Cassiopeia Build Guide by Finkypop
Not Updated For Current Season
First Recall (look at notes)
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.
Introduction: About the Author
Hi there. I'm Finkypop, this is my first Mobafire guide... ever! I started playing League of Legends in early 2013 (I think...? Quinn was the login screen when I joined) and I immediately fell in love with the game. I'm currently in the Diamond division of the North American server and usually play mid lane or marksman - but I can usually play other roles too if needed (haha, ew).
One champion that I've grown a love for over my somewhat short time of playing the game is Cassiopeia. , in my opinion, is seriously one of the most underrated champions. She used to be one of the most, if not THE most, highly contested picks in competitive play due to her incredible sustained damage and team fight potential - but due to the current assassin and bruiser burst galore meta, people generally have strayed away from playing her since she is naturally squishy, has a relatively challenging play style, and has no direct escape mechanisms aside from Flash. Though I'm not a high elo player, I usually find myself dominating games as Cassiopeia and I'd like to share how I go about playing her in hopes of helping out anyone that wants to look into learning her as well. My goal with this guide is to help you as much as I can in learning to play Cassiopeia, providing the mind set that you should have when going into a game as snake goddess, and overall - just improving your performance on the champion.
An Important Note
Please, I ask that you do NOT base your gameplay off of this guide 24/7. You are your own player, you have your own play style, and every game is different. If you need a different build for a certain team composition that you are a part of or that you are facing - you must adapt. If you need to max your abilities a different way for a certain lane opponent - you must adapt. If your play style completely differs from mine - you must adapt. Always use this guide for helpful tips and for what it is - guidance. Never hold back in applying something else in your build that you feel you need more.
Do not rush Rabadon's Deathcap as one of your first items if the enemy Veigar is 6-0. Do not take magic resist runes if you're laning against a Zed or Talon. Adapt - buy what you need, play your own game, and be prepared! Don't rely on a Mobafire guide.
As a forewarning - this guide is not a light read. I encourage you to move forward only if you really want to know more of ways to play this champion, tips, and some strategies. I've put everything I've thought of into this, so I apologize if you're in queue and are trying to look up a simple quick "how to". :(
Why play Cassiopeia? What to look out for?
I'll be honest, when I first started her - I wanted to rip my eyes out. Do NOT expect to immediately go 17/0 in your first game. I moved to Cassiopeia from playing Annie and LeBlanc, two huge burst mages that rely on their explosive combos to delete other champions from the map. I had played since I first started, she helped me learn the basics of farming and comboing and is generally a very noob-friendly champion to play, I loved playing her in my earlier games and I still do from time to time. was a step up in that she was not only a burst mage, but an assassin with a wide variety of combos to master and use effectively. This taught me what it was like to play a different role than just the typical burster, it taught me more about map presence and roaming as that high mobility assassin - picking someone out and essentially sealing their fate to give your team the upper hand. One thing these two had in common, however, is their sheer ability to turn their opponents into this:
They are nukers. They are bursters. They blow their load, and then get out of danger to safe range and wait for their cooldowns. Essentially, this is what makes snake goddess somewhat scary to play in the mid lane in this current meta, and this is what sets her apart from almost everyone else. Cassi is a sustained damage mage, basically - the ability power version of an attack damage carry. She does hyper-carry levels of damage in team fights, which is what makes her so rewarding to have on your team. Her role as an AP mage places her in a lane where gap closing assassins and mages are prominent (that damn , that damn ), especially in present time. Coming off of Annie and LeBlanc, I was stuck on the same mentality on Cass that I had while playing them. I always wanted to wait for that moment where I could kill someone in a flash and leave them wondering what just happened - but I found myself dying before being able to finish them off. It frustrated me LOADS, but I hope that you do not make the same mistake that I did - you must be cautious, you must harass from afar until you are CERTAIN that you can finish off that kill in lane instead of always all-inning. While your opponent can 100-0 you in an instant and then walk out to safety, your nature as Cassiopeia is the fair opposite. In team fights, she has to be in relatively close range to spam that Twin Fang, which can sometimes be extremely dangerous, and ultimately - mistakes on Cass are unforgiving and can cost you your life, or the game. This is ultimately why some people don't see the point. "Why play , when you can play ?"
All in all, Cass was a completely different champion and play style that I adapted to - but in the end, it was well worth it. I learned so much about the game regarding team fight positioning, kiting the enemy, the mechanics behind lane and wave control, the balance of harassing your opponent with Noxious Blast while also last hitting successfully, being more versatile while building and knowing what is needed, and it was well worth the reward. Of course, you can learn all of these aspects of the game on any champion - but Cassiopeia's play style and kit is so unique, as is the character herself - there are literally so many ways to play her, so many strategies, and so many builds you can come up with (flip through some of the builds provided at the top of the guide by clicking on each Cassiopeia icon under "Select a build type!" just over the champion stat table). Playing her for a bit was what actually made my transition into playing ADC and expanding my role pool, champion pool, and it made me far more versatile as a player. If you want to put in the effort to learn her, it may be frustrating at first... but you will not be disappointed, and hopefully this guide will be of use to help you get started!
What do my spells do? (Spell analysis, examples, and tips)
Aspect of the Serpent(passive)
This is your passive, and ever since the rework - your gameplay will revolve around this baby. Stack city! Basically, as the game goes on, you will earn "stacks" that go towards building up your passive and once certain numbers of stacks are reached, helpful stats will be granted to you. The idea behind this? Even more than before, Cassiopeia aims for that late game. You used to earn stacks by either killing units that you poisoned (1 stack per unit) or by poisoning an enemy champion, in which 1 stack is granted per second of poison. However, it was then changed so that stacks are NO LONGER gained by killing poisoned units. We still gain stacks from poisoning enemy champs (1 stack for every second of poison), but we also gain stacks overtime - 1 stack every 6 seconds to be exact, which equates to 10 stacks a minute. So basically, every 10 minutes (assuming you don't poison any enemy champs), you get 100 stacks - this is why it is important to hit those poisons, to speed up that stacking so we reach our full potential much quicker. In reality, these new changes made our passive stack up MUCH faster, but to balance it out they increased the number of stacks needed to acquire each stat. Even then, it was still a pretty big buff and makes our lives much easier. Time for the goodies: what "stats" do we get from these stacks, and when?
At 100 stacks: your total AP is increased by 5%, and every time you cast your Twin Fang, you heal for 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 14 / 16 (+ 10% of your AP), with the base heal increasing depending on your level. What does this mean? Your in lane sustain and dueling potential is severely improved. Yay!
At 250 stacks: your total AP is now increased by 10%, and you get 25% cool down reduction - in addition to the Twin Fang heals from before.
