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Kalista Build Guide by qasddsa

ADC [10.7] Retribution Approaches | Kalista

ADC [10.7] Retribution Approaches | Kalista

Updated on April 1, 2020
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50 1 224,917 Views 9 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author qasddsa Kalista Build Guide By qasddsa Updated on April 1, 2020
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Runes: Lethal Tempo

1 2 3
Lethal Tempo
Legend: Bloodline
Coup de Grace

Taste of Blood
Ravenous Hunter

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Heal


Champion Build Guide

[10.7] Retribution Approaches | Kalista

By qasddsa


Hello and welcome to my guide on Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance! My name is Qadassa / Qasddsa and I have been playing since around Season 3 / 4. I mainly play marksmen / hyper carries, but can play every role at around a Diamond level which compounds to make me a well-rounded player with a lot of game knowledge.

Kalista is a high skill cap champion that, although has fallen out of favor in the current meta, has the potential to be extremely strong in the hands of a good player. Her passive is one of the more unique ones in the game, especially among the "older" champions, which is part of her appeal in my opinion.

Pros & Cons
+ Okay at securing Baron Nashor and Dragons
+ Great engage synergy with Fate's Call
+ Good at executing enemies with Rend
+ Strong mid-game champion
+ Good at fighting early
+ Good at kiting and orbwalking
+ Satisfying champion to play and master
- Difficult to master
- Unique champion mechanics
- Kit can feel clunky at times
- Not as strong late game as other champions
- Weak in the current meta
- Susceptible to CC

Martial Poise

Ability Details
This is an interesting passive that allows Kalista to be one of the most mobile marksmen, but also comes with a few downsides since your attack won't go through if you lose vision and your attack speed will effectively be decreased when your movement speed is slowed.
  • When slowed, Martial Poise's dash speed will also be slowed which effectively reduces your attack speed unless you stand still and auto attack
  • This passive makes Kalista a very mobile ADC, which helps her dodge skillshots and in lane and kite in fights
  • Critical damage is also reduced to 90% of the original critical damage

Q Ability
Pierce Range:
50/55/60/65/70 Mana
8 seconds

Ability Details

Pierce is a really strong ability to work with early on as it can serve as an engage tool and as poke. With its fast travel speed, it can serve as an engage tool when paired with Rend's slow effect. It also has really high damage starting at rank 2 with a relatively low mana cost, which makes it a strong poke tool.

Typically, you'll want 2 or 3 points in Pierce before you hit level 6, depending on the matchup, since a rank 1 Pierce has very low base damage.

  • Because of Martial Poise's leap effect, you can weave Pierce in between your auto attacks, making it easier and faster to stack Rend
  • A popular way of using this ability in lane is stacking Rend stacks on a minion, preferably a Cannon or Ranged minion, then using Pierce on it to kill it and transferring the stacks to the champion standing behind it, and finally Rending for a lot of damage.

W Ability
Sentinel Range:
20 Mana
30 seconds

Ability Details
This ability has a lot of offensive and defensive value. Early on in lane, the 10% max HP damage is really strong in lane where you'll be trading a lot with your support. The Sentinel itself is a great tool for obtaining vision of an area from a safe distance and is really good for revealing choke points, getting objective control, and staying safe from ganks.
  • You don't have to worry about your support taking your kills or CS with the bonus damage, as enemies killed by this effect are credited to you.
  • The Sentinel cannot pass over walls; it follows regular pathing rules, so aim your sentinel accordingly.
  • The pathing of the Sentinel can be weird at times and in certain areas, so try to aim it as well as you can
  • You typically should be Oathsworn to your support

E Ability
Rend Cost:
30 Mana
14/12.5/11/9.5/8 seconds

Ability Details
Rend is the ability that makes Kalista a MONSTER in extended fights and teamfights where she'll be able to stack many spears and reset Rend. However, this also means that Kalista's weakness lies in short fights or against enemies with a dash/escape that can get out of her Rend range.

