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Kayle Build Guide by BreadyToCrumble

Top [12.14] Drown in Holy Fire! - Kayle Top Guide

Top [12.14] Drown in Holy Fire! - Kayle Top Guide

Updated on August 10, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author BreadyToCrumble Build Guide By BreadyToCrumble 7 2 8,442 Views 0 Comments
7 2 8,442 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author BreadyToCrumble Kayle Build Guide By BreadyToCrumble Updated on August 10, 2022
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Runes: PTA Build

1 2
Precision
Press the Attack
Presence of Mind
Legend: Alacrity
Coup de Grace

Sorcery
Manaflow Band
Gathering Storm
Bonus:

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

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None
Hello there!

This guide will also be further updated with more details over time!

My name is Loafy and I'm a Kayle main on EUW. I'm currently Platinum III in Solo/Duo and as of writing I've got around a 60% winrate on Kayle in ranked with 400k mastery points. I started playing League in 2017, so I've played both old Kayle and new Kayle.

In this guide I'll cover general tips, items, and also I've included an in-depth matchup guide for the most common Top lane matchups. Enjoy my guide and I hope it helps you!
Contents of this guide

1. Skills & Tips
I'll cover Kayle's abilities and what they do, as well as give some tips on how to use them properly. I'll also cover different skill max orders and which to use in different situations.

2. Gameplay
Here I'll go over how to play Kayle in the different stages of the game. This will focus primarily on Toplane. I'll go over laning phase, mid game, and finally late game.

3. Items & Builds
I'll go over different items and runes you can build in different situations. I'll be covering the AP build in this guide but I've included an AD build as well.

4. Matchups for Top
I'll cover the most common Toplane matchups and give specific tips and advice for how to deal with them. I'll also recommend who to ban!

Skills Overview


Passive - Divine Ascent

Kayle's passive is what makes her an excellent late-game scaling hypercarry. Essentially, at levels 1, 6, 11 and 16, you gain specific bonuses.

Level 1 - "Zealous" - your basic attacks grant you stacking attack speed up to a maximum of 5 stacks. At 5 stacks you also gain a little bit of bonus movement speed. This level 1 bonus is deceptively strong in lane (especially with Doran's Blade), so use it to your advantage!

Level 6 - "Arisen" - you gain bonus attack range, turning you from melee to ranged. This is great in lane as you now have a slight advantage in melee matchups, giving you extra poke range and an easier time at farming.

Level 11 - "Aflame" - now, at 5 stacks of Zealous, you get fire waves that deal damage in a small area in front of your attack. Additionally, your Starfire Spellblade auto does splash damage around the target.

Level 16 - "Transcendent" - you gain the permanent full effects of all earlier passives; maximum stacks of Zealous, bonus movement speed, fire waves, and in addition you also get a slight increase in attack range.

Advanced Tip: Stack up Divine Ascent before fights for the extra attack speed and movement speed! You can refresh the stacks on minions, tower or jungle camps if you're chasing someone, for example.

Q - Radiant Blast

Kayle's Q is a line-ish skillshot which damages, slows, and shreds the resistances of both the first enemy hit and enemies behind it. The range is a little tricky to get used to, but for reference, you can actually extend the Q range by taking advantage of the fact that it hits enemies behind it. Here's a good video to explain what I mean.

This extended range makes Kayle's Q a great tool for poke in lane as well as farming from a range. It also makes for surprising your opponents! I like to put at least 3 points into Radiant Blast for easier farming and waveclear as well as extra poke. This makes Kayle's trash early game lane much more manageable.

Advanced Tip: Hitting Radiant Blast is important for the armour and MR shred as well as the extra damage and slow. This makes it a great tool in short trades. Generally speaking, if you miss Q, you lose the trade. So use the cooldown wisely!

W - Celestial Blessing

Kayle's W is very simple. It's a targeted heal ability which grants both you and an ally a small heal and a movement speed boost.

It's great in lane for healing up from trades and also good for chasing enemies down or escaping from them. The movement speed is also very useful in teamfights as it helps you kite a lot better.

I recommend using self-cast for this ability to cast it quicker! By default in the settings this should be Alt+W but you can change it to whatever you like.

Advanced Tip: The mana cost on Celestial Blessing is quite high, but in lane, trading that mana for the heal is almost always worth it. Heal up from poke to help survive laning phase and don't be afraid of the long cooldown!

