Kassadin Build Guide by Papayalord
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Hi all, welcome to my guide. This is my first guide here on mobafire, so I'm hoping it turns out alright. My main champ is Kassadin, the Void Walker, and I have found he is very fun to play. Not to long ago, I stumbled upon the idea of AS/AD Kass, based on dealing the most damage possible during the 5 scond duration of his Nether Blade, and it seemed, strangely enough, like it could work. The thought of how much damage Kass could dish out within those 5 seconds if he has a good attack speed. I researched a bit, and came up with a possible item build. When I tried it, I was amazed by the results. Though AS Kass has an even worse early game than AP, he wrecks mid-late. So, without further ado, I present my guide: The Kassasinator: An In-Depth guide to AS Kass.
Edit: After a lot of relentless testing, I have decided that it is better to play this character Hybrid. I discovered that by using items like Malady or Nashor's Tooth, Kassadin could end up with almost as much AS as stacking Phantom Dancers and he would greatly benefit from the AP.
Edit: Title changed from The Kassassinator to Kassassins Creed.
The Pros/Cons of AS Kass
Why Play AS Kassadin?
So, your asking, "Why would I play AS Kassadin, if AP Kassadin is oviously much better?" The answer is simple. AP Kassadin has a powerful nuke, but after he uses it, all his abilities go on cooldown and hes pretty much hopeless for the next 5 seconds. During this time, AD Kassadin can use a less powerful nuke, cast Nether Blade, and deliver a constant stream of DPS, dealing more damage than the nuke itself, until his abilities go off cooldown.
Lets say we got two Kassadins. One of them is using the standard AP Caster build, and the other is using this AS/AD build. The AP Kass has 400 AP from his build. The AD/AS one has only the 30 AP from Trinity Force.
The AP Kassadin, at 400 AP, deals 560 damage with his Null Sphere and Force Pulse. In addition, he deals 440 damage with his Riftwalk, totaling in a powerful nuke of 1560 damage.
Now the AS Kassadin only has 165 AP, making his Null Sphere and Force Pulse only deal about 400 damage, and his Riftwalk deals about 200. This totals a nuke of 1000.
Then, Nether Blade is activated. Using this full build, you will have about 1.9 attacks per second. This means 9.5 attacks during the duration of Nether Blade. Which, in turn, signifies, that during 5 seconds, you have 9.5 attacks that each deal 390 damage, a total of 3705 damage! 3705+1000=4705. You deal 4705 damage over a 5 second period. And the best thing is that, after that, you can nuke em' again!
These are pretty standard AD runes, with armor pen marks, flat AS seals, flat armor glyphs, and flat health quints. Feel free to use your own runes, or change runes, until you feel comfortable that you are getting the maximum benefits. Just saying: I am not a rune mastermind, so I might have a couple of mistakes.
Greater Mark of Desolation: Flat armor pen. Typical for an AD build, great armor allows you to deal more damage early-late game.
Greater Seal of Attack Speed: Flat attack speed. Very valued additional attack speed. This is an AS build, isn't it? Why not have AS runes.
Greater Glyph of Armor: Flat Armor. Helps to reduce your squishiness throughout the game.
Greater Quintessence of Health:Flat health.Is an extra 78 health really worth missing out on? These can save your life over and over again, and give you and amazing early game advantage.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Flat magic pen.Yes, I know what you're thinking: "These are AP runes!!!" I would like to remind you, though, that you deal a pretty good amount of magic damage through your netherblade. Therfore these runes would, infact, increase your damae output.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration: Mana regen by level.If you usually have problems managing your mana with Kassadin(Especially early on, when you need to harass and last hit with Null Sphere), I would definitely reccomend these runes. Otherwise, stick with the attack speed.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: CDR by level.If you want to be more offensive with your glyph selection, you should problably choose this glyph to replace the flat armor glyph.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed: Flat attack speed.Again, this is an AS build. These quints give you a lot of early AS that gives you an edge over other players.