A typical trading pattern in lane is stacking enough spears on a minion to kill it with Rend, hit an enemy champion with an auto attack to get one Rend stack, then immediately Rend to disengage and deal damage. You can also use this tactic to engage/chase as you can keep stacking spears on minions to move towards the enemy faster.
  • You can Rend while your auto attack or Pierce is mid-air and the target will be Rended when the projectile lands.
  • You can stack a spear on a minion to the point that Rend would kill it, then Pierce or auto attack a champion and Rend mid-air to slow, safely deal damage, and reset Rend at the same time.
  • While you can use Rend in lane to last hit, it's not recommended in most cases because you'll still be losing some mana and you'll be hard pushing which leaves you vulnerable.

Fate's Call Range:
100 Mana
150/120/90 seconds

Ability Details
This ability is a little lackluster compared to other ultimates in the game, but it can be really strong when paired with the right support. Due to the nature of the ability, it serves as a really strong engage tool that enables strong frontline and engage supports to do their jobs easier.
  • Strong engage tool because of its long range
  • Can be used to save an ally or bait an enemy into engaging
  • Only works when Black Spear has been used on an ally

You'll typically always want to max Rend first because it is the main way you'll deal damage, farm, and push. Maxing it first is important so that you can get the maximum mana refund whenever you kill something and get maximum damage. Maxing Pierce comes next as Sentinel is only really good for giving vision since the %HP damage is lackluster early on and unreliable. You'll typically want to go this path if the enemy support is tanky or melee since you can easily abuse Sentinel's max HP damage.

Flash - Always
Flash is undeniably the most important summoner spell to have. Need to escape a gank? Flash. Need to run down a low hp enemy barely out of your range? Flash. Need to pull off some insane jukes? Flash.

Heal will be the other Summoner Spell you take 99% of the time because of its versatility in providing both defense and offense. It provides not only healing to yourself, but movement speed and affects another ally as well, meaning you can use this to bait the enemy into fighting you and using it to win the fight.

Lethal Tempo is a late-game oriented rune that emphasizes stacking Rend stacks and making use of Kalista's Blade of the Ruined King, Runaan's Hurricane and lifesteal items to quickly dish out tons of damage. Because Lethal Tempo allows you to exceed the 2.50 attack speed cap, this rune is really good at dealing with tanky frontliners who stack a lot of health and resistances. The rune is a little lackluster during laning phase because it really shines in extended trades while not being that great in short trades.

Hail of Blades, like Lethal Tempo allows you to exceed your attack speed cap, but only for 3 auto attacks. Because Hail of Blades activates immediately on your auto attack, it's really good for short trades during laning phase where you'll just be able to stack Rend 3 times to deal a lot of damage. It also has decent late game scaling against tanks and especially squishy enemies where you'll want that high attack speed to get off 3, high damage attacks off quickly to catch an enemy off guard.

Press the Attack is similar to Hail of Blades in that it is great in short trades. With Press the Attack, you can look to hit the enemy 3 times while stacking Rend, and then Rend for increased damage. Press the Attack is also really good in a duo lane because of its exposure damage increasing the damage that your Support does as well, which is really good considering Sentinel's passive already encourages you and your support to hit the same enemy. Looking towards the late game, Press the Attack is a good option against enemies that stack health, but not enemies that are tanky, as Blade of the Ruined King's % current HP damage will get amplified as well.

Main Choices
Alternative Choices

Triumph will be clutch in situations where you're taking damage over time or delayed damage (Zed's Death Mark, Darius' bleed, etc). It'll also keep you relatively healthy during and after fights since all you need for it to activate is an assist or a kill.

The reason we prefer Bloodline over Alacrity is because we're already taking Lethal Tempo, thus eliminating the need for more attack speed in runes. On the other hand, Bloodline gives lifesteal which is a great stat to have because in addition to all that attack speed, you'll be healing up just as fast as you attack.

Coup de Grace is pretty much the only reasonable choice to take here other than Cut Down, but Cut Down is very situational. Coup de Grace makes your Rend work even better as an execute by increasing your damage the lower the enemy gets.

Taste of Blood is the best rune to take in this tree, even though Sudden Impact does exist. What Kalista needs early on is not more damage, but sustain in most matchups. Taste of Blood is a reliable way to get a little bit of healing every few seconds outside of the lifesteal you get from Doran's Blade.

Ravenous Hunter has high synergy with both Rend and the on-hit effect of Blade of the Ruined King, both allowing you to heal off them. This is another source of sustain that'll only get better throughout the game, making it the best late-game oriented rune in this tree for Kalista.