At 500 stacks: this is the big mama. Once you've reached 400 stacks, your AP is automatically increased by 30%. What does this mean? Basically, it's a free Rabadon's Deathcap passive, in addition to your 25% cooldown reduction and your Twin Fang healing.
Aspect of the Serpent Tips:
- I will tell you right now that although this passive gives Cass the ultimate goal of scaling into the late game, you get your stacks MUCH faster early on by being aggressive with your poisons. If you play completely passively without trying to get a couple of poisons on your enemy laner here and there, your stacking will be delayed tremendously. Let's write this out: you land your Noxious Blast on the enemy, you get 3 stacks guaranteed. In that one second of landing your Q spell, you guarantee 3 stacks as opposed to just waiting for time to grant stacks for you. The stacks you pain passively are guaranteed - the stacks that you work for through your poisons basically cut the time you're waiting to hit your milestones in half. Hit your poisons.
- This passive is insane. With its addition, your synergy with certain items is skyrocketed, particularly Will of the Ancients which I'll explain in the items section later on. ^_^
- The mana cost reductions from the old passive are not here anymore. This means you're not gonna spam as much as before early on without seeing your mana pool suffer. This becomes less of a problem once you get your mana item, but be weary of this during the early laning phase!
- Not really a tip, but every time you reach a stack milestone - a dramatic burst of green energy engulfs you for a second or two and you feel awesome, and you start to feel your stacking progress. Just letting you know. ^_^
Noxious Blast (Q)
Not as strong as before, but still a very important spell. This ability is your primary long ranged harass tool, your primary pushing tool, the opener for your Twin Fang spam, and serves as a great stacking tool (3 second poison = 3 stacks!). It is a high ranged built in smart-casted low cooldown skill shot that poisons your opponent if you hit them with it, very similar to Karthus' Lay Waste. Additionally, you get an amazing speed boost once the spell hits the target - which makes it a great kiting tool as well as a great chasing tool. Some people preferred to max this for the farming/pushing power and extra harass, which was much better with the old kit - it really all depends on how you want to play, but I do not recommend maxing this first. It's all about Twin Fang now.
Noxious Blast Tips:
- Always take this skill first. You are a huge help to your team if you're looking for an invade or if you fear you're going to be invaded since you can easily check brushes without actually going up to them via the high range of this. If you Q a bush and your speed buff procs, boom! You now have information.
- Do not blindly cast this in lane over and over again to try and hit your opponent, you will end up wasting your mana and missing last hits from focusing on landing these so much. Wait for opportunity. Watch your creep's health bars and when they go in to auto attack it - Q them during their animation, rinse and repeat. Use your brain a bit - figure out their movement patterns. If they tend to run straight back after last hitting, aim right behind them. If they're moving forward on their way to last hit, aim in front of them. If you're just starting off, landing this most likely will be a bit tough - but the more you play, it really becomes second nature. Practice makes perfect.
- Harass at level 1, set up your early kill! When I first started Cass, I would hit my Qs but then I saw that I was three or four CS behind and I thought "WTF...". At first, you may find it difficult to balance your focus on harassing and last hitting effectively like this since your auto attack animation takes a bit of getting used to - but again, it becomes your natural instinct after a while. Don't get frustrated.
- Adding on to the last tip, although Cassiopeia's early game damage was cut down a fair amount - your level 3 kill potential with Ignite is still pretty good, considering you manage your mana pool correctly and get some decent poke in with this spell for that all in. How exactly this can happen is elaborated more in the Gameplay section... but yeah, despite the cuts to the poison damage, this still hurts fairly well during level 1, so don't fret.
This is a skill shot spell in which you spit out a big pool of poison that expands over time. If your enemy is caught in it, poison damage is proc'd on them and they are slowed. Some people call this useless and don't even take a point in it until level 8, but it is amazing for pushing your lane if your opponent recalls and you want to farm your jungle a bit. I am a huge farmer, if I'm not in lane - I'm in the jungle taking wraiths and wolves or counter jungling off of the other team's blue wraith - this spell is great for clearing those camps, I also take it at level 4. Fun fact: this gives vision!! It's amazing for scouting brushes without danger.
- Dropping this on the enemy caster minions followed by a Q is usually enough to clear them completely without any interference from your own minions once you have a good amount of AP later on. Early on, however, this is a great tool for you to easily set up easy Twin Fang last hits for the mana refund/gain, so if you just used a ton of mana to effectively trade, this spell is great to set up a slow build up of your mana pool to keep yourself in the fight and ready for more trading. If you want to push your wave fast, this spell is also great for it.
- If you're feeling wild and know your team wants to invade, take this first for the brush vision if you'd like. The slow is also fairly decent at level 1. I still recommend taking Q, though.
- If you know where their jungler is (you visually see them on the mini map or know they are dead), feel free to go over to the enemy wraith camp and drop this over the wall. This will grant you vision of the wraiths - spam the blue wraith with your E and then leave the others alive. You just counter jungled the enemy team! Don't do this if you don't know for sure that it's safe. A wraith camp is not worth dying.
- If you're having trouble landing your Qs for your E spam follow up, feel free to drop this and zone your enemy a bit. This gives you a clearer idea of where they're going to move next. Are they going to walk into the cloud of poison? No... they are now avoiding it for the rest of its duration, they are now being zoned from an area of your lane. You can drop it on them or right behind their creeps in an attempt to make them miss last hits. Your E cooldown refreshes on hit even if the poison proc is from your W. If they touch the cloud - they are slightly slowed, they are an open target, punish them.
Twin Fang (E)
This is what makes you a huge target to the enemy team, and a terror in all stages of the game, ESPECIALLY in team fights. Remember when I referred to Cassiopeia as the AP version of an AD carry? Well, this is basically your spammable auto attack, it's a projectile that deals magic damage to whatever you cast it on. If you cast this on a poisoned target, the cooldown is reset to half of a second. This is what allows you to spam hundreds upon hundreds of damage EACH cast and have such monstrous hyper carry levels of damage output, especially after the rework. In addition, it also adds a "debuff" on whoever you cast it on for 5 seconds that increases poison damage by 20%, which can stack two times to a 40% poison damage increase. Imagine if was able to spam her Disintegrate every half of a second? This is basically that.
Twin Fang Tips:
- I prefer to max this skill first since it's what gives the most bursty effect of damage, and it makes for MUCH scarier harass. Nothing feels better than to Q your opponent when they innocently go to last hit, and follow it up with E spam.
- However high the damage output of this is when you spam it, you have to be careful. Remember: mistakes are unforgivable on this champion. If you E an unpoisoned target, it goes on its regular cooldown. Your damage output is now put on hold for the next five seconds - and those five seconds can make or break a fight for your team. So that this doesn't happen, re-apply Noxious Blast every 3 Twin Fangs to ensure that you don't mess up. Another way to prevent this is to drop Miasma under your opponent - the poison proc duration is much longer if they stand in it extensively.
