Kassadin Build Guide by Darkospeed
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.
Threats to Kassadin with this build
|Karthus||I have seen some karthus top and this is one of the easiest champion to play against. It's Q spamming will stack for force pulse incredibly fast. You can riftwalk its wall and your null sphere will cancel its ultimate.|
UPDATE and kass nerf/buff
Add VLADIMIR and JAX Match up
change riftwalk value
xerath Arcanopulse can be cancel
Add Pantheon match up
Add new Athene's Unholy Grail goes from don't buy item to alternative
Add Mejai's Soulstealer
Nunu's absolute zero can be cancel
5.7 & 5.5 patch : Kassadin 's Riftwalk has now a 15s delay between each stacks.
The range has been slightly increase to 500 and the mana cost is lower.
As I said before before , Kassadin was unplayable but recent buffs give him now more room to breath. Basically Riftwalk has a lower range but is more spammable. Past lvl 16, you can roam like a mad man with less mana cost. It give you more jumping ability during teamfight but less killing potential in lane. You have to be closer to walls if you want to Riftwalk accordingly.
New : Athene's Unholy Grail WHY ALL PRO BUY THIS ITEM .
Recently in competitive scene we have seen more and more kassadin building Athene's Unholy Grail. In fact the passive which give you some mana back with kills/assists is excellent during teamfight to consistently jump around targets.
I try this item while playing kassadin mid lane and it was very successful.
20% is also huge late game to spam your Riftwalk and burst your target faster. If you get Athene's Unholy Grail watch out for the max cdr possible (40%).
On the opposite side Athene's Unholy Grail cannot be bought as a first item (ROA) neither as a second item (zhonya) , so you should consider buy it as a 3nd time BUT if you are very feed do not buy it . 60 AP is not that great if your want to snowball out of control. Consider buying deathcap instead
5.3 patch : kassadin has been nerf but just a little bit
Kassadin took a -10 damage hit on his Null Sphere at all rank.
Let's be honest it's Null Sphere spell has been nerfed a LOT during many patchs. I remember the time where it's Null Sphere dealt 320(+0.7AP at max rank) now it only does 170 (+0.7AP).
Since you will max Null Sphere last most of the time this nerf will not impact your top lane gameplay at all. Last hitting will be slighly more difficult at early rank.
5.4 on the actual PBE (RITO HAD ENOUGH)
Initial mana cost decreased from 75 at all ranks to 60 (stacking mana cost decreased from 75/150/300/600 to 60/120/240/480)
Range decreased from 700 to 450
That's it guys , rito had enough. Should I removed this guide or ask mobafire team to removed the champion from their list. They realize that nerfing kassadin's damage doesn't affect him that much so they nerfed him on its biggest strenght : mobility . I'm afraid that he might disappears from summenor's rift. Kassadin is NOT a godlike champion by any mean : High cooldown ,very low base damage and extremely weak early but he has this insane mobility. Once its main strenght is nerf the champion is unplayable.
Rito has destroy some champion in the past like gragas but we have seen some gragas jungle or support nowaday.
What is the futur of kassadin? I don't wanna play this bottom tier champion anymore.
Decreasing Riftwalk range by 250 is a gigantic nerf and I don't think I need to explain why. Iceborn Gauntlet will be a must have now to slow your target and prevent them for escaping because your Riftwalk will be shorter.
As far as I'm concerned I don't think kassadin need a nerf ATM. Yes , he's a strong champion but it's winrate isn't that big in soloQ . I can understand the fact that he's a must ban/pick champion at every competitive scene but it only represent a microscopic fraction of the global community.
What about lissandra the AP god of the top lane. What about nidalee that become the queen of the jungle who can roam waveclear and gank extremely fast. What about the top tank god like gnar or maokai. What about ahri in the mid lane being an absolute must pick/ban champion?
Good luck on your future game with kassadin but this might be a disaster...
Who I am:
What’s up summoner? My name is darkospeed and I was a gold player before the season ended but still gold atm ;) I'll present you my guide about top lane bruiser kassadin. First of all you will notice that English is not my native language so you might find mistakes and I apologized about it. This guide should be easily understandable though.