Main Choices
Alternative Choices

Taste of Blood is the best rune to take in this row, even though Sudden Impact does exist. What Kalista needs early on is not more damage, but sustain in most matchups. Taste of Blood is a reliable way to get a little bit of healing every few seconds outside of the lifesteal you get from Doran's Blade.

Eyeball Collection is the most reliable rune to go out of the other choices because of the reliable damage it'll eventually provide as you progress through the game.

Ravenous Hunter has high synergy with both Rend and the on-hit effect of Blade of the Ruined King, both allowing you to heal off them. This is a huge source of sustain outside of lifesteal for you that'll only get stronger throughout the game.

Triumph will be clutch in situations where you're taking damage over time or delayed damage (Zed's Death Mark, Darius' bleed, etc). It'll also keep you relatively healthy during and after fights since all you need for it to activate is an assist or a kill.

We take Coup de Grace here for the increased damage against low-health enemies. You can replace this rune with either Cut Down or Legend: Bloodline depending on the enemies you are against and your own preference.

Main Choices
Alternative Choices

Triumph will be clutch in situations where you're taking damage over time or delayed damage (Zed's Death Mark, Darius' bleed, etc). It'll also keep you relatively healthy during and after fights since all you need for it to activate is an assist or a kill.

When taking Press the Attack instead of Lethal Tempo, we prefer to take Legend: Alacrity instead of Bloodline to make up for the loss of attack speed from Lethal Tempo. It's also much better early game compared to Bloodline, which is perfect to make use of PtA's trading power.

Coup de Grace is pretty much the only reasonable choice to take here other than Cut Down, but Cut Down is very situational. Coup de Grace makes your Rend work even better as an execute by increasing your damage the lower the enemy gets.

Sudden Impact is an alternative rune that can be taken instead of Taste of Blood. It allows you to play more aggressively early game in lanes that you don't need the extra bit of sustain from Taste of Blood. If your support is an engage-type or has the ability to be aggressive in lane, you can consider taking this for the extra power early on.

It might seem weird for Kalista to take Ultimate Hunter, but this can be a viable rune throughout the game if your support is a frontliner/engager such as Alistar, Leona, Braum, etc. Early on, the effects might not be completely noticeable but getting stacks on this early on can give you the ability to play more aggressively with Fate's Call. The same holds true later on in the game as well, where you should have this fully stacked, you'll be able to engage and make picks more often.

Starting Items
Doran's Blade is pretty much the standard starting item for most bot laners because of the health, AD, and small lifesteal it provides. While Doran's Shield is a suitable substitute, it's only truly viable against heavy-poke lanes.

Boots [RUSH]
Berserker's Greaves are my favorite boots to go with and the most reliable ones to buy early game. For Kalista, it's important to get Tier 2 boots as quickly as you can because it'll allow you to dash further and faster. With the early attack speed from rushing Berserker's, you'll be able to stack spears much, much faster in any type of trade.

Ninja Tabi is a decent substitute for Berserker's, but should only be taken if you get behind early or if you need to itemize defensively against a team with high physical damage.

Similar to Ninja Tabi, Mercury's Treads should be taken only against high magic damage threats or CC.

Core Build
Blade of the Ruined King is an incredible first item for Kalista and really the only one that is viable. It gives you AD, attack speed, and lifesteal on top of its powerful passive and active that allows for easy kiting and shredding of enemies.

Another incredible item to follow Blade of the Ruined King. Runaan's has extremely high synergy with Kalista due to Rend spears being stacked by the bolts, which exponentially increases her waveclear power and teamfighting potential.

Now at this point in the game, with two/three attack speed items in your inventory in the form of Berserker's Greaves, Blade of the Ruined King, and Runaan's Hurricane in hand, you don't really want to itemize towards more attack speed, as it becomes much, much harder to make use of Kalista's passive and Lethal Tempo or Hail of Blades with excessive amounts of attack speed.

For your 3rd/4th item, you should be looking at either Bloodthirster or Death's Dance to bolster your lifesteal.

Lifesteal Item
At this point in the game, the large amount of AD you get from Bloodthirster is perfect to complement the high attack speed from your previous two items. The Overheal mechanic is also a great defensive tool against most enemies as it'll effectively increase your health and give you more time to lifesteal your actual health pool in fights. The high lifesteal also benefits from on-hit passive damage from Blade of the Ruined King since you'll be able to lifesteal off that damage as well.