Kassadin for pretty obvious reasons, but I still will explain a few of them:
1/1: I take a point in summoners wrath because of the armor and magic resist reduction on the player you use Exhaust on. This is very useful, because Nether Blade, AS Kassadin's bread and butter skill, deals magic damage. Therefore, taking a point in Summoners Wrath allows your Exhaust to not only slow the target, but increase your damage output on the target.
3/3: Take three points in Brute Force . This increases your damage dealt by each attack greatly, and allows you to advance to the next tier.
4/4: Amazing attack speed boost, gives you an early game advantage and increases your damage output. In addition, it allows you to put a point in Weapon Expertise . Make sure to put points in this mastery right after you put points in Brute Force .
1/1: How could you miss out on ten armor pen? This, like most of the other masteries I chose in this tree, increases your damage by a significant amount.
4/4: Good addition to damage, and it lets you advance to Lethality .
1/1: This mastery is a must on AS Kassadin. It provides a 10% crit chance, and if you combine this mastery with your items, you will crit on almost every attack!
4/4: Take a point in Sorcery to get to Arcane Knowledge , and for the extra cooldown reduction. Though AS Kassadin doesn't need CDR as much as AP, it allows him to riftwalk quicker, allowing an easier escape. All Kassadin players know that half a scond of their Riftwalk can mean the difference between life and death.
1/1: Take a point in Arcane Knowledge for the 10% magic pen. As I said with Summoner's Wrath , Nether Blade deals magic damage. This mastery simply allows it to deal more.
1/3: Pretty good armor pen, even at only one point, but I put a point in this mastery mostly just to advance to Executioner .
1/1: Very good addition to your damage whn your enemy is below half health, useful for finishing of low-health enemies.
1/1: I take a point in Summoner's Insight for the 15 seconds of Flash. This is simply amazing. How may times do you get ganked when [Flash is on a ten sec CD? Ehhh, maybe not many. Nevertheless, trust me, this mastery will save your life over and over again.
3/3: Extra mana is always useful, espcially on Kassadin, as the smallest bit of extra mana can allow him to cast one more Riftwalk, which often can save his life.
4/4: Believe it or not, the small speed boost from this mastery can make a huge difference. Get it to catch up and run away from other people who have put points in this. This also stacks with the Phantom Dancers to give you unbelieveable movement speed.
1/1: Put a point into Runic Affinity so that you can keep the Red Buff and the Baron Buff for a longer time.
I think thats it for the masteries, so on to the next section of this guide...
Ah,our good old life-saving Summoner Spells. Which ones are best for AD Kassadin?
Our ultimate utility skill, as well as the best summoner spell in the game: Flash. I use this spell on almost every champion that I play, and allows you to escape almost any situation, or chase down the most evasive enemy champ.
I use Exhaust on AD Kassadin. Why not Ignite? Just doesn't seem necessary on AS. Don't get me wrong, it's a great spell, and I use it on AP. It is made for casters, though, and AS Kassadin is not a caster. I use Exhaust because it can save me, slowing down a champion that is chasing me, or help me kill an escaping enemy champion, especially combined with the mastery [Summoner's Insight](See mastery section above).
Other Good Options
I explained on Exhaust why I chose it instead of Ignite. But if you are one of the people who swear by Ignite, or simply think of it superior to Exhaust, go for it, it's still a great choice.
A Kassadin with Teleport has tremendous map control. Setting up to gank top? Teleport there. About to Baron? Teleport there. Simply a great spell, don't hesitate to try it.
Helpful spell for escaping sticky situations, though in my opinion not as good as flash. If you want to have a icredibly defensive couple of summoner spells, you can go Ghost/Flash or Ghost/Teleport. If you dislike Flash, you can go Ghost/Exhaust or Ghost/Igite.
What not to Get
Pretty much everything else. If you think I've overlooked a Summoner Spell, though, let me know.
