Build Guide by Cokier
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I'd been playing Kassadin few times in the past and it was real fun to me but I had big problems with survivability. His skills hit so hard that he can kill pretty much any champion in the game within seconds but himself can be killed easilly as well. That made me playing extremely cautiously at the beginning and buying def/mr/hp. But we want to kill! So what to do?
Then i found 9/21/0 masteries build in rune tips by SEARZ and modified it a little.
For me these masteries are way better for Kass than standard 9/0/21 because they make you way harder to kill at the beginning when you don't have riftwalk yet.
I got rid of AP quintessence runes and picked HP ones so in general our Kass has 160 HP more for the beginning (not mentioning more def, mr etc.)
Greater Seals of Clarity help you keeing your mana up. Its practically 1mp/s more every 1 lvl. Help most until AA staff.
Greater Glyphs of force increase your AP. I find them better for Kassadin than Glyphs of Focus that give you 5,85% cooldown reduction and are really good for other champions. However Kassadins skills have low cooldown so decreasing it for 6% is practically useless.
Greater Marks of Insight are a must for every damage dealing mage.
Null Sphere is your basic skill. It has great silence effect and deals nice dmg. Use it often lategame.
Nether Blade is a buff giving you armor penetration and passive mana steal per hit. It's mostly useless since youre going to use your abilities to kill others and they deal so nice damage that you wont be normal hitting often. But it's cheap and helps in stacking mana for your tear of the goddess. All in all lategame its good to have it up all the time. You never know if additional hitpoints dealt to enemies are the ones that can crush him.
Force Pulse - your highest dmg skill with great slow effect. Great for pursuing and even greater for slowing chasers. It can really change the situation on the battlefield. It charges after using spells either by you, your friends or your enemies. During teamfights it will be charging in seconds but when you're ganking remember to have it charged all the time or at at least 5 stacks. Mid/lategame it's great for farming huge groups of minions.
Riftwalk - amazing damage dealing flash ultimate with low cooldown. Use it for last hitting runners or for getting away from ganks, lost teafights, stealing baron/dragon (with this build u can rift in, steal baron and run away in one piece - your team will love you for those actions). It increases manause for 100mp per use for a few seconds so don't stack it unless its a matter of life and death - yours or your enemies :). Also helps in farming minions.
Null sphere as the first skill helps in getting last hits, harrassing enemies and also keeping you alive when silencing them just before they use their skills.
I also like getting 1 level of Nether Blade at lvl 4. I dont use utility masteries so my mana regeneration is a bit lower than the oldschool Kass's ones. Additionally it helps in stacking mana from Tear of the Goddess.
At lvl 6 when you get your riftwalk you are becoming master of escape as well as master of ganks. I had some games that I died like 3 or 4 times before lvl 6 and finished game with stats 10/4/20 after 25 minutes.
Start: Meki pedant +2 health potions - Kassadin has huge mana issues at start so meki seems good choice.
1st B: Tear of the Goddess + Boots of Speed - big mana pool is very important for Kass so stacking it at the very beginning is essential. U can gain 4mp every 6 seconds at the limit of 1000mp so it takes 25 minutes of using skills every 6 seconds (half of it with archangels). It is good to have it quick.
2nd B: Mercury's Threads + Blasting Wand or Mercury's Threads 2x Blasting Wand - getting it fast makes you hit really hard at the beginning of the game. If you've been doing well or had some luck you can have it at lvl 6-7 and you can start ganking single lines.
3rd B: Rod of Ages - enemies start hitting stronger so extra health and increasing mana will be helpful.
4th B: Archangel's Staff - this item ends the core build. I often end game with these 3 items at 25th minute.
If the game goes on I buy other items according to situation.
Banshee's Veil - it's just awesome! blocks spell, gives MR and health and mana that is transferred into AP thanks to AA Staff and health regeneration thanks to Strength of Spirit.
Lich Bane - insanely good item gives you lots of AP, mana that can be transferred into AP and health regen, some movement speed and great passive against all those who have too much health for your (w)qer combo. Try to use it in the best way and hit the guy after your Force Pulse (its the strongest spell you have).
Zhonya's Ring - you can't rock'n'roll without Zhonya! The most powerful mage item in the game. If you are doing really well you can try to buy it even before finishing your AA Staff so it may help you to persuade opposite team to surrender at 25th minute. Its active is also great. These 2 seconds of immortality are usually enough to finish cooldown on your riftwalk so u can flash away from the danger.
Frozen Heart - it's best defence item for kassadin - slows opponents' attacks, gives you so much mana that can be transferred into AP and health regen, so much armor and cooldown reduction. Kassadin's skills have really low cooldown but still 1-1,5 second on each spell makes u even more deadly machine.
Some advices: You are less squishy than other oldschool Kassadins but you are not a tank. You can initiate ganks but not teamfights. During teamfights try picking runners, squishies and wounded ones. Use your Null Sphere to silence often. It's great for crushing ultis of Nunu, Galio, Katarina, Warwick etc. It can hold other gankers among your men, like LeBlanc, Akali etc. Force Pulse deals lots of damage but it also greatly slows others so use it to help others run away (you can always riftwalk) or slowing runners.
And try not to initiate fights with riftwalk because you will have to spend there 4 seconds until you'll be able to rift back. It might be deadly for you.
And the last - keep an eye on your mana (especially at the beginning). Riftwalking in pursue may have a bitter ending.