Not Updated For Current Season
Build 'defensive' is by no means "winner" (it is an arbitrary addition by mobafire). In fact, it isn't a defensive build at all. Kass is a hero that must be bold and brazen. Kass will initiate for the team with his blink, deal 800-1800+ damage to enemy dps/mage and escape to rejoin the fray when his moves cd.
However, the offensive build does make Kass more prominent early on. The "offensive" build sacrifices bit of early game survivability for early-mid burst boost. This doesn't mean the "offensive" build turns you into a Kamikaze. Zhonya's active gives 2 seconds of invincibility for our brains to hitch out an escape plan. But this does mean the player must be more skilled and aware of his environment before making the trade off between survivability and damage output.
Why play Kass? To answer this, I've to start from when I first tried out LoL. In my opinion as a prior Dota player, LoL lacked the strategic depth of Dota. The team fights were quicker, simpler, heavily reliant on slowing skills with lack of intuitive cc skills of Dota. Ultimately, LoL was too quick, too much killing, not enough teamwork, and less strategic (higher level did yield improved competition and shed light to LoL's niche appeal) Although limited, Kass provided qualities of Dota I cherished. Kass' ult gives tremendous map control via ganking. Kass has silence & slow. To cut to the answer, Kass is kick ***.
- 5 min of studious early game = rape till gg.
- ult that blinks at double the distance of summoner blink
- versatile: solo or partner.
- one of the few silencers.
- very weak, but offset with great ult
- easy to kill, but offset with great ult
- requires skills (map awareness, intuition, etc), but exciting to play
: As previously noted, Kass may look like he eats sharks but sharks will maul him. Two to three seconds are all that your opponents need to wipe the world of the fearful Kass. Cleanse shattered their worthless hope and drenches your foes in fear.
: Teleport is vital to Kass' early game, and eventually the after part where you are shredding the opponents with your tentacles. Anyhow, I purchase Tear of Goddess as soon as I farm 600 gold, unless the lane is too easy and I can manage couple hundred more gold for a shoe. Teleport gives you instant access to your lane and underfarming/underleveling is the death of any LoL hero in a decent game.
- fortify: always useful, no? (I just like fortify)
- ignite: good early game damage & helpful depending on opponent team.
- exhaust: another skill depending on opponents.
Worthless spells (please avoid, even if you love these):
- flash: your ult does this and more.
- clarity: runes help keep mana high, and after 5 min, you got Tear to help, dont waste on this spell.
Greater Mark of Insight: damage boost for Kass.
Greater Seal of Clarity: mana for the poor Kass.
Greater Glyph of Celerity + Greater Quintessence of Celerity: 15% cd reduction is far more useful than measly AP addition. With addition 15% from mejai and 6% from mastery tree, you will be blasting massive damage in quick successions.
: Void Stone: "Kassadin takes 15% reduced magic damage and transforms this damage into bonus attack speed." 15% reduction is nice, but has no synergy with rest of Kass. I hope LoL changes this to suit Kass, such as reduced cooldown with higher charges on Kass' ult or "dodge percentage" which fits Kass' image of riftwalker.
: Null Sphere: this spell remedies Kass' awful early game. Use this to quickly farm 600 gold and teleport back home for the Tear. Afterwards, continue to spam Null Sphere to charge Tear and farm/harass enemy.
: Nether Blade: This move comes right after you max your Null Sphere at level 11. By then, mana isn't a problem and farming is crucial. With Nether, you charge your force pulse quickly and effectively. However, the armor reduction is worthless. Instead, it should to be magic armor reduction.
: Force Pulse: This is your biggest source of damage plus slow. However, be cautious as this skill has a prerequisite of 6 spells. This isn't a problem in team fights where spells are fired left and right, but during solo assassinations, make sure you have 4 charges before ulting. Ult + null sphere gives the 6th charge to blast your foe with a sexy pulse.
: Riftwalk: blink, damage, 4 sec cd (this is before the spell reduction from mejai, runes, tree). This is recipe for massacre (or kill and run). The spell does 120 damage per charge plus .4 AP. With 700+ AP late game, thats 280+ initial damage plus 120 per charge.
: Kass has a fragile early game. Sapphire allows you to farm with null sphere and health pots guarantee your safety until 600 gold (seldom will you use the health pots. Usually 1 when the opponents are aggressive)
: With 600 gold, teleport back and buy Tear. When you farm so well that you have mana left over after earning your 600 gold, do spam your null sphere and force pulse on the enemy. You rarely reach level 6 before earning 600 gold, but if you do, dont use your ult to harass. Null and force pulse can put the enemy to half health so that when you return with Tear, you can ult + null sphere + force pulse for the early kill.
Next you get your first core item,. Although some people worry that getting Mejai this early wont help because Kass is very fragile, dont worry, Kass' ult remedies all death problems.
Now, the items diverge into two path:or. I have come to prefer farming Zhonya over Veil because of the tremendous boost in damage. So, I recommend playing couple times with Veil as your second core, but once you adjust yourself to what Kass can do, you can stretch the border by sacrificing your survivability for extra damage. Kass is a tight rope walker.
Proceed by finishing Veil, Lich Bane and Archangel. The order is completely up to you. Personally, Veil takes premise if the opponents are spell savvy, focusing on the purple monster shredding them apart. I prefer getting Sheen next, following up with Archangel, then finishing Lich Bane.
When the going gets tough!!!
These are times when the enemy team is extremely tanky, and to further complicate your plan for world domination, they farm magic resist items. But no, you will not be bested by such feeble attempts.