- Don't hesitate to hit minions with this if you feel like you will miss a last hit - especially after the rework. In actuality, its almost mandatory to last hit with this, since if you kill a unit with this - the mana cost of it is refunded and you gain 3% of your max mana. Basically, if you last hit with this, you gain mana. In theory, once 100 stacks/that healing passive is acquired, Cassiopeia can stay in lane as long as she wants, due to her unlimited mana and health sustain all from this spell.
- Go into your settings, and change your key bindings so that this spell is smart casted. It is mandatory that you smart cast this. You need to be quick when spamming it - you don't have time to press E on your keyboard and then click on who you want to hit when you can just press E with your cursor over the target to hit them via the smart cast function. If you didn't smart cast this before, you will notice that your performance will improve greatly. Smart cast is crucial on Cassiopeia. Your job will be a lot easier!
- The recent poison debuff changes give you yet another reason to put emphasis on re-applying poisons after every couple of casts. Your poisons will HURT, especially after stacking the debuff.
- After reading all of this, you can guess it: after the rework, Cassiopeia revolves around and LIVES by the Twin Fang. Most of your DPS is now shifted on to this, you heal from this, you get your mana from this, your damage is from this - everything is from this. Don't mess it up.
Petrifying Gaze (Ultimate)
This is the big winner. This is your ultimate (R) ability, the Petrifying Gaze. How shocking... it's another skill shot that is projected through a somewhat awkwardly shaped cone, with a very notable casting animation and somewhat long cast time. Just a fair warning: it is hard to hit, but when it does - it is devastating. It does huge burst in magic damage - and if an enemy is caught in the projection during cast time and they are facing towards Cassiopeia, they are turned to stone and stunned for a whole two seconds. Even if it doesn't hit while they are facing - the target(s) are still slowed tremendously for over half of their movement speed - and BOY does it hurt. This ultimate is a game changer and is a huge part of your kit - it is what lets you turn ganks into double kills and team fights into aces. Nothing on Cassiopeia comes easy, though. As always, you need to be patient and wait for opportunity, you need to catch your enemy off guard if you want to hit this. You may mess up a few times at first, but as always - practice makes perfect. Don't get frustrated, but don't be dumb either! :D
Petrifying Gaze Tips:
- I do not recommend flashing into the other team to get the ultimate off - it is a risk that could very well back fire. If you can hit a five-man stun, that's awesome. But what if you fail? You burn your only direct escape in Flash (#1), you burn a spell that is incredibly useful for your team in fights that also has a fairly long cooldown (#2), and it is just so damn awkward if you mess it up (#3). Believe me, I've been greedy before - and I've failed. Remember, again, that mistakes are unforgivable on this champion. Risks sometimes pay off, but don't take risks that you don't need to take - especially in a game like League of Legends!
- You can use this to escape, too. Don't worry about the cooldown if it saves your life while outnumbered - you need to be alive to deal damage for your team. If you're caught off guard, ult your pursuers, Noxious Blast one of them for the speed boost, Miasma behind you, and slither away as fast as you can!
- The famous saying "snake in the grass" comes to mind - it's always fun to play into your character a little bit. Be sneaky with this, play the game. If your laning opponent went to gank a side lane, wait in a bush that you think they will probably walk by - and give them a surprise. Ult them and spam them for the kill. I have had situations before where a teammate of mine was running away out numbered in the river after a lost fight at dragon - I ping'd him to lure them to a bush, and their greed for that one last kill resulted in four kills for our team. This move, again, is a game changer. Use it wisely!
- Adding on to the first tip regarding "flash ulting" - take note that this spell has a decently long casting animation, and rightfully so since it gives people time to react to avoid getting stunned. Basically, if you go for a flash ult and you press your flash key and then your R key to ult, your target will probably turn around because the animation gives them more than enough time to react. A trick to defeat this is that you press the R key to ult immediately BEFORE you flash - your animation will begin at your original point and it will end at the point that you flashed to - basically, it cuts your target's time to react in half and will almost always guarantee that you successfully stun them if you go for a flash-ult play. Tl;dr: press R before Flash, do not press R after Flash.
This is a perfect example of a great Petrifying Gaze. The blue team gets caught by Malphite's Unstoppable Force followed by Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy. They're in trouble, things are going sour - but the player here uses Flash to re-position and hits a two second stun on the entire purple team. Again, wait for opportunities - wait for mistakes like this to happen before you ult. It is all about timing.
This is a great example of a perfectly executed flash-ult play. Again, press R before flashing - it will most likely get them, you can notice that the cast animation is completely cut in half and unless your opponent is paying REALLY REALLY close attention, they're pretty much done for.
This is another great ultimate, the Cassiopeia player here arrives late to a fight when their team gets caught in the jungle. This shows the game-changing power of the spell - instead of purple team pushing and obtaining towers and objectives - it results in an ace for the blue team.
This is a somewhat comedic "First Blood"/early game video montage made by a Cassiopeia player, it shows the power of harassing with Noxious Blast and the true damage it does at early levels. In this video, you'll see that the player put his level three point into Noxious Blast instead of Twin Fang - both ways work amazingly. Again, there are so many play styles you can adopt with Cassiopeia - pick what you prefer.
Runes, Summoner Spells
What do we get? It all depends on your laning match up. Again, you must always adapt to your game. But in a nut shell, these are what I usually take:
For quints, I prefer to run these movement speed quints. They allow for much higher mobility, which is wonderful on Cassiopeia for increased kite ability. I always go for the famous level 3 all in as well, and since I don't buy boots - these help out tremendously. Other options for these include flat ability power:
Food for thought:If you take three movement speed, you may find that you'll lack an early kick up on damage. If you take three AP, you may find yourself being fairly slow and clunky compared to when you have the MS. Feel free to combine the two, it's perfectly fine to get a mix of MS and AP quints. You can take 2 MS and 1 AP, or 1 MS and 2 AP. Whatever you feel is best!
No questions asked, I can't think of another option better than these for your mark slots. The penetration is a lovely boost of damage, you need these - as does any other AP.
Scaling health gives you more meat on your bones, you are sustained damage and you are naturally quite squishy. Feel free to take these.
HOWEVER, if you are against an attack damage opponent like that Zed or Kha'Zix, run these:
The armor is a great statistic to have against any AD assassins that may be thrown your way.
These scale great into late game and make it so that all of the power from runes isn't invested in early laning. Every time you level up, you get stronger. These are a great choice for offensive play.
The more defensive route - these allow you to trade more safely in lane, since most of the people you'll face will probably be running ability power for damage. I take 7 flat MR glyphs along with 2 scaling to have a slight balance of late game scaling and early game flat statistics, but again - personal preference. You can go full flat, or full scaling - whatever you want.
