Kassadin Build Guide by TheUnusualOne
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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.
Hmmm, Kassadin. Some dislike him, some love him. In my opinion, there's nothing to hate. His Q skill ( Null Sphere) is powerful, usefull, spammable and looks frickin awesome! His W ( Nether Blade) has a great passive that is extremely useful in almost any situation. His E ( Force Pulse) is a strong slowing spell that can make or break battles. Now, we come to his R. The infamous, ever so great Riftwalk.
Riftwalk is my definition of a move with an undefined amount of uses. It can completely RAPE turret huggers who think they're safe to recall behind their "bodyguard." Riftwalk is perfect for chasing, initiating and ganking as well. Last but certainly not least, Riftwalk is the ULTIMATE and unmatched method of escaping. Its like a ****ing spammable flash that pisses the hell out of enemies that think they've got the best of you. Riftwalk is the single and most prominent reason of people being scared ****less of Kassadin. There's literally no point in rushing or ganking him when hes got this bad boy in his arsenal.
I have encountered a countless amount of times, players who use Kassadin like he's a purple, badass version of Master Yi... just to be fatefully let down when their Riftwalk is wasted chasing an enemy with full health directly behind a turret. SORRY FOLKS, but if that's how you like to play, then this isn't the guide for you. When you've got an infinitely useful escape mechanism in your careful grasps, why not make use of it???
By making this guide, I aim to teach you the simplest and most flawless way to use Kassadin. A method in which you get little to NO deaths, yet a plethora of kills. When you see "[YOUR NAME HERE] IS G-G-GODLY." On your screen, then you know that you- my friend, have been fed. Now tell me, how great does it feel to be 3-4 levels ahead of everyone on the opposing team? To have them fear your encounters? To have them turn back as soon as you do because they don't stand a chance of catching you? And finally, to have them tremble in fear as they check every visible bush for your mere presence? That's what I though.
What my goal here is, is to leave you off with a champion useful for both killing and tanking. That's why everything is divided straight down the middle. The runes and masteries are for defense, while the items and skills are made for attacking.
Although, even at a lower level I never considered runes neccessary.... no one can argue that they give a useful boost that can be the key to a victory.
Greater Mark of Armor x9
This rune is extremely useful in many cases. When your running your *** of from 3-5 enemies all spamming their most powerful skills, and your left with 10 HP before your riftwalk... trust me, you'll be thanking these babies.
Greater Seal of Attack Damage x9
In the same way The Greater Mark of Resilience is useful for defending, the Greater Seal of Strength is for attacking. That last killing blow Null Sphere straight into an enemy hiding behind a turret is all thanks to this.
Greater Seal of Health x9
What's the definition of a tank? Honestly, I don't give a ****. To me (and most people), a tank is anyone with just a ****load of health. If you want your Kassadin to be like a tank, he's gotta have the defining element (duh?)
Greater Seal of Armor x3
Same stuff as above ^_^
Ahh, the good old Doran's Ring. Being a part of the infamous "Doran's Chain of Beginner Items", there's no real reason why you wouldn't want this puppy in your pocket for your first gank of the game. It really has a bit of everything you need. The health is definitely useful, the ability power can land you some nice hits, and the mana regen is critical early game when your gonna be eating mana like there's no tomorrow.
This is gonna be your first major purchase. The reason why I think these boots are ideal, is because of its useful attributes for a kicky price. For a mere 750 gold (After the Boots of Speed), you get double the enhanced movement speed. Although useful, this isn't quite why we bought this item. What we bought it for was the magic penetration COMBINED with the movement speed. Early-Mid game, the magic penetration will make your Null Sphere scare the hell out of anyone it connects with.
Of your 3 remaining foundational purchases, I chose to make this the first. The primary reason why, is because this item gives you the 2 things you "should" desire the most, Magic Power and Defense. The additional magic will make your bread and butter skill Null Sphere all the more merrier. The defense will make you tank worthy. Nuff' Said.
Lich Bane, once again, sets all standards straight. The ability power makes a tremendouse difference when your attempting to save a team mate or go in for a kill. The additional mana is extremely useful, because afterwards, you will NEVER find yourself running out of mana. Last but not least, Lich Bane's unique passive is going to be the foundation of your high damage combo (which is explained under the section "skills")
When you read the effects of this item, your most definitely gonna be thinking "WTF? Didn't you just tell me I'm never going to run out of mana? Then what do I need this for?". Well the answer to your question is simple. At level 18, you will have roughly 2800 mana. With the boost of this and Lich bane, you'll cap out at around 4600 maximum mana. Using this items unique passive, after a short while, you will have reached an absolute deadline of 5600 mana. What you already know is that the additional damage is 3% of your maximum mana. Thats A FREAKING 200 EXTRA DAMAGE PER SKILL! Once you get this bad boy, your enemies will cry at your devastating power.
