Kha'Zix Build Guide by Venorize
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.
Welcome to the Dark Side.
Kha'Zix, is an evil evolution of an assassin. You may have played Rengar; he is extremely similar in nature and play-style, with a few big differences. According to lore, Rengar is the only creature to have put up a fair fight against Kha'Zix, leaving them both exhausted from battle. Kha'Zix's goal in life is to best and kill Rengar. So let's help him do so. This purple beast is a bomb waiting to go off.
Remember: You are in terms a GLASS CANNON and Kha'Zix should always be treated and played as such. You can nuke hard and fast, with great mobility... But you essentially could kill yourself just by tripping on a rock running down the river.
Pros / Cons
- Leap One of the top-end chasing and escape abilties in LoL if evolved.
- Very powerful damage. Q Spam.
- Low mana usage if used strategically.
- Decent roaming capability.
- Stealth and jumping abilities make for great sneak attack ganks.
- Higher damage to isolated targets, for even better solo ganking.
- Higher Cooldowns restrict his chase/escape/movement game.
- - - With Leap and Ult on cooldown, survivability drops to zero.
- Very Squishy, being an assassin.
- - - Low HP/Resistances
- Being squishy makes him vulnerable in the early-game while jungling.
Kha'Zix VS Rengar
Rengar and Kha'Zix are two very similar champions, in playstyle and abilities. Even in lore, they are sworn enemies. So let's get right to some simple facts; here are some differences between the two. Kha'Zix is our champion here, so it's his fight to [Win] or [Lose]!
Champion Stats Comparison
Health: [Lose] Rengar has 5 extra base health by level 18.
Mana: [Lose] Rengar is not limited by mana, while Kha'Zix is.
Armor: [Lose] Rengar has 10 extra base armor by level 18.
Move-Speed: [Win] Kha'Zix has 5 extra points of base speed.
Att-Speed: [Lose] Rengar has .014 more attack speed by level 18.
HP/5: [Lose] Rengar has 1.7 more health regen by level 18.
AD: [Lose] Rengar has 3.2 more base attack damage by level 18.
Champion Abilities Comparison
Passive: [Win] Kha'Zix is easier to activate and comes with a CC/Slow utility.
Main Attack (Q): [Win] Kha'Zix can boost it's damage more often than Rengar, and it's non-enhanced damage is still higher than Rengar's despite his Attack Speed boost.
Utility/Heal (W): [Tie] Kha'Zix's can slow if evolved, and the damage scales with AD instead of Rengar's which scales with AP. Rengar's heal is far superior though.
Utility/Movement (E): [Tie] Kha'Zix's has dual purpose for chase/escape and the ability scales better with Attack Damage. Rengar's is a very strong Low-CD slow.
Ultimate/Stealth (R): [Tie] Kha'Zix's stealth can be used 2-3 times and it re-activates his passive. Rengar's lasts 7 times longer and can reveal Kha'Zix regardless of his stealth.
In terms of play-style, I feel Kha'Zix has the better versatility and ganking ability (since he doesn't have to rely on his ult for higher successful ganks), and a higher overall 'fun factor'. But in terms of raw power, Rengar is stronger and slightly better defended. They are just too similar to say one out-shadows the other completely though, your basically playing one or the other for their unique growth and play-styles.
Hidden In-Game Quest: The Hunt Is On
In the middle of the game, a quest event can be activated to "Kill Rengar".
Rengar must be on the enemy team.
Rengar must have a Bonetooth Necklace.
Kha'Zix must have max Void Assault
Kha'Zix must have spent all Evolution Points.
When all requirements are met, the game will start the quest. When the quest becomes active, all players will see the announcement made that the upcoming fight will have a deep impact.
Kha'Zix & Rengar will each receive a buff to kill each other. This quest will only be active one time. One player wins by killing the other.
* An assist counts as the kill for this quest, and you will be victorious either way.
Kha'Zix - He receives the 4th Evolution Point that has been on his Christmas list!
Rengar - He will receive ' Head of Kha'zix' , image below:
* The Head of Kha'Zix replace's his Bonetooth Necklace.
Watch this quest & lore in action!
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
This rune set is a pretty basic rune set for a jungler with one major exception. The extra attack damage is to boost your Q and give you stronger last-hitting ability, the armor pen is pretty obvious... The armor boost is to survive more jungle/creep hits early and mid game. But now here is where your doubts are...Cooldown Reduction? At first glance that makes no sense. His Q is a fast cooldown, so why?
