Kai'Sa Build Guide by Chaeha
[11.5] Chaeha's Updated Grandmaster ADC Kai'sa GuideBy Chaeha | Updated on March 4, 2021
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Runes: STANDARD KAI'SA
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order STANDARD SKILL ORDER
Threats & Synergies
One of the most volatile bot laners where if you take a single nevermove you simply die, he shoves you under turret and then repeatedly throws skill shots at you. Extremely unfun.
Cassiopeia base damage is incredibly high and makes the early levels extremely miserable. Cassiopeia's miasma also grounds units not allowing you to use Kai'Sa's ultimate as a repositioning tool.
Extremely volatile lane where Draven can snowball very hard off of one kill. Draven will always have lane priority against you and you will never win the 1v1 against Draven.
Miss fortune beats Kai'Sa's short trading patterns with her short trading pattern double up and love tap auto attack combo and greatly outranges Kai'Sa with her minion kill double up which does lots of damage.
Caitlyn greatly outranges Kai'Sa and when she gets lane priority and shoves you under turret, it's almost impossible to stay healthy and farm correctly as the Kai'Sa player.
Ashe has a very strong level 1 where she can chase you down with her passive auto attack slows and approach velocity in the inspiration tree while also having a range advantage over Kai'Sa, but the recent nerfs to volley made the lane bearable.
Lucian is another volatile champion with lots of level 3 all in potential that can target Kai'Sa's subpar early game and shut her out before she gets to any of her spikes.
Kalista is another very volatile champion because she's typically paired with engage supports. Her ultimate also provides insane utility allowing her to easily dive you at level 6.
Aphelios starts off the game with a range advantage over Kai'Sa which he can utilize to gain an early health advantage and then use his other guns which have a lot more kill potential.
Ziggs greatly outranges Kai'Sa, but not as hard as the other ap bot laners as it's easier to dodge these skillshots in my opinion. However, it might be necessary to take Magic Resist runes against ziggs bot.
Tristana is another one of those very volatile lanes where she will look for the level 2, 3, and 6 all ins, but if you go exhaust and respect the all ins, it shouldn't be too bad.
Varus game plan is to look for constant poke with his piercing arrow and hail of arrows. In the lane state, as long as Kai'Sa dodges Varus poke and respects varus Chain of corruption, it should be an even matchup.
Kog'Maw has a temporary range expanding ability with his bio-arcane barrage, however just wait out the cooldown of this ability and you can win the trade, so overall it's an even matchup.
Samira can only play off the support's pick, so make sure that you respect the support's crowd control as Samira's Daredevil Impulse puts her into range and that's the only way you can die to her. You can also take exhaust to nullify her telegraphed combos.
Twitch is pretty weak during the laning phase but once he hits 6 and gets off from a reset/recall, Kai'Sa has to respect the invisibility one shot potential that Twitch has by outranging her with his ultimate.
Vayne was Kai'Sa before Kai'Sa got released, so they have the same game plan to look to scale and play for the mid-game. However, Kai'Sa has a slightly stronger early game during the laning phase.
Jinx trading patterns are quite weak with her rocket auto attacks being what she typically uses and long range zaps, however if Kai'Sa postures up and trades with her hail of blade auto, Icathian Rain, and taste of blood, she will come out on top.
Jhin is one of the stronger ADC's right now, but because his damage is telegraphed and all dodgable, it makes it extremely easy to not die in lane unless you misplay.
Xayah is notorious with Kai'sa as they were the most played ADC's in season 9 and were infamous for the Kai'Sa/Xayah meta. Both champions will be looking to scale and play according to the supports.
Ezreal is a scaling laner with a really weak laning phase allowing Kai'Sa a free lane to scale in. Ezreal should have no kill potential in lane as long as you dodge his Mystic shot.
Nautilus quickly applies multiple stacks of plasma and can set up kills for Kai'Sa at level 2 and level 6. Nautilus is very easy to pilot so most Solo queue teammates will be able to do well.