In comparison to Bloodthirster, Death's Dance can be lacking in some areas, especially the gap in lifesteal. However, Death's Dance makes up for that with increased utility and defense. The lifesteal from this item allows you to heal from your abilities, Runaan's Hurricane bolts, and other on-hit effects. Finally, the Bleed passive effectively increases your health pool as well since the damage that you receive that is converted to Bleed can be negated through lifesteal, making this a great choice against enemies with high burst.

Offensive Items
Usually, at some point you'll want to pick up ONE of these two items as the enemy team will most likely be itemizing against you by building armor. Most of the time, you'll want to pick up a Mortal Reminder instead of Lord Dominik's Regards even though it has a lower penetration percentage because of the Grievous Wounds passive it has that is useful for reducing healing.

Guinsoo's Rageblade can be an effective item for dealing with HP STACKERS because of the Phantom Hit passive that'll activate Blade of the Ruined King's on-hit passive twice and add another stack of Rend to your target every few attacks. DO NOT buy this item if you have already bought either Mortal Reminder or Lord Dominik's Regards as the passives do not stack and this item is not incredibly useful.

Infinity Edge isn't really the best item to go with on Kalista because of how her passive reduces her damage and because of how much this item costs compared to other items that are strong on her. However, this can be a decent choice if the enemy team isn't really tanky and you just need more raw damage to one shot them.

Defensive Items
Against teams with high amounts of magic damage or against certain champions that can burst you with magic damage, you'll want to pick this item up. Instead of finishing this item right away, you can opt to pick up an early Hexdrinker and then wait until you complete your 4th/5th item to upgrade it into this.

Similar to Maw of Malmortius, you'll want to pick up a Mercurial Scimitar against teams with a lot of CC, as getting CC'd is a huge threat to Kalista. Likewise, you can opt to pick up a Quicksilver Sash early on and sit on it until later in the game to complete it. This can have a huge impact on the game, so do not neglect to pick this up if you need to.

This is a great defensive/offensive item if you're looking to itemize against damage other than magic damage. The shield is the best part about this item as it'll negate a lot of burst. Additionally, if you've bought Death's Dance, Phantom Dancer is a great item to pair with it because of their strong passives that effectively makes you unkillable.

After your core items, Guardian Angel is probably the best item in the game. The item itself is really cheap for the strong utility it provides and build path for it is REALLY good since the components are relatively cheap and strong on their own, especially Stopwatch. Most of the time, you'll be looking to complete this after your core items/situational items or as your last item.

Frozen Mallet is an interesting item to pick up, but can be viable in a some situations. The item increases your survivability with its high health and increases your utility and kiting power with the slow passive. If you need more help kiting bruisers or surviving, this is the item to look at. Due to its high cost for relatively low pay-off, though, try to avoid buying this if you can.

Laning Phase
If your Jungler needs you to leash, try to coordinate with your support so you leave at the same time, or else you risk getting cheesed, going different paths, and/or losing out on experience. A good time to leave the buff is between 1:36-1:40, which should usually be when the buff is around 400-600 health but it doesn't have to be. This way, you don't lose out on any minions or experience, which gives you the ability to reach level 2 faster than the enemy Bot Lane or at the same time.

As Kalista, you'll be able to simultaneously push for level 2 while harassing the enemy bot laner by auto-attacking the enemy laner once and Rending to kill a minion to get the reset. In most matchups, though, it is much safer to just try to get level 2 faster than the opposing laners as Kalista's kill potential dramatically increases by getting level 2.

If the enemy is someone with stronger waveclear at level 1, such as Jinx, or has stronger pressure, such as Thresh/ Blitzcrank/ Braum and you find yourself falling behind in experience, do not keep moving up to try and push the wave as you will most likely fall victim to the enemy's level 2 powerspike.

On the other hand, if the opposing bot lane starts backing off, don't continue to mindlessly push the minion wave. At this point, you'll want to start a small freeze by only last-hitting minions -- this doesn't mean auto attack them and then wait until they can be killed by Rend to Rend, this means waiting to kill minions with one auto attack.
When you do this, the wave should be around the middle of the lane or towards your side of the lane. This accomplishes two important goals:

1. You'll actually be able to utilize your level 2 advantage. If the wave is on their side of the lane, then you lose out on your ability to harass with Pierce and Rend.