Summoner Spells: Why Barrier? Why heal?
Flash is a necessity on snake goddess, it is your only reliable escape - you need it, as it is a recommended option for almost any champion played in this game. As for the other option, I stated earlier that Cassiopeia is a sustained damage caster that attends a lane full of bursty assassins otherwise known as League of Gap Closers - so as many take Barrier or Heal when playing ADC, taking Barrier or Heal on Cassiopeia is a more than viable and safe option, especially if you are just starting off on playing her. We take barrier because we need a bit more time to fully dish that damage out and to negate some of the burst competing against us, same reasoning as the newly updated Heal summoner spell - except Heal now gives you a speed boost which helps you greatly when kiting in close situations. If you choose Heal and the enemy has taken Ignite, make sure to use it before they ignite you - otherwise, half of the purpose of the spell is gone due to ignite's healing reduction effect. I have came out of a trade in lane with the upper hand many many times just through these defensive spell options, using it effectively can really surprise your enemy. Again, this is personal preference.
Other viable options:
These are all possible and great choices. Ignite is always a no brainer - I almost always run this as it gives you immense killing power, and in general my playstyle is always to be the aggressor. It's great for securing kills. Exhaust is INCREDIBLE against assassins since it lowers their damage for a period of time and erases some of their burst damage for you to live longer, a very solid consideration if you are against one (cya Fizz, cya Talon). Cleanse can be chosen if you're up against a team that can lock you down really easily with hard crowd control and focuses you in fights such as a Rammus taunt or a Fiddlesticks fear, as it removes all debuffs from yourself. If you want to be safe and make sure you don't get caught? Feel free to cleanse. I personally have never run Teleport, my play style doesn't revolve very much on ganking other lanes - it revolves around objectives, farming, and zoning/snowballing off your laner. If you take teleport, you are essentially playing around the map and looking to help your team and serve up some solo queue ~*~ cheese ~*~. Want to pull off some surprising plays? Feel free to take Teleport. Nothing feels better than countering a gank by teleporting to a ward that your support placed in a bush just a bit earlier. It all depends on what you want, and on what you believe you may need... duh!
Let's go shopping. (Itemization + Analysis)
What do I buy?
Before getting into this section, I will again repeat that there are many, many ways that you can go about building snake goddess. Some people like to aim for a build with straight raw damage, some people like to build spell vamp for higher sustain and dueling potential, some people start off stacking that Tear of the Goddess, and then there's some people that like to stack lots of health for survivablity. It all comes down to what you prefer, but I will break this down closely and as clearly as possible. For example, there are many that say Rod of Ages is a waste on snake goddess - I disagree entirely. I didn't build it on her until I decided to try it out one game, and I have not stopped rushing it ever since. It has everything that you need to survive as a sustained mage in our current bursty gap closer and bruiser meta, especially in solo queue. When building Cassiopeia, this is my main goal - building to survive. You don't know if your teammates will always be there to protect you if you get jumped on - as a matter of fact, 90% of the time - the ADC will be the top priority for peeling. In turn, I always ensure to build in a way that allows me to fend for myself via a fairly large health pool, while also dealing incredulous damage. Remember that this is solo queue, you cannot depend on anybody. You can build all the damage that you want, but no amount of good positioning will prevent you from getting blown up if a gap closer immediately jumps all over you, and in turn - all of the damage that you built for your team is now gone. Below is my current typical build that I've found a lot of success with and in the order that I usually put it together:
This is the ballsy start that I recommend. The AP from the Doran's Ring pushes your Noxious Blast harass at level one through the roof. On top of that, it has a 60 health stat boost and extra mana regen. You need this at the beginning. But why no sight ward? Through experimentation, I've made buying Doran's + pots at the start a priority. As Cassiopeia, you have to learn to harass your opponent effectively without pushing the lane. It's very easy to hit your Noxious Blast on the creep wave and have it push on its own, it is the nature of the champion and her kit to push - with practice, you will learn to maneuver around that and play smart.
If you're just starting out and are afraid of being ganked - feel free to go for the safe sustain start with boots and pots, or something crazily awesome like this:
You will NEVER leave lane. But again: it's always what you prefer.
First Major Buys
catalyst the protector
This is what my primary goals are first. With the Doran's Ring you bought at the beginning, you already have a great amount of ability power to keep harassing your opponent with Twin Fang/ Noxious Blast spam - but now you are beefier with catalyst the protector. Before the rework, I would have explained this purchase as being one for sole survival purposes - but Cassiopeia loves this item now. It gives everything you want and need. More health to chunk through so you can dish out damage, more of a mana pool to sustain your spell casts and really boost your mana refunds from Twin Fang, and of course - AP. You need this item, I would say it is hands down a much better purchase than Tear of the Goddess because, again, it gives you everything - AND it picks up faster. Tear takes really long to stack, who cares if Cassiopeia is supposed to be this late game monster? We can be strong early on too.
Absolute Core - Holy Trinity (plus Sorcs)
Your next step should be to finish off Rod of Ages and your Sorc boots (boots usually depend on what you need, but most of the time - you'll be getting these for the damage boost). Building RoA first ensures you to immediately begin building those passive stacks - the longer the game goes, the tankier you're getting. Around this time, you should already have the healing portion of your passive unlocked, in which case you will then set your sights on Will of the Ancients. Hands down, this makes up for any BS early game power that they pulled off of Cass. You will, assuming that you play it right, be able to out-duel anyone. You may have around 200 AP so your base healing from your passive may seem non-existant, but WOTA accelerates that healing ridiculously. This basically makes your healing relevant at all points in the game - late game, with around full build, you will heal for 200+ health every Twin Fang, the most I've healed from a Twin Fang is around the upper 200's range. It doesn't matter if you take longer to dish out your full damage as a DPS mage if you heal almost all of the damage they put on to you back throughout the fight. It's absolutely insane, abuse it. From there, immediately go into Void Staff - you will shred everything in your path as it allows you to cut through any possible MR your opponents may have and it also boosts the healing from your WOTA extensively. This, along with Sorcs, is the holy trinity of Cassiopeia - just like the holy trinity for most marksmen is Infinity Edge, Shiv/PD, and Last Whisper. From these three items, you have a great health pool, a great mana pool, incredible sustain for fights, and penetration. And this is most likely all before your AP bonuses really start to kick in.
