[12.14] Drown in Holy Fire! - Kayle Top Guide
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Runes: PTA Build
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order General Skill Max (PTA)
Threats & Synergies
I personally ban this every single game. He has advantage early game with his crits, he can dive you at any stage with his ultimate, and you can't poke him out because of his heal. He WILL run you down so be careful. If you need to play into Tryndamere, then take Ghost and pray!
This is widely known as Kayle's hard counter. She can dash onto you anytime she wants, she'll outdamage you very easily even after level 11, and she scales pretty well into the mid-late game so she can still match you. You can't even poke her out because of her sustain! Take Fleet Footwork and call your jungler to help you.
A very, very hard matchup, but it's definitely beatable if you play perfectly. Take Phase Rush and proc it as soon as he withers you, then just run away. Give up as much CS as you need to. Nasus will ALWAYS win in a 1v1 at any stage of the game, but you will win teamfights as you have more utility. Just try to survive the lane. Ghost+Teleport is a good combination.
A very, very cringe matchup. You can never kill him until late with a few items, and he can easily get onto you with his W. I would say to stay under tower during lane and try not to fight him as he'll generally always win until lategame.
A cheese pick that usually only OTPs play, but it's still quite difficult to beat. Try your best to get him to push the wave and stay under your tower so he can't use the bushes. If you fight in lane he will basically always win, although you do outscale.
Yone is sometimes picked toplane and when he is, good luck. He can very easily run you down and he'll basically always win long fights. If you can ult his ult you'll usually survive though. One wrong step and he'll almost definitely kill you.
This is one of those champions where I genuinely just don't know how to beat him. He has better short trades than you, better long trades, and is tanky enough that you can't kill him either. The matchup will be even once you hit level 11 so just play for that powerspike! You're slightly stronger in teamfights, but you'll have a rough laning phase. Max Q and try to stay back and farm.
Anivia is a very niche matchup but is quite difficult as she heavily outranges you and you can never really get onto her very well. She does crazy damage as well with her electrocute combo and she also scales well into the late game. Your only hope is that she perma pushes and you catch free waves :)
When picked toplane Cassio will be a huge lane bully to you. You can never get onto her with her slow and her ult, and she has great sustained damage so she'll win long fights. Your best hope is to burst her down when you get items. Try to trade when she misses Q or W as her E will do less damage then.
I personally don't have much trouble in the Jax matchup as others make it out to be, but it's still quite hard. I personally take Comet and Q max in this build and just poke him from a distance as much as I can in lane. Try to ult when he jumps onto you with counter strike and you'll block a lot of follow up damage while also guaranteeing the damage from your ultimate.
I have very little experience with Kled as he's a bit of a rare pick, but he has loads of damage and can survive burst thanks to Skaarl. He can also dash onto you and run you down quite easily so be wary of that. Try to freeze in front of your tower and play as safe as you can, as Skaarl also lets him easily dive you!
Riven is a hard matchup but you need to be wary of her long cooldowns in the early game. Do short trades against her from a range with Q max + Comet while her Q and E are on cooldown, then back off with your W once they're up. She can burst you down quite easily, so try to ult her stun as best you can. You should win in the late game if she doesn't one-shot you.
Viktor is such an annoying laner because of his long range and scaling potential. I usually try to avoid trading against him and just farm for items and play for lategame. He scales well, but you'll be able to match that scaling. Play for teamfights and just AFK farm in the laning phase.
I hate Akali so much it's incredible. Her shroud counters you as an auto-attacking champion but thankfully your ultimate counters her as an assassin. She will win early every single time and be wary of her level 6 as it'll mess you up. Try to ult yourself while she's dashing onto you as she'll often dump her full combo once she does. You can kill her around levels 11-16.
Aatrox is a fairly difficult matchup, even more so since the Grievous Wounds nerf. I would recommend avoiding fighting him completely until level 11, and until then max Q and farm from a distance. He can get onto you and dive you really easily and you'll never be able to really kill him until you hit 11. Wait until you can burst him down from a range.
