Kayle Build Guide by MTaur
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Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
August 2012 Buff --> archive build
CAUTION: Hextech Gunblade nerf
I don't know whether Build 3 will work or not, now that Hextech Gunblade has been heavily nerfed in the AD department. It was briefly a great item on Kayle, but now it is so-so or at best good. I usually play AS/AD or AS/on-hit on Kayle these days, that is, some variation on the themes of the first two builds.
Drive-by update for new masteries
The new mastery tree is kinder to hybrids. I take 21/9/0 for damage and survival.
In particular, dual pen is great for hybrids and works together with Kayle's new passive. Havoc is essential, since it scales equally well with the two types of mixed damage. AP/level rather than %AP is taken because Kayle will not be stacking raw AP well enough for the % bonus to help much. The AP/level mastery can be thrown out in favor of flat armor penetration, especially if you build AD more than on-hit effects; strong synergy with The Black Cleaver, too.
EDIT: Build 3 added after subsequent patch
THIRD BUILD: Recknoning did NOT scale with AD at all after the initial rework. Then they put AD scaling back in, and now it's worth building AD on Kayle again. Kayle can actually hybrid carry now, with AD being better than AP generally, and with MR reduction being better than armor reduction. Or at least that's how a Q-centered playstyle works for me. Here's how it works:
* You should have taken Q, W, and E, and Q should be leveled the most.
* First, you land the Bilgewater Cutlass/ Hextech Gunblade active for your slow, saving Reckoning for later.
* Then you shred MR with Malady and your passive, using Reckoning, of course, for range; level 1 is fine.
* Then you land Reckoning. Chase with Divine Blessing (alt-W) on yourself for move speed if they're too far away.
* Now you can land more auto-attacks if you have to.
Note that this approach does a lot of damage using a Malady/ Hextech Gunblade combination; Q is heavily dual scaled, much like Sivir's Boomerang Blade, making Gunblade a nice nuke booster where AP is slightly weak otherwise.
Taking Guinsoo's Rageblade after Hextech Gunblade lets you build more AP and AS while you're shredding MR, and continues to aid your DPS while you auto-attack after applying the damage and debuff from Reckoning.
If you don't have good team CC and/or tanking, Frozen Mallet instead of Trinity Force can help.
Boots: Sorcerer's Shoes for the most Q damage. Mercury's Treads can be useful. Berserker's Greaves is maybe good if you want to ditch an AS item for something else.
Builds 1 and 2 - not the only way to play anymore
What follows applies specifically to the situation before they re-introduced AD scaling to Reckoning. I will consider reworking or deleting it later on. As I chose not to build AD for exactly that reason, most of what follows works no worse or better than it used to. However, taking advantage of the re-introduced AD scaling as in Build 3 might be more powerful; I thought the "on-hit" style play was strong enough to be viable, but YMMV. For anti-tanking or playing tanky DPS, for example, builds 1 and 2 might still work better.
WHAT USED TO WORK:
Kayle used to have so-so base damage on Righteous Fury and ok AP scaling on it (30% of AP, nerfed to 20% now). In addition, her passive used to let 30% of your AD count as AP and 15% of your AP count as AD. What this meant was that you could get Rabadon's Deathcap, Hextech Gunblade, Guinsoo's Rageblade, and Nashor's Tooth to get a healthy mix of lifesteal/spell vamp, attack speed, ability damage, base attack damage. Auto-attack used a fair amount of your AP for damage thanks to your E, and this AP was again added to your AD because of your passive. All in all, 45% of your AP counted as AD when using your E (15% from passive + 30% from E). Now you get less than half as much auto-attack power from AP.
So... this is Riot's way of saying that you will never again take Rabadon's Deathcap on Kayle. Ever.
In the old days, it was sort of slow to get started with Kayle (I didn't have *that* much trouble if I just got a Dagger or two early), and then you could do a fair amount of damage while supporting and being relatively sturdy all at the same time.
Now it's a 5-second on-hit debuff. 2% armor/MRes reduction, 5 stack maximum. That's 2%, not a flat 2, so basically it's good for focusing Rammus in a teamfight and... not much else.
Assuming you get 5 stacks, that's roughly a 3-4% team damage bonus on a target with 50 armor/MRes. More like 6-8% on a target with 150-300 armor/MRes. It breaks even with Spirit Fire when used on a target with 400 armor, assuming you can get 5 hits in. X-P
On the magic side, for most non-tanks, two stacks of Starcall will be better than 5 stacks of Kayle's new passive.
It's not all bad
Ok. But some things have been improved a bit.
Now it only buffs Kayle's damage by 5%, down from 16% max. However, now it slows more (semi-noticable instead of awful), and the projectile is fast enough to get there before they're half a screen away, making it better for chasing.
HOW THIS AFFECTS THE BUILD:Not a lot. I guess stacking AD doesn't work as well with the nerf to your damage bonus.
HOW THIS AFFECTS GAMEPLAY:You're better at debuffing, and not quite as good at auto-attacking all alone. You should be less willing to fight alone than before, and you will be better at helping the team focus targets by actually slowing them.
15 sec cooldown, slight nerf to heal amount that tapers off to the old value by level 5. AP scaling nerfed from 50% to 35% (or something), so screw AP. Twice as much speed gained for a quarter as long. Again, much better for chasing/escaping in a pinch than before - Alt + W will save you more than ever before, but you can't spam it.