Like Nautilus, Thresh quickly applies multiple stacks of plasma but also has a form of safety for the Kai'Sa which is his lantern.
Lulu does so much damage in lane being able to 1v2 the early laning phase and after transitioning to mid-late game is extremely versatile in boosting our dps and peeling enemy champions off of us.
Leona can quickly apply multiple stacks of plasma on multiple different units thanks to her low cooldown crowd control abilities making her an optimal choice to play an aggressive form of Kai'Sa.
Janna is a play to scale lane with Kaisa as she has many disengage tools however has a weaker laning phase than Lulu but a stronger mid to late game. This is because of the ad steroid on her sheild and multiple disengage tools.
Blitzcrank has insane pick potential with his hook and his knockup however unlike the other tanky engage supports, Blitzcrank is limited to hard crowd controlling a single target and gated behind is long hook cooldown.
Nami is like a weaker version of Lulu as she has slightly more poke and a heal in the early levels but her steroids for the ADC are slightly weaker. But nonetheless she's still strong when paired with Kai'Sa.
Maokai has both strong poke with his saplings in the bushes and also a strong all in that Kai'Sa has both of as well. He works well with Kai'Sa, but I can't put him ideal as most players haven't played with much Maokai support.
Pantheon has great all in potential with his point and click stun and his empowered spear damage which can chunk enemies. This then sets them up to dive them bot lane with his aegis assault.
Pyke can apply multiple stacks of plasma on different units and also has great engage and disengage potential like Kai'Sa. You look for opportunities with his hook and phantom undertow and play safe while looking for these opportunities.
Sett has one of the strongest level 2 all ins with his flash facebreaker and haymaker to get a very large shield to bait the 2v2 and win the 2v2. After Sett's flash is down, we look to establish bush control to look for engages with hexflash and facebreaker.
Taric has one of the most surprising level 2's in the game with his starlights touch and bravado which gives him the damage and healing to 1v2 the lane. Taric then scales incredibly well into the mid to late game as his ultimate cosmic radiance works incredibly well with a diving team composition.
Braum provides good peel and utility and is able to play safe until level 6 with Kai'Sa. After Braum reaches level 6, the lane becomes much stronger as Kai'Sa can follow up with a killer instinct and look to win the lane through their level 6 powerspike.
Rakan has a weak early game however he does provide lots of sustain, utility, and crowd control for Kai'Sa to survive the lane and carry with Rakan in the late game. When Rakan is level 6, there is tons of kill pressure in the lane as he can apply 2 stacks of plasma.
With Alistar as your support, typically you'll get bullied in level 1, as it will basically be a 1v2 for Kai'Sa level 1 as Alistar has no way of applying any real pressure until level 2. Alistar spikes at level 3, but it isn't worth the trade off of the super weak level 1 in my opinion.
Bard's playstyle is usually roam heavy and roam dependent, so it's quite difficult for Kai'Sa to safely farm under turret due to her limited attack range and the enemies ability to dive her.
Karma has an incredibly strong level 1 as she gets her ultimate level 1, so it's important to get a health advantage with Karma level 1 and then transition that lead through a level 2 advantage and level 3 power spike.
Morgana is situationally really good with Kai'Sa depending on the support match up if they haves lots of crowd control because Morgana can black shield Kai'Sa for a safer scaling laning phase.
Tahm Kench is one of the safest support picks if you want to scale into the mid to late game as he can devour you from any crowd control abilities and it's basically a get out of jail free card.
Soraka provides lots of poke damage and sustain in the lane and makes the laning phase much easier to survive for Kai'Sa. Like Kai'Sa she scales well into mid to late game and it's easy to survive lots of matchups with a Soraka.
Zilean's main strength is his ultimate chronoshift and his speed up time warp which are incredibly useful for when Kai'Sa wants to look for aggressive ultimates and chase the enemy team.
