Kai'Sa Build Guide by DG Kyster
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Runes: Press the attack
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Champion Build Guide
+Hybrid damage means that it's hard for enemies to build against you.
+Absurdly high damage potential with items.
+Multiple strong builds, making her viable in many different situations and comps.
+High burst damage with Second Skin, Icathian Rain, and Void Seeker.
+Snipe potential with Void Seeker.
+Excellent wave-clear with Icathian Rain.
+Massive attack speed and kill pressure with Supercharge, as well as a sprint and a short invisibility when upgraded.
+Killer Instinct provides both a tool for assassination and a useful shield for teamfight survivability. This shield gets pretty crazy later into the game once you have some items.
+As with every ADC, she has exceptionally high objective pressure, and will melt towers throughout the game.
+Arguably the most play-making potential out of any ADC.
-As an ADC, she's pretty squishy, and very vulnerable to CC.
-To upgrade all 3 of her abilities, you will need to build enough AD, AP, and Attack Speed to meet the breakpoints. This makes you incredibly item-dependent.
-No innate CC in her kit.
-Decently high learning curve before you learn to properly manage her abilities and movement. Very high learning curve for some of her combos.
-Fairly weak in the early game before getting items.
-Supercharge and Killer Instinct can both get you into trouble if wasted or used incorrectly.
After this, I generally slow push or freeze the wave, so that I get more CS more easily, and also to force the enemy laner to move farther from safety in order to CS or harrass. This makes it much more difficult for the enemy ADC to do anything, as you can punish them for overextending, and they have to push a little bit into danger in order to get any CS.
Once you've established a lead in lane, you should be doing one of 3 things:
1: Pushing down the enemy tower to get plating gold and eventually to win the lane.
2: Pushing lane and then assisting your jungler in taking Scuttle/Drake.
3: Pushing lane and then roaming to mid to gank and get that lane ahead.
Always try to last-hit every minion that you can, and farm as often as possible, as the gold from CS is one of the most impactful things in League. Going 2/1/1 with 160 CS at 20 minutes is VASTLY preferable to going 4/0/1 with 60 CS at 20 minutes.
When a teamfight breaks out (and right before), you should first analyze the situation. Who has cooldowns? Who doesn't? What's everyone's health and mana looking like? Where do we have vision? Who has built what items? These are all things you should mentally check off and prepare for prior to a big fight, as knowing all of the variables will help you greatly.
Generally, you'll want to focus the target closest to you in a fight, while kiting away to ensure your own safety. If nobody is on you, or a squishy target is vulnerable, you should capitalize on that and look to burst them down with your combos or whittle them down with auto-attacks while your team locks swaps. For example, if the enemy Cho'Gath flashes into you, you should immediately use Supercharge to gain some distance, and kite him while repositioning and dealing as much damage as you can to him. If he gets killed, swaps targets, or runs away, look for the next closest person to start laying into. If the enemy ADC or similar squishy target is definitely a free kill, don't be afraid to Killer Instinct to them to finish them off with a combo.
These fights are all about momentum, and just like Vayne, you are able to seamlessly transition from target to target thanks to your high mobility and constant damage. If you and your team play correctly, you will come out on top.
This combo uses the animation of your Killer Instinct in order to mask the casting of your Void Seeker, as well as allowing the damage to follow up instantly after you arrive at your target location. As soon as you press W to fire the ability, you immediately press R at the desired location. If done correctly, you will arrive, with the W either inside of your character model, or very slightly behind you. Extremely useful for catching someone off-guard and bursting them before they realize what's happening. This will take a lot of practice to master.
Q → R
This functions nearly identically to the W → R combo, however this one requires you to be up close, as Icathian Rain will not work outside of a certain range from the enemy. This works because Kai'sa is able to freely move and cast other abilities during the animation of her Q. Since your Q targets are determined as soon as you cast the ability, moving or flashing away will not affect the damage done, as the missiles will go to their intended targets regardless. Be sure to auto-attack before and after to efficiently use your passive. Not as hard as W → R, but still mildly difficult.
Q → E
This combo will deal your Icathian Rain damage while the Supercharge is winding up, potentially saving you up to 1.2 seconds of uptime, which can be crucial in landing a kill or getting last-hits on minions or monsters. Potentially useful for dodging a skillshot as well if you position correctly. Easy to learn.