Later in the Game
Our build is starting to come together, these items are what you should be focusing on for the remainder of the game. Deathcap is a no-brainer, assuming things are going fine you will want to get it after your Void Staff. Deathcap has amazing synergy with your passive - it gives you 120 AP and a 30% AP bonus, while your passive at max stacks also gives a 30% AP boost. Basically, once you pick this up and once you have your 500 stacks, you will have double Rabadon's Deathcap passives. Watch that AP number soar, watch your healing skyrocket even further, and watch you tear through every enemy. From there, Zhonya's Hourglass or Rylai's Crystal Scepter are incredible final buys. Zhonya's has an AMAZING active, in which you are invulnerable for a period of time. This can make or break a fight if it really gets down to the wire and is amazing to use when dealing with assassins on the other team - such as Zed, say goodbye to his ult once you have this. Rylai's provides an additional 500 health, 80 ability power, and also provides a slowing effect with every spell that is hit on your enemies - I usually make sure to buy it because I love its passive. Twin Fang has full on-hit effects with Rylai's now, in turn - this item is great for the extra CC slows added to your kit, for whenever you need to kite in a fight, or slow down someone for increased chasing ability. It works pretty awesomely with our spells, seeing as they are all low cooldown and each have utility added in that aids in catching up to people, or running away from people.
Boot Enchantment: Furor
This is totally optional, I felt like I needed to include this as I try to buy it if I ever have any extra gold left over. This boosts your kiting potential through the roof. If you hit an enemy with a single target spell, you get a 12% movement speed increase for two seconds. Recently, Twin Fang was altered to proc this effect - so I always try to buy it whenever I can. Cassiopeia herself already has great kiting ability, but with the speed boost from your Noxious Blast, the speed boost from Enchantment: Furor, your above average base movement speed from Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, and the incredible slows from Rylai's Crystal Scepter - you'll be fairly hard to catch and will be able to kite very effectively.
Simple Mathematics. (Does Warmogs work?)
Playing Cassiopeia via stacking health on her not only makes you incredibly durable, but it can truly give your team a window of opportunity to really shine. The enemy team know that you're a giant threat and they know that you're difficult to kill. There is nothing worse than having to deal with a 4,000+ health Cassiopeia that has the ability to demolish what walks in her path. When an enemy wastes a burst combo on you and you live through it with a decent amount of remaining health to STILL deal out great damage - that is one less burst combo that is gone from the fight, and that is one more burst combo that is no longer a danger to another carry on your team.
Cassiopeia by herself has 1,730 base health at max level 18. Rod of Ages, at max stacks, offers 630 health. Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Liandry's Torment offer 800 health combined - which equates to 3,160. With Warmog's Armor, snake goddess' health pool reaches 4,160 - what I found pretty cool about it was that you still will be able to deal incredulous amounts of damage while having so much durability in fights. This is a perfect way to survive almost any of the enemy's burst enough for you to dish out your true damage potential for your team. This was a strategy once used by professional player Reginald to counter an enemy Veigar successfully. The one issue is that you won't have any resistances to damage (armor/magic resist) to really back up the health effectively - so a better alternative would be to get yourself a Guardian Angel instead of the Warmog's, or another bulkier item that offers resistances as well as health stats such as Banshee's Veil] or [[Randuin's Omen. Heck, if you vow for even more damage you could always go for a Zhonya's Hourglass (armor and amazing active) or Abyssal Scepter (magic resist and an aura that weakens your enemies, that also has the same range as your Twin Fang) - it all depends on what you need, what you want, and what you prefer!
I don't always build Warmog's Armor and usually vie for some spell vamp or the Guardian Angel instead, but if that's the route you'd like to take - it would most definitely work. However, again - no amount of health you build should give you the freedom to abandon careful and correct positioning. The huge health pool is great, but you should still try to stay behind your tank and let him absorb the damage especially if you go the Warmog's Armor route since you didn't build any particular resistances. Go for it!
First and foremost:
Never dying is far, far more important than getting all the kills in the world. When you die, whoever killed you is getting gold - therefor your enemy, as a result, is getting stronger. Never give them that opportunity. You can have 4 kills and be doing amazingly, but if you make that one mistake or get just a bit too greedy and get killed by an important member of the enemy team - they receive huge shut down gold. They are now that much closer to catching up, they are now that much closer to being a threat, they are now that much closer to beating you. Suppress your opponent, make their lives hell. You have the pushing/farming power, harass, and laning presence to do it - and you're darn good at it!
A lot of players generally focus too much on killing who they're facing - because it's League of Legends, when we see someone on the enemy team, it is our instinct in this war game to jump on their faces and murder them. When I first started playing, all I thought about was getting kills - kills, kills, kills. It wasn't until later that I concluded that kills will come to you as the game goes by - wait for your opportunity and let the kills come to you instead of always looking for them. I've found that I perform better by doing this than when I always try to force a kill, especially in lane. Now, this doesn't mean that you just hug your turret in every single game you play and don't even bother fighting back. It's always good to harass (especially as Cass) and take that kill if the opportunity presents itself, but don't get out of control. Keep it at a balance!
Over-Extension: Be Safe!
Playing Cassiopeia during laning phase can go many ways. You will most likely be soloing the middle lane if you're snake goddess, and I cannot stress enough how important it is to look at your mini map and have a thing called map awareness. We all have games where we tunnel vision and just focus on what is happening in our lane - but there are two other lanes and a DANGEROUS jungle in this game, in which one of your teammates will always be in - whether it be farming the provided camps or making their way over to gank a lane. Early on, junglers usually start that Hunter's Machete along with five Health Potions so that combined with Smite, they can clear their first camps in a breeze. They have no Sight Ward, they are left in the fog of war for the first two minutes or so to pick up those few jungle camps. Someone could be right around the corner, and they most likely won't know it. Basically, junglers sometimes run into each other during a rough time, especially early on. If your jungler gets caught while trying to finish up a camp and is at around half health, try to have that map awareness and try to get there in an attempt to save him and turn things around, or at least make him dying an even one for one trade. You're the mid laner, so you will most likely be the closest person to where your jungler is - help them, work together. "Teamwork OP, har har!"
Do your best to remember where the enemy jungler might be - your goal is to take ownership of the lane and win it in some way - whether it be by harassing your opponent down and denying them farm, killing your opponent in frequent fights that they never pick up much XP, or just out farming them.
One of the most important things to remember when laning, and I cannot stress it enough - is to not be overly aggressive, especially as Cassi. That is one of the biggest mistakes that can be made.
There is a very notable difference between poking your opposition successfully/zoning them... and literally being up to their turret by the three minute mark. Where do you think their jungler is going to go after clearing their first camp if he sees you so overly extended? "Jungler, I need help. This Cass is shoving me to turret - the Cassiopeia who is currently incredibly squishy, is susceptible to ganks, and has no direct escape whatsoever except that Flash with a long cooldown..." -- do not set yourself up for failure.
Harassing with Noxious Blast (AND YOUR AUTO ATTACK!)