Zyra provides lots of poke damage in lane, that's pretty hard to miss due to the the plants auto attack prioritization on champions. Thus, it makes the laning phase much more bearable for Kai'Sa.
Brand also provides lots of poke damage in lane, and with his recent buff to conflagration his poke is a lot easier to hit and his ultimate also provides undodgable damage making the laning phase much easier on Kai'Sa.
Seraphine is a better version of Sona in my opinion as she has a stronger early game and does a surprising amount of poke damage. As long as Seraphine plays smart, she should poke the enemy duo without dying and make the lane state easier for Kai'Sa.
Yuumi doesn't provide much pressure at all in the laning phase and it makes it really difficult to Kai'Sa to survive the early levels. If against another enchanter, the Yuumi pick is fine, but against a tanky engage support, the Yuumi pick is grief.
Sona is an extremely squishy and weak enchanter that doesn't provide much pressure in the lane. Like Kai'Sa, sona is one of the strongest scaling supports in the late game but her early game isn't ideal with another scaler like Kai'Sa in the bot lane.
Vel'Koz is like Xerath support where all the responsibility falls on him however Vel'Koz can either 1v2 the lane or make the lane 1v2 for Kai'Sa. I strongly dislike the latter so I put him on low compatibility with Kai'Sa.
Xerath is like the Vel'Koz support where all the responsibility falls on him however Xerath can either 1v2 the lane or make the lane 1v2 for Kai'Sa. I strongly dislike the latter so I put him on low compatibility with Kai'Sa.
Champion Build Guide
Hey there, I’m Chaeha. I’m a season 9 challenger, season 10 grandmaster and current grandmaster adc main and Kai'Sa is one of my favorite champs as I particularly enjoyed the Kai'Sa/ Xayah meta. Compared to the other ADCs in the roster, Kai’Sa provides lots of carry potential and self peel for herself in the form of her evolved Supercharge and Killer Instinct which are great repositioning tools.
I pick Kai’Sa when the team is full AD and needs a source of AP damage or needs a scaling win condition. Kai’sa also works really well with engage supports or enchanter supports and needs to switch her game plan depending on the support matchup.
If you have any questions or simply want to talk, I'm most active on my discord, so come join the community https://discord.gg/Y6DsS65QbW
You can also check me out on https://www.twitch.tv/chaeha_lol where I will try and stream informative ADC gameplay and hopefully grow my stream to something worthwhile.
We can see Kai'Sa’s versatility in lane into a strong scaling mid to late game because when you pick Kai'Sa with a tanky engage support like Nautilus, Leona, and Thresh, these bot lane combo’s level 2 and level 6 all in potential are incredibly strong, which you can snowball into other advantages. When you pick Kai'Sa with an enchanter support like Lulu, Janna, Nami, they sacrifice a bit of power early game during lane phase to survive the laning phase and scale harder in the mid to late game.
Although you need your support to survive the lane phase, Kai’Sa does have lots of tools late game to not rely as heavily on the support as other ADCs. Kai’Sa also works with a variety of team compositions where if you have a frontline, Kai’Sa can easily play front to back with her passive 5th shot damage and repositioning tools, but she also works in a dive comp as she can quickly reposition to the backline with her ultimate.
Kai’Sa definitely has one of the more overloaded passives in the game as she has two parts to her passive Caustic Wounds and Living Weapon. Caustic Wounds does bonus magic damage per auto attack which increases, the more Plasma stacks the enemy has. Living Weapon provides bonuses for her basic abilities Icathian Rain, Void Seeker, and Supercharge when she reaches, respectively, 100 bonus Attack Damage, 100 bonus Ability Power, and 100% bonus attack speed from items and base stats.