2. More importantly, having the wave closer to your tower provides safety against a level 2 gank from the enemy jungler.

For the rest of the laning phase, what you should do depends on the matchup. Freezing the lane is a really good option if you have a support that can engage in some way, such as Alistar, Thresh, or Leona. Shoving in can be a good option if your support is more of a poker/mage, such as Karma, Morgana, Zyra, etc.

Pushing can be a great tactic for Kalista since she has the ability to clear waves while harassing the enemy under tower safely with Pierce and Rend. If you are pushing in but can't find an opportunity to poke, though, you should be looking at auto-attacking the turret to get as many Turret Plates as you can before 14 minutes, and hopefully the turret itself. Still, this doesn't mean you can mindlessly auto attack the turret -- you need to take into account the position of the enemy mid laner, the enemy jungler, and the abilities of the enemy bot laners and decide if you're able to safely hit the turret.

Furthermore, by pushing in someone with low waveclear such as Ezreal or Jhin, they will have to decide whether or not they want to focus on last hitting or hitting you, which makes it much easier for you to punish them regardless of which option they pick.

In many matchups, you'll be able to play the role of a lane bully by using Rend resets to harass the enemy laner while staying safe. You can win MANY all-ins because of Rend but Kalista's weakness lies in short trades.

Mid & Late Game
The mid-late game of an ADC is pretty clear cut and dry. You'll want to be grouping with your team and looking for picks and fights to open up objectives. This is where Kalista really comes in handy -- with Fate's Call you can force engages or disengages and with Sentinel you can keep vision up, which is an important factor in deciding fights. Because you'll be grouping up with your team a lot at this point, though, many ADC players will lose out on farm. Do NOT let this happen to you; make sure you're catching minion waves whenever possible--don't just group with your team to be there. If nothing is going on, you don't know what to do, or your team is making a bad decision, you should go for the minion wave that's closest to your side.

The mid game is where Kalista shines, so you'll want to take full advantage of this time while you can. When grouped up with your team, you can either look to win a fight then take an objective, such as Baron Nashor , Dragon, or towers, or force an objective.

If you have taken tower bot lane and there isn't a Dragon coming up soon/alive, then you'll want to swap lanes with your top laner so that you'll have 4 members top side to take the Rift Herald . Otherwise, you should be looking at taking towers with your teammates.

While Kalista has a strong push with Runaan's Hurricane and Rend, her sieging potential is not as strong. With relatively short range and low reliable poke, you'll be unsafe if you carelessly walk up and start auto attacking towers, although Martial Poise does help a little bit.
Because of this, you need to be smart about how you right click towers. Sieging is a slow process; you need to patiently look for opportunities to safely walk up and auto attack the turret a few times, then back off and look for your next opportunity. While you're sieging, the enemy team has a few options:

1. They keep clearing waves
2. They engage
3. They give you the tower

There are ways to counter the first two choices.

If the enemy team is clearing the wave each time it meets the turret or gets close to the turret, then that must mean they're going beyond their turret. If that is true, then this opens up an opportunity for you and your team to harass them, make a pick, or engage a fight. Alternatively, while they are busy clearing minions is the best time to hit the tower, but unless your minions are Baron-empowered, this doesn't provide enough time to safely hit the tower enough times to combat the risk, so in many cases it is much better to look at the former option.

If they are looking to engage, then that means they must make the first move. Therefore, you can always move in response to how they move; match their movements and they will find it VERY hard to engage between that and your mobility from Martial Poise.

If you've ever been interested in playing ADCs, you've most likely heard of the Golden Rule of ADCs: focus whoever's closest to you. Kalista needs to apply this rule to stay alive and to deal damage in teamfights, but she is especially good at this with Martial Poise. Generally, in teamfights, you should be staying in the back and attacking whoever's closest to you, as going past them to hit their backline would only make your death quicker. Taking advantage of Martial Poise, Rend's slow, and Fate's Call is key to teamfighting.

Outside of this rule, there are some basic concepts that you need to first know and understand to position well in teamfights.

