Kassadin Build Guide by Treesyn
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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.
Welcome to my first guide everyone. Recently, I've really enjoyed playing Kassadin more and more, the reason being is because of his high mobility, escaping techniques, and pretty crazy burst damage, along with moderate CC. With all of that going for him, it is hard to NOT want to play this character.
Remember folks, this is a guide for Dominion, so please don't try what I recommend in a normal 5v5 or 3v3.
So, come along on a journey with me, as I explain to you my reasoning for what I choose to play with in the Dominion arena.
Pros / Cons
-Extreme map mobility (thanks to Riftwalk )
-High burst damage
-Long silence ( his awesome Q ability, Null Sphere )
-Massive area of effect slow in the form of a frontal cone ( Force Pulse )
-Passive 15% reduced magic damage taken ( Void Stone . I know mobafire still says 10%, but it was recently changed to 15% )
-Easy escapes and assaults ( again, Riftwalk )
-Mana hungry if Riftwalk is spammed constantly.
-Extremely susceptible to crowd control
HOW THIS TRANSLATES INTO DOMINION -
-The Riftwalk mobility makes Kassadin borderline overpowered in Dominion. He can constantly bounce over trees, walls, or anything in his way to get to his target, away from a gank, or quickly reach that easy to capture node while the enemy team is focused elsewhere.
-Burst damage - Kassadin is a hard hitting caster. He gets in quick, blasts the target/targets with everything he has, and then Riftwalks out and hangs around for his Force Pulse to be charged again. If anyone who has played Dominion has noticed, it's pretty much all about burst damage and controlling nodes.
-Long silence - Generally, Null Sphere is what makes people fear Kassadin in my opinion. He appears out of nowhere, and then blasts the target with a hard hitting silence, which shuts off their ability to react to his presence for a few seconds. Generally, that few seconds is enough to kill the target... or maim them to the point where they run off and leave you alone to capture the point or defend.
-Massive frontal AoE slow in the form of Force Pulse - This is Kassadin's high damage AoE slow, and boy, does it really mess up the enemies escape/assault. Combined with Riftwalk, the enemy practically has zero chance of escaping without blowing everything they have. Also, this can be used defensively to get away from any pesky melee champions. Just blast them with this and Riftwalk to freedom over that nearby treeline.
-Reduced magic damage? YES PLEASE!!! - Kassadins passive, Void Stone, gives him a whopping 15% reduced magic damage, which, combined with Odyn's Veil, gives him a whopping 25% reduced magic damage taken. Yes, you read that right! 25% REDUCED MAGIC DAMAGE TAKEN! This makes any AP casters on the enemy team **** their pants when Kassadin appears.
Kassadin's Job in Dominion
Kassadin fills the role of a "floater", a character that can move quickly in between captured nodes that need assistance, or nodes being assaulted by your team. I do not consider Kassadin a character that just stands around a captured node and defends it all day long, as this is a role more suited for a tank character, such as Rammus, Singed, or even Cho'Gath(for example). Having Kassadin just stand around makes him worthless.
You will see me mention a lot that the point of Dominion is not to kill enemies. What I mean when I say this is that you should not be just trying to gank and that's it. If you do that, you are going to lose. However, if you use his abilities to attack a node then killing is fair game. Defensively, Kassadin can be a power house, but remember, you should be helping to assault nodes when possible.
For my red runes (marks), I go with the standard Greater Mark of Magic Penetration so that Kassadin comes out of the gate with that much more damage.
For my yellow runes (seals), I go with Greater Seal of Armor, because every melee champion worth their salt is going to have Armor Penetration runes in their masteries, and you need this to somewhat counter it. Why not mana regen seals? Well... Dominion, IMO, is based on surviving as long as possible whilst doing the most damage to the enemy that you can, along with being as defensive as possible. This helps at the start, trust me.
For my blue runes (glyphs), I use Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power because of the extremely fast leveling in Dominion.
For my quintessences, I get Greater Quintessence of Ability Power to give Kassadin a little extra boost at the start, since we won't be picking up an offensive item for a while.
