Kayle Build Guide by zerobeam
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Kayle is an underrated support and is looked down on due to other supports being able to either heal better (Soraka, Sona) or play a (supposedly) better offensive role (Taric, Leona) or both (Alistar). However, as a frequent AD player, I can tell you that with the right AD champion, Kayle serves an even better role in securing kills for her carry than champions like Taric and Sona. When laning with AD champions such as Miss Fortune and Vayne (to be honest you should only be laning with hard offensive AD carries), Kayle's true talent as a support shines. Towards late game, her ultimate serves as one of the best support skills.
Why Kayle is Fun
With Kayle and the right AD champion, you can wreak havoc upon your lane and set the tone for the rest of the game. With your clutch ultimate, you can make enemies punch their monitors and scream awful things involving babies and chainsaws. With the new (sorta) ranked skin, you can look badass during load screen and feel like one as you fly around and go angel mode with your E. Plus, Kayle's pretty hot. Not as hot as Miss Fortune or anything, but pretty hot.
How's that not fun?
In a world far away where an ancient war still rages, Kayle was a great hero - the strongest of an immortal race committed to destroying evil wherever it could be found. For ten thousand years, Kayle fought tirelessly for her people, wielding her flaming sword forged before time itself. She shielded her delicate features beneath her enchanted armor, the sole remaining masterpiece of an extinct race of craftsmen. Though a beautiful, striking creature, Kayle, now as then, avoids showing her face; war has taken a terrible toll upon her spirit. In her quest for victory, she sometimes would try to lift the wicked up from their morass of evil, but more than often she instead purged those she herself deemed beyond redemption. To Kayle, justice can so often be an ugly thing.
Ten years ago, Kayle's war against evil was nearly won... until her rebellious sister Morgana, a pariah amongst their people, suddenly gained powerful new allies: magicians of a hitherto unknown world called Runeterra. Morgana traded servitude to a number of the summoners in Runeterra's League of Legends for powerful new abilities that, if mastered, threatened to bring Kayle and her people to their knees. To save her world, Kayle had no choice but to make a pact with the League herself. She approached the leader of the League, High Counselor Reginald Ashram, with a deal of her own. In exchange for a thousand years of Kayle's service, Ashram halted all League interference on Kayle's world. With Ashram's disappearance five years ago, Kayle has new causes on Valoran: find out who or what caused Ashram to disappear, defeat her sister Morgana upon the Fields of Justice, and bring her own brand of justice to the League of Legends.
''In the League of Legends, Justice comes on swift wings.''
Although some Kayle players like to start Doran's Ring and a health pot to deal more damage and heal more HP in the lane, I see wards as next to invaluable and the longer you can keep your lane warded, the longer your AD will be able to keep farming. Having the faerie charm early too cuts down more time separating you from your Philosopher's and other GP5 items. Doran's Ring may be viable if you're going against a completely roll able lane, but in most cases I would definitely recommend the wards start.
Typically on a support you want to buy two gold per 10 items, but I play Kayle differently. The only reason to run Kayle is for her massive damage late game, and building a second income item will prevent you from completing this build on time. This is why I go to finish Reverie for the additional health, cooldown reduction. I then finish Mercury Treads for the increased speed. Once I have these items, I then go for the main Kayle build.
While most solo queue games are over by the time you get your main items on Kayle. You'll find in tournament play it is more common to get this far in game, especially when teams are playing more passive. If you are able to get some of thse items, you need to then start playing a damage/support hybrid. You'll be able to do significant damage in team fights, just don't be the first to fight ; wait for the fight to initiate and then go in later into the team fight so that you are not focused and die (becuase you will be extremely squishy).
In tournament play your allies will let you do this, but you should pick up some farm when you play Kayle support. Don't be afraid to take some farm from the AD carry. It's a different strategy but it can work out to the TEAMS benefit.
Don't forget however, always be buying wards and warding the map throughout the entire game and you should have an oracles entering the mid game (~15-20 minutes).
