
Why choose Kassadin?
Kassadin is a great anti-mage champion and not only. He specializes in silencing his targets and dealing extreme-burst damage before the silence wears off.
He excels at ganking and doesn't depend on his team to perform well, since he is also a very good Mid Solo champion, with a great harassing potential.
He is the snowball kind of champion. Very fragile at the beginning of the match, but after scoring a few kills he grows bigger and bigger in strength (like a rolling snowball! ^^) until he becomes a true avalanche, nearly unstoppable!
What is Kassadin's role?
When playing Kassadin you mainly want to focus on killing/harassing the enemy ranged carry.
In a team fight they usually tend to stay back and deal huge damage to your team. Your role is to sneak behind him, nuke him and leave.
Usually you will leave him with a very low health and he will be forced to leave. If he doesn't leave you know what to do! :)
Null Sphere (Shortcut: Q)
This is Kassadin's most important skill (besides his Ultimate, obviously)
You mostly use this skill to silence your target, leaving them incapable of anything else but auto-attacking you until the silence wears off (they rarely live to see it wear off though, especially after level 12 and a few stacks of Mejai's) It also has a decent AP scaling!
This is the first skill you unlock - but be careful, don't waste it on minions or non-caster heroes since it has quite the mana cost, and you don't want to remain out of it! Just use it to harass the enemy and keep them out of XP range.
Nether Blade (Shortcut: W)
This is a rather useless skill. It barely has any use other than charging Kassadin's W skill (which I will talk about later on).
It basically passively restores mana on each melee hit and actively grants him armor penetration.
Bottom line, don't ever invest in this skill unless you need to. Also, don't think this will fix you mana-outages early game; you just need some good resource management and smart thinking.
Tactic: When it's at level 5 (you are at level 18) it's especially useful when turret diving a tower with low health. Activate this skill, riftwalk on the tower and auto attack it. The 50 armor penetration will boost the damage you deal with Lich Bane's passive (item explained below). It also helps when trying to finish of a rather tanky champion.
Force Pulse (Shortcut: E)
This is a great AoE nuke, since it deals good damage and slows the enemy too.
Basically, whenever a champion (allied, enemy or you) in the vicinity casts a spell or uses a skill, you get one charge. At 6 charges, the spell is loaded and ready to use. But beware, it has a very low range when you cast it, so try to save it for when you are at auto-attack range from the enemy.
Also, after you unlock Nether Blade, you can use it periodically to charge up your Force Pulse, since it has a very low cost.
Riftwalk (Shortcut: R)
This is Kassadin's most versatile spell. It also is one of the most annoying spells in the game since not only does it have a decent AoE damage when you cast it (unlike LeBlanc's teleportation or Ezreal's flash) but it also has a very low cooldown (6/5/4 without CDR)
The only downside is that this is one of the most mana consuming skills in the whole game, but only if you are lacking mana-management and skill awareness.
A nice little touch to the skill is the fact that after you Rift Walk once, your damage for the next Rift Walk is increased by 60/90/120, and it stacks for as long as you have mana left to use it (of course, you have a time window of 7 seconds before the mana cost returns to the initial 100)
Here's an example of how much mana you can burn with his ultimate: you Riftwalk once -> spend 100 mana. In the next 7 seconds you Riftwalk again and at level 3 you gain 120 extra damage(a total of 240 base magical damage) but you spend 200 mana. Now the 7 seconds will be reset, giving you another window of 7 seconds and so on. On the third Riftwalk you will deal 360 base magical damage, but you will have spent 600 mana in only 12 seconds. That is a huge ammount of mana. That's why you need to be aware of how much mana you have left, since you will need at least 2 Riftwalks to escape from a tight spot. And you wouldn't like your ultimate to cost 400 mana. Just keep this fact in mind.
A cool tactic to use with Riftwalk is this - Riftwalk into a bush near an enemy. Now Riftwalk again in the same spot. When you perform your third Riftwalk, you'll deal a ton of damage to your enemy and have a better chance of killing him (especially if he has full life)
Now, for Kassadin's Passive:Weapon Mastery
The 15% reduced magic damage helps a lot against other casters, but the bonus attack speed is VERY useless, since you don't need to score subsequent direct hits.
You may have noticed that this champion has 2 pretty useless skills (the W and passive), but that's what I like about him - it's one of the more challenging champions to play, but at the same time it's a pretty straightforward hero, since you have to worry about only 3 active skills.
Now, let's go on and talk about...
For both builds I chose 9x Greater Mark of Insight, 9x Greater Seal of Replenishment, 9x Greater Glyph of Focus and 3x Greater Quintessence of Potency
give you about 10 magic penetration, which in-game combined with the Sorcerer's Shoes bring most early-game champions at about 0 magic resistance, or even on negative resistance (hence increased spell damage from Kass!). This is a great bonus to have, just to impose yourself on the mid lane in early game.
Greater seal of replenishment also grant you a pretty useful mana regen per 5 seconds. I chose to go with flat mana regen, since mana regen/level is useless early game, and by the end of the game you will have more mana than you can use.
are the only viable Glyphs in this build, since other glyphs give you less mana regen or magic penetration than the Marks/Seals. Also, almost 15% Cooldown Reduction (the effect of the runes combined with the mastery points) isn't a small thing to ignore, ESPECIALLY early-mid game!
Finally, the grant you a very good Ability Power bonus (+15). Combined with the Amplifying TomeAmplifying Tome (if you go with the first build) you already have +35 AP! Now how cool is that? :)
I chose to go with a 9 - 0 - 21 build, since you need the magic penetration and cooldown reduction in the Offense tree and the Mana/Cooldowns in the Utility tree!
So not pretty much to explain here.