Skill Sequence and Abilities
This is how I usually go with AS Hybrid Kassadin. I only put one point on Force Pulse for the slow. Then I level up Nether Blade and Null Sphere, Nether Blade so that your auto attacks do more damage and Null Sphere for the silence and as a secondary. Later in the game, Null Sphere is usually only used for it's silence.
Now, onto to Kassadins abilities...
Kassadin take 15% reduced magic damage and transforms it into bonus attack speed.Kassadin's innate: though not that useful on AP, it is one of the things that makes AS Kass possible. The magic resist by itself is pretty great. And the bonus attack speed? Thats simply amazing. The more a mage hits you, the faster your attacks become.
Cost: 70/80/90/100/110 mana. Kassadin fires an ethereal bolt of energy, dealing damage and silencing for a short duration.This spell is AP Kassadins bread and butter. For AS, it is your secondary damage source and silence. I usually max this ability after Nether Blade, as it allows you to dominate casters and take away huge chunks of health from your opponents.
Cost: 25 mana.Passive:Kassadins auto attacks restore mana. The mana is tripled when attacking enemy champions. Active: Kassadin's basic attacks deal additional magic damage.This spell, my friends, shunned and despised by all AP Kassadin players, is the most powerful spell for AS Kassadin. It adds a ton of magic damage onto each attack. That is amazing. If you have, lts say, a 2.5 attack speed, you can get out 15 attacks within the five second duration of this spll with extra magic damage. It helps you get mana back, which is something AD Kass lacks. More mana=more rifwalks. This spell lets you take down your enemies in a few hits once you have your full build. Enough said, I don't think I have to go on explaining the awesomeness of Nether Blade on AS Kassadin.
Cost: 80 mana. Kassadin draws energy from spells cast in his vicinity. Upon charging up, Kassadin can use Force Pulse to damage and slow enemies in a cone infront of him. I usually only put one point in this. The main reason I get this is for the slow, which allows you to get more auto attacks off on an escaping target. If you feel its necessary, you can level this up instead of Null Sphere, but I prefer more damage and the silence.
Base Cost: 100 mana.Kassadin blinks to a nearby location, dealing magic damage to enemy units surrounding the destination area. Each subsequent Riftwalk in the next 8 seconds will cost 100 additional mana and will deal additional damage. The cost and damage increase can stack up to 10 times. This ability is what makes Kassadin..., well, Kassadin. It's a 5 second cooldown flash that allows you to escape... or jump into... almost any situation. It makes Kassadin impossible to catch, and also makes your enemies never be able to run away. You can jump walls with it, to both evade and surpris enmies. At first, it is a bit difficult to learn the ideal postioning for this skill, but after a couple of games you will have pretty much mastered it.
Amplifying Tome: When you get this and before you get your Berserkers, you will be looking like your average AP Kassadin. Early Game, these provide the small AP boost you need to remain dominant in your lane.
Berserker's Greaves: Your trusty boots. They are your first AS item, and also a core item in this build. Make sure to get them as fast as you can after Amplifying Tome.
Malady: With a cheap cost, a big amount of Attack Speed, and some AP, this item is one of the items that makes Hybrid Kass. Be sure to get this item directly after your Berserker's Greaves.
Banshee's Veil: One of Hybrid Kassadin's problems is his squishiness. This items helps with this greatly, giving him health and a spell shield. An important part of Kassadin, AD and AP alike, is his mana pool. This item also helps slightly in this field as well.
Trinity Force: Though pricey, this item is extremely good on AS Kass. It literally has everything that he needs.It has attack speed, ability power, mana, and even health to reduce his squishiness. Make this item a huge priority after your Banshee's Veil. I usually get Sheen, then Phage, and lastly Zeal.
Nashor's Tooth: Great overall item. Gives you the AP you need as well as the AS. In addition, it gives you mana regen to help with mana problems and the cooldown reduction allows you more riftwalks.