Rune, Masteries, and Summoner Spells
Marks, Seals and Quints
Use 9 Armor Reds, 9 Gold per 10 Quints, 9 Magic Resist per level Blues, and 3 Gold per 5 Quints. These runes are borrowed from Baxi's guide, as they are well explained and, well, correct. They fit Kayle's role in lane quite well and give you the survivability you need as a support (you don't need damage as a support). With these runes, you'll have a total of +21 armor to survive against the enemy AD carry, +24 magic resist to survive against late game burst AP damage, and +5.2 gold / 10 seconds to help you keep pumping wards / build towards good support items like WotA, Aegis, and Stark's.
Reasoning Behind Armor Runes and Magic Resist per Level Runes
The reason I get so much armor in the laning phase with Kayle is because you will usually be the one to receive punishment first before your AD carry until after level 6. Due to this, you must be able to receive enough punishment so you can outsurvive the enemy as your own AD fights them off of you. With the +21 armor, you'll be able to do just this. However, since the bulk of damage in bottom lane skirmishes is based off of physical damage, you won't need flat magic resist, so you can get magic resist per level glyphs.
Clairvoyance always has and always is an invaluable spell on supports. Global map control is a must, and CV will help to keep your solo lanes alive when early enemy jungler ganks are foiled. Keeping vision of objectives such as Dragon and Baron while providing lanes with map control makes Clairvoyance a must-have on almost all supports.
Flash is very important, especially on a hybrid support for better positioning yourself during engagements.
The Laning Phase
In the laning phase, there are MANY things you must micromanage as a support. To start with, you should always be positioning yourself so that the enemy support/carry can't suddenly jump on you at any moment, as if you ever get picked off, it's very likely your AD carry will die next. Secondly, you must know when to play aggressively with your partner and when to play passively (although to be honest, if you know you're going against a lane stronger than yours in Solo Queue like if they have Vayne/Alistar and your AD picked Ashe, you may have to go ahead and pick another support as Kayle is much better suited for being on the offensive). For example, if you have a Vayne and are laning against a lane like Kog'Maw/Janna, you should be turning your E on and forcing the exchange yourself while letting your AD know to follow up. By using your Q on whichever one of them is closer to your AD and speeding your AD up with W, you two will be able to start favorable exchanges on a whim.
Once you hit level 6, you and your partner can start going full man mode. Again, start the exchanges yourself as your runes (explained later in the chapter) and items will make you tankier than your AD partner; in addition, you'll be able to heal/ult yourself quickly if they try to burst you down suddenly. If they aren't doing significant damage, Q whichever player is closer to you and W your AD carry so they can kite them down for the kill along with your E pounding on them. Playing Kayle support is much like playing Nunu support (not troll with MF/Vayne), except you sacrifice the attack speed from Nunu for a much more utilizable ultimate and a heal for your AD carry with Kayle.
Responsibilities: Warding Your Lane
Another thing to keep in mind is to keep warding, but not to jeopardize your position or your carry in the process. For example, try not to ward the Dragon unless your AD is pushing into their side of the river, or else you may risk getting jumped on the way back to the lane. Even if your AD has the lane in control, you may want to consider going back through the tri-bush in order to nullify any chance of the enemy gimping you down. You should start putting down wards normally around 3:30-4 minutes, as that is when most junglers have cleared their jungle and will prepare to set up ganks.
Ward accordingly to how the lane is going and what junglers you're going against. For example, if you're playing against a Fiddles and are constantly pushing into their turret, ward Dragon and your own tri-bush (if you're blue side) while keeping CV on the enemy tri-bush whenever you get near the enemy turret. If you're on purple side, the Dragon ward should suffice instead of warding your own tri-bush, as if they jungler goes ALL the way around he will be jeopardizing his own safety. On the other hand, if the team with Fiddles is pushing into your turret, keep the bottom bush warded in case Fiddles sneaks in for a bush gank and your own tri-bush (again, if you're on blue side. This will be implied from now on) to avoid a dive. This pattern carries on – if you're against junglers like Udyr/Tryndamere who must walk into the lane, have tri-bush/Dragon warded and the bottom bush warded when the lane starts pushing into your tower. If there's a vital area that you can't keep warded such as Dragon and you can't afford to go back or your AD will miss out on too much farm/exp, have your CV ready at all times and when you feel as though the jungler has been missing too long/the enemy lane changes their aggression behavior, go ahead and use CV for yourself.