E - Starfire Spellblade

Kayle's E is essentially a ranged auto-attack reset which also grants extra execute damage. At level 11, this attack deals splash damage around its target. Passively, upgrading this ability also grants you extra on-hit damage.

Before you become ranged at level 6, Starfire Spellblade grants you a single ranged attack. This allows you to farm from a distance or poke during the laning phase.

Take this ability at level 1 at all times! It's what makes Kayle's level 1 power so strong, and even if you don't trade level 1, you can use it to farm from a range in lane.

Advanced Tip: Using the auto reset is a very important part of Kayle's kit and mastering it will maximise your possible damage. With Press the Attack, an auto-E-auto will strike your target for lots of damage in a short burst. Remember that you can use E directly after auto attacking!

Additionally, use Starfire Spellblade at the end of a fight rather than to initiate it. It deals bonus missing health damage so will execute your targets!

R - Divine Judgement

Kayle's ultimate is the defining part of her kit! You can cast it either on yourself or an ally, granting them invulnerability to all damage for a short period of time, as well as splash damage around them!

Note that you cannot cast this while you are CC'd! This means that if enemies catch you, you have no way of saving yourself. Try to time the spell by using it just before you get CC'd to prevent follow up damage.

It's best to use Divine Judgment as a way of giving you more damage in a fight, rather than as a way of saving yourself when you're low. Divine Judgment gets the most value when it blocks the enemy's biggest source of damage which is easiest to dodge, for example a Darius Q at max stacks (instead of his R), or an Aatrox Q3.

Advanced Tip: I like to use Divine Judgment as an extra burst tool to help one-shot. Opening a fight with a self-cast R is a great way to deal a large chunk of damage. Don't be afraid to be aggressive with R!

Finally, casting Divine Judgment will refresh all stacks of Zealous (your passive). This is a niche tip but can be useful in specific situations, such as very long extended fights.

Skill Max Order

The skills you max on Kayle will vary depending on matchups and personal preference. Generally speaking, you either want to max Q or E. Both paths have their individual advantages and disadvantages, and I'll cover that in this section.
Q Max

> > >

In this skill order, you max Q first after R, then E, then W.
Safe laning, short trades, and lots of poke - best for harder matchups.

Pros
Extra poke - safer farm - more slow - safer lane - good waveclear
The advantage of maxing Radiant Blast first is the extra poke damage you get from a range. In the Skills section of this guide I covered the extended Q range tip - and having more points in Q allows you to both poke and farm from a very safe distance. This will help you survive much more difficult lanes. The increased slow is also great for helping you run away! Additionally, having greater AoE potential means you can clear waves very quickly, which can be useful in more difficult matchups to help you take control of the lane.

Cons
Weaker autos - worse trades - later powerspikes
The disadvantage of maxing Radiant Blast before Starfire Spellblade is your auto attacks will do less damage and so your extended trades will be much worse. You'll also be much worse in skirmishes, and because you max E second, your powerspike and fighting potential will come much later. By maxing Radiant Blast you are sacrificing an early powerspike in exchange for a much safer lane. As such, this skill max order is only recommended in difficult matchups and if you prefer short trades instead of extended ones.

E Max

> > >

In this skill order, you max E first after R, then Q, then W.
Longer trades, strong autos, good fighting potential - an all-purposes skill max order.

Pros
Good extended trades - hard-hitting autos - better lane bully potential
Maxing Starfire Spellblade means that you'll get extra on-hit damage to your auto attacks. This means you'll have stronger extended trades and also a much better time bullying your (melee) opponent in lane. Additionally, the lower cooldown means you'll get more auto resets quicker, which can give you lots of damage potential early on. You'll reach a much faster powerspike, especially in AD builds, giving you great skirmish fighting power for your team.

Cons
Vulnerable to hard matchups - worse poke - less safe
However, by not maxing Radiant Blast, you'll miss out on a lot of poke and slow. This means you'll have a much more difficult time in harder lanes, like Irelia or Tryndamere. Furthermore, your poke damage from a long range becomes much worse, and as a result it's best to max E in matchups that you know you'll either win or go even. Generally, for people new to Kayle, I would recommend maxing E as it's much easier to get used to.

