Build Guide by Xofrevihs
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
I've not written a guide for this game before, but I've read quite a few, for all of the characters I enjoy playing. However, as I accumulate match wins, I've begun to find that there's seldom a build that exactly conveys my playstyle, which is quite the interesting thing about League of Legends; you're free to do quite a number of different things. That said, this is my take on Kayle, a champion I originally picked up solely due to her low cost, forgot about, and have begun playing again now that I have a better grasp on the game. The build is less about items than masteries, runes, and playstyle; her items mirror the Riot recommended ones pretty closely, as they really are the best ones to synergize with her strengths.
Pros / Cons
Very fast movement
Powerful support abilities
Generally good item scaling
Hybrid magic/physical damage
Immeasurably useful ultimate
Somewhat slow early game
Vulnerable to CC
Mana issues if careless
Easy to overextend while chasing
Masteries. One of the many ways the game caters to customization, and one of the ways to specialize in a specific role. Characters tend to have a niche with one of the trees that they prefer to stay in; Tanks go Defense for obvious reason, Carries go for Offense, for equally obvious reasons. Kayle is extremely flexible, and able to thrive with any of the three, but I personally find Utility suits her the best. The reasoning for this is that she's not a particularly good tank, nor is her DPS so spectacular that adding a simple 5% bonus is worth the points. Utility offers exactly that, things that will make playing easier; bonuses to her already generous move speed, cooldown reductions, mana regen, and a lessened death penalty. I subspec into Offense for the 15% spell penetration, as it'll help with Redemption's punch early on, as well as boosting your AOE capabilities.
An important thing to note is the lack of Perserverence. This is quite bluntly one of the worst masteries in all three of the trees, simply because of how little impact it can make. Kayle has mana issues early on, and if you aren't careful with your spells you can run into them for the rest of a match as well, but 6% just isn't worth three whole points. Instead take Good Hands , which can save you upwards of six or seven precious seconds late game every time you die. And you likely will die, because Kayle is capable of being so incredibly annoying, you will find yourself in many situations that you simply cannot avoid. Good comparison would be Meditation - to get to the same 3 mp5 for three points, you would need 50mp5 base for Perserverence. If you have 50mp5, 3 more isn't going to do anything super, but early game 3 mp5 can make a difference.
The rune choices seem odd, I know. There is a reason behind them, though, and it fits nto the choice of Utility talents. Kayle's main weaknesses are cooldowns and mana, and one of her strengths is excellent mobility. Combined with your boots, Divine Blessing, Ghost, and Quickness], the movement quintessences help make you able to chase or flee from most circumstances. Being able to run down a terrified enemy and tag them with the slow from [[Reckoning is often enough to let your allies catch up and finish them if you aren't able to.
Armour pen compensates for the lack of ArP from items or masteries. Your melee swings are a large portion of your damage, because Righteous Fury does not turn your attacks into magical; only the splash and bonus damage (30% of ap) turn into magic. Pure damage could work as well, but Reckoning and Holy Fervor give you a nice damage boost already. Crit chance or damage are worthless for Kayle with this build, and Magic Penetration marks will only reduce the effectiveness of Archaic Knowledge . Early game you'll cleave through squishy targets incredibly fast with Q & E up, giving you excellent harassing ability, and late game the ArP marks will still help you put the hurt on vulnerable targets. The idea is to balance your magic and physical damage so that the enemy has to build Armour AND MR to effectively tank you, reducing their efficiency in both.
The Clarity runes can be substituted for flat mana or mana regen if you want to harass early game more heavily, but by the time you hit level six, mp5/level runes become more efficient. As you accumulate cooldown reduction through the components for your Nashor's Tooth, mana regen will become your primary limit late game. You need to keep up enough mana to support allies with Divine Blessing and Intervention, while at the same time being able to use Reckoning and Righteous Fury whenever possible. In essence, your mana is most noticeable early game, but exists at all times.
As I said in the introduction, the items generally follow what Riot chose for her after the character rebuild. Kayle is a hybrid in the truest sense of the word; she both supports and deals damage, while using magic and physical damage. I don't have a full item list placed here, for two reasons. First is that in a regular game, you won't always get to fill your pack with all six items. Second is that you'll always have to adjust what you get based on your enemy and their item choices; if the team is all physical, you'll want to get some form of armour like a Thornmail, whereas if they're all magical, a Force of Nature is in order.
Her passive enables her to reap excellent benefits from using hybrid items - for example, a Hextech Gunblade will give her 20 bonus AP, and 11.5 extra AD, on top of the high stats it already has. The Guinsoo's Rageblade is in the same situation; more AP and AD equals more of both, beyond what the item actually has on it.
Attack speed from Nashor's Tooth, Guinsoo's Rageblade, and any other ASPD items you get make your Reckoning and Righteous Fury more efficient by letting you get more ranged and damage boosted hits before they expire. A Madred's Bloodrazor is useful if you're against a lot of high health champions due to its passive, a bit of armour, and even more ASPD. Remember that Madred's does magic damage, so it'll be affected by your Archaic Knowledge mastery, as well as the target's Magic Resist; we aren't building a Void Staff, so if their team all has decent MR, don't bother with a Bloodrazor.