Akshan can be a hard matchup in the early game due to his massive ranged poke and his ability to burst you down. He's more annoying than hard to beat so just be patient and stay back and farm. Be careful as he'll roam with his W which can catch you off guard. You can burst him down easily once you get a few items.
The advantage of the Jayce matchup is the fact that nobody outside of high ELO can really play him that well, but nevertheless don't underestimate his damage. His Q will do insane poke to you, but if you dodge it you should be fine. Save your W for when he knocks you back so you can chase him down, and ult when he crashes down on you.
Neeko is hard because she has burst potential AND sustained damage, but she's so rarely picked it shouldn't be too bad. Although she outranges you, you can still burst her down as she's quite squishy. Try to ult just before her ult comes down, OR ult when she lands her E and you know the full combo is coming.
I don't like this matchup because Malphite has good poke, can run away from you, can burst you down, and at the same time is super mega tanky. He's not unbeatable though as you can kill him in fights if you go AP, but if he builds Frozen Heart and focuses you down you'll never be able to kill him. Play for lategame and stay back and farm.
Volibear does crazy damage and his ult means he has the potential to dive you, so try to avoid letting him slowpush. Max Q to help you clear waves quickly from a range and you can also poke him down a bit at the same time. Play for level 11, and ult yourself either when he stuns you or when he ults you.
I don't like this matchup as he has crazy pushing potential with Hullbreaker+Demolish and you can't really kill him until late because he's so tanky, so he'll just get free towers. It's a tough matchup for sure, but with a few items you can start to match him. Once you hit 11 your waveclear will be super good so you can stop his pushes. Don't let him slowpush!
Quinn is ranged and she has excellent roaming potential so she will be able to beat you very often. You outscale much better and eventually you can burst her down. Try to trade if she misses Q or when she uses her E as she'll be vulnerable then, and push quickly when she roams to punish her.
Gnar is kind of a weird matchup because he can poke you when he's ranged and lock you down when he's melee. You heavily outscale him but be wary that his teamfighting is VERY strong. You can't ult when you're CC'd so try to time it just before he stuns you. Play safe in lane as he'll win most trades, but poke him down with Q max.
This is a skill matchup. Fiora has better burst than you, but if she misses her vitals you have greater long fighting potential. Try not to let her slowpush as she'll dive you easily with her ultimate and play around her vitals. You can kill her after level 11 with a few items.
The one thing that makes the Gwen matchup hard is your low base MR. Take MR rune and maybe buy a cloak or two early and this lane is won. Gwen has no hard CC so she can't really lock you down when you have W, but be wary of her burst so be prepared to use ult. She scales well but you can outkite her easily.
Illaoi is a lane bully but she is useless if she misses her E so try to dodge that. Once you hit 6 you can destroy her tentacles quickly with Auto+E reset. Be careful though as if she hits her E you will lose the trade. Play back and wait until lategame. Be wary of her splitpushing and try your best to cut down the wave.
Ornn is tanky enough that you can never actually kill him which is annoying so just take Cull and play for teamfights. He scales excellently and to be honest you'll never be able to 1v1 him as he's so tanky that you can't kill him. Just farm up and scale. I would recommend building Kraken Slayer to help you fight him.
A rare toplane pick but he is VERY STRONG EARLY so avoid fighting him then! Once the early game is over you will hard beat him but just be aware that you WILL lose hard early. Try to get him to push into you and farm up.
Ryze is kind of a bad champion currently BUT he does scale well so don't underestimate him! He has excellent waveclear which can pressure you to stay in lane but honestly once you get a few items you'll be able to burst him down. He can kite you easily with Phase Rush.
Vayne is a toplane pick which nobody respects. She does tons of damage and scales well, but she's vulnerable to jungle ganks as she has no true escape other than her Tumble. You will hard lose early so just try to poke from a distance with Q.
I personally hate Vladimir as he has crazy sustain but once you hit level 11 it becomes an easy matchup. Play back when he gets his empowered Q and you should be fine as your ult counters his full burst combo.
I don't find Darius that difficult to beat with the Q max + Comet build as the extra slow lets you kite him easily. Just poke all lane and play super safe. Always ult his Q, not his R, as it's a more predictable animation.