Other Notes

Note that you don't necessarily have to max one ability over the other to the fullest - you can also mix it up by putting in a few points into Radiant Blast before maxing Starfire Spellblade. In difficult lanes it's even worth to max Celestial Blessing second for the extra heal and movement speed!
Kayle doesn't have many difficult mechanics with her abilities, and so a lot of her skill expression comes from the timing that you use them. This will come naturally over time with practice.
Stages of the Game


Levels 1-6

Before the game even starts take a look at who you're facing. Is it a hard matchup or an easier one? Will the enemy jungler be camping you? Pick your starting items accordingly and plan in your head how you'll play for the first few levels.

At level 1 you want to put a point in Starfire Spellblade pretty much all the time unless you're being invaded. There's a common myth that you'll lose every level 1, but this isn't true! Kayle is actually quite strong level 1 and with Doran's Blade combined with Press the Attack or Lethal Tempo you may get some cheeky first bloods.

However, in losing matchups, it's best to play it safe and stand back from the wave. One wrong step can chunk you for a lot of your health, and remember that as Kayle, your job is not to win lane, but to survive and scale. Keep this philosophy in mind and you'll win more games. Give up CS if you have to - just make sure to stay in XP range.

In winning matchups, don't be afraid to step up for CS and whack your enemy a little bit. Go for short trades and back off with Celestial Blessing if you need to. Health matters a lot in lane, especially until level 6, so try to keep it topped up as best you can. Stay in lane for as long as you can!

Levels 6-11

Once you hit level 6, you now have a range advantage (usually) thanks to Divine Ascent. You can now CS from range, but generally speaking, you still will lose to most toplaners. Play safe, be patient, and just get as much farm as you can. You can definitely go for more aggressive trades now but still be careful, as like I said, one wrong step and the lane is over.

Freezing: Learning how to freeze a wave is probably one of the most important skills to have not just as a Kayle player but also as a toplaner. Simply put, you want your enemy to have a minion numbers advantage, but you prevent their wave from crashing under your tower. Below is a neat diagram which shows you the number of minions you'll need:



Use your extended range to setup good wave states for yourself. If the enemy laner is freezing you, call your jungler to help push the wave. By crashing your wave under the enemy tower, you break their freeze, as their minions will now push towards you. CS and XP matters a lot more than kills, so patience is key.

Levels 11-16

Once you hit level 11, now you can start fighting! Usually at this point you'll have close to two items; Nashor's Tooth and whichever mythic you pick. Kayle will win most fights with her ultimate depending on the matchup so don't be afraid to limit test!.

Around mid game, skirmishes and teamfights will start to break out. Ignore them. You can start fighting, but it's much, much more beneficial for you to keep farming until level 16 and three items, at which point you'll be totally unstoppable. This doesn't mean to totally give up on your team though! Split push wisely with Teleport and make sure to help your team if need be.

As Kayle you want to be on the sidelanes catching waves, soaking up as many resources as possible. If they're up, take the jungle camps to. Your goal in midlane is to get to level 16 as quickly as you can. Use Celestial Blessing to run away quickly once you sense the enemy team is coming after you!

I would recommend to average around 8-10 CS per minute at this point. Farm, farm, farm! It's the most reliable way to turn games around as Kayle. The key is to be patient and keep your mental steady.
Levels 16+

From level 16 onwards you have now become your team's sole win condition and hypercarry. At this point only farm to waveclear to depush waves, and the rest of the time you want to be teamfighting and securing objectives for your team.

Divine Judgment has now become a game winning ultimate and the enemy team will start to focus you down, so be very mindful of your positioning! You do tons of damage but can easily be caught out and burst down, which may very well lose the game for your team.

In general, be careful of where you stand in teamfights and how you use your ultimate, and you should win easily.

Teamfighting

As Kayle it's generally best that you only really start teamfighting once you've got at least two items (usually Nashor's Tooth and your mythic) and level 11. This is your first powerspike and at this point you'll be very strong and can start properly dueling enemies. It's also recommended that you fight when Divine Judgment is off cooldown, as that ability alone can win an entire fight.