Her passive Caustic Wounds really shines during the laning phase as allies with crowd control abilities apply a stack of Plasma amplifying the damage output from Kai'Sa. Tanky engage supports can apply multiple stacks of Plasma like Nautilus’ Staggering Blow, Dredge Line, and Depth Charge and Leona’s Shield of Daybreak, Zenith Blade, and Solar Flare each applying 3 stacks of Plasma. Her other passive Living Weapon shines as it offers her large power spikes and amplifies the power of her other basic abilities.
Icathian Rain is an auto targeted ability that can be used when monsters, minions, and champions are in range. It prioritizes its extra bullets to the enemies closest to Kai’Sa, so it’s important to micro manage where you’re positioning to get optimal damage.
It's a strong tool for quick trades you can do in lane with a fast auto attack from Hail of Blades with an instant Icathian Rain. While doing this, it also focuses the minions in the lane allowing you to quickly push in minion waves and establish lane priority against your opponents. If you’re looking for maximum damage, it’s important to get the single target Icathian Rain damage which does 225% of the damage to one target.
After evolving Icathian Rain, it fires 12 missiles which greatly increases your pushing potential and also your all in potential. If we do the math, if you get all 12 missiles onto a single target, it would do 375% damage to one target. This makes Kai'Sa extremely deadly in catching one person out as one isolated Icathian Rain can do up to 450 physical damage.
Void Seeker is a long range skill shot ability that has a 200 unit width. This ability provides 2 stacks of Plasma and also grants vision on enemies. It can hit monsters, minions, and enemy champions. Void Seeker has a minimum damage and a maximum damage with the minimum damage happening when the enemies have 0 stacks of Plasma with the maximum damage happening when enemies have 4 stacks of Plasma. The maximum damage combined with the percent health missing damage from your passive can chunk people for upwards of 200 damage in the level 2 all in.
After evolving Void Seeker, it now apples 3 stacks of plasma and also refunds 70% of the duration of the cooldown. This allows you to constantly poke the enemies with this long range ability as long as you keep hitting the enemy in the late game. It also sets up opportunities where you can look to Void Seeker an isolated target and look for the Killer Instinct and one shot them before a crucial fight.
Supercharge is a movement ability that increases movement speed during the cast time where Kai'Sa is not allowed to auto attack or use any basic abilities, but she can still use her summoner spells. After the cast time is over, she gains attack speed and her wind up auto attack animation gets slightly faster. Supercharge is both a great engage and disengage tool as she can follow up on her support’s all in with movement speed followed by an attack speed steroid or disengage as she cannot get minion blocked during her Supercharge.
After evolving Supercharge, it now grants invisibility for 0.5 seconds which is great for repositioning in fights as there’s no way to counter invisibility besides Oracle Lens, which shows an afterimage of where you last were. Evolved Supercharge allows for many outplay situations as the enemy could believe that you ran away with the invisibility, but you could supercharge into their backline and kill their backline first.
Killer Instinct is a repositioning tool that can be used both aggressively or defensively. It’s important to note that you can Killer Instinct anywhere within the circle of Plasma indicator that’s given and it goes to where your cursor is. To get the most out of an aggressive Killer Instinct, I tend to Killer Instinct behind the enemies if I’m certain I can kill them. On the other we can defensively use Killer Instinct over various walls and also utilize a change in direction after using Supercharge.
Running Hail of Blades also makes Kaisa’s laning phase much better than it usually is turning a weak laning phase into one that has kill potential.
The beginning to the each variation of Kai'Sa, AD and AP is the same however it should be noted that in most games you will want to go AD Kai'Sa as it does much better consistent DPS and the AP build should be used when you have a 3 AD topside which means you have primary AD damage in the top, jungle, and mid roles.
I believe it's pretty self explanatory that we take Doran's Blade Health Potion as our starting item as it gives good AD, omnivamp, and HP to start the game with and also help with reaching our Icathian Rain evolution as fast as possible.
