Kassadin Build Guide by Xvslol
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Tear of the Goddess Build
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 been playing quite a lot of Kassadin recently and he is extremely strong if you know how to play him. In the next chapter, I'll be going over his Pros & his Cons. Anyways, before I get on to the guide, It'd be awesome if you could just take a few seconds go to check out my Youtube Channel, I upload guides, commentaries & much more. Please check it out @ www.Youtube.com/Xvslol
There are quite a few different ways to build Kassadin, here are the two main builds!
Item Build #1 ~ Tear of The Goddess
Usually, you want to start with Faerie Charm Health Potion x5, Mana Potion and sight ward, if you're against an AD it might be a good idea to start Cloth Armor Health Potion x5
Once you can, recall and get Tear of the Goddess with a few sight ward Health Potion Mana Potion
After you have your Tear of the Goddess, rush a catalyst the protector then upgrade it to a Rod of Ages
At this point, it's a good idea to get Boots of Speed or Sorcerer's Shoes (depending on the magic resistance of the enemy team)
Now, it's time for some Ability Power, so get yourself a Rabadon's Deathcap and upgrade your Tear of the Goddess in to a Seraph's Embrace (ONLY IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH TEAR STACKS FOR THE FULL UPGRADE!) If you don't have enough stacks, activate your Nether Blade more and buy yourself a Void Staff
You can also get Zhonya's Hourglass before the Void Staff or Rabadon's Deathcap depending on how the game is going, it's mostly situational!
Item Build #2 ~ No Tear Build
Start with a Crystalline Flask Health Potion x3
Once you recall, go for catalyst the protector, if you don't have enough gold to buy it at once, get the components for it and a Doran's Ring
Finish your Rod of Ages and get your Sorcerer's Shoes as soon as possible.
After that, either go for Zhonya's Hourglass or Rabadon's Deathcap, generally you go for the Zhonya's Hourglass first but you can go for Rabadon's Deathcap if you're snowballing out of control.
Once you've got those two items, follow up with these Void Staff Liandry's Torment OR Abyssal Scepter
There are a few other good mastery setups, such as switching out Havoc and putting 2 points in Butcher and 1 in spellsword but I really don't find that spellsword is that useful as it's only 5% of your ap that is converted to magic damage in your auto attacks. So for every 100 ap you have (which is quite a bit) you will only be receiving 5 extra magic damage on your auto attacks. To me, it's not really worth the point. However, Butcher can be reaslly good if you're playing against a matchup that will be pushing you in to your tower and bullying you a lot, so definitely consider Butcher!
I pretty much just camp bot and take a lot of physical damage so the armor seals are much more useful than any other set of runes (hp/level is where I'm getting at). If you play a different style of Kassadin though, one where you just stomp your lane, hp/level could be really viable. Something that people in EU have been running recently are hp regen quints, though I've never tried them, I do plan on trying them and I will keep you guys updated!
Generally, these summoners are the best on Kassadin, you pretty much have two flashes, so when your flash is up and you're level 6, you can get away from almost anything. Also keep in mind that your ultimate deals damage, so if you're trying to get closer to someone to kill them and you're too far away, make sure you flash first then use your ultimate, don't use your ultimate then flash on them, as you won't deal damage from your ultimate.
There are some other possibilities...
I've used Barrier quite a few times, most of the times against champions that are pretty difficult and very bursty, some examples would be Kha'Zix & Zed. It hurts your damage a bit because Ignite is extremely useful on Kassadin as you'll usually get a kill off of it, which helps you snowball a lot.
Cleanse can be good but it's very situational, I have never used it on Kassadin but I can definitely see it being useful against a lane with a snare/stun. If you're able to cleanse a Lux Q-E-R combo, that can be a huge turn around for you. Considering that person blew all their spells on you and you just cleanse it, they're left with nothing to escape other than their flash if it's up. Really big potential on this summoner spell against certain champions.
Kassadin's passive is pretty underrated, but it's pretty good against ap champions. It reduces the amount of magic damage taken by 15% after magic resistance reductions have been applied. He'll also attack speed based on how much magic damage he's taken throughout the game. Essentially, his attack speed will be stacking up indefinitely.
