Kassadin Build Guide by Searz
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Welcome to my Kassadin guide.
I'm quite the veteran player with Kassadin. I think I've got 600-700 Kassadin games on my belt, but who's counting (I lost track after ~500 when Riot removed the stats on normal games, haha).
I'm confident that I've tried out most playstyles and found the best one. The build is kinda cookie-cutter, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
I hope you enjoy the read.
Mouse-over any items or abilities to see their tooltip.
MrP = Magic/MR Penetration
HP = Hit/Health Points
HP5 = Heath-regen Per 5 seconds
MP5 = Mana-regen Per 5 seconds
AP = Ability Power
MR = Magic Resist
CC = Crowd Control (stuns, binds, fears and so on)
DOT = Damage Over Time
DPS = Damage Per Second
My whole rune set is basically very standard on AP casters.
Flat MR runes are great if you're in a lane match up you're supposed to lose (Sion and Morgana among others). AP/lvl is overall the better choice since you'll obviously aim to not get counterpicked.
Kassadin is already a crazy teleporting void monster, why would he want Flash? Because:
- He's very vulnerable to early ganks.
- There are times enemies can teleport after him.
- There are times where you jump into a bigger mess than you thought it'd be(GTFO button ftw).
Great spell to have sometimes, but I generally prefer Flash over Cleanse because early ganks can really screw you over (Cleanse is rather useless for escaping most early ganks).
Great spell for beginners, to make the lane easier. Quick heals and item purchases are lovely early on.
Very useful because it will make snowballing much easier. Kassadin often needs that little extra omph to get the job done.
You can shut down casters easily and your nuke is often too much for squishies to handle, but sometimes Exhaust helps with getting those pesky tanky DPS off you or your teammates.
R > Q > E > W
Force Pulse after that because it's your second most reliable source of damage.
And Nether Blade is not very useful in most match ups so leave that for last.
Taking a point in W at level 4 is sometimes a viable choice. It's primarily useful when you're against champions with good sustain or enemies who simply can eat your harass and live.
Sometimes I get the last rank of Force Pulse over rank 2 of Riftwalk, but that's only if I'm in a position where my nuke is more important than my mobility. You'll generally want to rank Riftwalk whenever you can though.
(abilities)Your kit and how to use it
Matt is too lazy to update it <3)
Makes you strong against casters. Sadly the attack speed bonus is almost useless, but the damage blocking part is pretty strong.
- In some rare cases you can tank a spell to receive higher DPS while hitting someone/something. Don't bother with that when you're new to Kassadin though.
Riftwalk you can force them to trade (or even silence before they can cast anything).
- It has a silence, herp, derp. There's really not much else to keep in mind about this spell.
- Charge your Force Pulse with Nether Blade outside of big fights. It can make a big difference sometimes. I've even gotten kills by using Nether Blade to gain the last Force Pulse stack in a critical moment.
- Nether Blade makes grabbing blue buff on your own a lot easier, if that opportunity ever arises.
- (Yes, I'm "saying" it again. It's that important) Charge your Force Pulse with Nether Blade outside of big fights. It can make a big difference sometimes. I've even gotten kills by using Nether Blade to gain the last Force Pulse stack in a critical moment.
Riftwalk, Riftwalk, Riftwalk, Riftwalk, Riftwalk.
This is really the spell that makes Kassadin Kassadin. Huge mana costs when used repeatedly, but it would be way too strong without that.
- There's one thing I really can't stress enough. That Riftwalk is NOT a primary source of damage. While there are moments it can be used for extra damage those moments are rare. Riftwalk is for transportation and last resort damage. Like when Null Sphere and Force Pulse are on cooldown and an enemy is about to escape. Never use it on an enemy to initiate. The problem with using Riftwalk for damage is that you open yourself up for damage. Should a squishy caster give the enemy an opportunity to kill him? I don't think so... A good Kassadin attacks the enemy but never lets them attack him. (well, that's the goal at least, haha)
- Deal damage then Riftwalk away when you have the option to choose. That is the safest way to get your damage off. Another safe way is to jump on or close to ONE enemy and silence+slow him/her. Just make sure that it really is just 1 enemy. It usually isn't all that safe if the enemy has a disable though.
- Blue buff is a great asset. It gives 7.5% of your max mana as bonus MP5 and 15%/20%/25% CDR depending on your level. It enables you to freely harass the enemy in your lane. Ask your jungler if he can give it to you when you need it (after you're lvl6 ofc).
- Never sacrifice yourself for others if you have a killing spree going (Kassadin are prone to those, haha). That's like donating gold to the enemy team.
- Try to keep close to walls whenever you can. It makes escaping easier.
- Ambushing enemies through walls is great, but it's important to be aware of how many enemies there are at the other side. Riftwalking into several enemies is bad, so very bad for your health.
- Use Zhonya's Hourglass whenever you end up in a bad situation. I'm gonna name some moments it will help.