Any constructive criticisms will be highly appreciate and I would like to discuss a lot about my guide.
kassadin top lane?
I used to play kassadin a lot mid lane with decent result but since he has been nerfed through different patch he's no longer a must pick/banned champion and its base damage has been significantly reduced. Its Null Sphere no longer silence, Riftwalk cannot be used 10 times in a row and its base damage are pretty low compare to other mage/assassin.
With such a weak early game I feel that kassadin better fit to the top lane where the ganks are less frequents and opponents has less burst potential. Once the mid game has been reach, he remains a threat with its huge roaming ability and can snowball the game pretty hard.
With basic top lane concept, safe play and constant harassment I quickly figured out that kassadin can carry any game with it’s huge snowballing / roaming potential and its excellent team fight potential. On top of that he’s so much fun to play!
Even if you are an expert with Kassadin , you should definitely check my spells section with a tons of tricks of tricks for any abilities.
Huge snowball potential
Hyper mobility assassin
Excellent tower diver
Great waveclear with rank of force pulse
Solo Q domination
Strong mid/late game
Long cooldown compare to other mage.
Low base damage (has been nerfed a lot)
Tough to master
Very weak early game
Has some tough match up
Melee AP carry which is dangerous
|Arguably the best summoner spell in the game. You will take it 100% of the time. Kassadin has absolutely no espace pre level 6. Some top laner can snowball the lane pretty hard if they kill you. In the other hand when you get level 6 you obtain an almost instant 1100 range gap closer ( Flash+ Riftwalk) which is by far enough to zone your opponents if he's low.|
|A must have to carry soloQ and team ranked. Required great map awareness but you can snowball your own lane if you get some kill bot lane. Great for split pushing , objective control and backdooring. Remember that Null Sphere does cancel your opponents teleport.|
|Excellent summoner to secure kill and reduce your opponents healing regeneration. If you are against heavy sustain champions you might take it.|
|Another great summoner spell . I took exhaust when I'm against heavy burst top laner which is very rare. Since you have an huge gap closer but can easily exhaust any carries during teamfight.|
Against AD Top laner
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: As an AP carry those are the only runes you need. It helps to increase your early game damage by consistently harassing your opponents with Null Sphere
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Not much to say here, those runes are basics for any APC.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Kassadin no longer gain any MR/lvl so it's crucial to get some MR during mid game. Those surpass flat MR past level 6
- Greater Seal of Armor: You are facing AD top laner .You will need armor to reduce the damage from their Auto Attack and physicals spells.
Against AP Top laner
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: As an AP carry those are the only runes you needs. It helps to increase your early game damage by consistently harassing your opponents with Null Sphere
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Not much to say here, those runes are basics for any APC.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Get flat MR to reduce their magic damage
- Greater Seal of Scaling Health: I feel those runes are better than any flat armor or armor/lvl. Give a great amount of hit points when you enter the late game.
21 offense masteries : As an APC take ability power points.
9 defense masteries : Those are very standards for defensive option
0 point utility : You don't need any MS point even if it's always a great stat. Mana regeneration is a complete waste.
: Health, Mana , AP . This item is literally made for kassadin. It will give him some tankyness he needs to trade during mid game. Kassadin also required a huge mana pool to harass your opponents and roam over longer distance. Because this item needs time to stack it is very preferable to get ROA early game. Of course you will take Catalyst of Aeons over Blasting Wand to compensate your fragile early game. The valor passive is very great because you will level up more frequently. Always get this item first.
Both have their own utility but 95% of the time I GO for Iceborn Gauntlet . The armor provide is needed if you want to fight any AD top laner. Combined whis Zhonya's Hourglass you get a decent 200 armor at the end of mid game which is enough to tank any physical damage.
Lich bane is superior in a 1v1 situation and give you a little more mobility to roam. However the slow AOE effect provide by gantlet is excellent in team fight and prevent yourself for using an absurb amount of Riftwalk to chase your enemy.
With some rank of Force Pulse and Iceborn Gauntlet's passive you can literally waveclear the entire wave of minion and give you more splitpushing/roaming potential.
