Kalista Build Guide by Kinky Kalista
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.
Biggest Damage Output
End Game Example
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 Kalista with this build
|Ezreal||Pro: Kalista's passive will allow you to dodge Ezreal's Mystic Shot quite often, even his Arcane Barrage. Con: He has a gap closer which he can use to escape, which gains more distance than you can dashing.|
|Jinx||Pro: You outdamage Jinx, easily. Her Zap! has a slow cast time, as well. Con: Her rocket can out range you, allowing her to harass more often.|
|Vayne||Con: A favourite. Vayne is basically an even match up always, regardless of support choices. Your trades will be even but sometimes you will come out on top, depending on the number of auto attacks during a trade. Con: She has invisibility with her ultimate and scales hard at the late game if you let her.|
However, what exactly does Kalista need to reach her peak of damage and survivability?
I am here to help
• Damage calculation
• Martial Poise Passive
• Trading Potential
• Utilizing Sentinel
• Rend or Pierce Maximizing...
Also, I would just like to congratulate Doublelift on getting one of, if not the very first Pentakill with Kalista and on his first game as her too!
I would also like to thank my duo partner, Akilae, for his amazing support.
Guide Overhaul Update!
Pros / Cons (Updated!)
+ The best kiting in the game
+ Easy farm
+ Support-Like ultimate for teamplay
+ Ultimate can save your Oathsworn from death!
+ Very high mobility with Trinity Force and Martial Poise
+ Good initiation
+ Untouchable if passive is utilized correctly
+ Perfect for making plays!
+ Can't be chased without Heavy CC
+ She has spears in her chest
- Squishy, but not too much of a worry
- She has no ultimate or W passive if Oath goes AFK
- Requires experience to utilize her kiting potential
- Early game damage is low without utilizing Rend correctly
If you are going to make a pact with an ally, make sure that your ally has a stable attitude as well as connection.
Ask your favored team mate for your ultimate and Sentinel's passive if they are able to remain in the game towards the end. Do not ask if your ally has a good attitude, some players take offense to this and will retaliate occasionally. Judge by the character of your team mate whether or not they will be co operative enough if you are in a lower ELO game.
Also, ask if your team mate understands how to use Kalista's Fate's Call. Nothing is worse than using your ultimate on your Oath and they suddenly slam into a wall or back into the enemy team after you just saved them from dying.
Summoner Spells (Updated!)
Flash - Flash is the most overpowered Summoner Spell in the game. Here are the situations that Flash will save you in;
You get ganked by the enemy jungler
You get ganked by the enemy mid laner
Enemy top laner teleporting in
Teamfights where you get caught
Getting caught in the enemy jungle
Heal - Heal is the ultimate spell next to Flash for keeping yourself alive. It's important to keep yourself alive since you are the first priority to the enemy team in any game as an ADC.
Heal is also great for the laning phase, since you can use it to keep your Support alive, as well. However, if you have a Support such as: Sona, Soraka, Taric, you could think about switching out Heal for something else, since you can gain your sustain from your Support.
Barrier - You could run Barrier instead of running Heal, due to it's higher base, which gives you a better chance of survival, but your Support will lose their defensive Summoner Spell because of this. Only take this if you are sure your Support will be okay and if your Support has a heal for both him or herself and you.
Mid / Late Game Itemization (Updated!)
Statikk Shiv - Statikk Shiv is the most cost effective item for your damage output after getting Infinity Edge as your first core item.
Statikk Shiv's proc damage along with the passive damage you will be getting out of your Sentinel ability through synergy with your Oath, will ultimately be better than buying a different damage item.
We will now calculate damage with Statikk Shiv...
Kalista vs Lucian
Lucian has Infinity Edge, Berserker's Greaves and Blade of the Ruined King as an example.
Damage calculation: Multiplying differences and damage bonus to abilities with these items, we will be receiving a number of 450 damage on both sides, putting Statikk Shiv aside. Critical chance is higher on Kalista with a considerable chance of getting a crit as opposed to the average mid game build on some AD Carries, such as Lucian.
Based on previous calculation, Lucian will deal nearly even damage in a trade with Kalista. Kalista maxing her Rend, will have 3 points currently in her Rend. We now calculate the bonus damage.