- When you've got a DOT or a delayed spell (like Ace in the Hole, Requiem and Time Bomb) on you that will kill you. Make sure that you're a safe distance away from enemy champions though.
- When you're about to be hit by a disable in a tricky situation. ( Rocket Grab and Cryptic Gaze among others)
- When you have Riftwalk on cooldown and is about to be hit by a ton of damage.
Kind of a cookie-cutter AP carry build. Not much to say about it other than the fact that it gives plenty of damage and a little durability.
Doran's Ring or Sapphire Crystal+2pots are not bad or anything, but they're just too heavily outshined by boots+pot start.
Why not TotG
Because Tear of the Goddess takes way too long before it's useful. With Rod of Ages you get AP, HP and mana right away and great lane sustain.
Buying tear makes your earlygame noticeably weaker and makes it harder to snowball even it it's a little stronger in lategame.
Back when I used defense for HP-reg ( Strength of Spirit ) I just needed mana and mana reg to sustain myself, but after the nerf Rod of Ages is by far the best way to start off in my opinion.
I don't advise against getting it later in the game, but getting it early is just not worth it.
These are items that I personally prefer. If these don't suit your needs just look among the Other Viable Items.
Other Viable Items
Good, but often the less attractive choice. The biggest problem is the time it takes before it's useful. Only buy this in lategame.
Void Staff reduces Sorcerer's Shoes' effectiveness by 34% ( Archaic Knowledge ) and they're not quite worth it anymore in comparison. That is why they are a great replacement if the game lasts very long. Even if that is very rare, it's just something to keep in mind just in case.
Not an item I use much, but it has it's uses.
Removes ALL debuffs. Just like the old Cleanse. Oh how I miss it.
Great item if you're scared of disables, debuffs and magic damage.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Not optimal, but not bad either.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Not bad, but you'll be the owner of blue buff most of the time, so the CDR isn't always that useful. Elixir or Brilliance is a more attractive source of CDR.
Will of the Ancients
Not quite worth getting early since you'll be rushing Rod of Ages. I don't really think sustain matters that much to Kassadin in lategame, but it's still viable if you like sustain. It's a great item for new players.
Kassadin is an anti caster. He's best matched against frail casters without sustain. Since he's a caster he should always be in a solo lane. Preferably mid to make his earlygame easier with the short distance to the tower. At top he's very vulnerable to mobile enemies and ganks. You'll flat out lose your lane against most tanky champions with sustain. Well, most champions with sustain in general.
Try to stay mostly defensive and focus on lasthitting and not getting hurt below lvl5. Don't be afraid of using Null Sphere to lasthit minions, but make sure you don't use too much mana on that.
When you reach lvl3 you should begin to weaken your lane opposition. Harass the target as much as you can, but of course try not taking any unnecessary damage or overextending. When (and if) your opponent gets low enough that you think you can kill them with your combo and you have your ult; you should try to kill them. Keep good track of your mana and always measure your damage to make sure you can get the kill before going in! Make an assumption while taking their magic resist into consideration. If the enemy never gives you an opportunity for a kill just focus on keeping him away from gold and maybe even exp. That's much better than going for a kill when you're unsure whether you'll get it or not.
Push the minions against the enemy tower if they recall or die, then recall yourself. Just make sure you aren't taking any chances. After that you can go gank or get golem if you think you can do it without losing a tower.
As always; I'd like to express how important it is to only lasthit when you aren't pushing (or pushing back a big enemy wave). You're simply taking unnecessary risks by pushing into enemy territory when you aren't gunning for their tower. Especially important against junglers. You should also only lasthit when you're trying to keep the enemy away from lasthits.
Map-awareness is extra important because of how quickly Kassadin can traverse the map with Riftwalk. If you see the enemy jungler invading or even your jungler meeting the enemy jungler you can 100% get there before the enemy mid laner. That often results in kills, so be aware of what is happening whenever you can.
Stay on the outskirts. Don't join the fray. Jump around killing people while not giving your enemies a chance to kill you. You operate outside the battle, assassinate key targets and never expose yourself to more danger than you can handle. Do not use melee attacks unless you've got a death wish. You can of course use them in the aftermath though.
Hold off using Riftwalk until you really need to go over something or need to get to or away from a point quickly. Using it too much will quickly starve your mana pool and make you useless.
One option is to walk to up your target(s), silence, slow and then Riftwalk away if the area poses a threat. Only use Riftwalk offensively (teleporting into battle, instead of out) when you're sure that it's safe.
Try to silence key disablers, supporters or damage dealers at decisive moments. Make sure they haven't already used their spells. Though it's hard being picky when you can't take much damage. Just don't use spells on bulky targets when you have the choice.
Silencing anyone when they're about to save or disable someone can make a big difference in the outcome of any fight.
Well thanks for reading my guide. I hope it has helped you become a better player/made you realize my awesomeness (hueheuheuheuehue <3).
Good luck pwning niblets out there!