For my two summoner spells, I generally will take Flash and Ghost.
Why Flash on Kassadin?! Well folks, a Kassadin out of mana is a dead Kassadin. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS. However, this pretty little spell will help you get over that last wall one more time and therefore you get to stay in the fight longer after a quick blue pill.
And as for Ghost, remember people, this is Dominion. The name of the game is MOBILITY. You need to be able to quickly get to an open node for capture, or get to a defend point as soon as possible. This spell combined with Riftwalk helps you achieve that.
No Ignite??!! QQ - I don't take Ignite because the goal of Dominion is not to kill people. It is to control the map and through control win the game. HOWEVER, I consider Kassadin's job in Dominion to be that of a "floater", someone who moves around between captured nodes and uncaptured nodes and lends his aid where it is most needed. This summoner spell will help you fill that role, but remember.... MOBILITY!
No Exhaust?? - Well, it will certainly help you if any annoying AD champions are bullying you, so if you are nervous about that, pick this up.
I won't list the other summoner spells, as generally most Kassadin players only use these 4, or Teleport, which isn't available in Dominion.
I am going to say this here, because it is important. When starting the game, you are level three automatically. So, invest 2 points into Null Sphere and 1 point into Force Pulse. Kindly ask your team while standing around doing nothing for the first minute and a half to use any abilities they can so that your Force Pulse is charged and ready to go for the first imminent battle. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!! If you go into a fight without it ready, well...
It can be a big game changer right off the bat, and you will most likely hit level 4 before using it, so it does even more damage the first time around.
Play safer than sorry and make sure your team helps you charge it before the start.
Items for Build #1
First off... I will list the items that I utilize in Dominion. As always, please note that you DO NOT have to pick these every single time. But this will generally lead to victory :). REMEMBER, YOU DONT HAVE TO BUY THESE IN ORDER! :)
Now, I will go through the items one by one and explain my reasoning for choosing them.
First item, #1 period, is Odyn's Veil. Unless their entire team is solely AD only with ZERO magic damage (extremely unlikely) this item is the best thing to ever happen to Kassadin. It stacks wonderfully with his 15% magic damage reduction passive Void Stone for a startling 25% reduced magic damage taken. Holy cow. On top of that, it gives him that extra little smack when that enemy is barely getting away. The damage of this item, when activated, is a circular AoE pulse around the character that looks to hit anything around 200 range. Basically, when this baby is off CD, you want to tie it into your rotation. DON'T FORGET YOU HAVE THIS ITEM! UTILIZE IT!
The second item we want to focus on is Sorcerer's Shoes. This helps you move around a little more quickly and gives you a tad extra magic penetration to make you more deadly. LOL! Noob Kassadin! Y U NO HAVE Boots of Mobility!? Well, that is a fair question, but with three movement speed nodes across the map, and Kassadins ability to get to them quickly, I feel that he moves fast enough with Riftwalk. However, if you are concerned about speed at the game start, feel free to purchase these first :).
The third item is Rabadon's Deathcap, for obvious reasons. Massive AP that we have been lacking up until this item, your damage will sky rocket. A lot of enemy AP users will go for this first sometimes, and that's ok! We take enough reduced magic damage, and do enough damage without AP early game, to safely wait and get this as our third item.
For the fourth item, and sometimes our last item depending on the game length, we should definitely take Moonflair Spellblade. It gives us a little more AP to stack with Rabadon's Deathcap and, of course, the beautiful 35 tenacity to help Kassadin get out of those pesky CC effects.
Game lasting a little longer than usual? That's ok, the fun keeps on coming. The next item makes escaping Kassadin nigh impossible. I am referring, of course, to the hextech sweeper. This little beauty makes any enemy you hit with your magical abilities visible for the next four seconds. Nailed Akali with Null Sphere but she dropped her Twilight Shroud when the silence wore off? LOL... nice try. I see you under there! That pesky Tryndamere blow his ultimate and Spinning Slash over the wall? That's ok, you know exactly where he is going now. Don't forget the on use effect to check a bush really quick before assaulting a node. Oh, and don't forget the extra 10% CD reduction.
