Kalista Build Guide by TrainWiz
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Kalista is a ranged attack damage carry who can be built to be an exceptional duelist yet really shines as an AoE teamfighting champion with Runnan's and her ultimate. This guide should show you the basics to building and learning Kalista.
Also, read the tooltips, I will not be explaining any of the bare basics in depth.
Who I am
My summoner name is Dillylift, a silver adc main. While I'm by no means a great player, I feel as if I know this champion to an acceptable level. Thus I am writing this guide.
Now to the guide itself
Team composition and strategy
Kalista fits well with team compositions who have a large amount of peel and crowd control. In order for Kalista to perform well she must have time to get her rend stacks on to the enemies.
Kalista performs best against low CC, pick team comps. When there is a team that can't lock Kalista down she will most definitely be doing tons of damage.
Your role in your team
As Kalista your objective using the Runnan's Hurricane build is to snowball yourself into items and become an AoE monster that is very hard to kill. Kalista is a very item reliant champion, therefore you must do at least mediocre in lane to be useful in the mid to late game. Speaking of mid to late game, Kalista gets her first real power spike during the mid game, once she has finished her Runnan's and Bloodthirster.
Once you have finished your Runnan's and Bloodthirtser you can begin to dish out a lot of stacks of Rend, that actually do damage due to the Bloodthirster. Moreover, the huge amount of lifesteal on BT will keep you alive when combined with Runnan's and your mobility.
When late game comes along you are a tank shredding, squishy deleting monster that is excellent at split pushing with high amounts of attack damage and attack speed, great in teamfights with CC and AoE presence, decent at soloing melee and low CC skillshot reliant champions, and a second jungler.
What to pick with
You already know that you should have a heavy CC team along with Kalista. On terms of your support, they should be ranged over all things. With a ranged support, at level 1 you can theoretically be doing 12% of maximum healt every 6 seconds. This is probably some of the highest level 1 damage in the game. Your support should also have some form of disruption abilities, such as Annie's stun, or Morgama's ultimate.
At this point the ulti hasn't been mentioned much at all. I feel as if a totally separate section is required to fully describe how to employ this ultimate. Kalista's ultimate has four major uses:
- To save support
- Get picks
As a generally low cooldown spell it can be used very often and in many cases with a heavy CC support guarantees a kill if executed properly. The only downside to this ultimate is that it requires some communication to be used to its fullest potential. However, if you have an experienced support they should be able to make the right choice on whether to engage or to not engage. Please note that this spell can make or break a team fight; if you remove your support from the fight at the wrong time your entire team could suffer the consequences, so think twice before using this ability.
Fighting, solo and teamfights
First and foremost unless you're either extremely fed, or against a very squishy and horrid soloist target DO NOT attempt to fight anyone solo. It can be done against a low mobility melee champ by means of kiting. However, Kalista can't fight solo as effectively as other ADCs with this particular build. If you are going to try and solo someone, make sure there are at least a few enemy minions in the vicinity. Try to use your Q to pass on stacks of rend to the enemy or use the minions to get resets on your rend.
In teamfights simply stay back and apply all of the rends, trying to get resets and doing huge damage. Don't just use rend when it's up either, you want to use rend to execute, slow down vital targets, and to stop a disengage. Rend is not an initiation spell.
Tips and Tricks
With a ludicrous amount of attack speed and a passive that can cover giant distances, kiting becomes very difficult with this champion. There is one trick you can use to make this much easier at the cost of precises control. What you do is with the default control scheme of the game, hold down shift key and spam click where you want to go. This will make you attack the closest target as well as move. The below video describes this strat:
(Note the A key works the same as shift click, shift simply makes it automatically do it with your attack button.)
Q and E interaction
If you read the Q tooltip you know that if you kill an enemy with rend stacks in them, the stacks get transferred to the next target. This stacks and can potentially lead to a one hit on an enemy champion if applied correctly. Stack up your E on an enemy minion, or neutral camp and when your Q can last hit them, transfer those stacks onto an enemy for a high amount of damage pretty much for free. Here's another video demonstrating how this can be used:
While this is an extreme example, it can still be very useful with only 5 or so stacks on a cannon minion.
Rend stacks virtually unlimited. Because of this, if you can be there for the entire duration of a dragon secure your rend will be more effective than a level 18 smite with sufficient attack speed. Use this to your advantage to ensure you get the objective. (In my games I have done up to 3500 damage to Baron with one E)
A simple trick is to use your Runnan's Hurricane to do free damage from reseting the ability on minions while there are stacks of rend on the enemy champions. If at least two minions are executed this will cost no mana and now cooldowns, as well as giving the enemy some damage. This is useful at all stages of the game and can even be done without Hurricane, though it is more difficult to execute to the fullest potential.
With Martial Poise you can jump over thin walls. Either kite enemies to the wall with auto attacks, or use your Q to jump over thin walls.
This guide is not at the moment fully complete. I will be adding to it over the course of the next few months. And changing it as new patches come out that could change how Kalista is played.
Thank's for the read! Hope you all enjoyed.
Changelog/what's to come
What's to come:
- Item explanation
- Counter picks and picks with Kalista
- General improvements to guide item placement
7/18/2015 - updated masteries