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.
Hello and Welcome to my Kassadin Assasin guide.
If you are already familiar with Kassadin, skip any of the sections you already know.
The first thing to note about Kass is his Abilities.
Passive - Void Stone - Absorbs 15% Ability damage and converts it into Attack Speed.
Q - Null Sphere - Silence/Damage
W - Neither Blade - Passively Gives Mana on hit and actively Gives Armor Penetration.
E - Force Pulse - Slows/Damages in a frontal Cone.
R - Riftwalk - Teleports to the target location and deal ability power in a small area. Mana cost and damage increases with each cast.
I choose Kassadin's Null Sphere as my first ability because of the brief silence, the higher initial damage and the range on it. Null Sphere is a fair ranged attack, but the somewhat longer cooldown means that you should try your best not to simply throw it around. (except early game for farming if you can't reach the minions safely with standard melee) You will find that the best use of Null Sphere is for disabling or stopping an enemy. An example is if you were to catch Fiddlessticks casting crowstorm. A quick null sphere will stop his onslaught and waste his cooldown.
Nether Blade in it's current form is fairly ****py, but it does have it's advantages. I almost always get nether blade at level 3 for the small bit of mana regen and the charge that it gives to Force Pulse. Simply put, more than 1 rank in Nether blade is a waste. I would even go so far as to say that you should 'never' put points past the first into this ability to keep the mana cost low BUT, the higher levels may give you enough armor penetration or passive mana on hit to get you that last gank. It's up to you.
Force Pulse is initially fairly weak, but will build up to be your strongest (Next to a heavily stacked Riftwalk) hitting ability. Force pulse is a frontal cone slow and damage attack that makes it somewhat good for team fights and saving an ally from a group of opponents, but it's best use is on a fleeing opponent. When I go to gank, I Riftwalk and immediately force pulse to slow them. If you have lichbane, then you'll want to wait a brief moment for your attack buff to vanish before using it for maximum effectiveness. Try to get a large mana pool so you can riftwalk as much as possible to charge up force pulse.
Riftwalk is the move that Defines Kassadin. With the ability to effectively jump several yards in any direction, this ability makes him incredibly hard to kill or escape. It's in your best interests to avoid jumping straight at any opponent who isn't weak due to Riftwalk's low initial Damage. The best time to strike is when you see someone who is weak or has seperated from the pack.
Next is your Masteries.
Naturally, you'll want to go down the offense tree to grab the spell penetration since Kass is mostly Ability power based. If you prefer exhuast, you can use that instead of deadliness. Deadliness is not particularly useful since attack damage isn't very effective for Kass.
You will want to grab Expanded Mind, Quickness and Intelligence from the utility tree for sure. You do not need to grab all of the same Masteries such as Mystical vision but, Meditation, Blink of an Eye and Insight are all practically useless due to Riftwalk. If you prefer Spatial Accuracy or Haste over the point into good hands, be my guest.
Next in line is the Summoner Spells.
Clairvoyance - Whether you're trying to protect your team or looking for a target, Clairvoyance is there for you. Great when you want to search one of a few areas where a low HP player may have run.
Cleanse - Assassins can't get away if they're stunned. Perfect for jumping in the middle of a brawl, killing a low hp player and then jumping out again. If you get stunned or slowed, you can simply pop this and Riftwalk again. I wouldn't suggest the whole jumping into a group of enemies though. Kass isn't that badass.
Exhaust - If you can't use Force Pulse to slow someone who's getting away, or you need to defend yourself further, Exhaust is there for you. I don't particularly care for exhaust, but many players like to use it.
Clarity - Can help early game to keep your mana up, but late game you will rarely run out of mana. Not a horrible spell though since it may just save you if you use a bit too much mana Riftwalking.
Heal - If you're a begginer and don't know how to use Clairvoyance or Exhaust properly, this spell can help with Cleanse to keep you from dying while practicing ganking. Overall, nothing really special about it.
Ignite - Fairly good early game when you need that little bit of extra damage and can help you if you're trying to gank someone who can heal or who has life leech/spell vamp. Generally not going to get you too many kills though.
Teleport - You can use this to get closer to an enemy champion that you are confident you can kill. Not a horrible spell, but I wouldn't call it good. Probably as good as Ignite since it can also help you get money especially since the cost on Items is high.
Flash - Duh.
Revive - Kassadin doesn't die. Ever.
Rally - If you want to try your hand at a hybrid or melee Kass, be my guest. Don't come crying to me when it doesn't work.
Smite - Kass can't jungle. However, if you are up against two opponents who can keep you on the ropes, it may help you lane. I wouldn't use it.
Ghost - There might be a time when you need to go through units and move faster. Maybe.
Fortify - Don't be the guy who gets chosen to use this spell on your team and you'll be ok.
Onto the Rune system!
Personally I choose Marks of Insight for the spell Penetration. I like to have a good chunk of spell penetration passively because I don't plan on buying any items with it. If you do use a spell penetration item, or would simply prefer something else, I recommend Marks of Force for extra ability power or Marks of Knowledge for an extra chunk of mana.