On top of that KASSADIN has an unexpecting scaling on base AD (actually the 4th higher in the game) which synergies very well Iceborn Gauntlet's passive.
CDR is of course an excellent statistic.
|WHY MAXING Force Pulse FIRST :
the reason is pretty simple :WAVECLEAR .
Being able to waveclear an entire wave of minion give me more roam ability which is kassadin main strengh. It give the opportunity to help your jungler a lot by drasticaly slowing your ennemy and help you to escape more frequently with a great AOE slow spell. Combined with gantlet you can splitpush very fast. During teamfight this spell will be consistenly stack so you can spam it as much as you want.
WHY MAX Nether Blade Second :
Kassadin is also a melee fighter . By maxing Nether Blade second you gain the ability to restore a huge amount of mana which is very useful in team fight where you can Riftwalk and chase any low target. It is also a great life saver : If you are low in mana while being chase by ennemy you can go on bush and use your Z and use Riftwalk immediately for safety. This spell has excellent synergies with sheen.
WHY MAX Null Sphere LAST :
To be honest this skill lost its main purpose because he doesn't silence anymore (even though he can now cancel channeling abilities see information below) . The shield is weak and only cover magic damage which is not that important in the top lane. Any point in this ability only increased the damage by 25 without reducing the cooldown and cost more mana. If you are against a heavy AP team or if your top laner does a huge amount of AP you can max it first otherwise it is not worth maxing it first.
Spells (lot of tips and tricks)
Description : Kassadin takes 15% reduced magic damage and ignores unit collision.
Void Stone Weak passive which help you to tank some magic resist which is also good when you are playing top lane (A LOT OF TOP LANER DOES MAGIC DAMAGE ). Combine with a Banshee's Veil you will be able to play a perfect mobile bruiser. However the scaling mr/lvl gain by champion will quickly surpasse your passive because kassadin no longer gain any MR/lvl.
Kassadin also ignore unit collision. Since he cannot get creep block you can trade with your Nether Blade in lane behind the minion wave.
Null Sphere Description : Kassadin fires an orb of void energy at a target enemy, dealing magic damage and interrupting channels. The excess energy forms around himself, granting a shield that absorbs magic damage for 1.5 seconds.
COST: 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90 MANA
COOLDOWN: 9 seconds
MAGIC DAMAGE: 70 / 95 / 120 / 145 / 170 (+ 70% AP)
SHIELD STRENGTH: 40 / 70 / 100 / 130 / 160 (+ 30% AP)
Kassadin's main poking ability . Use it to harass ,use hit to last hit, use to prevent yourself from any AP damage. This skill has been drastically nerfed during patch . The damage output is pretty low , the spell no longer silence and the strength of the shield has been nerfed too.
However since it is a non-skillshot ability You have to abuse this by consistently harass your enemy.
Nether Blade Description
PASSIVE: Kassadin's basic attacks deal 20 (+10% AP) bonus magic damage on-hit
ACTIVE: Kassadin charges his Nether Blade, causing his next basic attack to deal bonus magic damage, gains 50 range (200 total range) and restore a percentage of his missing mana
RANGE : SELF
COST : 0 MANA
MAGIC DAMAGE PASSIVE : 20 (+10% AP)
MAGIC DAMAGE ACTIVE : 40 / 65 / 90 / 115 / 140 (+ 60% AP)
COOLDOWN: 9 seconds
MANA RESTORED: 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 % missing mana
MANA RESTORED AGAINST CHAMPIONS: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 % missing mana
Underrated ability. This spell is your mana sustain and your main damage output during mid game. It apply on hit effect which provide additional damage with the use of Sheen. The mana restoration is quintupled against champion. It give you more Riftwalk opportunity during teamfight.
Force Pulse Description
PASSIVE: Kassadin draws energy from spells cast in his vicinity, gaining a charge whenever a spell is cast near him (including his own spells). Upon reaching 6 charges, Kassadin gains the ability to cast Force Pulse.
ACTIVE: Kassadin can emit a pulse of void energy, dealing magic damage and slowing enemies in a 80º cone in front of him for 1 second.