This is Kassadin's main spell, it deals huge damage and can silence a target for up to 2.6 seconds (when fully maxed out!) It also has a 0.7 ap scaling which is huge and quite a low cooldown. This spell is what you'll be maxing and poking with throughout your Kassadin games. When playing Kassadin, you can use this spell to burst down a target or you can use it strategically by throwing it on a target to prevent them from casting spells for up to 2.6 seconds. Most people will try and burst people down with this and their other spells but a select few Kassadin players will use it to interrupt or zone out certain targets (Fiddlesticks is a good example of someone to use it on!)
This spell is actually extremely underrated, but it's really good! Not as something to max first but you definitely need to take a point in it at level two, it will help you regain mana, it will help you stack your tear of the goddess and it will help you last hit under the tower if you activate it. Do not forget to use this spell as it's extremely useful and it can deal some pretty insane damage if you activate it at the right time!
This spell is really good for Kassadin's kit, it's an AoE slow that deals some pretty good damage and that is charged off of spell casts. Max this out after you've finished maxing out your Q, as it will be one of your main damage dealers later in to the game, it's also really good for wave clearing and jungle clearing too.
SPECIAL TRICK ~ FORCE PULSE IS CHARGED OFF OF SPELL CASTS, THIS MEANS THAT IF A JUNGLER IS GOING TO GANK YOU AND THEY CAST A SPELL WHILE IN THE SIDE BUSHES, YOU WILL RECEIVE A CHARGE FROM THIS SPELL BEING CASTED! FOR EXAMPLE, IF A VI IS GANKING YOU, SHE WILL CHARGE HER DASH AND YOU WILL RECEIVE A FORCE PULSE STACK, THIS WILL LET YOU KNOW THAT AN ENEMY IS NEAR AND YOU'LL KNOW TO BACK OFF!
ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT ACTIVATING YOUR W WILL CHARGE UP YOUR FORCE PULSE, WHEN RUNNING TO LANE ALWAYS USE YOUR W TO STACK THIS UP AS W BARELY COSTS ANY MANA!
In my opinion, this what makes Kassadin so strong (his Q is also pretty broken, but this is just insane!) His ultimate is essentially a flash with a 7/6/5 second cooldown depending on the level. It also deals damage and if you stack it up, it will deal even more damage. It can stack up to 10 times, every time you stack it up, it'll cost an additional 100 mana but it will also deal increased damage. Use it wisely because when it's not up, you're pretty vulnerable! You can jump over walls with your ultimate so make sure you use this to your advantage when ganking, be unpredictable and go around common ward spots (Tribush, Wraiths).
SPECIAL TRICK ~ IF YOU'RE GOING TO ULT AND FLASH TO CATCH UP TO SOMEONE WHILE CHASING, MAKE SURE TO FLASH BEFORE YOU ULT, YOUR ULT DEALS DAMAGE BUT FLASH DOES NOT! I HAVE AN EXAMPLE IN MY 3 MINUTE GUIDE NEAR THE END, MAKE SURE YOU CHECK IT OUT!
When playing Kassadin, you always want to level your Null Sphere (Q) first as it has massive poke damage and the silence just gets longer as you level it, after my Null Sphere is maxed, I max out my Force Pulse (E) as it deals massive AoE damage and the slow is huge.
99% of the time I play Kassadin, I'll get Null Sphere at level 1 to be able to poke the enemy, then I'll go for Nether Blade (W) to be able to regain mana from auto attacking creeps and the enemy, it's also good to get for csing under the tower as the activation of this spells causes you to deal increased magic damage (30 @ level 1, +0.30 per ability power). Once you're level 3 you can either get another point in Null Sphere, or you can get a point in Force Pulse, personal preference to be honest. I usually switch it up depending on what kind of a lane I'm facing. If I'm doing the bullying, I'll get my Null Sphere at level 3 to poke them even harder, if I'm under the tower, I'll get my Force Pulse to help clear the minions. Anyways, once you're level 4 just go with whatever you haven't picked and if you have Q W & E, max out your Q.