This is the cream of the mother freaking crop. With this, your going to max out at an ability power of 520 ish. What this means is that your Null Sphere is going to hit for almost 700 DAMAGE, and your Force Pulse will hit for over 850 DAMAGE. Who said a tank cant kick ***??? That is... if you even get this far without an enemy surrender :P
How to Play Kassadin like a TANK !!!
YOUR BASIC HI-DAMAGE COMBO:
Null Sphere > Force Pulse > Activate Nether Blade > Attack until dead, repeat if neccessary.
SAVING TEAM MATES:
One of Kassadin's many uses is his great ability to slow and gradually disintegrate any enemy in his path. When your playing as a tank, you always need to remember a few things- 1. Leave no man behind. / 2. Use your Heal summoner spell to help your team mates, not yourself. You've got Riftwalk for that. / 3. DON'T DIE TRYING TO SAVE OTHERS!
So here's your basic sequence:
Null Sphere the closest enemy to your team mate > Force Pulse all chasing enemies > GET YOUR *** OUT OF THERE VIA Riftwalk
One great thing about saving team mates is that just being near them to help em out helps accumulate your Force Pulse. Chances are, the enemies will have used at least 5 spells + yours in order to take out your buddy. In this case, everything is set to go. IF NOT, then simply silence the enemy and Riftwalk directly in FRONT of the enemies. This will make them walk into you which will either A. Slow them down (they have to go around you) or B. Trick them into attacking you instead. BUT, please be aware, that by doing this... you need to be able to survive up to 6 seconds, giving your riftwalk time to cooldown- or prepare to die trying.
TAKING HITS AND ESCAPING:
When you play Kassadin like a tank, you gotta know what to do when under constant attack. Thanks to your strong build and masteries, your health should hold up for a decent amount of time. However, Kassadin is NOT a tank with alot of health. His advantage is Riftwalk and nothing else.
When you see an enemy with full health, you should immediately begin attacking. If you have farmed properly, your basic combo should be enough to kill the enemy. If necessary, use your heal. However, NEVER EVER chase the enemy too far. Although you are able to get out pretty easily, it's never worth it to take the chance.
In the unique case that the enemy does manage to get back up in, run the frigg away! Afterwards, come back with some ally champions. Get them to stay back or stealth themselves in a bush. Now THIS is where your tanking comes handy. Your gonna pretty much walk in there unarmed. Run right into the enemy, and trick them into following you. DON'T USE YOUR RIFTWALK UNTIL YOUR LOW ON HEALTH. By waiting until you have low health, you are increasing the chance of the enemy getting greedy and continuing the chase.
The greatest part of Riftwalk is the fact that it takes you right through the walls. Very similarly to flash. Now what your aim is, is to be close to a wall at ALL TIMES. Lead their *** straight into back up, do damage if you have the health, then get the hell over that wall.
Pros / Cons
-Survives Very Long (Hard to Kill)
-Easy to save team mates
-Squishy Early Game
-Slow Movement Speed
-Targeted First in Battles
This passive has got to be just as bad *** as the champion himself. Everything you need to be a tank is readily available in your passive. How cool is that?
This skill is your bread & butter heavy damage, low cooldown machine! It hits hard, has great range, a low cooldown, and a great effect. The ability to silence your enemies is extremely useful because it stops the target from casting spells. What this means is that they are literally render WEAPONLESS. This opportunity is yours to escape, kill, save, or do whatever the hell you want.
Of all of Kassadin's skills, this is probably the worst. Although not in all terms useless, it is pretty much worthless passive-wise late game. HOWEVER, don't be fooled by this. This skills active ability can be the difference between that last auto-attack being a kill or not when all your other skills are on cooldown. However, since you don't really use our auto-attack that much, nor do you need the extra mana, I decided to leave the skill for end-game.
This skill is one of the best available. It's power is higher than Null Sphere, it has a better effect (slow), and it hits all enemies instead of one (AoE). The only drawback this skills has is the fact that 6 spells need to be cast by you or your nearby team mates/ enemies in order to be used. Although a pain in the ***, this skill will charge up very fast (especially late game), and it will leave the enemy in its dust. (literally.)
THIS IS THE SINGLE GREATEST AND INFINITELY USEFUL SKILL I HAVE EVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME ACROSS. Riftwalk is the definition of an all purpose death machine. Escape with it. Teleport through walls with it. Hit enemies from far away with it. Save your team mates with it. Kill people with it. Bridge Gaps with it. Do EVERYTHING with it.