1. Target Selection
Since there'll usually be more than one person closest to you and one/two high priority targets you need to kill, target selection comes in handy here. Good target selection is what separates experienced players from boosted players. In teamfights, you want to keep your calm and assess the situation: who's closest to you, who can deal the most damage to you/your team, and who can interrupt you from doing Kalista things.

Generally, the priority list from highest to lowest is: ADC/Bot Lane, Mid, Top, Jungle, Support, but this can change depending on who is can deal more damage or is more fed.

If a high-burst champion/assassin like Talon is rushing at your team with Youmuu's Ghostblade, Flash, Assassin's Path, and Shadow Assault, you need to run back as deep into your teammates as you can and hope you can outplay him or your team can save you.

If a Bruiser/Duelist like Renekton is rushing at you with Slice and Dice and Dominus up, you should keep your distance since the threat he brings with his CC and damage from Cull the Meek is not to be underestimated. You can stay back, but he can be kited very easily as long as he does not get a second dash. If you end up getting caught by champions like him ( Renekton, Jax, Irelia, Camille), you're most likely going to have to stay and fight while kiting with Martial Poise and Blade of the Ruined King's slow. If you catch any of these out of position in a teamfight, you need to kill them immediately as they pose a threat to you dealing damage in fights.

On the other hand, if a huge tank like Cho'Gath or Maokai is in front, they'll be easy to focus down as long as you dodge their CC. With the enemy's tanks dead or almost dead, this'll open up an opportunity for you to hit the enemy's backline or their damage-dealers in the frontline, especially if the rest of the enemy team is too focused on dealing with your own frontline.

By assessing how much of a threat the enemy is to you, you'll start to see who you need to kill and be wary of.

2. Looking at the Map
This concept does play into the above idea, but is more important for when you're looking to start a fight. Typically, you look at who's on the map and who isn't on the map. If multiple people on the enemy team are not showing on the map, consider where they might be: are they flanking or are just playing around Fog of War to position better?

Once you consider these questions, consider what their goals are and position to counter that. If they're flanking, go deep into your teammates and far from where they're trying to flank from. If they're in the Fog of War, predict what they might try to do when they walk up: is Sejuani in the Fog of War with Glacial Prison up? Position behind your teammates or look at how her teammates are acting/reacting to your movement to predict what she is doing.

3. Team Comp Advantage
Know what your team comp is good at and know what their team comp is good at and play around this. If your team comp is really good at 5v5, but only in a certain area, you should kite back and try to disengage whenever you're not in that area.

If the enemy's team can only win in small, isolated fights because they have one or two strong members, then try to get a good 5v5 going where you catch out the strong members.

If your comp is better suited for splitting up the map and forcing objectives/pressuring objectives, you need to know that so you don't take bad teamfights.

4. Good Fight or Bad Fight
You need to be able to discern a good teamfight from a bad teamfight and act accordingly. If it's a bad fight, you need to disengage and cut your losses as much as you can - it is not worth your entire team being wiped for a few members of the enemy team. A bad teamfight is bad for these reasons and more:

1. Your engage failed - You no longer have the means to fight because you lost the initiation advantage.

2. They have the numbers advantage - You should not be looking to fight a 3v5 and win, unless you're incredibly fed and they're incredibly weak.

*Kalista-specific sections are denoted by red text*

Resetting Rend
I know it might seem weird to dedicate an entire section to resetting Rend, but mastering this basic aspect of Kalista down is the first step to mastering her because many other mechanics build off this.

As you already know, Rend will be reset if it kills at least one enemy minion, champion, or neutral monster. Rend also has an animation that is relatively long, but thankfully you can animation-cancel it. What does this mean? Animation cancelling is a method of increasing your overall DPS by getting rid of the unnecessary animation that occurs after an attack or command has been executed. Most of the time, you can do this by moving or inputting another command; most ADC players will animation-cancel their auto attacks by moving, which is typically called orbwalking/kiting.

Therefore, you do not want to be standing still when you cast Rend. The best time to animation cancel Rend is when you're in the middle of a Martial Poise jump, whether that be from Pierce or your auto attacks. In practice, this is what it will look like.

Now, the trick to getting multiple resets on Rend is to stack spears on one minion, go for an auto attack on the enemy champion, Rend, stack spears on another minion, Pierce or auto attack the enemy champion, then Rend again. Repeat as many times as you can to harass or chase.