HOW THIS AFFECTS THE BUILD:Regrowth Pendant is taken to cover the slack, quickly upgraded to Philosopher's Stone. Doran's Ring for MP5 isn't really adequate for health management anymore
HOW THIS AFFECTS GAMEPLAY:Use it more for chasing. Heal allies if you want, but ration it a bit more, because we won't be leveling it up and it won't be mana-efficient to spam it. (efficiency improves with level, but this is *not* the first priority - see below)
Shorter cooldown, lower cost, more damage, 50% larger splash radius, 33% nerf on the AP scaling. Damage bonus is now 10 per level, maxing at a B.F. Sword and some change with no AP/AD investment. (Funny enough, it's actually a Tiamat-sized damage bonus, but my god, is the radius bigger!)
HOW THIS AFFECTS THE BUILD:Attack speed rules, AP drools. Level this skill up a lot. It used to not help much to level E, but now it does. Get this maxed at level 9, and your mid-game will be strong - as long as you have ASpd to back it up.
HOW THIS AFFECTS GAMEPLAY:* First 9 levels are stronger. Spamming E is cheaper, the cooldown is lower, it splashes more, and it hurts more. Expect to be strong mid-game.
* 50% splash radius increase lets you harass-farm to your angel heart's content. It's not even fair how you can just mow down a whole wave of minions while your enemies have to run around flapping their arms like chickens trying not to get mixed up in it.
Same as before.
Now that Reckoning has AD scaling again, AD and particularly Gunblade are good on Kayle, while AP stacking is still not that great with the old passive gone and with the nerfed ratio on E. I tested a little, and leveling Q early is fine for skirmishes, but not as good at farming.
Items - these are good
Adapt to the situation. e.g., Wit's End if Annie is melting faces. Madred's Bloodrazor early if they're tanky, but it's one of the best DPS items mid-to-late game in any case; Madred's Razor early if you want some armor. Sword of the Divine for Jax, Sivir, other dodgey champs. The Black Cleaver is just great, and more so if you have AD on your team. Frozen Mallet is potentially good in any case, if you don't need to be a primary DPS yourself. Nashor's Tooth if you want to keep your E up and your heals flowing; Stinger is a decent compromise early-to-mid game.
Anyway, there are a lot of items to choose from. I posted two sample builds - the first one is more DPS, and the second is more about debuffs and team focusing. You could even go a little bit tankier, maybe selling Philosopher's Stone for Banshee's Veil later on.
EDIT: Gunblade is still good late-game
One point I hadn't thought out well enough before:
Given the larger radius of Righteous Fury, the splash, lifesteal, and spell vamp on Hextech Gunblade should more than justify it. Just make sure you have 100% bonus attack speed or so first to make the most of it.
Hextech Gunblade is not as good for single-target roflstomping as it used to be, but for splashing and spell-vamping, it's probably better overall now.
60 AD, of which 40% (24 AD) splashes. 70 AP, 20% used for splash damage: 28 magic damage to primary target AND nearby targets. 88 Damage added to main target, 52 damage added to other targets. You also get a second copy of Reckoning. Still nice, but the old passive and the old AP scaling made this a lot better, to the point where it was better justified with less ASpd.
Anyway, I'll probably still get it sometimes. It just doesn't seem obviously mandatory quite like before. I need to playtest this, though.
EDIT: Tested! I like Hextech Gunblade as a last item. After you complete Nashor's Tooth, you have enough MP5 that you can easily sell Philosopher's Stone to make room at the end. Both builds now end this way.
(^ What kind of damage is your team doing? Is it lopsided one way?)
If you get Frozen Mallet, these are tanky items that can let you spam slows more. Banshee's Veil is probably better, but it depends on how good you are at making it count vs how good your enemies are at making you waste the passive.
I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds appealing if you have sustaining trouble in lane. 15% spell vamp should be something like 10 life steal per minion hit at Righteous Fury level 5. You should be able to spell vamp for 100 life every wave, or something. Will set you back some gold, but maybe after you get +50% attack speed or something this can pay off by keeping you in lane and alive.
*Maybe* I could see finishing a build with:
I'd want at least +100% attack speed first, though. The Gunblade is good for lifesteal/spell vamp in particular, and you *might* be able to attack fast enough for the .20 AP scaling to Righteous Fury and the 1 AP scaling on Reckoning to be somewhat worth it when combined (compared to other options).
However, if you've played Kayle before, the impact this will have will be a lot less than before, unless you manage to splash a lot more often.
This item is back in style again. Now that Reckoning dual-scales at 1:1 ratio each, it's great. Back when they removed AD scaling temporarily, it wasn't worth getting a gunblade.
Rageblade is iffy because AP still isn't as strong as it could be, but if you get an early gunblade, a rageblade for AS can help. They actually work together.
Build 1is a carry build, tank-slayer especially. You will need more CC then you're putting out.
Build 2is a DPS support bruiser dubuff build. Slow with the mallet, lower the armor with the cleaver, and keep on slowing and debuffing with Stark's while you buff and lifesteal. Decent damage, and it really helps your team focus targets. Also a pretty sturdy build, just an Aegis of the Legion away from tanky. (Not sure that's really necessary unless you're totally tankless; it could be taken mid-game and the Hextech Gunblade could be thrown out)
zomg, try to get Janna on your team
ASpd builds + Janna = lots of ASpd + free BF sword = win
Seriously. Let's look at what you get:
* TWO slows ( Zephyr + Reckoning)
* TWO free temporary BF swords that splash ( Righteous Fury + Eye Of The Storm)
* A shield AND a heal ( Eye Of The Storm+ Divine Blessing)
* Massive knockback ult ( Monsoon)
* 3 seconds of invincibility ( Intervention)
You just have to work together. A huge splashing double BF sword and a shield every time you want to engage? Yes, please! All you need to do is build some ASpd.