Start off by telling your team to gank bottom or top by sending a message and/or ping. Once an enemy arrives, use your Null Sphere and back off. Keep doing this until either A. The enemy is dead or B. You run out of mana (most likely). Either way, head out and recall. Buy whatever items you can, then begin farming. Take which ever lane has the least traffic, and begin klling minions like no tomorrow. Your goal is to get Riftwalk as soon as possible, so that you can begin fulfilling your duties. Once you reach level 6, you will get you first kill/assist by doing this:
1. Ping or message your allies to hide in a bush.
2. Stand roughly 1500 range away, and STAND STILL next to a wall. Attack Minions if necessary.
3. Let the enemy champion hit you, as you gradually advance forward towards your allies.
4. Once you reach them, start using your spells and slows if you have a safe amount of health. If not, Riftwalk over the wall.
RINSE AND REPEAT. ALSO FOLLOW THE TECHNIQUES INDICATED IN "HOW TO PLAY KASSADIN AS A TANK."
During mid game, you want to continue to get assists, kills and buy all of the listed equipment. Essentially, continue what you were doing above^. Since you have high ability power now, you shouldn't be afraid to rush in Vin Diesel style and kick anyones *** if you feel the need.
This is when things are starting to get hot. At this point, your team should have LOTS more kills than your opponents. Since your team is fed and ready to go, there isn't really a need to play tank anymore. Hopefully by now, you have pushed in or past the inner turrets. At that point, most tanks begin to fail. This is where you will start to PUNISH. Start off all fights using your basic hi-damage combo. Finish em off, then Riftwalk your *** out of there. Rinse and repeat until the game ends in your favor.
WHAT YOU SHOULD USE:
This skill is great for everything. Being a tank, sometimes your gonna need that extra boost to keep things going. Heal is a lifesaver when tower diving. Most importantly though, it is essential when trying to save a team mate. If they are about to die, you should do what any tank does, and that is heal their *** !
This skill is simply amazing in many occasions for Kassadin. You can use this effectively when running, when tower diving, when chasing, and in many other situations. Most importantly, ghost is your guarantor. It guarantees that you escape, when Riftwalk is either on cooldown, or disabled. In any case, this spell is great to have :)
This skill is extremely useful early game. If you want to get an easy feed, this skill is quite prominent. The only reason I don't reccomend this entirely, is because mana is already in a surplus mid-late game. What that means is that this skill is only useful early game, and for a maximum of 1-2 kills. Whether you wan those kills, is your decision to make.
In the case that you have a bad game, or your team mates wont listen, its always good to have a backup plan. During a close or nearly over game, each second spend dead is fatal. In the case that your Nexus is about to be destroyed, its always a good idea to have revive on your side. The only reason why I don't completely side with this one is because there really is no reason for you to be dying with Riftwalk available. If things are getting close to the nexus, Riftwalk can take you directly in or close to where you want to go.
WHAT NOT TO USE:
Just a waste of time. You shouldn't need this **** AT ALL if your following this guide and build properly.
This is basically a lane switch device fused with Riftwalk. Why wait 2-3 minutes when you could wait 4 seconds? If you REALLY need to get back to your lane, your doing something wrong.
THIS IS THE SAME AS Riftwalk. If your gonna use flash, just quit the game cause there's ABSOLUTELY no need to wait minutes to use a bootleg version of your smexy ultimate.
Updates and Edits
Version 1.0 (01/07/11): Created the Guide :)
Version 1.1 (??/07/11): Adding results, changing guide based on feedback, Posting pics of my successful games
All in all, I strongly believe that Kassadin is one of the most unique, well rounded, and useful champions in the entire game. He has the ability to dish out an ETHEREAL amount of damage in a short amount of time. He can also inflict various status ailments on his enemies. Most importantly however, he has the ability to escape from anywhere he want to. That has pretty much no exceptions.
The main reason Kassadin can play a tank is because he takes hit quite well, while he has the ability to get out of the situation without dying. This capability is the sole reason why someone like Kassadin who is supposed to be attack based, can still manage to get away ith 0 deaths and countless assists and saves.
I've played quite a few games with Kassadin. Even the first time I used him, I could feel something developing. As I trained and perfected my skills with riftwalk, I started to notice that as my Riftwalk capabilities went up, so did my assists. After witnessing this, the road paved its way from there. Shortly thereafter, I came to the conclusion that if enemies couldn't catch me, then I might as well make use of it.
This week, I was delighted to find out that my favorite character would be available for public use. Most people would be sad, but I wasn't. Going into it, I had the assumption that everyone would think like me and use Riftwalk to their advantage. It honestly surprised me to find that NOBODY did things right. They blindly walked into every hit, and ended up going negative. Then they came out with the excuse that Kassadin just "wasn't for them." It was then that I decided to make this guide... to help people realize the true worth of an amazing champion.
HOPE YOU GUYS ENJOYED THE GUIDE, AND PLEASE FEEL FREE TO RATE AND COMMENT (I WILL REPLY.)