Your goal is to attempt to hit your opponent with Noxious Blast - with the Doran's Ring, its poke will hurt immensely. Try to hit them, but not the creeps. If you hit the minions only when they're about to die via auto attack, your lane will eventually push to you - in which you can effectively freeze right before your turret and harass from the safety of your side of the lane. They will either have to make a choice to stay on their side and miss out on that important experience from minions, or remain as close to the wave as possible to get as much as they can. This is when you have early control - pay attention to your minion's health bars. When one is about to die, they will probably go up to auto attack it for the CS - prepare for this, and when their auto attack animation initiates - hit them with Noxious Blast. Try to follow up with an auto attack or two if you can. You don't build attack damage, but early on - your auto attacks do matter. That auto attack damage output stacks up over time - they hurt, so use them!
Follow their movement patterns - do they usually run back after last hitting? Try aiming a bit behind them after their auto attack. Do they run forward in a direct straight line to get close for the last hit, or do they try to run side to side? Try casting in the area they are about to move into when they do. Do they run in circles to try to dodge the spell? Anticipate it, it's all about predicting their movement. At first, it may be hard to do - but this process combined with last hitting becomes second nature through practice.
Green = most safe, this is where you want your wave to be at. Try your best to freeze it here - your enemy will be forced to walk forward if he wants to hit anything, this will let you predict their movements easier. This is also where you want your wave to be if you want to go for that First Blood or early kill - which is mentioned in more detail in the next section. On that same note - they may just push the wave so that it hits your tower and so that it resets, people like Malzahar excel greatly at this. If this happens, don't be afraid to push back with Noxious Blast to level it out.
Yellow = moderately safe, if you're right in the middle but have Sight Wards - you're okay. In the beginning, though, I always take Doran's Ring so I'm always extra cautious since I don't have that ward coverage at the very start. Learn to read your opponent's actions - if they all of a sudden begin running towards you when they've been passively last hitting the entire time prior to that, this probably means their jungler is about to gank you. The game is, to an extent, psychological. Be ready for situations like this, just do not panic!
Red = dangerous, you should only ever be that far if you know where their jungler is and are being extra aggressive (look at the mini map), if you have both sides of your lane warded and KNOW that the person you're laning against can't follow up in a gank, or if you just killed your enemy and are hardcore pushing. Remember that you are not LeBlanc, you are Cassiopeia - you have no direct escape mechanisms - play like it and be careful if you don't have that ward coverage.
Level 3 on Cassiopeia has incredible all-in potential, so this might be when you attempt to really get huge damage on your opponent for the first blood. By this point, they should be a bit hurt from prior harass. Try your best to have the lane pushed to your side as much as possible - when you hit level three and land your next Q, immediately begin spamming Twin Fang. Do not just keep spamming it though, you will have to re-apply the poison with Noxious Blast before it runs out - since they are running away from you, aim the spell in the area that they're about to walk into, it's pretty much common sense. The damage output will probably surprise your opponent, and if you froze the lane successfully in that green section of that picture above, they will have a bit of a long distance to run back to their turret. From this, they will either fight back (in which you will have Barrier for extra safety) or they will Flash to escape, in which you can also Flash after them to secure the kill if you think you can do it - but NEVER tower dive. The goal is to get them out of lane, the kill is only the bonus.
Dying is never worth it. With Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed and the movement speed boost from your Noxious Blast, your chasing potential is excellent. Your goal for the rest of the lane is now the same as it would be with any other champion - get ahead, get farmed, deny your enemy. There is no better feeling in the world than hitting your foe with a Noxious Blast and immediately follow up with a barrage of Twin Fangs for half of their health. You especially must do this if you're against a melee champion - you're Cassiopeia for god sakes, abuse the fact that you're ranged. Make them pay. Send a message to your opponent, own it. "You're not farming, not today... not in this lane, not in my lane."
Farm the Jungle, Push the Lane
Once you go back and are able to buy wards and have that catalyst the Protector, you can feel free to begin pushing the wave to the tower - and then immediately farm your wraiths. When the wave in lane resets and both team's creeps are fighting in the middle of the lane, push it back to tower again (one cast of Miasma and Noxious Blast on the caster creeps should clear them, along with auto attacks to the rest) - and then immediately farm your wolves. Rinse, repeat, harass, deny, kill whenever the opportunity arises - and watch your lead escalate out of control with your early catalyst the protector passive and Doran's Ring tanky stats.
This especially works if you're against assassins that revolve around roaming, such as LeBlanc. Doing this against LeBlanc will deny her the roaming potential - and if she DOES roam, she will give up her mid tower from you pushing it down all the time. With you constantly forcing your enemy out of lane and zoning effectively with your Q and E spam, and your ability to farm jungle camps so effectively - you will out-level your opponent and will out-farm them. It's a strategy I always use on Cassiopeia that makes for an endless source of gold. No matter what, you will be farming - you will be getting stronger. You should consider farming the enemy's blue wraith when you know their jungler's location (again, dammit - look at the mini map) and leave the mini wraiths so that they stay un-spawned until their enemy jungler comes around to clear the camp. This counter jungles the enemy a bit, which is very effective - especially during the laning phase!
Caught in a hard place?
Level 6 and up is when you can use your Petrifying Gaze - if you made a mistake and are over-extended with no wards ( ;_; ) and are in the middle of being ganked, try to not panic. This spell allows you to turn around any gank into a double kill in your favor. This is when your judgment as a player is put to the test - instead of immediately using your Flash like a wuss out of panic, analyze your situation, NEVER panic. Can you fight this and come out even or on top? For example - if your laning opponent is at about half health, you can just stun him with your Petrifying Gaze and quickly finish him off or get them low enough that they cannot follow up for the gank - in which case, the jungler will either back off or will choose to square up with you 1 v 1, if they dare.
In another scenario in which you'd prefer to escape, the jungler will most probably be entering the lane through one of the side brushes - immediately run to the opposite brush and attempt to escape with your Noxious Blast speed boost and Miasma slow behind you. Your enemy laner may have warded that bush, they may have not - you don't know that, unless you paid attention to where they may have placed their Sight Ward. In which case, try to keep running to safety - they will either call off the gank and have their jungler go back in a bit later for another try, or they will still go after you. If they chase and you cannot get away, ult them right in the face, focus down whoever has the lower health or whoever you can kill faster to make it an equal fight, and then finish off whatever is left. You know what to do in these fights - kite, move around while dishing out your Twin Fang, think on your feet. It's somewhat like orb-walking (attack-move) when you're playing ADC. If you can't run away and are locked down and forced to fight ( Jarvan IV's Cataclysm), again - move yourself into position a bit, ult at least one of them (preferrably your enemy laner) right in the face, focus down whoever has the lower health or whoever is the easier kill to make it an equal fight, and then finish off whatever is left. Even if you die in the process, taking one down with you is still a fair trade when you get caught like this. You are far more useful in late game team fights than most people - never be afraid to take someone down with you!