: this is your answer to their magic resist. Farm it after Mejai, and then continue with other core items, such as Veil if enemy caster is hurting you. It's also true their tanks could burn you with their spells, so buy Veil depending on how much spell damage you receive. If Void Staff is sufficient to cripple the enemy, continue with Zhonya and finish dominating.
: Deathfire Grasp is another solution for tanks. If Void Staff just doesnt cut it, or you feel it's inefficient, go with Deathfire Grasp. Another benefit of DG is the cooldown reduction. The more you spam your Force Pulse, the less likely they will survive.
: this is a cheap replacement for Veil. At half the cost, it provides decent magic resist and further spell cd reduction. Buy this if you see lack of hazardous spell casters.
Solo:If your team's viable mid lane heroes are ashe/trist, make sure you mid. Kass is far superior than these dps heroes at controlling mid lane and ganking from there. When soloing, make sure to just farm the 600 gold for Tear. When you teleport back to mid lane, you will be at level 5 with about half the exp bar left. When you hit six, you can blast the enemy with the three spell combo (rift, null, force pulse). Make sure you have 4 charges on force pulse though. You can also harass the enemy with Null Sphere to charge your Force Pulse, further improving your chance for a kill. As for ulting in and fighting, you should not worry about the type of your opponent. Most times, your three hit combo scares them and they are forced to retreat. This means you can just chase them or retreat bc the creep damage should be avoided this early. However, if you feel confident the next Ult + Null Sphere can finish him off, even within the vicinity of a tower, do dive in.
Partner lane:The 1st part remains constant as if you are soloing; Farm the Tear. Dont be offensive bc you're fodder to the enemy combination. Only exception is if you have a healing partner, in which case small confrontations are okay. Another important note when playing Kass is that players use Force Pulse early in the game, either to harass or push. This is an absolute mistake. Kass doesnt have the mana to alternate between Null and Force. Therefore, the only two cases where Force Pulse is allowed is, 1: enemy is pushing hard and damaging your tower, in which case Force Pulse can easily decimate the enemy creep wave, securing your tower, or 2: you and your partner can kill the opponent with Force Pulse's slow, or mid comes to gank.
***refrain from using Force in its first two levels. Its terribly weak***
Personally, I believe Kass' mid game start at level 6 because this is when you have the three spell combo. You can easily kill mid with this, or gank either top or bottom to assist. Always gank the lane pushing against your team. The extra length of map gives you room for extra riftwalk and null to finish the enemy. Also, being in team fights, you will probably have the Force Pulse charged for a second blast. This secures 1 kill, and possibly the 2nd. Additionally, dont be afraid to initiate the gank because first, you can escape, and second, you got the slow. Once the enemy is slowed, your team can be very helpful.
Item wise, you will have shoe, Mejai, and be on the way to Zhonya/Veil. If going Zhonya, dont bother getting the Sorcerer's shoes yet. It can come after you finish it. For Veil, it's up to you. The socerer's shoes improves farming extremely though. You can kill a wave with force pulse + riftwalk.
Important note: dont run out of a fight with half your life only to secure your Mejai stacks. Be a team and stay to the very last second. That's why you have your riftwalk. However, dont go around dying, costing your future rampage (Mejai's 20 stack cd reduction is vital) This also connotes that you must be constantly ganking/killing, increasing the stacks.
Additional note: dont be afraid to use your mana to farm or kill. Your riftwalk reduces the size of the map in more ways than imaginable. Using it in impassable terrain also doubles the potential blink distance. Always experiment with your ult. With riftwalk, you shouldn't worry about going back to base to heal. Kass also buys lots of small AP items like
More mana usage = more gold = more items.
However, when attempting to kill 1v1, remember that riftwalk isn't a significant source of damage early on. This doesn't mean you stack riftwalk to 4 charges before using it to dive. You have to secure an exit with enough mana for the final "escape" rift.
Late game blends with Mid game. It's just an extension of gigantic team fights and crucial tower kills. So, when your enemy pushes your tower, dont be afraid to use your force pulse to annihilate their creep wave and rifting away. This allows your team to kill the enemy with the help of the tower.
As you may have noticed, Kass initiates more than you initially thought.
Items are also an extension of mid game. There are three core late game items: Zhonya/Veil, Lich Bane, and Archangel. Order is completely up to you.
During late game team fights- be cautious! Dont initiate in blind bravery only to be killed in 2 seconds. Wait and rift to their casters and dps heroes. You should only initiate if your team has the number or the enemies are low from Baron or other events. In full on 5v5 full health - ready for bloody massacre - team fights, you stay back, and pounce their dps yi/trist/ashe/akali/ken/etc or caster morg/anivia/annie/ezreal/fiddle/ryze/etc.
(the above mention of using force pulse to defend your tower is an exception bc you wont be staying. Only attempt to salvage your tower).
Kass is not the be all "WIN" button. Before picking Kass, make sure your team has a solid tank, preferably two. You should also request your supporters to ward as much as possible. With the vision, you can really utilize your map control.
Dont keep your force pulse and null sphere to pick up kills. Wiping out the enemy in 2 seconds really puts the dent on their self esteem. If they QQ, that's victory. So dont be kill hungry. It's annoying when you do the most damage to only see your prey fell victim to some idiot's KS, but dont rage over it. Your skills are extremely low cd anyway, you will rack up insane kills.
Thank you for reading, and please leave valuable tips. I know this guide is still in its infancy.
And, why doesn't Kass have a kick *** skin??? even the pre-void skin looks like some poor hobo.