COST: 80 MANA
COOLDOWN: 6 seconds
MAGIC DAMAGE: 80 / 105 / 130 / 155 / 180 (+ 70% AP)
SLOW: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90%
This is a your AOE, CC and waveclear ability. Try to use this spell on opponents whenever you can afford to (be careful to not pushed the lane too hard though if you don't want too). During team fight it's an excellent engaging / escaping tools and it will be up almost any time. Remember to use this ability first before your other abilities in order to stack it as soon as possible.
Description Kassadin teleports to a nearby location, dealing magic damage to enemy units within 150 range upon arrival.
Each subsequent Riftwalk within the next 20 seconds costs double the mana and deals bonus damage, stacking up to 4 times.
RANGE: 500 :(
COST: 50 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 MANA
COOLDOWN: 6 / 4 / 2 seconds
MAGIC DAMAGE: 80 / 100 / 120 (+ 2% of max mana)
BONUS DAMAGE PER STACK: 40 / 50 / 60 (+ 1% max mana)
MAXIMUM MAGIC DAMAGE: 240 / 300 / 360 (+ 6% max mana)
Riftwalk is your most known ability . This is literally the best gap closer in the game or if you prefer own flashyour own double range flash with few second cooldown( previous patch has a 700 range riftwalk. Past 6. You are almost ungankable in lane, roam like a boss , and focused any carries during team fight has never been that easy. This spell is not as strong as it used to be. Now you have to use it very carefully and not abuse it otherwise you will out of mana very quickly. The damage output as been nerfed. A lot. Now it scales with a microscopic mana ratio BUT the cooldown has been reduced which give you more mobility and that’s the key word here : mobility ! A 500 range gap closer with less than 3 seconds cooldown tell you why you love to play this champion :D
Cancelling channeling abilities ? WTF does it mean
Kassadin Null Sphere no longer silence
BUT IT DOES CANCEL CHANNELING ABILITY
As far as I know I haven't found a complete list of which spells can be cancel or not
Thank to my awesome friend noobar max : I can provide you a list of which spell kassadin can cancel. Feel free to try and give me some feedbacks. I'll update it as soon as possible
[ CANCEL ] (VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW :))
's Death Lotus [CANCEL]
's dash Vault Breaker[CANCEL]
Ultimate Nether Grasp [CANCEL]
ultimate Infinite Duress [CANCEL]
ultimate Requiem [CANCEL]
ultimate Crowstorm(early channeling) [CANCEL]
ULTIMATE Glacial Storm [CANCEL]
Flamespitter [ NOT CANCEL]
ultimate The Culling [NOT CANCEL]
ultimate Ace in the Hole [CANCEL]
Ultimate Stand United [CANCEL]
ultimate Absolute Zero [CANCEL]
Ultimate Noxian Guillotine [?]
ultimate Monsoon [?]
ultimate Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser [?]
Farming is winning !
Farming is the most important thing to do other than getting great vision. You should ALWAYS look at your CS at then end of the game and estimate if you can do better.
I'm not impressed by a 10-0 mid laner fizz with 80 farm at a 25mn game. Believe me you can far ahead by simply maintain a high CS.
You will have more gold and experience than him even if you have no kill yet him because he has miss crucial experience and spend all time roaming for couple of kill.
Having a massive kill advantage should never be an excuse for your poor farming.
People used to think that 15farm is roughly equal to 1 kill. But recent patch give more gold in lane and jungle monster give way for gold (like the old wraith).
Basically 13CS=1kill and you can't mess up with maths ! FARM>>>>KILLS
Smart people buy ward.
You have to buy wards. ALWAYS. There is a tons a gold or below player that doesn't buy a single ward during the entire game and to be honest I cannot understand that mindset.
Having vision control over your opponents is a massive advantage to win game. Basically you should count the number of time a ward help you or your team to secure a kill or an objective and prevent yourself from being killed. Imagined that this number roughly equal to 300g then you realized how gold effective warding is.
I’m a 100% persuade that any player who buy wards and has great creeps scores will win way more games that they actually do regardless of their kills and their skills.