Kha'Zix's survivability is pretty low. Low resistances and low hp pool makes him very squishy, as he should be considering he is an assassin. His survival lies on two abilities. One is his ult, which gives him two instances of 1-sec stealth, which you can use to juke an enemy who is chasing you. But depending on an ult to survive is silly, that's why you have your E: Leap, which will allow you to jump over walls and such. Tie this skill in with your flash, and you can potentially escape any fight or chase any runner. This even makes it possible to chase great escape champions such as Kassadin or Corki.
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Mark of Critical Chance
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Critical Chance
If you follow this build, you keep most of your original build in-tact while throwing a fair amount of starting crit in there. However, if you go this build, your item sequence will have to alter to give you Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer sooner to take advantage of the crit you already have.
You can also optionally alter your masteries to drop the 1.5% overall damage and such and get 10% crit damage. Remember, never start with critical chance in your build unless you intend to follow through with it in-game to go past 50% critical hit chance.
Masteries[Basic Mastery Build]
The masteries are pretty set in stone for a Jungler. They take advantage of the most damage and survivability. Two points in cooldown reduction to add to your survivability from the runes, for your Leap and Void Assault.
[Optional Crit Mastery Build]
Again you only really want to go this route if you plan to follow through. You would get the crit runes listed above in some way, and you would continue in-game with an altered build of items to get the critical hit faster.
Skills Order[Build Explanation]
- Your passive, allowing your next auto attack or Evolved Void Spike to slow and damage the enemy. You get it when you become unseen by the enemy team. Don't make it a habit to try to hide to get this ability, it is not a significant slow. However sidestepping into tall grass to recover your passive can be the difference between a good and bad Kha'Zix
- Your main attack. It only ever costs 25 mana, so use it to farm creeps and spam it on champions. If evolved, it will do more damage to champions who are more injured. Being your main attack, you max it first.
- The reason you get this skill first is because of the heal. The heal isn't the most effective end-game without AP (which you don't want), so your best to get it first to make your early-game jungle as effective as it can be. Also having the slow early on is helpful. Beyond that, you don't need to max it until last. Leap is more effective and powerful of a skill.
- Why max this second? Leap is your bread and butter. It is your main escape and survivability function, and it is your main chase function. In addition to this, it does significant damage as well. Reducing it's cooldown is critical to your use of it to chase/escape. On the flip side, if you want, you can evolve this first to get it's cooldown reset on kills/assists and max void spike second, although I advise against it.
- Your ultimate ability, giving you one second of stealth two times in a row (or three if you evolved it). Your best not to evolve it though, your other three abilities can benefit from evolution better. Putting a point in this ability lets you evolve one skill.
Opening Skill Debate: Q vs W
Despite my best work, there was still debate on my findings of my opening skill order. I decided to further investigate to see which was the better skill to open with. Here are my findings on the Taste Their Fear vs Void Spike argument.
Played 20 trial game openings.
10 Games opening with Taste Their Fear.
10 Games opening with Void Spike.
5 Games of each were with Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potions
5 Games of each were with Boots of Speed + 3 Health Potions
Taste Their Fear did allow me to kill faster, and I was able to push through jungle faster. The downside was I was so quick I would get to [Red Buff] and nearly kill him before my smite had come back up, meaning I would have to smite [Blue Buff] the moment the fight started, which is not usually recommended.
Void Spike was a slower kill but not by much, because the AoE damage does hit the side-minions at the [Blue Buff] and the [Wolfs]. In addition to this, the healing at 40hp per cast can get me 160 healing before the mid-lane crossover, so I only needed one Health Potion to remain at near full health by the time I crossed over middle lane to enter the other side. I find this to be more valuable to stay strong, protected, and start ganking early, where as I needed two potions if I used Taste Their Fear to open.
Both are viable, both work, and it's not that big of a difference because the moment [Blue Buff] spawn is finished, you get the other ability.
When you put a point into your Void Assault you are given an Evolution Point. You can evolve 3 of your 4 abilities by the end of the game.
Regardless how you decide to build your evolution chain, it is recommended you DO NOT EVOLVE Void Assault. One additional stealth does not overpower the strengths gained through evolving your other abilities.
[Offensive Evolution] Q -> W -> E
Obviously this build focuses on your best damage first. You can choose to max leap second, but if your going for straight nuking damage, evolving void spike second will give you additional hits, for greater AoE explosion and slow. This makes mob farming extremely effective, and greater CC support in teamfights if your passive Unseen Threat is active.