Kalista will receive an average of 1150 damage in 0.90 seconds >> 1450 damage in 1.28 seconds, with Lucian having an average of 1.28 attack speed. ///
Kalista procs her Statikk Shiv, being able to dodge a Lucian's Q due to lesser cast time and maxed level boots, will be able to out trade with a 300 damage difference. If you were to get another damage item, any different damage item in the game that you could get with an average of 180 creep kills (2160 >> 2320 G) you will not be doing as much damage.
Phreak - Trinity Force is considered not a good item on Kalista by most players and others who make guides. Trinity Force is considered bad on Kalista for a number of reasons;
Kalista also cannot utilize it as well as Ezreal or Corki can.
The last reason is also because of the stats it gives. One stat is useless on her; Ability Power.
So, why get Trinity Force and why would I recommend it the highest? Here is why.
Envision your situation. A teamfight is about to breakout on the mid lane... The enemy team is pushing and your mid laner is about to get caught. Your tank positions himself on the front line to absorb damage when your mid laner goes into Zhonya's Hourglass, what should you do with Trinity Force to make it the most suitable item on Kalista?
Kalista can use her Sentinel's active to scout the mid lane brush nearest to her and then show up with a Sheen proc ready on her first auto attack, utilizing the Sheen in Trinity Force immediately, with her Pierce and Rend still available. Now, you can use your 550 Range to your advantage with Martial Poise when the tank is absorbing the damage. Proc whoever is the nearest and safest in distance, as you should, proc with Last Whisper has done nearly 600 damage to the average tank with 200 armor, or if it was a crit with 55% crit chance at the end build, about 900 damage. You may now use your Pierce for extra damage to cancel your attack animation, even with Martial Poise, you now have another Sheen proc, Sheen goes on cooldown for 2-3 seconds. Pierce is now on a 9 second cooldown and you still have your Rend. The target you have just been focusing has dropped past half health after two auto attacks and your Pierce, or if it was a Mage or AD Carry, is now suffering close to death. You now can activate Rend if it was a priority champion, dealing an average of 2200 damage without the need of a crit, if you did crit, your Pierce has just carried it's stacks of spears onto the next target behind your priority. Proceed to kill, utilize Rend and move on to the next.
Ezreal and Corki are better with Trinity Force because their cooldowns are at 2 seconds that they use for it. As for this difference, there is only a 2-3 second difference in Sheen proc time between those carries and Kalista.
You've now just done the most damage possible in terms of itemization as well as utilized the Trinity Force on Kalista, which gives other bonuses such as movement speed bonus, the extra 10% crit that takes you to nearly 60% crit chance, Health to beef her up and the Mana that Kalista is HUNGRY for.
Last Whisper - Last Whisper will give you that % Armor Penetration that you need to kill less potentially threatening targets, such as: Garen, Dr. Mundo, Maokai, etc.
It's important that you get this since you will not be getting Youmuu's Ghostblade or another Armor Penetration item. Thanks to your 55% crit chance at the end of this build, you will be doing enough damage with Last Whisper as your only Armor Penetration item anyway.
Mercurial Scimitar - This is your survivability item...
Mercurial Scimitar is considered "not a better situational item" than other items you could buy in the late game in terms of defense. Although this might be true in some cases, it isn't always true. If the enemy team has a Vi who's ultimate you can't cleanse, then Mercurial Scimitar isn't good for that usage.
Although, if the enemy team has a Warwick, Mercurial Scimitar has now become your savior, buy it and cleanse Warwick's ultimate so you can be safe.
There are many champions in the game that have abilities that cannot be dodged, which can immobilize, stun or knock up your champion... These are the abilities you will be buying Mercurial Scimitar for, since it is going to be a source of damage, your savior against these ridiculous abilities that lock you down and get you out of trouble quickly thanks to it's movement speed boost.
However, if the enemy team has a Vi and Yasuo for an example, you would still get Mercurial Scimitar since you can get out of the trouble of Yasuo's ultimate when he uses it in a CHAIN 1 >> CHAIN 2 ability with Vi.