There is nothing more frustrating about a mid laner that complaining about getting hard camp by the jungler in their lane. If you spend the whole game without getting vision except your mediocre Warding Totem you definitely doing something wrong. Any game can be win even if you and your team is far behind simply if anyone can buy a couple of ward.
Prevent your opponent from vision is also very important. Once mid game approach you should switch Warding Totem to Sweeping Lens.
If place into right bush some pink ward can last during the whole game !
If your opponent top laner has no vision control of its own lane You can apply way more pressure and zone him from minion.
As a top laner, there is nothing more important that a successful laning phase. For kassadin this laning phase require 3 things : constant harassment ,survivability and of course get as much minion as possible.
The early game as kassadin is quite simple but if you don’t know the range and the cooldown of your opponents it could be a real disaster because your early game is most of the time weakest than your opponent. If you fail your early game , you’ll be useless during all the mid game because kassadin is very item depend.
Lvl 1 : As usual , you will take your Null Sphere to harass your opponent or to get last hit. If you are against super strong early champion like Darius or Riven there is no shame to miss couple of minions. Let the wave pushed in your favor and get as many minion as you can when you can afford to.
Lv2 : it’s crucial to take Nether Blade as a second ability. It will make your last hitting incredibly more easy. Remember that this is a AAreset abilty that restore mana. Once you get your minion under tower you can trick your opponent with your Void Stone and try to hit him which your Nether Blade behind minion wave. If done correctly most of the melee top laner won’t be able to AA you in response because you have more ranged and you can walk through minion.
Lvl 3-5 : Force Pulse will be your best ally to secure a gank from your jungler or escaping a gank without burning your Flash . Since it required charge to be cast always keep eyes on how many stack you need. Once you get it you can start to harass your opponent with simple combo
Force Pulse--> Null Sphere-->auto reset --> Nether Blade -->walk away behind minion
Or if their ability are on CD : Null Sphere--> Force Pulse--> Nether Blade-->walk away behind minion. The slow effect from Force Pulse and the range of your Nether Blade can prevent your opponent to attack you.
Lvl 6 : Once you get Riftwalk , thing will drastically change. You can Riftwalk -->---> Force Pulse-->auto attack --> Nether Blade--> run away--> Null Sphere. With some ranks in Force Pulse the slow is enough to quick get away. Since your mana pool is very low during this part of the game be careful to always trade your opponents with enough mana to Riftwalk for safety.
As an hybrid top laner you goal in team fight is to reach the adc in the back lane. Kassadin is very mobile and get onto enemy back line is easy. With my item optimization your 200 armor is enough to tank any physicals damage but you should try to set up your combo before Riftwalk out or using Zhonya's Hourglass.
Remember that force pulse will be stack any time during team fight. It will help your teammate to reach any carries faster . Kassadin excel in chasing low target during teamfight especially with some rank in Nether Blade with give you enough mana to use Riftwalk endlessly.
Use Null Sphere when someone is using a channeling ability you can cancel.
Try to be patient and to look for good opportunities to Riftwalk onto their back line.
Kill any carries , help your teammate, and follow low target for successful teamfight.
Laning phase combo
Force Pulse--> Null Sphere-->auto reset --> Nether Blade-->walk away behind minion
Standart lane combo when your opponent has it’s abilty on CD.
Null Sphere--> Force Pulse--> Nether Blade
Land Null Sphere first to tank some magic damage against ap top laner
Force Pulse--> Nether Blade--> Riftwalk out --> Null Sphere if you don’t want your opponent to trade with you
Full ALL IN combo :
When you get sheen it’s very important to maximized your damage output :.
Riftwalk -->AA (proc Sheen) --> Force Pulse-->AA (proc Sheen)--> reset AA with Nether Blade (proc Sheen)-->null sphere -->AA(proc Sheen) --> Riftwalk out or chase once more if your opponents is not dead yet.
Of course if your ennemy does magic damage , use Null Sphere first to absorb magic damage .
Thanks everyone for reading my guide about top lane kassadin . I remember you that any constructive criticisms will be highly appreciate. I'll add new match up in the next few weeks and complete the list of the channeling ability. You might always try and give me your feedback. ;-)