Guinsoo's Rageblade: The last, but definitely not least, item you get in the build. It gives you a decent amount of AP, some AD, not to mention a passive that greatly increases your AS.
Manamune: Manamune is a pretty good item. Good AD, and it helps with something that AS Kass lacks: mana. Neverthelss, I have tried it and decided it doesn't have a space in this build. But, if you want to try it, go for it.
Quicksilver Sash: Great, great item... if you are getting murdered by cc's. If you are up against someone with a particularly annoying cc that is seriously hurting you, pick this item up. If not, leave it be.
Hexdrinker: Pretty good attack damage and decent magic resist. But whats really significant about this item is it's powerful spell shield. Again, consider picking this up when you are up against a lot of casters.
Wit's End: A great offensive/defensive option if lacking in money.
As soon as the game begins, grab your Boots of Speed and three Health Potions. This is not very different from most other Kasssadin guide. After that, go straight to mid. Mid is preferable because you have to be well farmed and a higher level than the majority of the enemy team to be effective.
Put a point in Null Sphere, stand back and last hit creeps. If you are up against an AP caster, silence them to go up and kill a creep. Against an AD Carry, you should play passively, using Null Sphere to kill the creeps from range as contrary to using it to harrass. Until you hit level 6, you want to play it safe. When you reach 1195 gold, run back and get Amplifying Tome. At this point, you will look like your average full AP Kassadin. This should be before you hit level 6. As soon as you hit level 6, go for a kill, then save for your Berserker's Greaves. Depending on the situation, though, you might want to get different boots. For example, if the enemy is cc'ing a ton, you might consider Mercury's Treads for the cc reduction.
If you choose different boots, you will lose some early attack speed, but this will be made up for later on.
Mid game generally starts from level 7. This is when you can start playing more aggressively. When your lane is free, go to other lanes and help gank. At this point, you should do a fair amount of damage with the Riftwalk+ Nether Blade+ Force Pulse combo. Try to get Red Buff whenever you can, it is a great help. When you enough gold, recall and get your next item: the Malady. This item is one of the greatest weapons in your arsenal. It gives you good AS, AP, and it reduces your enemies magic resistance, allowing your next burst to do more damage. Combined with your later items(Like your Nashor's Tooth), your gonna be dishing out a tons of damage. This item is a must.
After you get it, you should begin saving up for Banshee's Veil. This item greatly helps you get rid of your squishiness. It gives you health, which is something you need, and in addition has an awesome spellshield that is extremely helpful. This is a very important item, make sure you get it.
This is where you really shine. By this time, you should have or almost have your Banshee's Veil. Begin building for your Nashor's Tooth. This is another item that is a must. Along with malady, it provides a whole lot of AS. Continue doing what you did in mid: Pushing your lane, looking for easy kills and ganks, and getting red buff whenever possible. You should be giving your opponents a really hard time. Nether Blade helps in the process of pushing by increasing the speed of destroying towers. After you get Nashor's Tooth, begin saving up for Trinity Force. Though costy, it is definitely worth it, as you use ALL of the stats on it. By now your damage should be insanely high and ganking should become all the more easier. After Trinity, you should be pretty much dominating and the game should be coming to a close. As the last item, get Wit's End, providing you with a bit more survivability.
By now you can destroy so good luck and have fun!
Thanks for reading my build. Please feel free to comment and give me suggestions to improve this guide. Remember that this guide is not nearly finished, and I will continue updating and making it better(Adding screenshots, videos, etc). As more people comment on this guide, I will continue uptdating the build based on suggestions given to me, so that eventually, it is no longer just my build, it is the communities build. When I made this guide, my goal was to present a new way to play a champion that I really enjoy: Kassadin. So don't downvote just because it is a new concept. Comment what I shoould do to make this build better.
Feel free to leave your personal experiences with this build. AS Kassadin can be great if played correctly. Again, thank you for reading!