For seals, I go for Seals of Vitality. Kass may be hard to catch, but when he's caught, he can drop pretty quickly. Seals grant the highest HP values. If you want more damage in place of HP, take Seals of Force. You can also use Seals of Knowledge if you prefer Max Mana.
I can't think of any glyph that would help more than Glyphs of Force. They give the most ability power of the runes (save quintessences) and of course, ability power is good.
There is a much wider variety here than there is with the other runes, but Quintessences of Force are still the choice I would recommend. You can use Quintessences of Wisdom if you want to level faster or Quintessences of Avarice if you want to get gold faster (this isn't that bad of an idea, there is alot of gold you need to do this build). Generally speaking, I suggest Force since it is a simple damage boost.
Rod of Ages - Getting a Rod of Ages early is essential if you want it to be highly effective late game. Catalyst the Protector will also help you with leveling. Granting a large amount of health, mana and ability power, this item will scale very well with Archangels staff and zhonyas late in the fight.
Sorcerer's Shoes - While you don't need the spell penetration right away, the Boots of Speed are great early on before riftwalk is maxed out. You can probably toss the shoes out late in the game in favor of another item if you want more damage, just keep in mind that you will move slower. Even though Riftwalk will get you where you want to go, you may not want to use it for simply traveling around.
Archangel's Staff - Similar to the Rod of ages, you will need to get this item as early as you can or at least invest in a Tear of the Goddess to start stacking the extra Mana up. The 3% mana to ability power conversion will help you late in the game.
Lich Bane - Lich Bane is an excellent item that will give your standard attack extra damage based on your ability power. it's your choice when you want to get this item, but it will not be very useful until you have a good chunk of ability power. Try to time Riftwalk and your other abilities so that you don't waste any of the charges. There is no cooldown on the effect.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - You may want to skip over this item if you're not worried about dying since you can already slow. If there aren't many abilities being use, this may be useful in slowing opponents with Riftwalk/Null Sphere as they try to run.
Zhonya's Ring - Zhonya's Ring costs alot but if you have all of the other items, it will give you a very large boost to your ability power and at the end of a fight, this may just be the item you're looking for. In addition to giving 25% extra ability power, you can also activate this ability to try and save yourself as a last ditch effort. The activated ability isn't very good for Kass since he'll usually be behind enemy lines, but you can use it to wait out the cooldown on riftwalk or wait out the riftwalk debuff if you don't have enough mana. Just be sure to move the item to a button that is easy to reach (the 1 - 3 slots are good. You can move an item in your inventory by clicking and dragging it over another item.
Tips on Playing Kass
Early Laning Phase - During the early stages you will find that Kass is very weak. Your best bet in the early stages is to keep back (unless you are trying to gank) and use Null Sphere to get the killing blow on minions. You can also use Null Sphere to harass, but early on you will run out of mana fairly quickly. Focus mostly on getting gold and building your Catalyst.
Level 6+ - After you get Riftwalk, you can be much more carefree and dangerous. If you haven't earned enough gold for a rod of ages, keep working on it and try your best to get a tear of the goddess. Don't get a tear first however, every minute counts!
If you are playing it dangerous by pushing towers or playing with the enemy, you should always know your way out and use Clairvoyance as often as you can to keep track of your way out. Learn what spots you can Riftwalk to and from to get the most distance between you and a possible threat. You still won't be doing a truckload of damage, but you can start you assassination career whenever you want.
Late game - Your Rod of Ages and Archangel's Staff have probably buffed you up to the point where people will want you to die. If you've gotten Lich Bane then by now you're killing off even the fastest and most skilled runners and they are probably saying stuff like,
'Lol 21 hp.'
'Kass you're a ****.'
If your opposition starts to get smart and they don't recall at low hp, then you should skip Rylai's for another speed boosting item or Mana boosting item.
Avoid laning after you've gotten everything you want. Kass may not have stealth, but he can be more sneaky than Eve, Twitch and Shaco if you play him right. Always use the jungle, this way if you are caught, you can Riftwalk through the tress to get away.
Tip: You can intentionally let opponents shoot at you with travel time stuns, slows, silences (I.E. Taric's stun) so long as you Riftwalk to a safe spot. You can also let Blitzcrank Grab you if you time Riftwalk properly. His arm will go with you and stretch really far!
Be careful in Team fights. If you're doing it right, everyone will want you dead. Try learning your opponents and watch for when they use their most dangerous abilities. When you feel you can hop in safely, do so and hit the lowest life (Or weakest) target in the crowd. If they don't focus you, keep riftwalking on them, but try to avoid using Null Sphere in case you see someone casting something dangerous (Crowstorm). If you need to bail, toss out null sphere and hop out of the fight. Try to hand near a wall of trees so you can freely leave the fight. Avoid the center of lanes unless you can safely hit them with a lich bane charged hit and still retreat.
Tip:Study the land. Some places you can Riftwalk an excessive distance through while others will simply deny you entry.
If you need any additional advice, I've posted a video guide for Kassadin here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkwKeDRAgF8
I hope this guide helps everyone become the best Kass they can.