Camille is very hard to beat in the early levels but after that she's very very easy to fight as her full combo is her only source of damage. This means you'll win in a long, drawn out battle. She has good gank setup so be wary of the enemy jungler.
Gangplank is annoying because of his poke and burst, but you will win once you reach level 11 in a long fight as he has no real sustained damage other than his Q and his barrels. This means you can auto him down. Use your auto+E reset to quickly destroy his barrels. Just play safe during the early levels as his poke is very strong.
I've only played against this a few times but it's quite simple to beat. You'll win at level 11 in a long fight as long as you ult her ult! She will auto push due to her passive so just catch waves and scale.
Mordekaiser is an easy matchup so long as you use your W to kite his E. If he ults you, use your ultimate to block his Q. Be careful early levels as his damage is quite high and he'll totally run you down but you'll win after level 11 so long as you dodge his E.
Rumble is quite easy to beat if you use short trades to poke him down early. Ult his ult and fire damage and so long as you dodge his Es you'll be fine as you definitely outscale. His ult has great teamfight potential though so be wary of that.
Yorick's whole gimmick is permapushing so just be there to match it! Prevent him from crashing waves and you'll be fine. He does decent damage but you'll win after level 11.
Renekton is very, VERY strong early but falls off like a truck and has very long cooldowns. Abuse his cooldowns and trade when they're down and just outscale. Play slightly safely once he hits level 6 as he can quickly burst you down.
The way to beat Sett is to kite him. So long as he misses his E, you will win the trade. I like to play back with Q max and just poke him down. Use your ult when he Es you as most Sett players will land the E and then use his Q autos to burst you. Use your W to dodge his W as well.
Cho'Gath is easy to beat if you dodge his Q. If he hits it, you'll lose the trade, so just play as far back as you can. Ult his Q if you can and you'll outscale and kite him.
Mundo is easy because you have no hard CC to pop his passive and you can just kite him. You'll lose early though as he has great poke so just be careful and go for short trades. When he hits 6 you will lose a longer trade, but when you hit 11 you will win.
This matchup is easy because Heimer has no choice but to permanently push the wave. This means you can farm up and burst him down in lategame. Be careful because he also has early kill pressure on you!
Kennen's poke is quite strong but with Q max and Comet you have excellent poke in lane as well. He has some kill pressure, but if you use your ult to block his, I find it's very very easy to kill him at level 11.
Veryeasy matchup once you hit 6. Use ult at the END of the drowsy animation so you block the damage. Your ult invincibility duration is just about the same as her ult's sleep duration so you'll be fine. Just don't chase her because that's when she'll beat you (she's always faster and will outkite).
Pretty simple matchup, BUT if he E-flashes you you're dead. Use W to bait his E out so you win the trade (he usually loses if he misses E). Always ult when he starts auto'ing you with his W INSTEAD OF ULTING HIS ULT because the invincibility will run out and you'll die anyway, UNLESS you know it's gonna kill him.
You'll outscale Yasuo, but he's a pretty tough threat in the early levels. What I like to do is use my ult and walk into his tornado if I know he's going to follow up on it, and he should be a free kill. You'll start to win once you get Nashor's Tooth.
You can kite Garen quite well. It becomes very very easy if you put a few points into W. Be careful if you're half HP in lane though as his combo of Q+E+R will very easily kill you. Ult his ult best you can, but if you can't predict that then just ult a Q as the follow-up damage comes shortly after.
Maokai is easy because he has very little kill pressure and you'll win pretty much at all stages of the game. Be careful of the bushes though as his empowered saplings actually do lots of damage. Also, he has really good gank setup with all of his CC so try not to overextend or dive him. Slowpushing is great as he has pretty weak waveclear.
Although Shen has kill pressure on you with his strong early damage and his taunt, this matchup is easy because if he ults and leaves lane, you just get to free farm. So play safe, buy Cull, and just scale. You'll win very easily.
Singed has low kill pressure unless you chase him, and if he proxys that's great because it's just free farm for you. Just be careful if you get ganked as his flip and slow can get you killed very easily in a 1v2.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
|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.|
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.
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.
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:
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.
|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|