One thing to take note of us timing when you ward. For example, if the lane is stagnant and the enemy has an offensive lane, don't just leave your AD and go ward your tri-bush, as the enemy can immediately jump on him if you don't give him a warning and he may get gimped/be forced to blow a summoner's. If you don't warn him, yes. This is your fault. If you absolutely must ward it, tell your AD carry to back up to a safer position for a few seconds, even if he has to lose some CS. The possibility of the enemy lane getting a kill on you is too big of a risk to lose a couple CS as kills in the bottom lane tend to set the tone for the whole game (lane dominance = dragon dominance = gold lead = victory = sadface).
How to Catch and Bait
In order to successfully be aggressive with Kayle in the lane, it's important to know how to catch enemy champions without baiting your own AD carry. For example, it's WRONG to rush in and force an exchange by going out of position pre-level 6 if the lane is completely even and you don't have proper wards up. Instead, have your wards up and wait for an opportunity to create an advantage to come up. If the enemy AD extends a bit too far to get CS off a ranged creep, slow him and speed up your own AD. If the enemy support makes a stupid move and decides to go ward at an awkward time, jump on the enemy AD or wait for the support to come back and jump him as he returns to the lane. Keep in mind to always have proper wards up when you're doing these maneuvers, as sometimes it may be bait and jungler ganks at the bottom lane usually result in enemy Dragons.
Once you have some sort of an advantage (forcing them to go back before you and pushing the lane, getting a kill, item advantage, level advantage, etc.), you can start to force engagements on your own. Kayle / Offensive carry lanes snowball in advantage as hard as Alistar/Taric/Leona / Offensive carry lanes, so you'll be able to press your advantage and zone the enemy harder.
If you're trying to bait the enemy into an exchange for a jungler gank / you just know you're stronger, go ahead and get out of position. When they start to auto attack you, wait for their timing on their abilities and then immediately use your ultimate on yourself and slow one of them. Your AD carry should be able to finish the rest as he should've been attacking them while they were attacking you. Or your jungler should go in to save the day – speed him up if need by while your ult is still up.
During team fights, you should use your heal on whoever is initiating before the fight begins in order for your intiator to be able to catch the other team out of position. Throughout the teamfight, keep your position secure while watching for anyone who needs an ultimate. When using your ultimate, keep in mind that you should either save it for your carries or use it on your bruisers/tanks as the enemy team blows all of their ultimates. By doing this, you can completely negate some of the enemy's upcoming damage, swinging the battle in your favor. Of course, usually it will be more important to use it to keep a carry alive towards the end of the team fight. Don't worry about hitting anyone with your E unless they come at you / your carries, as it will jeopardize your position.
Warding and Clearing Wards
As the game progresses, keep in mind to never fall behind in keeping the map warded. If lanes are stagnant and neither team is really advancing into the other team's side of the map,focus on keeping Dragon, Baron, and choke points into lanes warded. If the enemy is beginning to advance into your side of the map, keep Baron warded from over the wall to ensure safety if you are on the purple side and in river regardless if you are blue, while keeping the entrances into your jungle warded to ensure your team can keep farming their way back in the game. If you are advancing into the other team's jungle, keep chokepoints in their jungle and objectives such as Blue and Red warded in order to press your own team's advantage. Wards can make or break a game – even though supports can't singlehandedly win games, you can make it very hard for your team to lose.
When you grab an Oracle's and begin to clear wards, keep a couple things in mind:
Never facecheck an area you're about to clear. Use your CV if you have to.
Never go ward clearing when you cannot see the enemy team / you're unprotected. If you die, the gold lost from your Oracle's will be lost completely.
This being said, the most important position to clear with your Oracle's will usually be Baron. You'll want to clear this whenever your team is pushing and doesn't need you, so when your team stops pushing and wants to sneak a Baron while the other team is on the defensive it will be possible.