Level 1 : Null Sphere
Level 2 : Nether Blade
Level 3 : Null Sphere or Force Pulse
Level 4 : Null Sphere if you picked Pulse Force at level 3, Force Pulse if you haven't picked it yet.
Level 5 : Null Sphere
Level 6 : Riftwalk
Level 7 : Null Sphere
Level 8 : Force Pulse
Level 9 : Null Sphere
Level 10 : Force Pulse
Level 11 : Riftwalk
Level 12 : Force Pulse
Level 13 : Force Pulse
Level 14 : Nether Blade
Level 15 : Nether Blade
Level 16 : Riftwalk
Level 17 : Nether Blade
Level 18 : Nether Blade
Pros / Cons
Here are Kassadin's Pros & Cons.
1.[+] Extremely High Mobility
2.[+] Extremely High Damage
3.[+] Great at Peeling
4.[+] Amazing at Roaming
5.[+] Difficult to fall behind with
1.[-] Really Weak from Levels 1-5
2.[-] Somewhat difficult to CS with
3.[-] Vulnerable to Stuns, kind of squishy
1.[+] His ultimate gives him great mobility as the cooldown is 7 seconds for Rank 1, 6 for Rank 2 and 5 for Rank 3, and that's without any cooldown reduction. He can get away from almost anything if he uses it properly. Combine his ultimate with a flash and you're in a great position, even if you're getting swarmed by the enemy team. It's also really easy to avoid snares and other stuns if you make use of his ultimate.
2.[+] His damage isn't too great in the early levels but his utility is great in terms of ganking. This will help you snowball and once you start getting items you'll find yourself getting them very quickly. The damage output from Kassadin is ridiculous if you charge his ultimate (generally only do this if you have blue buff). Even without his ultimate, Kassadin's poke is really strong, a Q & E combo can sometimes get people down to half health.
3.[+] You can peel really well for your teammates, you have a silence, a slow & huge damage, you can easily poke while getting chased and then get away with ease by using your ultimate. In team fights your E will almost always be up so either use this to melt the enemy team or use it to peel for your AD Carry.
4.[+] Your ultimate will get you to places extremely quickly, there are also a few routes that you can take that will keep you unseen. You can get to any lane really quickly by ulting & jumping over walls. Once you've arrived at the location you want, your E should be up from ulting so much to get there, so use that to slow the enemies & you should get some really easy kills!
5.[+] The reason I say it's difficult to fall behind with Kassadin is that at pretty much any point in the game you can gank a lane, no matter how far behind you are, and you can end up getting 2-3 kills from that one gank. Once you've got those kills, you're just going to snowball. The best thing to do when you're losing your lane is just to camp another lane and tell your jungler to control mid while you do so.
1.[-] While this isn't always true, you will generally be weaker than your opponent in the early levels. Your auto-attacks are melee and in the early levels you're really squishy due to a lack of health & armor. Once you've hit level 6 you're a lot more versatile and by then you should probably have your catalyst the protector which will help you in terms of surviving. You still deal a fair amount of damage and when you use your W while auto-attacking the enemy you can chunk them for quite a bit.
2.[-] Kassadin's auto-attack damage is really low so it's pretty hard to CS with him, but that's not the main problem, the problem is you're facing ranged champions that will be poking you a lot with auto-attacks and their spells. You're going to take a lot of damage early on unless they really don't know what they're doing.
3.[-] If someone catches you in a good stun (shouldn't really happen that much) you're pretty much done. You don't have so much in terms of defensive items, you're more of a glass-cannon to be honest. It's pretty easy to get away from any CC/Stuns by using your ultimate but nonetheless, you need to be really cautious and not overextend unless you have vision and you're positive you can get away.
Your early game is usually pretty rough depending on the matchup. Try and gets much poke in with your Null Sphere while getting as much cs as possible. Your power spike is at level 6 so if you can get there with a good amount of good, you're going to be in a really good position. Make sure that you use your W if you're under your tower and you want to 1 shot the caster minions, it's also a good idea to use it when engaging on the enemy champion and when you want to push the wave.