W → Q
This just saves you a small amount of time and helps you burst just that tiny bit faster. You may cast an ability during the start of Void Seeker's channel, so this means you can land your Icathian Rain while it's preparing to fire. Super easy, and very effective for trades.
W → Flash
One of the more popular combos for experienced Kai'sa players, this combo allows you to instantly reposition while firing your Void Seeker, allowing you to bypass any minions or champions that might be blocking your shot, or simply to catch someone off guard from a different angle. Be sure you Flash BEFORE the channel on your W ends, as this will change your trajectory towards the targeted location as you reposition. Can be pretty difficult to learn, but the concept is straightforward, and is very useful once mastered.
AA → R → W → Q → AA
Easily the most complicated combo, but arguably the most deadly. You start by auto-attacking the enemy in order to get plasma on them. You then use your Killer Instinct, and Void Seeker during the animation (similar to the W → R combo), which guarantees a hit. As soon as you arrive, use your Icathian Rain to maintain damage, and end with another auto-attack to burst your plasma stacks. This will be your primary assassination tool once mastered, and will allow you to 100-0 squishies with no problem later in the game. Practice this one as much as possible, you'll need it. (You may also cast W before R if you wish, as it gives you more time before you have to commit to the fight fully).
Rabadon's Deathcap is the IE of AP builds, and gives you an absurd amount of raw damage. Due to it's super high cost, it's recommended that you get this as a 5th or final item, to give yourself that extra power to drive home a win.
Zhonya's Hourglass will be your primary anti-AD and anti-burst damage item for any AP build. It provides a lot of AP, a decent chunk of armor, some CDR, and an active ability that makes you completely untouchable for 2.5 seconds once every 2 minutes. Incredibly valuable, and game-changing in the right hands.
Banshee's Veil should be taken in situations where the enemy team has 1 or 2 powerful burst or CC abilities that you cannot afford to be hit by. The AP and MR are also very nice, but the shield is incredible VS. some champions.
Void Staff is very similar to Rabadon's Deathcap, in the sense that is a pure power item. Relative inexpensive, and gives you quite a large amount of AP and magic penetration. If the enemy team is stacking MR against you, this is probably your best option.
Morellonomicon should be taken in the same situations that you would take Mortal Reminder, but on an AP build. This will enable you to shut down healing-based champions much more easily, and the extra health gives you some padding to survive in fights longer.
Situational Items - AD:
Guardian Angel can be the item that turns the tide of a fight in your team's favor. The armor and attack damage are nice, but the reason you buy this is for the passive. Once every 5 minutes, upon taking fatal damage, you will revive with half health and 30% mana. Take this against an AD-team, especially one with a Zed or similar assassin.
Maw of Malmortius is the MR equivalent to Guardian Angel, except it doesn't revive you. Gives good AD, CDR, and MR, but most importantly gives you a big shield as a buffer for AP burst damage. Also, when this procs, you gain bonus AD and lifesteal, making this an exceptional survival item. (Similar to how you hold on to Quicksilver Sash before completing Mercurial Scimitar later, you should hold on to your Hexdrinker for a while before upgrading to this, for maximum gold efficiency.
Mercurial Scimitar provides you with AD, lifesteal, and MR, but more importantly, it provides you one of the strongest active abilities in the game. Once per 90 seconds, you can break ALL CC on yourself, and gain a short sprint, which is invaluable against CC-heavy teams.
Runaan's Hurricane gives you immense teamfight pressure, allowing you to spread your passive much more quickly and to multiple enemies during a fight, which will exponentially increase your damage output. Mandatory in AD builds.
Infinity Edge provides arguably the strongest damage spike in the game for AD builds. Massive raw AD, as well as crit chance and a sizable bonus to crit damage make this a mandatory buy if you're going AD.
Phantom Dancer is a very good situational pick. It helps you round our your crit chance, as well as giving you movement speed and attack speed. The most important part of this item is the duo of passives; one which allows you to kite much more easily, and one which gives you a nice absorb shield. A good middle-ground between offense and defense.
Blade of the Ruined King is one of my favorite items in the game, and combined with the attack speed you're going to get will always deal a good amount of damage thanks to the %HP shred. A very strong buy VS. really tanky teams, and the active helps you kite much more easily.
Mortal Reminder Should only be taken in one of 2 situations. The first being that you're AD vs. a team stacking armor, and the second being that you're AD vs. a team with a lot of healing or health-regeneration, such as Garen or Sona. If they're stacking armor AND have healing, you're getting even more value.