Guardian Angel - Guardian Angel is my least favored situational item since it can be useless in most cases. You should only take Guardian Angel if there's an enemy champion that can blow you up from your max health or assassinate you without trouble. However, Mercurial Scimitar is a better choice vs a team with a Zed for instance, since you can cleanse Death Mark.
If you are easily caught, Guardian Angel will be useless.
The Bloodthirster - In most cases, you will want to buy Elixir of Wrath to get attack damage and lifesteal, rather than buying The Bloodthirster, but if you find that your mechanics are not good enough to keep you alive, The Bloodthirster is also a very good item to buy, since you can stay alive easier.
As for how good it can be, it doesn't match up as well as other items could, such as Mercurial Scimitar or Banshee's Veil.
Banshee's Veil - Banshee's Veil is an excellent choice on Kalista if you need the beef to stay alive, since it provides you a similar defense just like Mercurial Scimitar would, but also give you Magic Resist and Health, instead of offense.
If you find that defense is more suitable than offense, Banshee's Veil is a great choice in the late game, rather than Mercurial Scimitar.
Banshee's Veil can be more suitable versus a team with Vi than Mercurial Scimitar could be, for instance. Although, the latter is better for a team with Warwick as I've said before. However, Banshee's Veil is still a better choice when you need to be on the defensive later on if the enemy team scales better into the late game!
Wall Jumping (Updated!)
A lot of changes have come along with the new Summoner's Rift map. Some of these changes are the wall ranges, so some walls cannot be jumped across with Riven as she could before, for instance. But some champions like LeBlanc can still use Distortion to jump these walls because of Distortion's range.
Kalista's a champion who can also jump walls on the Summoner's Rift map, but only at certain angles and with the correct position you would need to be in. The following video below has grown popular on the internet since it shows visual learners how to pass by these spots with Kalista's Martial Poise when using Pierce.
How to actually PLAY Kalista? (Early/Mid/Late Game Information)
Early game, you will want to stay behind your minion wave, last hit minions whenever it's possible to and when there is no minions to last hit, find the time to harass the enemy AD Carry with auto attacks and your Q. When you reach level 2, you will want to begin maxing your E ability, which gives you the best damage thanks to your attack speed runes. Follow the same pattern, last hit minions, then auto attack the enemy AD Carry when there is no minions to last hit, then pop your E to apply a slow and burst damage. If you find the burst is low, make sure to auto attack the enemy AD Carry more than you did the last time and you will see a bigger difference in damage output.
If the enemy Support is someone squishy like Sona, you should focus her and not the AD Carry. Sona is a very easy-to-kill Champion, making it better for you as you can get fed off of the Support, putting you ahead and eventually kill the enemy AD Carry. Supports you can easily kill are;
Otherwise, your focus will be the AD Carry for the remainder of the laning phase.
Make sure to utilize your W's active by sending the Sentinel into the tri-bush and/or river bush. To make things better for you and your Support, you will want to use your Sentinel on a vaster range, sending it far up the river and that Sentinel will cover the entire area, so that you can see when a jungler is coming much sooner than a ward could. Tell your support to ward the tribush and lane bushes. You should always send your Sentinel into the river and focus on the minimap during harassing.
During the Mid Game, Kalista shines, you have gained enough damage by now, already have your Berserker's Greaves to kite and dash with and hopefully gotten a little fed. Now what you want to do is get objectives. Out of all the Champion abilities in the game, most abilities are skill shots. Skill shots are your playground that you can jump around out of hitbox range. You should put pressure in the enemy jungle with Sentinels and try and kill easy targets. If you're being focused, take Fate's Call (Kalista's Ultimate) and throw your Oathbound into oncoming enemies to turn a fight around with ease.
KALISTA'S ULTIMATE CAN ALSO SAVE!
If you think your Oathbound is going to die, rush over and simply click R, you will save them from all damage, even Ignite! Kalista is a very supportive Champion even while played as an AD Carry.
Late game, Baron and Dragon are your playthings. Kalista's E does more damage than even SMITE! Your E will do about 2000+ damage to Baron or Dragon, so be ready to take objectives because even Nunu can't stop you. Take objectives and dominate the enemy team with Fate's Call for an easy win.