[Survival Evolution] E -> Q -> W
As I explained, your Leap is your bread and butter. By boosting it early, not only is it's range increased, but it refreshes every time you get a kill or assist. This gives you incredible chase ability, and now you can escape when other champions couldn't.
The leap makes you one of the best chasers in the game, especially if you max it second to reduce its cooldown further. On top of all this, you'll find yourself getting kills with your leap trying to chase someone who is low hp. Add your flash to the mix, nobody should really escape or catch you with cooldowns up.
Itemization: Picking Your Poison
Your squishy, and you want to be able to gank as quickly as possible. You don't need boots right off the back because you have your leap and a passive attack that slows your enemy. This start will give you the highest health and survivability to go in for early ganks to boost your team's early games.
Obviously, you need boots on your next trip back if you followed the cloth armor build to start.
Alternatively, you can choose Boots of Speed & Health Potion x3 if your team is giving you help on your jungle kills.
- The reason I suggest this is because of the cooldown reduction. Cooldown is a huge hold on an otherwise very overpowered champion, and Kha'Zix's cooldowns on his Leap and Void ***ult are all that hold him back. By reducing these cooldowns you can be a killing machine at all hours of the night
- These help with a stronger AP/CC team, and they are the second best boots you can get. If cooldown is not an issue for you, then I recommend you get these. However objectively the faster usability of your Leap can sometimes bring higher survivability than these boots.
Boots of Swiftness Boots of Mobility - Not Recommended. You have enough chasing mechanics as it is, you don't really need these. Your survivability is better off with the other two boots listed for what they bring to the table. These are viable in game, but situational at best.
Your Taste Their Fear is dependent on high damage. It scales extremely well with stacked damage. This is why your item build should consist of high damage items. The only exception is once you reach 80%+ critical hit chance, then your auto attack damage can far outdo your Taste Their Fear You don't have to follow the items above perfectly or in any order, but core items should consist of any high damage output items such as the following:
- This item is absolutely fantastic and underrated. It gives you armor pen, which you need. It gives you damage, for your Taste Their Fear, it reduces cooldown, which increases chase and survivability, and of course the movement speed buff every 60 seconds is just unstoppable.
- Your squishy and vulnerable. You have great escape mechs, but you really do need more health. Stacking health can be very important against higher damage teams, especially if they focus you. In many situations, you might want to Sacrifice a Core Item and grab this item for the major health boost and survivability boost, especially in Ranked Play. But you do lose some substantial burst damage in it's place. However, there is that key term; "If your team never dies, the enemy can never get fed. Win.".
- A helpful item if you want to upgrade your armor instead of selling it by the end-game. The lifesteal and ward is nice. It doesn't have the best end-game quality for us though. So unless your being very dependent on lifesteal or a free ward, this item should be sold to grab Last Whisper in the end phases of the game. Either way though, your not a bruiser, you don't have the best sustain, lifesteal won't be half as much use as another defensive stat.
- Only get this item if you are playing a stronger Critical Hit build, and plan to get Frozen Mallet to compliment it's power. This item is only recommended if you are playing a high AD damage team. This item is very situational, because it's a waste of an item slot if your health isn't high enough. Even so, if your building too defensive, your damage will be gimped and you'll end up being a very poor-surviving bruiser instead of a top-dps get-in get-out assassin.
- Not really needed, however if your teamfights are ending very close, this item could be a game-changer. This item is most effective if the enemy team and your team are both evenly matched, and you are likely to be focused. This item has a very noticeable graphic, making the enemy less likely to want to attack you due to the re-spawn... This gives you more free-roam to nuke their carries while they focus someone else.
An item so crazy it needed it's own sub-topic.
- Ability power is not needed and a wasted stat. What bonuses you get from it are only enhanced by 50%. Mana boost is a wasted stat, your mana consumption should be manageable by level 8+ if you play strategically enough. The 30% attack speed is also not needed unless your going a hardcore crit build, otherwise you want damage over attack speed. If you're going a CRIT build, then the attack speed will effectively help your crit chance output. Same goes with additional Crit. It's not really needed unless your going a high crit build.
Now the Sheen ability out of Trinity Force is probably the only reason you would take it. The extra damage boost from spamming Taste Their Fear would be nice. The problem with that is, you only get a couple Q's off in the meantime. The damage boost is not dramatically higher because by getting this item, you sacrifice an item that could otherwise give you 80-100 damage + other stats. So in short, Yes Trinity Force is very helpful and viable. It is not a bad choice in many situations, but it is not my recommendation for your basic build.