Notice in the following clip that not once does my Rend go on cooldown, which may not seem like a big deal whether or not it goes on cooldown later on in the game, but Rend's slow is your only form of self-peel besides Martial Poise so you never want this to go on cooldown unless it has to.

Yes, a kill would've been possible here had I used Fate's Call for Nautilus

Double & Triple Rend
Double Rending and Triple Rending both utilize animation cancels to reset Rend, maximize DPS, and surprise enemies - they do NOT deal more damage. The conditions for both ideas to work are relatively simple:
1. There is an enemy with at least one stack of Rend in it
2. This enemy can be killed by Rend
3. There is either a Pierce or auto attack projectile in the air that is going to hit an enemy champion

At this point, Rending with make it so that the projectile that's in the air will Rend the target it will hit, before the projectile even lands. The video below is an example of such.

Triple Rending is a little bit more complicated, but not impossible to pull off consistently. Triple Rending is the act of chaining together both your auto attacks and Pierce, whereas Double Rending was simply either Pierce or auto attacks. Because of this, Triple Rending is best executed at maximum auto attack range as you'll be able to close the gap by double jumping with Pierce while also adding in an additional stack of Rend.

To execute a Triple Rend, these conditions need to be met:
1. There is an enemy with at least one stack of Rend in it
2. This enemy can be killed by Rend
3. With an auto attack flying in the air, cast Pierce while clicking towards the enemy champion to jump towards them
4. Immediately cast Rend after Pierce

If done correctly, your Rend should not have gone on cooldown and you should be much closer to the enemy champion, which allows you to get more Rend resets off to continue the chase.

Animation Canceling
As mentioned before, animation cancelling is a method of increasing your overall DPS by getting rid of the unnecessary animation that occurs after an attack or command has been executed which allows you to execute your next action much faster.

Most of the time, you can do this by moving or inputting another command; most ADC players will animation-cancel their auto attacks by moving, which is typically called orbwalking/kiting. In the case of Kalista, she can animation cancel her auto attacks by making use of Martial Poise after an auto attack to dash in a direction.

Besides using Martial Poise to cancel the auto attack animation, you can also use Pierce or Flash. The same applies for canceling Pierce's animation.

You might be wondering how animation canceling really impacts your gameplay "in the moment." In the following clip, I chain together two dashes, one from my auto attack and one from Pierce. Without that smooth transition between the two, I would not have been able to get the last auto attack off on Ezreal before I disengaged.

Getting to this level where you can consistently animation cancel auto attacks, Pierce, dashes, etc will take a bit of practice, especially on Kalista where one misclick can mean dashing in the wrong direction and dying.

Last Hitting & Farming
Again, it might seem odd that I'm including a section on how to last hit and farm, but this is an essential skill that greatly improves your odds of winning.

Last hitting should be relatively simple, and it is. You hit a minion when it's low enough health and it dies, simple right? But this isn't a PvE game - you have to take into account what the enemy laner is doing. To do so, you should know the basic concept of Tethering - that is mirroring the enemy's movements to stay safe. By applying the concept of tethering to killing minions, you'll be able to collect farm while also staying safe from harass and dealing out your own harass at the same time.

When in lane, your very first priority is not hitting the enemy champion. Instead, your very first priority is getting as much farm as you can to empower Kalista's strong mid game. This is the first step to getting the high amounts of CS that you'll see in high ELO games / professional matches.

Once laning phase ends, you might be tempted to group with your team all the time and that's okay. But don't forget your number one priority is to farm and get items; even if you're at your strongest point in the Mid Game, the game is going to move on into the late game where you won't have as much power compared to most late game ADCs, so this is even more reason to farm up so you can keep up.

If there's a wave that's coming onto your half of the map in any of the side lanes or mid lane and you have vision of the enemy team or know their relative positions, then you can look to take that wave and back off. You do NOT take the next wave as your own minion wave will crash the next wave and then the wave will bounce back and start pushing towards your side again, which creates both safety and an opportunity for you to go do something else while the next enemy minion wave builds up.

Later on, if you're ever doubtful of what to do, just farm one wave and then re-assess the situation.

When getting down to clutch situations and fights, orbwalking is one of the most important things you must be able to do as an ADC player. Orbwalking is the act of using movement commands near the end of your auto attack animation to cancel the backswing/useless animation that comes after you've fired off a projectile. This can be done while chasing or running away to efficiently dish out damage while not wasting any time.