First item with Kai'Sa is quite interesting however. Depending on your gold values will change what items you will buy on your first back. If you have 700 or less gold you always want to buy as many Long Sword as you can. If you have 900 gold or less, you want to buy Pickaxe. If you have 1100 gold or less, you want to buy Serrated Dirk. Then if you have 1300 gold or less, you want to buy Noonquiver and any remaining gold should go towards two Long Sword.
In your first set of items you want to complete the following components before completing your mythic item. You want to get Noonquiver, Serrated Dirk, and Pickaxe. This allows for the quickest way to get Icathian Rain evolve and you can now look to assassinate anyone by themselves. This also provides more DPS and DPM than rushing a mythic would on Kai'Sa.
After completing these components, we look to finish our Galeforce as this allows us to play much more like an assassin and look to burst the enemy ADC anytime the enemy support is roaming or the enemy ADC is alone in the lane. However keep in mind, if the enemy team comp has at least 2 tanks on their team, going Kraken Slayer is a viable strategy as the burst isn't as useful against beefy frontliners.
After this, we look to finish The Collector as it synergizes well with our kit and also the execution damage on our passive. We don't have to rush Berserker's Greaves on Kai'Sa because we're running Hail of Blades so we can sit on tier 1 Boots so we can complete tier 2 Berserker's Greaves after finishing our collector.
This is where the builds diverge however. First I will go over the AD build then the AP build.
For the AD build, we look to get Runaan's Hurricane as it maximizes our passive damage against multiple units and allows us to assassinate multiple units in their backline. And then after it's a pretty self explanatory Infinity Edge which increases our critical damage and with 80% crit after completing Infinity Edge it will increase our DPS by a large margin.
After this item for our last slot item, it depends on the team composition what you want to build. If the enemy team has tons of healing then you might have to go Mortal Reminder for the antiheal. If they have lots of one shot burst then going a defensive item like Zhonya's Hourglass or Guardian Angel may be optimal. If you need even more damage to shred through tanks then you could also go Lord Dominik's Regards. This last item slot is very flexible and you have to build around the enemy team composition.
For the AP build however.
Instead of Runaan's Hurricane, we go Nashor's Tooth as it provides a lot more magic damage on hit and also both your Void Seeker and Supercharge evolves. This build is great with teams that are basically all AD so the enemy team can't itemize against magic damage and can't afford to build any magic resist.
After Nashor's Tooth, most times then not it's fine to build Zhonya's Hourglass as it gives good enough AP while also having an extremely good active. However if you believe that you are safe enough and don't have to go this item, then you're free to build a much higher damage item like Rabadon's Deathcap which will increase your magic damage the most.
Like the AD build, the last item slot is pretty situational in my opinion and it depends on what the enemy team composition is like. If you get hit by one ability and die, then Banshee's Veil could be the best 6th item slot or Morellonomicon if you need the antiheal. There are also situations where you need more mobility and base movement speed so you could possibly go Cosmic Drive but if you are building zhonya's then to maximize damage you should go Rabadon's Deathcap.
Depending on the support pick, if Kai'Sa is paired with an aggressive tanky engage support she has much more kill potential than if she’s paired with an enchanter which offers a much safer laning phase into stronger mid to late game scaling when even.
However, this does not deter us from having the same game plan from level 1 to level 2. We should be looking for quick auto attacks with Hail of Blades and an instant Icathian Rain to get quick trades while also pushing the wave in for a faster level 2 than the enemy duo. It’s important to note that the first 9 minions: 3 melee, 3 casters, and 3 melee lets the duo reach level 2. Another way to get level 2 is 10 minions: 3 melee, 3 casters, 2 melee, and 2 casters. It’s worth to trade a Hail of Blades auto and Icathian Rain for the enemy ADC’s auto attack as we roughly do double their damage, and their auto attack gets negated by Taste of Blood.