The enemies will often try to focus you down immediately and so make sure you position yourself behind your frontline where you can't really get caught out. If the enemy team has flankers such as Talon or LeBlanc then be extra weary and be ready to use your ultimate on yourself!
Using your ultimate

During teamfights I like to always be ready to cast Alt+R to self-cast my ultimate. This means that I can very quickly react to spells being thrown at me. In SoloQ it can be great to play selfishly and save your ultimate for yourself. However, there are some exceptions:
If your team has a diver like Diana or Kennen who likes to get in the middle of the enemy, then ult them while they're engaging for massive damage. Assuming both ultimates land, this will very often easily win any teamfight.
You need to peel for the teammate who gets caught by all of the enemy team's CC. For example, the enemy Nautilus ults your ADC. Ulting your ADC here brings massive value to the team and counters the enemy's entire engage.
Be careful though, as it is very easy to waste your ultimate. This can happen by ulting somebody who is dead regardless, or by using your ult in a lost-cause fight. For example, your ADC gets jumped on by four enemies, and your team is nowhere near. It is not worth ulting here as the ADC would die after the ult. A simplified way to assess this is: "would they survive after I ult them?" If no, then don't bother. Real scenarios will be much more complicated, but this'll help you get in the habit. You'll get used to it more over time.

Splitpushing

I pretty much take Teleport all the time, and during mid-game you should be trying your hardest to get gold & XP and scale. Just be ready to Teleport to your team should they need your help. Push waves, farm up, and fight when you're needed.

Make sure not to Teleport to a fight that's already lost, or already won - as a rule of thumb I would say only consider teleporting if you have Divine Judgment up as early on in the game you can very easily get burst down after a telegraphed TP. As Kayle you need to be thinking selfishly, as you are the win condition. Always be looking for the place with the most readily accessible gold! If your team is fighting at drake, you haven't got ult up, and you're pushing topside, push the wave and go invade the enemy jungle. Or, keep pushing and take a tower.

Think about it - if you push freely, you exert pressure on the enemy, and are guaranteed some gold, whereas TP'ing to the fight could get you maybe one or two kills. There are exceptions - such as if this fight would win you the game, or if it's contesting soul - so play wisely.

Never be afraid to play selfishly. This is the one tip that will boost your Kayle winrate. Be aware that you don't have to win every single fight to win the game.
Rune Pages

There are two main rune pages which I like to take. Keep in mind that these choices are my personal preference! You may enjoy taking Lethal Tempo or Fleet Footwork over my Press the Attack page, and you might hate my Arcane Comet build - but it's all up to how you enjoy playing Kayle. Over time you'll adapt to your specific playstyle and you'll find the rune page which works best for you.

I like to take a combination of precision and sorcery in my rune pages, as follows:
Press the Attack



I really like taking Press the Attack because of its short trade potential. A quick combo of auto + Starfire Spellblade + auto will hit your target with a quick burst of tons of damage.
Presence of Mind is great to help you regen mana in lane for more trades. Starfire Spellblade actually costs no mana, so it's basically free mana! This rune is super good for surviving laning phase. I personally don't like Overheal but Triumph is also a good rune.
The extra attack speed from this rune is great for Kayle as an auto-attacking champion. You can also take Legend: Bloodline if you're not building Riftmaker, or Legend: Tenacity to help you better into CC heavy teams.
I like taking this rune for some more execute damage for even more burst potential! Others may enjoy Cut Down into tanky teams and Last Stand if you'd rather take longer trades.

Arcane Comet



This keystone is a really niche rune page that I like taking into harder lanes where I know I can poke the enemy out. It works because your level 11 fire waves actually count as abilities to reset Arcane Comet's cooldown! The keystone synergises really well with the Q Max build to poke all lane.
Manaflow Band is great to help you regen mana in lane for more pokes of Radiant Blast, and it procs off of Starfire Spellblade which costs no mana! Nullifying Orb can be very good into Teemo or Kennen as well. Nimbus Cloak is good into Nasus or champions you'll need to kite.
I like this rune for the extra ability haste in late game. Celerity can be decent, but Transcendence's ability haste is just really good for your long cooldowns. Absolute Focus is great for late game damage too, so it's up to you!
This rune gives you so much lategame damage it's insane! Very underrated. However, Scorch can be excellent if you really want to lean into the Q max poking in laning phase. I wouldn't take Waterwalking or obvious reasons.
Other Options

Note that these are just the pages I like to take! Others may enjoy Lethal Tempo which is also a very popular Kayle rune, but you can try off-meta pages like First Strike, Electrocute or Grasp of the Undying. However, there are two safe keystones to take in certain scenarios:
Take this keystone into the Nasus matchup! The slow resistance and move speed you get will help you kite him in the laning phase, and you can quickly proc it with a Q-auto-E combo. Trust me, it'll save your life!
This keystone is excellent into the most difficult matchups: Irelia and Tryndamere. In these lanes your goal is not to win, but to survive. The heal from this keystone will help you sustain a bit better in lane.