Moving on to the...
Now, I have created two builds. The first one is the basic Kassadin build aimed at a team mostly formed of champions that don't have stuns, slows or any other disables( maximum 1-2 enemy champions with disables are accepted; if they go higher than that number, you need to use the second build).
The first build uses the Void Staff and is great for shredding the target's magic resistance!
The second build has the Void Staff switched with Banshee's Veil, which gives you a nice spell-shield + bonus mana and HP per level-up. If you want you can exchange BV with Quicksilver Sash (so you can have instant protection whenever you'd like) but you will lose the mana/HP bonus (don't forget the level up bonus!) AND it has a cooldown twice higher than BV.
Also the Sorcerer's Shoes have been switched to Mercury's Treads due to him being susceptible to disables.
Now that I covered the basic differences between the two builds, I will talk about the core items which are:
- Mejai's Soulstealer
- Lich Bane
- Archangel's Staff
- Rabadon's Deathcap
First item is Mejai's Soulstealer - This is a great item for Kassadin. It gives you 8 AP per assist or 16 per kill. At 160 bonus AP you also get a nice cooldown reduction.
But if you die, you lose a third of your bonus AP. So make sure you play smart and gank a lot (We'll cover that later) and know when you are about to lose a fight.
Now the most important early-game item for Kassadin is:
This item has a nice magic resistance, health and mana bonus. But the best thing about it is the passive - after you use an ability, the next physical attack deals +100% of you AP in physical damage. Which is an incredible passive to use, especially after riftwalking. Just imagine you have 600 AP on you. Besides the huge damage you will deal from your skills, you will also deal about 300-400 damage on medium-armored champions. Overall it's a great bonus to have on Kassadin.
Most build guides on Kassadin forget about the Lich Bane. But that is the biggest mistake you can make with this champion.
Imagine that by late game you have accumulated 600 AP (It's possible if you have full Mejai's). With the Lich Bane you will deal your base damage (about 100) + 100% of your Ability Power. That means 700 physical damage (don't mistake it with magical; this one is affected by armor). Combine that with your Active Nether Blade (+50 armor penetration at level 18) and you deal about 350 damage after you use any of your skills (I took into account the average armor most players have which is about 150-200)
After that, the next two items are pretty straight-forward:
Archangel's Staff - Huge mana bonus and AP bonus. This is a very important item for this build, since not only does it give you mana and ability power, it also transforms 2% of your maximum mana in AP, and after each skill you use (with a cooldown, of course) you gain some maximum mana. It doesn't seem great, but late-game you will have +1000 maximum mana since you only use skills, and little by little you gain more "Void energy" for Kass to snack on :)
Rabadon's Deathcap - HUGE AP bonus. This is a very expensive item, so this should be the final item in your build (both of the builds)
So this is pretty much it for the items.
EDIT: I have seen a lot of guides promoting the Catalyst the Protector item, saying that a Kassadin is
useless without it. I disagree. Of course, each and every one is playing a certain way, but in my opinion, that item is a waste of money unless the enemy team has a dangerous disabler ( Malzahar, Brand, Annie, Fiddlesticks They are extremely dangeorus to Kassadin if played right!)
As for the mana/health per level - just be conservative. Don't go all out with your skills unless you have a certain kill. A Kassadin without mana is just a piece of meat for the enemies to chew on.
All in all, I strongly recommend this item build since it brings up Kassadin's damage potential early on in the game using the Lich Bane (especially after level 6).
Remember: the best defense is a good offense!
Here I will explain in what order to use your skills.
The basic skill order is: R-AutoAttack(ONLY when you have Lich Bane)-Q-E-AutoAttack(your Lich Bane will have it's cooldown reset by now), rinse and repeat. Just beware of the mana costs and try to save Riftwalk for escaping or finishing off running enemies.
Kassadin is a very versatile champion - you can harass very easily, especially from level 6. You can gank in a very cool and sneaky fashion. You can turret dive for easy kills. You can nuke enemies. You can... well, it's a pretty long list!
Note: when you turret dive, make sure you have at least 50% HP and mana, and that the enemy is a really easy kill! Otherwise it would be just stupid to dive on him.
Now - the most important thing
With this champion, you have to be incredibly aggresive, and if you take too much damage from a champion switch to a defensive playstyle for a while, to make him think you suck and don't know to use Kassadin. The key to him is that you need to be unpredictable - for example, you have very low health and so does the enemy. But he thinks he can get you, so he chases you. What to do? Rift walk after a wall, wait for the cooldown, then pop R on him from behind, strike him with Q and a melee attack (to use Lich Banes passive) and bang, he should be dead. If not, use heal and then E.
I chose Teleport and Heal because Teleport allows you to backdoor very easily and gank an unsuspecting enemy with an incredible efficiency. For example, put a vision ward in a bush. When you see a champion walking near it, use teleport on the Ward and you will have the element of surprise!
As for Heal, I mainly use it to stay in the lane longer, but also to make enemies with low health charge me like hell. I usually stay in the lane even with 10 HP left - I recall only when I need to buy an item. So, I have 10 HP left and an enemy decides to turret dive me thinking he will get an easy kill. Well not really! Right when he charges the turret, hit Heal, Silence and Slow him (so the turret can score a few hits) then chase him down with R.
Works like a charm for me, everytime!
So to sum it up:
-Kassadin is a great ganker and nuker - you just need to play smart!
-He is good against all types of champions, but mostly against mages.
-He looks awesome
-He is awesome
Thanks for reading my guide, and I hope it helped you as much as it helped me :)
Leave your feedback in the comment section, and don't forget to rate this guide what it deserves; don't downvote it for being long or stuff like that!
Thanks a lot!
Good luck and have fun ^^