*Note* If you are building a CRIT/Attack Speed build, this item is more valuable and possibly worth replacing another core item with. If you do this, your best getting Sheen early and finishing it's build by about your 4th core item.
- After much experimentation with this, it is determined that although somewhat useful with the health regen, damage, and use function.. It is simply far too expensive. For the price and time to get this item, your burst damage is far too gimped. You don't survive long enough to regenerate, especially against CC. The use function is just about it's best bonus, but if you build your burst damage right, you don't even need it. Simply put, nice item, but by the time you get it, any other kha'zix would be doing double the damage you are doing. You simply are too squishy to benefit from the regeneration. Your not a bruiser, your an assassin. Your supposed to get in, explode like a bomb, and get out. You are quite literally, a Glass Cannon.
- Don't bother. If your playing a high AD team, you don't need to stack hardcore armor items... because your squishy enough and don't want to be a tank assassin. If you like tanky assassin, go play a bruiser. Instead of this, you should consider Atma's Impaler. It gives you the armor your looking for and increases your damage enough to make it viable in this situation.
Zeke's Herald - Not a bad item actually, but I recommend it be something your Support gets. You don't really need the attack speed, and the lifesteal is not more important than pure damage or critical hit chance.
- Your not an attack speed champion or ADC. You don't rely on attacking quickly, which is why I don't push for more lifesteal. Even with attack speed stacked, this item is really your ADCarry's bread and butter, not yours. The 4% health hit per attack will be helpful, but not half as helpful as all the other items you could otherwise be getting. If your upgrading your Madred's Razors, you best go with Wriggle's Lantern for the team support ward and lifesteal.
- In nearly all cases it is required. It is one of the most defensive abilities you have, plus it gains you some nice extra gold. (Wait.. "defensive"..what?) Yes I said defensive. By using it on Blue/Red buffs, Dragon/Baron, you are effectively bringing down the enemy faster, therefore you are taking less damage (or the tank is). These creatuers hit hard, and having more HP when the fight ends gives you more survivability should a gank follow shortly after, especially for jungle invasions or the fight over Dragon.
- Self explanatory, I would hope. Flash plus your Leap make for some insane escape tactics, or chasing tactics. They give you fantastic mobility that is tough to match by most champions. Example: Say you get ganked and exhausted, Flash to a wall, then Leap over it.
- You do have your Leap, and your ultimate gives you additional survivability. With the proper cooldown reduction, you don't technically NEED flash... You could go with Exhaust as well to give you even stronger chasing ability. In retrospect, you could also exhaust an enemy to give you time to run to a wall to Leap over.
- Further increasing your decent roaming ability, it is situational at best. You already have great chase/escape, this just adds oil to the fire.. where as flash would be gasoline on the fire.
- Healing would give you stronger and faster jungling ability, making your time to ganking slightly easier.. However you sacrifice your ability to make those ganks successful. Situational at best.
- Decent, good damage, helps kill in ganking... But your a melee champion. Your better off with a skill that will help you reach or escape from your target. Ignite is better left to the ranged attackers.
Revive - Planning on dying a lot? I know I'm not.
Clarity - Your getting some blue buffs, and mana isn't a big issue.
Clairvoyance - Leave it for your support, it's not needed to invade.
Cleanse - You have two escape mechanisms, get flash as a 3rd, not cleanse.
Teleport - Why? If you improve your map awareness, you'll be where your team needs you.
Promote - ...Just No.
Surge - Your not an attack speed champion, and if your thinking "AP FOR MY HEAL!" You might as well just get Heal
Critical Hit Build Tips
If you plan to play a critical hit build, one item with attack speed wouldn't hurt. You would want to get between a 30-50% bonus in attack speed. The reasoning for this is as a crit build you need to get off more auto-attacks.
Taste Their Fear can Not crit. This is confirmed by playing at 100% critical hit chance and not being able to land a crit except with the auto attacks.
When you play as this build, it is even more important that you watch your auto attack timer. In-between auto attacks is when you should use your Taste Their Fear or Void Spike. If you use either ability just as your auto-attack would go off, your auto-attack will be delayed the exact duration it took to cast that ability, causing your damage to go down. If you time it correctly, your auto-attack timer will not be interrupted and your ability will just further add to your overall DPS.
This is fairly more difficult when fighting a champion as opposed to a minion, but then we end up on a discussion about the differences between a skilled and unskilled player.