The game still hasn't ended? My goodness, that is one tough match. Fear not, for our last item will make us even deadlier. Morello's Evil Tome finishes off the build with a little more cool down reduction, ability power, and Mp5.
I feel that all of these items makes Kassadins floating role all the better. It gives him massive killing power, survivability, and reduced CC durations. Some people will disagree with me, and that's ok. This has worked for me however, and I would highly recommend you try this item build before knocking it :).
Items for Build #2
If you hit the loading screen and realize that it is a majority of AD champion with little to no magic damage at all (maybe 1 AP champion) then this is the build I choose to utilize. Again, I have had great success with it. While you CAN buy these items in any particular order, I highly recommend purchasing the Rod of Ages first, because you can get it quickly enough for it to reach its maximum potential.
For item #1, we take Rod of Ages, because if you are going against a heavy melee team, you WILL need this HP and mana to stay in longer. Not to mention, the healing and mana regen when you level makes hanging around the map even easier.
Item #2 is the standard Sorcerer's Shoes still, because we need to move faster and do some damage along with it.
Item #3 is Rabadon's Deathcap for the massive AP boost. Again, damage skyrockets.
Item #4 and #5 - At this point, you are probably at a junction. If the enemy does not have too much CC, go with Morello's Evil Tome first, followed by Moonflair Spellblade. If they do have heavy CC, choose Moonflair Spellblade first. You should still always get this item for the tenacity, even if they have only one or two crowd controls.
Lastly, item 6, we still choose hextech sweeper for decreased cool downs (maxed with this item... well.... 39%) and once again, to see where the enemy goes after you hit them with a spell. PLEASE NOTE! If the enemy team is utilizing an Akali, Evelynn, Twitch, or any champ that can turn invisible, it might be worth it to get this earlier.
Obviously, there are more items than what I have listed here, and I'll write in some that can be used in Dominion in place of what I've chosen.
- Archangel's Staff - I've seen some people mention it, and I have mixed feelings about it. Yes, you get mana. Yes, you get mana regen. AND YES! Your AP scales from the mana. However, it gives zero HP, and the map already has crazy mana regeneration. Plus, you will literally NEVER hit that 1,000 mana bonus. The games are just to short (even if you have a very long game). However, some people swear by it, so I'll mention it here.
- Rylai's Crystal Scepter - A very strong item in dominion, and if you are going to build it, i suggest getting it after the Rabadon's Deathcap. This baby nets you tons more health, your spells slow ( Force Pulse slows for 65% ) and this item + the early rod will probably get you over 3,000 HP! If you don't care about tenacity, and they are not big on stealth, then grab this bad boy.
- Lich Bane - Ok, so, you want to try the good old fashioned spell cast, auto attack, spell cast, auto attack game. Hey, it works really well in Dominion. Again, if you are just literally face rolling the opposing team, I would highly recommend this item. You can literally three shot those people who are building like glass cannons. Get this after Rabadon's Deathcap.
- Frozen Heart - This bad boy nets you 99 armor, 500 mana, 20% CD reduction, and slows that annoying AD champs attack speed by 20%. Very helpful if going against a mass of AS champions. Would get this after Rabadon's Deathcap so you still have some killing power.
As I said, this is my first guide, so please, leave comments to help me improve it and I will do my best to keep it updated. I hope you enjoyed the read, and good luck in forthcoming Dominion battles.
DON'T FORGET TO VOTE AFTER TRYING IT OUT PEOPLE!! Over 4,000 views, 6 votes ~_~. come on.
-9/23/2011 - Guide Created. I will be adding maps and what not in soon for Riftwalk points and extra goodies.
-9/23/2011 - A thousand views and no votes? Come on people, let me know how this worked out for you.
-9/24/2011 - Added a second build for a more melee heavy enemy team.
-9/26/2011 - Added in a few optional items.