With a tanky engage support, like Nautilus, after getting a level 2 advantage (getting level 2 before the enemy), it’s necessary to posture up against the duo and exert our kill pressure. If the enemy duo missteps and doesn’t respect the level 2 advantage, then Nautilus can instantly apply 2 stacks of plasma with Dredge Line and Staggering Blow, and Kai'Sa should auto attack 2 times with Hail of Blades with an Icathian Rain somewhere in there, and at 4 stacks of plasma, Kaisa should then send a Void Seeker to maximize the damage she can deal. It’s important to save Void Seeker for the all in to always get the maximum damage proc.
With an enchanter support, like Lulu, in the same situation after getting a level 2 advantage, we still posture up against the duo however we pressure them off the wave and get in some chip damage. Kai'Sa should try to look for optimal trades with her Hail of Blades Icathian Rain combo and whenever her Void Seeker is off cooldown, should look for poke damage until you're certain that you and your support can all in the enemies.
Besides this, we look to continue scaling in these lanes and then look for our level 6 powerspike with Killer Instinct. Nowadays, supports typically tend to roam mid lane off of a recall, so it’s usually 1v1 bot lane for ADC’s for around a minute after both duos reset. We should look to hit a Void Seeker on the lone enemy ADC and Supercharge before using Killer Instinct to reposition behind the ADC. Then to get optimal damage, it’s necessary to not have other minions within 600 range to get the solo damage on Icathian Rain.
TLDR: Look for quick trades with Hail of Blades auto attack and Icathian Rain and use Taste of Blood to come out on top of trades. Get level 2 advantage: first 9 minions, over the enemy duo and posture up and look to either get a kill or burn summoner spells. Look for solo kills against the enemy ADC with Void Seeker and Killer Instinct when both supports are roaming.
If the enemy duo takes the first turret however, Kai'Sa should send the support player to roam and make plays around the map and look to set up a freeze in the bot lane under the tier 2 inner turret if there are no objectives that the team is looking to fight for on the map. To set up a freeze, always make sure that there are 4 - 5 more enemy minions than allied minions, and make sure to simply last hit the minions and don’t let it exceed or go below 4 - 5 more enemy minions.
You should look to keep farming until you hit your power spike which are evolved basic abilities Icathian Rain and Supercharge. After that, Kai'Sa and her support should lane mid and get the solo lanes to play the side lanes and look for picks on opponents that are alone and also make sure to keep watch on your minimap as you can Killer Instinct to units that have been affected by hard crowd control.
TLDR: After getting first turret, look to take dragon if up or if down take the outer turret in solo lanes against champions with low wave clear. If enemy duo bot takes first turret, look to contest objectives if up or freeze enemy minion waves under tier 2 turret. Farm until spikes: evolved q and e.
Depending on the team composition for Kai'Sa, you either play the fights front to back, which means you attack the target closest to you trying to kill their frontline first and then their backline, if you have a tanky frontline with a mage mid lane or you play a diving team comp which focuses on deleting the backline first and Kai'Sa should follow up with her killer instinct if you have a team composition like Camille, Galio, Zac.
To impact the game and create a winning 5v4 situation however, we can buy a Control Ward and choose a certain bush to place this control ward in that the enemy is most likely going to facecheck. With your team or alone, we can burst this individual with Icathian Rain solo damage and the execute from Void Seeker and Second Skin. Then we would convert this lead into larger objectives like baron, dragon soul, and inhibitors.
After getting larger objectives like baron, dragons and inhibitors, we should try to look for picks with Void Seeker and Killer Instinct and look to one shot any squishies that are alone. However, if not, we should siege towers with the team and look for favorable fights and then siege towers and end the game after a successful resulted fight.
TLDR: Look for fights you are 90-100% certain you will win. This means look for 5v4 situations or look for picks. Picks are easiest when you have control wards and can catch the enemy or 5v4's are easiest when an enemy is catching a wave on the other side of the map. Then convert these leads to baron, dragon soul, inhibitors and rinse and repeat until nexus.