To be honest, in the early game you really won't be doing much engaging because it's difficult for you to get to the enemy, your best bet is to poke as much as possible and hope your jungler will come gank, if he does, you'll be able to get up close and personal with the enemy and your auto attacks will deal massive damage if you activate your W. If you're not able to do any of this, just keep up in cs and by level 6 you'll be a complete machine. If you need to recall, try and do it when you're sitting around 1k gold, so you can get Tear of the Goddess & Ruby Crystal OR Sapphire Crystal. Don't forget to get sight ward throughout your early game as you really don't have an escape until you're level 6!
Kassadin is also vulnerable to lane swaps, so if you ever see the enemy sending two in mid, you need to react and lane swap or you will end up being completely useless!
Kassadin has a huge power spike once he hits level 6. At this point of the game, it's much easier to kill your lane because you can close the gap between you and your enemy. By this time too, you should be getting somewhat close to your Rod of Ages. Once you get this item, you just become stronger as the game goes on. Enough talk about your items though, because once you hit level 6 the only thing that matters is owning your lane and helping other lanes. I will usually push out my lane or bully the enemy laner out of lane. Once he's out of lane, it's your time to shine, go look for a gank (usually bot!) and get yourself a few kills.
Bot lane is a really good place to gank because you have a few different paths (run to through wraiths and ultimate to golems and gank from there to prevent being spotted by a tri ward) and bot lane is usually pretty squishy compared to top lane. You're usually able to shred through the support/the ad carry in the bot lane and net yourself some free gold. Make sure you don't overstay and don't get spotted as you will end up getting counter ganked. After your ganks, depending on the kind of a fight, you'll usually be out of mana which is why you need to swift, in and out!
Anyways, this part of the game will generally decide how your late game will be, so make sure you help other lanes a lot and push out your lane before you roam! You really shouldn't be in lane very often, only to pick up cs and potentially kill your lane opponent. Also, don't be scared to ask your jungler for early support, as Kassadin you can single-handedly carry a game if you get strong early. It's generally worth the investment of the junglers time for him to come and camp mid throughout levels 1 to 6.
As I said in the previous section, your late game will USUALLY be determined by your mid game and how you perform during that period of the match. By the time late game hits, you should be in a really good position to nuke down the enemy mid laner, the ad carry or the support. If you're very ahead, you can take everyone down to low hp just by ulting and force pusing. Your goal in the late game should be to nuke down the strongest champions on the enemy team and try to get picks off by roaming and catching enemies that are out of position. As Kassadin, you really want to capitalize off the enemy mistakes. Make sure to buy lots of sight ward so you can know where everyone is and get some easy picks off. Keep snowballing by getting cs with your Force Pulse and Ultimate.
Something you need to be careful of is when you use your ultimate to clear waves, it's not always good to do that if you're not sure where the enemies are. Certain people will wait for you to use your ultimate if you're farming before engaging on you, because they know that without your ultimate you're extremely vulnerable. You usually scale very well in to late game so you should be as strong here if not stronger than you were in the mid game.
There are a few ways to do team fights as Kassadin. Something to note is that you're not extremely tanky so it's not generally a good idea to stay in the middle of fights for too long. You should be focusing on killing the squishy targets of the enemy team when you're in a team fight, so try and kill the ADC and the Mid Laner, the support is good to kill to if you're not able to get to any of the other high priority targets. If you have Zhonya's, a good thing to do is to Ultimate on to the enemy team, Force Pulse (E) and then Null Sphere a target, then use your Zhonya's Hourglass. By the time your Zhonya's is over, you'll be able to flash & ult away (if you really have to) or just straight up ult away about a second after Zhonya. Anyways, it's usually a better idea to go in after your team has engaged, if the enemies focus everything on you, you'll drop really quickly so be patient and try to get some poke off before fully committing.
You should be able to 1v1 pretty much anyone when you're in the late game, and even if you can't, you shouldn't have any problems getting away because of your insane mobility. As always, make sure you buy sight ward to avoid any bad surprises when catching someone out of position or roaming.