Jungling and Ganking
Always start with [Blue Buff] before red. You should attempt to hold a [Blue Buff] as often as possible, as the cooldown-reduction is extremely effective for this champion. You should follow through the rest of your jungle until you finish ending with the dual-golems. Depending on what side of the map your team is on, you should then attempt to gank the lane with your golems, which could be top or bottom lane.
Purple Team - GANKS TOP:
You have the advantage, turning top into a 2v1 game. There will not be a ward against you (How do you know? You check the top-champion's items the moment they appear on the map). Hide in the river brush, and go for the kill when it is appropriate to do so.
Don't Waste Farm Time! If a kill or lure is not possible within a short amount of time, bail and go back through the jungle. You'll now have to decide if a gank middle or bottom is possible. If not, continue your farming.
Blue Team - GANKS BOTTOM
You have a tougher challenge. It is more likely to encounter lower-hp enemies if your bottom lane is doing their job, but you will probably encounter wards as well. Again you should check to see if your bottom lane had wards when they appeared. If they did not appear right away, they might have warded the river first.
If river is warded, sneak up through the bottom bushes but avoid being seen. If river looks safe, go river and act accordingly with your teammates to secure the kills.
Again, Don't Waste Farm Time! If a kill or lure is not possible within a short amount of time, bail and go back through the jungle. You'll now have to decide if a gank middle or bottom is possible. If not, continue your farming.
Warding & Dragon
[Warding Locations / Times / Reasoning]
Ward 1: This ward is required. Coordinate with your support. By the 10:00 mark, [Dragon] should be warded. If your bottom lane is having success, your support should be able to afford to ward the dragon. If not, you should take it upon yourself to ward it. As the Jungler, it is your job to entice your team to kill the [Dragon]. Additionally, this gives your mid/bot lanes vision of incoming ganks.
Ward 2: This ward is optional. Your mid can do it, or if he is struggling you can do it. It is only recommended if the enemy team's jungler is clearly going for the middle often. If this is the case, you should also be shifting your focus to back him up and hold the middle during laning phase.
Ward 3: This ward should be done around the 30:00 mark. If the enemy team has a fed player (mainly a bruiser or adc), then you will want to start warding it around 25:00 mark. This ward needs to be used with stronger judgement. You should be watching your enemy team's movements. If they are consistently taking the dragon or making attempts at it, they will probably go for an early baron. Keep it warded, and coordinate with your support to do so.
Notes: Warding is a TEAM EFFORT. Warding [Dragon] provides 975 Gold to your team; (190 each champ + 25 to the killer). 5 Dragon kills would secure your team 4875 Gold. Ask yourself, would an extra near 5k gold help your team secure a win? I bet it will make a significant difference.
Again if your support/bottom lane was doing good, your support should be willing and able to take most of the warding responsibilities. Either way, make sure you make use of these critical wards. You can also ward the enemy jungle for ganks, but only if that cash flow is really doing well.
Make use of your Smite. You should be able to smite Dragon for the kill and a 35 gold (25+10) bonus.
Conclusion & Updates
Kha'Zix is a very powerful assassin, but very squishy. You should not attack bruisers or tanks unless they are low. They will usually outlast you. Your job is to assist the team, gank with your team or selectively gank low-health players, and support the team against enemy the jungler.
Mana is not an issue unless your spam-happy. You really only need the first two [Blue Buff]s of the game. Your playstyle will reflect your mana consumption, and you must learn to play effectively and rely on your auto attacks as often as possible.
[This guide has been based off 30 game plays with Kha'Zix resulting in 23 Wins with an 8 win streak included.]
Update 1: (Oct 1, 2012)
- Added test results and findings for debate on what skill to open with.
- Fixed up the wording in a few sections to be less confusing.
Update 2: (Oct 3, 2012)
- Added a "Higher Defense" kha'zix set for those looking for higher survivability and updated item choices on all sets to better reflect how the normal player would play and adjust to kha'zix following this guide.
Update 3: (Oct 5, 2012)
- Added Critical Build tips and strategies.
- Further tweaked slightly the order of item purchases.
Update 4: (Oct 8, 2012)
- Added Rengar VS Kha'Zix stats and information.
Update 5: (Oct 10, 2012)
- Added Rengar VS Kha'Zix Secret Quest information.
Update 5: (Oct 14, 2012)
- Added [[Hextech Gunblade] as a not-recommended item with reasoning & information.