This is how to orbwalk, broken down step-by-step:
1. Attack the enemy
2. During the animation, there should be a point where the projectile is fired and in the air but your character is still finishing the rest of the animation
3. Do something else, like click on the ground

Canceling too early may cause the entire auto attack to be canceled, not just the animation. While canceling too late is "okay" but still wastes time. Orbwalking is the general time for this, but kiting is the act of orbwalking backwards.

Kiting is such an important ability that it is entirely distinguished from orbwalking.

There are many ways you can orbwalk/kite and there are many ways people are going to tell you how to. Here are the 4 main ways you can set up your keybinds to kite:

1. Player Attack Move - Using this option will bring up the auto attack range indicator once you press the hotkey. You'll then want to press as close as you can to your target and you will attack what was closest to your mouse press.
Note: There are two major known bugs with this that have been present for a while; not recommended to use until fixed

2. Player Attack Move Click - This removes the range indicator and having to press afterward. Essentially, this is option 1 but much faster since all you have to do is put your mouse as close to your target and then press the bound hotkey.

Both of these options are located in the options menu under [Hotkeys > Player Movement]. By default they will target the champion that is closest to you, but you can enable Attack Move on Cursor, which is located under [Game > Attack Move On Cursor]. With this option enabled, both PAM and PAMC will target whatever is closest to your mouse click which allows for more precision in hectic fights.

3. Right Click - This is the old-reliable option that I personally prefer. To execute this, simply click on the target, wait until your projectile is fired, then click on the ground to move, then repeat. This method depends on your accuracy with right clicks which can be somewhat difficult to maintain in chaotic fights.

4. Left Click - This is a newer option with the addition of binding auto attack move to left click. This option is actually found at the very bottom of the [Hotkeys] tab in the in-game settings.

For the visual learners, here are (somewhat) good clips of orbwalking and kiting. In this first video, you'll see both a mix of good kiting and bad kiting, where there were multiple instances of canceled auto attacks.

Auto Spacing
Auto spacing is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult mechanics to successfully pull off because it depends on your own mechanics as well as your ability to predict what the enemy is going to do. This is an advanced application of the mechanic, Tethering, you learned earlier in Farming & Last Hitting

In short, auto spacing is the idea of moving in and out of the enemy's attack range and your attack range to allow yourself to get off an attack while also staying out of their attack range.

In most cases, this is also a description of what kiting a melee champion is, but when you successfully apply this to a ranged champion fighting against another ranged champion, you'll notice a huge difference. The below video features two pro marksmen players, Deft and Viper.

Note that both Kai'Sa and Xayah have the same auto attack range, yet Kai'sa could not get a single hit onto Xayah in this video. Here's a break-down of what exactly happened:

1. Kai'sa initially targets Xayah, but backs off once Xayah casts Double Daggers. After a few seconds, Kai'sa tries to target Xayah once again.
2. Xayah moves back, out of Kai'sa's current attack range which would force Kai'sa to move further towards the tower.
3. Because of this, Kai'sa cancels her auto attack and moves back
4. Xayah read this and knew Kai'sa would start moving back, so Xayah moves forward to hit Kai'sa.
5. Once Kai'sa turns toward Xayah again, Xayah moves back.
6. Repeat.

As you can see, this is simply an advanced application of Tethering - when one moves back the other moves forward to get into range and auto attack. When one moves forward, the other has to move back.

That'll be it from me! Thank you for taking the time to read this guide and I hope you stick with Kalista. Feel free to ask me any questions or give me any feedback you might have. If you're interested in joining the community, be sure to check out the Kalista Mains' Discord Server and/or Subreddit.


April 1, 2020:
  • Updated to patch 10.7

March 18, 2020:
  • Updated to patch 10.6

March 4, 2020:
  • Updated to patch 10.5
  • Added a warning about using attack-click move on Kalista due to bugs.

February 20, 2020:
  • Updated to patch 10.4

February 5, 2020:
  • Updated to patch 10.3

January 23, 2020:
  • Updated to patch 10.2; no big changes for Kalista

January 8, 2020:
  • Updated to patch 10.1

January 5, 2020:
  • Published!
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