Here are a few Kassadin Matchup, I'll be updating them progressively and adding more to the list!
Difficulty Level : HARD
It's pretty difficult to lane against Talon as he can just jump on you and silence you, you pretty much need a cloth5 or you'll die. Make sure you play near your tower when laning against him as he will punish you for overextending and you can't retaliate because you're silenced. Your best bet is to poke him with Q while being close to your tower, that's really the only thing that will scare him away. Once you're level 6 you need to engage on him before he engages on you, if you let him engage, he's going to come out ahead and you'll probably end up dieing.
His auto attacks just deal way too much damage, once again you're going to get bullied really hard against this kind of a champion, I'd just get a cloth 5 to negate a bit of the damage from his auto attacks, and just try to farm as much as you can under the tower, get a few Null Spheres in here and there, and once you're level 6 go to other lanes get fed off those, chances are you won't be able to get fed off a Jayce lane. Roam as much as possible to try and keep up with Jayce.
Once again, another AD champion that will cause quite a few problems, not to mention he'll be able to follow you at level 6 because of his ultimate, so make sure you're swift with your ganks, be in and out as soon as possible or he'll come clean up and just get really strong. It's really difficult to trade against him in lane as he can just poke you with his Q. Keep an eye on his mana and take advantage of him being low on mana, other then that, just try and get as much cs as possible. It's the same deal with most ad's try to farm then count on roaming to get you fed.
You need to be very careful versus Zed, you can deal with him by outplaying him but you really need to be smart about it and beat him mechanically. Try to dodge as much as his stuff as possible, if you don't get hit by any Q's you'll be fine. Come level 6, it's a whole new story, you really need to save your escapes (Flash and Ultimate) for after his ultimate, if you use your ultimate or flash when he's ulting you, he'll teleport on to you and your stuff will be wasted. Here's another tip while playing vs Zed, when he ults on to you, do not ult towards your tower or do no ult backwards, make sure you ult sideways as most Zeds will use their Q in a straight line towards your tower, because they expect you to go that way.
Difficulty Level : MEDIUM
You need to be careful until you hit level 6, he can destroy you early on, once you're both level 6 you're going to end up winning trades if you're able to dodge his E and his ultimate (really not difficult, just use your ultimate to dodge his stuff). Anyways, just keep up in cs by csing under tower until you're level 6 and once you're at that point, retaliate and go aggressive.
Don't try to fight her, she will end up winning trades because she can really just spam her Q on you and stay high in mana, not to mention if she stuns you, she can get way more damage on to you than you'll ever be to get on her. Even at level 6 it's hard to fight her, unless you can dodge/bait her Tibbers. Against Annie, just stall 'till level 6 and then go roam, get fed off other lanes. Once you're up a few kills, you can easily destroy her. If you're going even against her though, she'll end up winning.
Farm 'till you hit level 6, don't try to kill her before that, you can try and poke but chances are that she'll just shield all your damage (if she's decent). At level 6 you're easily able to all in her, and make sure that you keep your ultimate for when she ults, so you can dodge that. Farm under tower early on, her passive will deal too much damage to you if you let her auto attack you. It's pretty easy to fall behind when laning against her.
It's very difficult for you to kill him at all, because of his shield and the fact that he can push really hard. If you roam against him, your tower will fall pretty early and that could be a problem. Try and get some jungler support from levels 1-6 because that is when you're weak and it's also when Mordekaiser is extremely vulnerable. Do your best to get cs and try to get fed off other lanes, as always.
I'll be adding more matchups in the next few days!
Alright guys, hopefully you learned a few things from this guide, it took me quite a while to write and I hope that you enjoyed your read. Keep in mind that I also have a 3 Minute Guide version of this guide, so please do check it out on my Youtube Channel @ www.Youtube.com/Xvslol
Thank you very much for reading and please leave any feedback! I want this guide to be as good as possible so any constructive criticism would be appreciated! Leave a comment and let me know what you think :D