Roaming (really long, but important)
Roaming is optional, yet recommended - my play style revolves around shutting down my enemy laner, and farming myself out of control - so I don't usually roam to other lanes for ganks unless I know that I can get a kill/tower or if a lane really needs help. I don't usually like to take risks - but if a lane needs assistance, you should probably try to help them out and at least force the enemy laners back to push down a possible turret. Your Petrifying Gaze has the ability to secure ganks perfectly. If you're completely dominating your lane to the point where continuously killing your opponent won't give you much of anything anymore, you could always purchase Boots of Mobility for the laning phase (you should probably sell them later for Sorcerer's Shoes) and add roaming pressure to the other lanes.
There is no bigger mistake you can make (especially in solo queue) than sitting in your lane 24/7 while another lane is constantly getting tower dived and destroyed. Many people complain that even though they completely "pwn" their lane, everyone else feeds and they can't carry and eventually lose at the end - I've been this person many, many times in the past, but it's a learning experience and these mindsets and growing from your mistakes are what allow you to grow as a player in the end. Sometimes, there are un-winnable games like this where the enemy team are simply playing better than you and your team and are way ahead in objectives, farm, and map control - but most of the time, you SHOULD and CAN do your best to take your lead and put it to use across the map instead of your lane only. This isn't a one versus one game, you don't win just by winning against your original lane opponent - you win by destroying the enemy Nexus (duh). You don't get there by yourself, you get there as a team through objectives, map control, and good coordinated team work. Good coordination is really hard to pull off in solo queue where communication is limited, but it is good to at least try to get something together. Most of the time, it will work.
Roaming 2.0: Help Your Jungler
Sometimes even your jungler needs extra help in ganks. Let's say your bot lane is feeding and/or losing very hard - your jungler goes over to try and help, but little do they know the enemy Xin Zhao was hiding undetected in that pesky lane brush. Instead of this being a 3v2 gank in your team's favor in order to change the pace of the lane - it is now a 3 v 3 all-out skirmish, with your jungler and under-farmed/under-leveled bot lane facing their jungler and already ahead bot lane. It's an even match up on paper because there's an even amount of people on each end, but in terms of items and level advantages it is most certainly an uneven match up, a disaster waiting to happen in which your team most likely gets wiped out via an enemy triple kill. The result? Your jungler is dead (not gaining XP, no map pressure for the next 15 seconds, now falling behind as well), your bot lane is dead (not gaining XP, ADC is losing farm, Dragon now open to the enemy with no possible contention, now falling behind even more), and now - the team will probably start arguing and flaming each other, which leads to even more disaster. Your team is now morally crushed, the team environment is most likely chaotic, and your enemies feel like they're on top of the world and are just ready for that snowball to keep on getting bigger and out of control. But what if you were there to help? Use your power to wave clear as Cassiopeia to push your lane up, and try to roam a bit. If you are ahead, situations like these can completely turn the game around if you make a point to work with your jungler and make these important plays.
Roaming 3.0: Don't Overdo It!
Now there is a fair difference between ganking lanes frequently while still keeping your lane in check, and literally abandoning mid for 90% of the remaining laning phase and leaving it alone for your opponent to do whatever they want. Do NOT roam 24/7 and let your laner free farm - but try to keep a balance. Granted, you're not superhuman... it's inevitable that when you leave lane for a gank, they are allowed to farm up a bit and start pushing over to your turret since you're not there to apply that pressure, but don't give them this freedom all the time. If you kill them, push it up - then try to see if there are any ganking opportunities while your laning opposition is out of the picture. Everything I've mentioned to you so far has emphasized having a balance - you must have a balance, don't ditch your lane all the time and become the second jungler.
Roaming 4.0: Making the Roam Count
On that note, the actual act of ganking a lane is no problem - it's setting it up and getting there undetected at the right place and in the right time to fully execute it that can be a bit tricky. We have all tried to head over to gank a lane when the enemy suddenly backs away out of vision right when you approach the outskirts of the area. Annoying? Yes. Do they have hax?! Hopefully not, but most likely... no. You know it - you were just spotted by a Sight Ward. You have a support that wards things to control vision, but they also have a support that wards things to control vision. When walking to a lane, try to take a path that they would least expect - perhaps through the bot lane tri brush if you're on the purple side or one of the two in-lane brushes if you're on the blue side. Coordinate with your allies to see what is warded and what isn't. If you have the extra gold, maybe purchase a Vision Ward and help your support with vision control to set up future ganks or objectives. Your support will definitely appreciate your effort to help - believe me, I also play support and nothing is worse than busting your butt warding and clearing as much as you can only to have all of your work deleted in around 40 seconds when the other team has multiple players purchasing those pesky Oracle's Elixirs. You feel useless when that happens, you feel frustrated. You know how important it is for you to provide that vision for your team, but in some games you just can't do it all by yourself. People need help sometimes, be a team player and pitch in for your support in all phases of the game if you can.
Cassiopeia is amazing for pushing down and quickly securing objectives like dragons - take advantage of this and help your team! Ganking top lane is pretty self-explanatory since people sometimes forget to buy wards - but again, setting up to gank bot lane tends to be a bit trickier. This map diagram of Summoner's Rift that shows the bottom side of the map can be of great help, it shows possible paths you can take when going for a bot lane gank if you're either blue side or purple side - these are usually taken by junglers and mid laners alike.
Gameplay: Mid-Late (Teamfights, Objectives)
You know the drill! Middle to late game is when ganks begin to really take off and when towers begin to be destroyed. The way I play Cassiopeia is very objective-based - I push the lane up to a tower, retreat, farm the jungle - repeat.
Eventually, however, the teams will begin to group to begin hard pushing for core objectives such as inner turrets, inhibitors to spawn super minion lane control + Nexus exposure, and the famous Baron Nashor - which results in explosive team fights. During these team fights, you need to stay behind your front line. Positioning is crucial. No guide can teach you positioning well enough, it is really something that you will learn through experience. You have built a relatively large health pool but you have no strong resistances - so you need to let your tanks absorb as much of the enemy's damage that they possibly can while dishing your spells out from a safe distance.
Cassiopeia is all about positioning, patience, and kiting ability. Do not force yourself to use your Petrifying Gaze right away - wait for opportunity to arise, as always. If your front line begins to fall or you see that things aren't going in the right direction - ult and immediately turn the tides around. I don't recommend smart casting the ultimate if you are just starting out, because the cone can be easily over-estimated. If your team composition revolves around strong AoE (Area of Effect) such as Zyra's Stranglethorns or Miss Fortune's Bullet Time - wait to synchronize your ultimates for full effect.