Items - AP Build


Starting Items


I like taking this into every matchup. It's very good for surviving lane and trust me when I say it's a godsend! The burn will also proc Riftmaker quickly so it's excellent in fights.
Doran's Blade is quite good into matchups where you're confident. The lifesteal is decent, but you'll have fewer potions. Also, the extra damage makes you have an excellent level 1.
This is a situational starting item where you'll need the extra mana regen for more trades. It's great with the Arcane Comet build.
This is a great starting item for lanes where you'll be poked out, like into Teemo or Quinn. It gives you excellent sustain.
A very situational item that I love going into matchups where you know you'll be free farming, like Singed or Shen. It's excellent if you plan on playing passively throughout the lane and want to avoid fighting.

Core Items


The core item you want to rush on Kayle pretty much all the time - it gives you a boatload of AP, attack speed, and extra on-hit damage.

I've done a lot of theorycrafting on AP Kayle, and generally speaking, this is the item you'll ALWAYS want to take regardless of which mythic you pick. It gives you such a huge damage powerspike that you just can't pass it up.

Boots


These boots are the best to build on AP Kayle as you won't be building much attack speed in your items. Being an auto-attacking hypercarry, it's what you need!

Mythic Options


A very solid all-round good mythic item to take. It gives you healing, damage, health and ability haste, which all work very well on Kayle. It also helps in extended fights.
This is a good mythic to take on AP Kayle as well if you'd rather be auto-attacking more. The extra attack speed you get is really good for Kayle so it's a good alternative to Riftmaker.

Defensive Options


Stopwatch is broken in teamfights! This item is excellent and will definitely save you from many tough situations. It also allows you to make more aggressive plays.
A situational item that's great into heavy AP compositions, or into champions where you need to dodge one ability to win the fight like Morgana or Malphite.

Offensive Options


This is a great last item to take on Kayle and you can even sell boots for it as it grants you some bonus movement speed. It gives you so much burst potential.
A great buy into healing-heavy compositions, although you can also replace it with Mortal Reminder for a bit more attack speed instead.
A good magic pen item that gives you lots of damage. I wouldn't recommend building this over Lich Bane or Void Staff, but the extra health and shield damage can be nice in certain situations.
An excellent item for great late game damage and it will shred tanks and squishies! You can build this anytime but it's best for snowballing potential.
I like selling my boots for this item in the late game as it gives you extra attack speed and movement speed. It's a good all-round item to build.
Toplane Matchups


Tier List

I've made this quick tier list just to make it easier to check matchups at a glance:

Note that I've covered each matchup in detail in Mobafire's in-built matchups section, but I'll quickly explain the tiers.

Ban Worthy indicates champions that are almost impossible to beat if you don't play absolutely perfectly.

Requires Knowledge indicates matchups that are definitely winnable if you have experience in it, but are still very difficult.

Very Difficult are matchups where you'll have a hard time in laning phase to mid-game. These champions will be able to poke or fight you out very easily.

Hard indicates champions that have a few things which will make your life tough, but are very beatable.

Medium are matchups that you can win very easily if you capitalise on the enemy's mistakes, or are very simple to cheese.

Simple indicates matchups which are very easy to beat with little effort.

Free Lane indicates champions which you should be picking Kayle into as a hard counter! This matchup is by far the easiest and no effort at all will win you the lane.
Closing Words

Thanks for reading my guide and I hope you enjoyed it! I love playing Kayle and I hope this guide has convinced you to pick her up and play her as well. I'll be updating this guide a bit more in the future depending on certain changes or patches. Thanks again and please vote if you liked it <3
League of Legends Build Guide Author BreadyToCrumble
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[12.14] Drown in Holy Fire! - Kayle Top Guide

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