Tips and Tricks - Utilizing the W ability! Defensively or Offensively!
Sentinel is a fantastic ability! It's basically a free and wandering ward that does seven laps back and forth where you first send it to help keep you covered in the laning phase or during any point of the game. It's especially good to check on Baron when it's not warded, Dragon, or the other buffs in the game. It can prevent ambushes in the late game that could potentially risk you losing, as well. Well, fellow Summoners! I have created a mini map coverage for you to look at for the best places to use Sentinel's active so you don't have to figure it out yourself! There is detailed explanations to why they are the best spots, as well.
The areas on the map that are highlighted are the best spots to use your W ability's active. The important thing to remember is that you must send your Sentinel out in a DIRECTION. Sending it in a particular direction will cover a vast amount of area, so the most useful areas would be on either river side or in the enemy jungle during the laning phase. Late game and mid game, you can use Sentinel to scout the smaller highlighted areas, but the rivers are your best friend so give your best friend some vision.
Sentinel can be used offensively via the smaller highlighted areas, to pick off easy kills that show up into your sight. Or defensively by covering ground on the rivers. Remember this.
Doran's Blade >> Infinity Edge Boots of Speed >> Blade of the Ruined King >> The Bloodthirster
Quicksilver Sash >> Last Whisper >> Mercurial Scimitar Berserker's Greaves - Distortion
Elixir of Iron
Doran's Blade Health Potion Warding Totem - These are your usual starting items as an AD carry, for any matchup or situation. Buying these gives you the 150 extra health from a health potion when complete. Kalista has a low base health, so getting a couple of Health Potion's on every return to base is a good idea. Doran's Blade gives you the lifesteal that will help with Feast in terms of sustaining yourself. Your ward will help your Support out as well.
Pickaxe / B. F. Sword - Depending on how much gold you have, if you have enough gold to pick up a BF for yourself, go ahead. If you don't have enough gold for a BF sword, a Pickaxe and Boots of Speed with a couple of Health Potion would be the best.
Your first core item should be Infinity Edge.
Blade of the Ruined King - After you have your Infinity Edge, it's time to get yourself some lifesteal and attack speed. No item is better than Blade of the Ruined King for that. However, another consideration is Statikk Shiv. Statikk Shiv will give you no sustain, but it will give you a lot of damage output this early in the game.
Berserker's Greaves - Distortion - After getting your blade, it's time to upgrade your boots. Getting your Berserker's Greaves is a priority for the attack speed which is crucial to this build which is highly focused around Rend, Rend gives you the best damage output on Kalista and focusing on your auto attack use, may grab you a kill. Berserker's Greaves helps you do that and will do after you got your blade and from now on. The Distortion enchantment is good because of the extra effect it gives after using Flash and the cooldown reduction on summoner spells such as that. Another alternative is Homeguard for when you are falling behind in the game and your team, in need of defending your base.
The Bloodthirster - The Bloodthirster's unique lifesteal is very strong and the shield also plays a big part in staying alive. Get this item before the 26 minute mark, most of the time. This item is great for any ADC and should be considered always. Another alternative item is Trinity Force, even if it's risky because of Rend being a reset ability, it gives a tremendous amount of damage output if you utilize your ability sequence correctly before team fights.
Quicksilver Sash - Later on in the game, you will be getting Quicksilver Sash for it's cleanse purpose, without going to finish the item into a Mercurial Scimitar yet.
Last Whisper - Getting a LW before building your Quicksilver Sash into a Mercurial Scimitar is the safest thing to do and gives you a lot more damage by the end game phase.
Mercurial Scimitar - Mercurial Scimitar is an obvious end item you build after getting Quicksilver Sash earlier on. It gives you a lot of damage and the cleanse active is excellent for heavy crowd control.
Elixir of Iron - Although Elixir of Iron is considered the elixir for tanks, it gives TENACITY which is also good for an ad carry. Since your build already has quite a lot of lifesteal from the Blade of the Ruined King and The Bloodthirster combination, getting tenacity from an elixir when at full build is an amazing choice. Another choice could be Elixir of Wrath if you are looking for an alternative for The Bloodthirster like Phantom Dancer late game, for example.