Boots, as always, are debatable based on playstyle and enemy composition. Heavy CC or heavy magic teams warrant Mercury's Treads, but in most other circumstances you'll want Boots of Swiftness. For reasons shown in the Runes section, move speed is excellent on Kayle as her Divine Blessing] adds a [i]percentage[/i] of her current speed onto how fast she moves. High base means high return on it. [[Boots of Mobility are situationally useful; you aren't able to flee as effectively unless you can avoid any attacks they throw at you, but you can attain very high out of combat speeds. I prefer the reliability of the Boots of Swiftness. Remember that, as the healer, you're going to be targetted early on in any fights. If you have to use Intervention on yourself, you can't use it on a teammate, so being able to get away from enemies is important.
Of note is the choice, in the beginning, of either a Doran's Ring, or a Meki Pendant. As noted in the runes section, Kayle has terrible mana regeneration problems for the entire game, so I prefer to grab the pendant first so as to build the Fiendish Codex and Nashor's Tooth as quickly as possible. However, Kayle is also relatively fragile early game; without your ultimate, or enough AP to make your heal worthwhile, you need to play very carefully. The move boost on Divine Blessing is generally enough to keep you safe, and its mild heal is decent to gradually fill you back up if you do take a few hits, so I don't generally feel a Doran's Ring is necessary on her. Until at least six, few champions have heavy burst or CC abilities that will put you in a position where 100 more HP is an absolute necessity. Plus, if you get the Meki Pendant, you can afford both a health and mana potion, granting you an effective +200 to each, twice what the ring can offer. If you want to play aggressively though, it's a viable choice, but it will delay your build by a substantial amount of gold, and Kayle without items is hardly annoying.
There are three things to remember with Kayle's skills. Reckoning's slow, Divine Blessing's move speed boost, and Righteous Fury's attack range do not scale with level. This is why I prioritize Reckoning above the others; its flat and percentage damage increase with each point, and it'll be your main harassment tool when combined with Righteous Fury during the laning phase. However, an early point in Divine Blessing accomplishes two things; you get to lane faster if you die, and you can prevent an enemy First Blood fairly easily with its speed boost and heal. The heal doesn't scale very well with ranks (+35/level), but does scale fairly well with AP (50%), whereas Reckoning scales very well with both ranks (+50/level), as well as AP (80%).
Righteous Fury's splash attack is nice, but it's not the main reason for taking it, nor is the bonus magic damage, since both are relatively useless early game. What's useful is that it lets you harass people with your full AD, from behind both your creeps and theirs. It also allows you to hit towers from a safe distance, decreasing the risk of ganks. Don't view it as a nuke, view it as a tool. Reckoning's damage bonus and slow lets you keep an enemy in range of Righteous Fury, effectively letting you destroy their health from relative safety, depending on your target. The mana cost on Righteous Fury stays at the same 65 the entire game, but its cooldown does decrease by one second per rank. Not worth rushing. Combined with your Armour Penetration runes and the % damage bonus from Reckoning, you'll be shredding people while they wonder what's happening. Also note that while Righteous Fury is active, your attacks cannot miss. If you get Blinded somehow, activate it and continue DPSing.
Intervention, like all ultimates, is prioritized above the other abilities at levels 6, 11, and 16. Not much to say about the ability, it lets you make anyone on your team invincible for 2, 2.5, or 3 seconds. One nice thing is the cooldown is incredibly short, only 60 seconds at max rank. Since we'll be nearly CDR capped from Nashor's Tooth & our Masteries, this will drop the cooldown of your ultimate to just under 40 seconds, almost guaranteeing its availability for any team fights. Your target is still susceptible to CC, and it won't prevent Fountain Turrets from killing them. Everything else is blocked though, True Damage included. Try to save it for if a carry is about to do something stupid; you can turn a suicidal rush into an Ace if you're quick enough. It has an incredible range (1200, same as Divine Blessing), so you can throw it on people while staying out of danger.
You can choose from nearly any set of spells for Kayle, given her inherent flexibility. As we're going Utility already, four spells shine particularly bright; Clairvoyance, Clarity, Teleport, and Ghost. I personally find Clairvoyance & Ghost work exceptionally well on Kayle, given this build's place as a support/dps hybrid. The majority of players I see tend to take Flash regardless of character, which I think is a pretty poor idea. Kayle does not need Flash for anything - she's excellent at running, excellent at chasing, and excellent at dodging. Ghost complements her fleeing and chasing much better than Flash can. Clarity can alleviate some of your early mana issues, as well as support your team later on by filling up their bars, but I find it's just not as useful as being able to track enemy movement using Clairvoyance. Teleport is underrated a lot of the time, but I find it doesn't work too well with Kayle. You move so quickly that it's unnecessary in most cases.
Kayle can fill a multitude of roles in any team. Few characters are able to singlehandedly turn a fight around without copious amounts of feeding, but that's exactly what support characters specialize in. You won't win every game, and you won't avoid dying all the time, but with a bit of caution and skill you'll push your team on to victory. Never be afraid to sacrifice yourself if it means the DPS gets away alive - you have the respawn mastery, they probably don't. That said, don't throw your life away either; if you're dead, you aren't healing, and you aren't making people invulnerable. Also remember that since you do hybrid damage, it's very difficult for the enemy team to prevent you shredding their carries if you're sneaky enough.