My absolute favorite ultimate synchronization with Cassiopeia that I really recommend is, again, Zyra's. They are knocked up in place for a good amount of time in Stranglethorns for you to move yourself into position in front of the enemy to ult for an ensured stun - and you know exactly when to ult them for full effect also, since the falling animation for the knock up is so clear cut. Don't ult at the same time as someone else, ult one after the other so that the other team stays locked down and vulnerable.
Team fights are pretty self explanatory - make sure that when you use Twin Fang, your target is poisoned. As always, mistakes are unforgivable - be careful!
Blue Buff (I love you, Ancient Golem!)
This is your absolute best friend. It provides incredible mana regeneration and cooldown reduction. Many people prefer to build mana regeneration items in their builds such as Athene's Unholy Grail and Tear of the Goddess which are great, but if you choose to adopt my build route - the mana pool stacks from Rod of Ages, combined with those scaling mana regeneration runes, along Deadly Cadence stacks, and of course the blue buff - you will not have mana issues. If your jungler is smart, he will let you have this 95% of the time unless they're someone like Fiddlesticks (say goodbye to any rights to blue until later in the game).
The best part about it is that you're Cassiopeia - your kit allows you to easily clear jungle camps as opposed to someone like Annie (I absolutely hate clearing anything in the jungle with this fire gremlin, it takes a while and waiting for your cooldowns while your slow and annoying auto attack does absolutely nothing is just ew). Try to always have a blue buff on yourself and take the initiative to get it on your own. The respawn time for the Ancient Golem is 5 minutes, and the marker on your mini map always pops back up when it appears - so don't hesitate to take it on your own!
Soloing the Dragon
Late game is when people usually are strong enough to take dragon by themselves - you're one of the few mages that can do it and do it fast. Secure the objective (because... why not?)! With the large health pool you've built - do not hesitate to solo this and get the global gold for your team. The value and difficulty of securing dragons usually falls off later on in turn for competition over much more daring and game-changing objectives such as Baron Nashor and inner/inhibitor turrets, but the gold is still there and is still awesome for your team. If you went with the sustain route and built spell vamp in the form of Will of the Ancients or Spirit of the Spectral Wraith - your job is even easier. Make sure you have blue buff if you want to solo it after a team fight though, it's really, REALLY awkward when you are about to kill dragon and run out of mana and are forced to sit there auto attacking it while waiting for your Noxious Blast to come up. Play smart and have fun!
Video Example: Syncing Your Ultimates!
Here is a perfect example of ultimate synchronization - in this video you see Petrifying Gaze being used to lock the enemy team in place so that Miss Fortune's Bullet Time shredded multiple enemies apart. The result? A near ace'd team fight, the middle inhibitor, and the victory. Wait for opportunity, don't force it and risk messing things up.
Here is another example of syncing your ultimates, some would call this a "wombo combo". The combo featured is Wukong's Cyclone, Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy, Ezreal's Trueshot Barrage, Sona's Crescendo, and of course - Cassiopeia's Petrifying Gaze.
Honestly, this video was more of the enemy team's fault... staying so close together in THAT much of a confined space against a team with such huge AoE potential is a horrible idea, but I still think it's a great example that shows you the effect of good ultimate coordination. Take advantage if your enemy makes huge mistakes in positioning like this, wait for opportunity, and punish them!
Thank you SO much for your time if you decided to go through my guide.
I really love Cassiopeia as a champion and I love discovering different ways of playing her - and I hope this guide will help you if you decide to learn her as well. This is most certainly not the only way to build or play Cassiopeia, there are millions of ways you can go with this amazing champion. This is just the way that I have currently found a great liking to and have found a good amount of success with!
There are other build possibilities and strategies listed in the guide. Please feel free to leave any comments or feedback - this is only my first guide, so I did the absolute best that I could to make it look somewhat decent, and prepare its content to be somewhat readable (hopefully!). I had actually gone crazy reading a guide that explained how to make Mobafire guides that also went into detail on coding and formatting and all that cool stuff, I believe JhoiJhoi wrote it. I thank her so much for providing such a well written guide that helped me get started on this, and I most certainly recommend it if anyone needs help in writing a guide of their own and are just stuck on how to get started.
There are still some parts that are not yet completed and the guide itself is still rough around the edges: but overtime they will be updated and corrected accordingly, most notably the champion match ups.
Again, thank you so much, and I hope this is of help to any fellow Cassiopeia geeks. Mucho love, and good luck in that pesky solo queue struggle!
Updates (Season 4/4.5 patch and onward)
I have decided to re-visit this guide and begin updating it and keeping it fresh, seeing as I haven't touched or revised the content, builds, or included any new play styles that I've adopted ever since I last wrote this which was around the later portion of season 3.
Items have changed, the map has changed, new jungle camps have been introduced - so if you read this now, you may notice that some of the items don't really sound right as I described them (such as the spell vamp portion of Spirit of the Spectral Wraith or the team aura of Will of the Ancients).
This update section is to help keep track with any and all changes coming. More soon!
04/09/2014 - "Updates" section added to guide, guide officially "under reconstruction".
06/25/2014 - Updated runes, summoner spells for 4.10 patch - more to come for the rest of the sections.
08/18/2014 - Corrected some errors with formatting and cleaned up some of the icons. Have been really lazy with revisiting the guide, but will get to it... eventually! <3
11/27/2014 - Happy Thanksgiving! I've started to revisit my guide and have re-edited from the beginning to the spells section, putting in necessary changes as per the rework from passive to ultimate. Old build paths have also been removed, only the main build path that I use now is put up. Will put up more build paths/more details for the main build soon. Overall, more to come!
12/01/2014 - There are more Cassiopeia changes coming in the next patch ((4.21)! This means more adjustments to the abilities section, and possible adjustments to the build and gameplay sections. Will keep an eye out for the official patch notes, as PBE information can very easily change before going live.
12/12/2014 - Patch 4.21 came out, more Cass changes. Updated the item description sections with explanations for the build, added masteries, cleaned up some formatting and partially updated the abilities section (I still have stuff to change in there, like the passive...). It's a working progress, but this guide will eventually be fully updated to match the incredible changes (a lot of changes, oof...) that have been put into not only Cassiopeia, but the entire game in general.
12/25/2014 - Happy holidays! Hope everyone is having a great holiday season. Went through and fully updated the abilities section and also added some tips/new video examples. May be looking to start updating the pictures to fresher and cleaner ones that actually match up to the new and improved Summoner's Rift, and I may look into finally adding in some champion match ups in the near future. We're also almost at 300,000 views, yay!
03/07/2015 - Ever since the recent mana cost nerfs, I've been trying to experiment with builds, as the usual build routes I've run have left me in the dark in terms of mana. With time, I will put in some builds and some updates that take the new mana costs into consideration.