Bloodthirster isn't an item I take very often, but it provides nearly unparalleled survivability thanks to the lifesteal and shielding (which is gained from overhealing). If your main issue in a match is that you're getting killed too quickly in fights, this should be your 2nd defensive item.
Stormrazor used to be the item I rushed first, regardless of build, however I've been taking it far less often recently. It's relatively expensive, but it does provide you with a mix of stats that will help you upgrade your abilities very easily.
EFFECT RADIUS: 2750
INNATE: Kai'Sa's basic attacks deal 4 − 10 (based on level) (+ 1 − 5 (based on level) per Plasma stack) (+ 10% − 20% (based on Plasma stacks) AP) bonus magic damage.
INNATE - CAUSTIC WOUNDS: Kai'Sa's basic attacks, Void Seeker, and nearby allies'
immobilizing effects mark enemies with Plasma for 4 seconds, stacking up to 4 times. Kai'Sa's attacks or Void Seeker can then rupture enemies with 4 Plasma, consuming them to deal 15% (+ 2.5% per 100 AP) of the target's missing health magic damage, capped at 400 against monsters.
INNATE - LIVING WEAPON: Upon gaining a set amount of permanent stats from items and stat growth, Kai'Sa can evolve the related basic ability. This has a channel time of 2 seconds, and the upgrade is lost if the stat requirement is no longer met.
Icathian Rain Q
TARGET RANGE: 600
COST: 55 MANA
COOLDOWN: 8 / 7.5 / 7 / 6.5 / 6
ACTIVE: Kai'Sa releases a swarm of 6 missiles that evenly distributes among nearby visible enemies, each dealing physical damage. Minions below 35% health take double damage.
45 / 61.25 / 77.5 / 93.75 / 110 (+ 35% bonus AD) (+ 40% AP)
Non-minions take 25% damage from missiles beyond their first.
11.25 / 15.3125 / 19.375 / 23.4375 / 27.5 (+ 8.75% bonus AD) (+ 10% AP)
Icathian Rain 2
Second Skin LIVING WEAPON: Requires Attack damage icon 100 − 72 (based on level) bonus attack damage to upgrade – Icathian Rain fires 10 missiles.
MAXIMUM EVOLVED SINGLE-TARGET DAMAGE:
146.25 / 199.0625 / 251.875 / 304.6875 / 357.5 (+ 113.75% bonus AD) (+ 130% AP)
Void Seeker W
TARGET RANGE: 3000
CAST TIME: 0.5
COST: 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 MANA
COOLDOWN: 22 / 20 / 18 / 16 / 14
ACTIVE: Kai'Sa fires a Void blast in the target direction, stopping at the first enemy hit, dealing magic damage, gaining true sight of them for 4 seconds and applying 2 Plasma.
20 / 45 / 70 / 95 / 120 (+ 150% AD) (+ 60% AP)
Void Seeker 2
Second Skin LIVING WEAPON: Requires Ability power icon 100 ability power to upgrade – Void Seeker applies 3 Plasma and refunds 50% of the cooldown against champions.
COST: 30 MANA
COOLDOWN: 16 / 15.5 / 15 / 14.5 / 14
ACTIVE: Kai'Sa charges for 1.2 − 0.6 (based on bonus attack speed) seconds, gaining bonus movement speed, increased by 0% − 100% (based on bonus attack speed).
MINIMUM MOVEMENT SPEED:»
55 / 60 / 65 / 70 / 75%
After charging up, Kai'Sa gains attack speed and her windup percentage is reduced to 6.44% for 4 seconds.
BONUS ATTACK SPEED:
40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60%
Supercharge's cooldown is reduced by 0.5 seconds on-attack.
Second Skin LIVING WEAPON: Requires 100% − 70% (based on level) bonus attack speed to upgrade – Supercharge grants invisibility for 0.5 seconds.
Killer Instinct R
TARGET RANGE: 1500 / 2000 / 2500
EFFECT RADIUS: 525
COST: 100 MANAC
COOLDOWN: 110 / 90 / 70
ACTIVE: Kai'Sa Shields herself and dashes to a target location near an enemy champion recently affected by Plasma. The shield holds for 2 seconds upon arrival.
75 / 100 / 125 (+ 100 / 150 / 200% AD) (+ 75% AP)