Kassadin Build Guide by Dr Shankums
Not Updated For Current Season
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Not Updated For Current Season
Hello, and welcome to my guide on Kassadin, The Void Walker. In this guide I hope to teach you how to play one of the most fun, most mobile, and higher bursting AP caster and Assassins in the game. It is my opinion that he is the best pick for mid lane, even more so than LeBlanc. I do not think he is overpowered since you can shut him down a few ways. Many people will tell you he has a horrible laning phase, but I disagree. You just have to play smart. I do not claim to be an amazing Kassadin player, or some high ELO elitist, I am just a normal player who wants to be better and play to the best of his abilities, just like you.
DO NOT GLANCE OVER THIS GUIDE IF YOU HAVE NEVER PLAYED KASSADIN AND ARE WAITING FOR EVERYONE TO LOAD ON THEIR STEAM POWERED POTATOES. THERE IS READING INVOLVED.
I will be updating this guide periodically. You never stop learning new things, and the more things I learn I will share with you.
Pros / Cons
*High burst damage
*Counters almost any AP mid
*Can kill squishy targets without issue
*Very good at chasing/retreating
*Laning phase/early game is pretty weak
*CC shuts him down (although who doesn't it shut down?)
*Easy to counter with an AD mid
*Very mana hungry
*Will get focused down pretty easily if caught out of position
*Once he uses his combo he only has his auto attack
Standard 21/0/9 caster masteries. Nothing really to explain here. The defense and utility tree just don't compare to the offense tree on Kassadin.
Magic pen marks are the best runes to put into this slot. There really is no excuse to run anything other than magic pen since they are the most versatile rune for AP casters
Flat mana regen runes per 5 are the best runes for these slots IMO. I know you're thinking "Why not per level?" The answer is because runes are all about early game advantage. Kassadin will be spamming his Q a lot during laning phase for last hits/poking, and these will help you not be out of mana (oom) all the time.
Ability power glyphs are really great on Kassadin, and I feel that as an assassin he will need the extra "oomph" these runes give. You could go with magic resist runes too, if you feel you may be harassed too much in mid lane.
Ability power quints. Having all three gives you +15 AP at the start of the game, which helps with early harassing and last hitting.
With my rune page, you should start with:
+8.5 Magic pen.
Laning as Kassadin - In Depth
I feel like this needs it's own chapter, because I can't really explain everything in the Items and Phases of the Game.
Kassadin's laning phase isn't great, but it's not terrible either. You simply have to play it safe and play it smart until level 6. It is perfectly fine to sit back and last hit with Q, and it can really lure your opponent into a false sense of security.
If you notice your opponent is coming at you, go ahead and punish them with Q. If your enemy hasn't countered your lane with their AD carry, they will back off since they can't do anything to you if you silence them. Early laning will be about who can farm and poke the most.
You will want to keep poking your enemy as much as possible. You really need to make your enemy think they can stay in lane longer then they should. If you get them down to very low health, they will just recall and come back. You need to keep them at ~<50% until you can be sure you can kill them with your combo.
Similar to Leblanc, Kassadin gets fed off of kills more than farming. Do not kamikaze, but if you die getting a kill than it's alright. BUT NOT ENCOURAGED!!!
Once you hit 6, you will be a VERY STRONG GANKER. Use this to your advantage! Push your lane to the enemy tower, and if you notice the other lanes are over extended you should go in for a gank.
Ganks don't have much of a threat to a smart Kassadin player. If you see a gank, simply riftwalk the hell out of there. If you run flash like I suggest, then you won't need to worry about ganks. Often times junglers will avoid ganking mid lane since it's futile to attempt and just wastes time. DO NOT THINK THAT MEANS YOU CAN BE OVEREXTENDED ALL THE TIME, JUST KNOW THAT YOUR ULT YOUR=SAFETY NET. YOU WILL LIKELY DIE IF YOU GET CARELESS.
Items and Phases of the Game
Now, this is the part that requires thought. I can't tell you what to build for every game because every game is different. I will list items and explain why you would use them.
Boots+3 health potions - Sustain in lane and extra mobility
Doran's Ring - If you are confident in your lane
After some time
Catalyst the Protector - More sustain in lane
Blasting Wand - MOAR DAMAGE
Sorcerer's Shoes - Extra mobility AND damage.
After some MORE time
Deathcap - should be your first big item
Rod of Ages
ITEMS TO BUILD AFTER YOUR CORE:
Void Staff - If they build MR
Abyssal Scepter - If you need MR and enemy is building MR
Deathfire Grasp - More burst damage and CDR
Will of the Ancients - always nice to build some spellvamp for extra sustain. If you build this, ask another AP or your support to build one too.
ArchAngels Staff - A fair 6th item on Kassadin. Not terrible, but there are better. If you decide to build this item, do not build a RoA. Instead, build a Tear of the Goddess and wait until you have 5 other items.
Frozen Heart - Good for the armour, passive and mana. I reccomend building AAS if you plan on building this
Banshee's Veil - I personally feel there are better MR items in the game, but if you like it then go ahead and get it
This is Kassadin's weakest part of the game. He is a mage who uses melee, so against an AP mid he will have some trouble and will take some damage. If you feel you will have a safe lane, go ahead and get Doran's ring...but 90% of the time, I recommend 3 health pots and boots.
Kassadin is an AP caster, and just like all AP casters he needs levels and really benefits from the level advantage. Hitting 6 is the turning point for kassadin, and once he gets his ultimate you will start picking up steam fast. That means you need to stay in your lane as long as possible.
MINIMIZE YOUR RECALLS
I normally build Sorcerer's Shoes first for the extra burst damage and mobility, but you should build a catalyst first if you are having trouble in lane (for instance, if they send their AD carry mid or for some reason their AP mid is poking you to death).
This is Kassadins shining moment. He is one of the best mid game champions and you should be going for ganks since your burst will be pretty strong. You should finish your Rod of Ages as soon as possible so that you will get the full stats ASAP. After RoA, save for a Needlessly Large Rod and start building your Deathcap.
You should be dealing nice damage at this point, able to burst down squishy targets to below atleast 50% health in one combo. You will be doing the clean up after team fights have started. Don't get upset if your teams are calling you a kill stealer, that's your job.
Because you shouldn't be in the middle of fights. As Kassadin, you should be abusing your mobility as much as possible. That means Riftwalking in, Null Sphere, Force Pulse, Nether blade and auto attack a few times, and Riftwalking out taking minimal focus fire. Now I'm not saying to build glass cannon every time, I totally think you should build a Banshee's Veil if you feel you need it. I personally believe Banshee's Veil is underpowered and useless after the shield is popped, so I usually buy Abyssal Scepter for the MR and magic penetration instead. Unless I'm building an AAS (which I wouldn't suggest) I don't buy Frozen Heart.
As an assassin, you should be focused on bursting down their high priority targets and not getting hurt. If they focus you and CC you, you are already dead. It will just take about 2 seconds longer for them to kill you.
Let your initiator start the fight, and while everyone if focusing fire on him you should be killing high priority targets like their carries and support. If you decide to initiate and blink in, they will focus you down instantly since you are relatively easy to kill. Use your mobility to your advantage and try to get behind or next to their carry after everyone is busy fighting.
If you lose the team fight, AoE slow the enemy and Riftwalk out of there. ASAP.