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Kai'Sa Build Guide by Amberdragon

ADC [14.9] Complete Kai'sa Guide to Dominate Your Games

ADC [14.9] Complete Kai'sa Guide to Dominate Your Games

Updated on May 1, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Amberdragon Build Guide By Amberdragon 648 49 1,933,962 Views 12 Comments
648 49 1,933,962 Views 12 Comments
League of Legends Build Guide Author Amberdragon Kai'Sa Build Guide By Amberdragon Updated on May 1, 2024
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Kai'Sa
    Champion Overview
  • LoL Champion: Kai'Sa
    AP on-hit
  • LoL Champion: Kai'Sa
    AD on-hit
  • LoL Champion: Kai'Sa
    Crit

Runes: HoB - gold efficiency

1 2 3
Domination
Hail of Blades
Taste of Blood
Eyeball Collection
Treasure Hunter

Inspiration
Magical Footwear
Biscuit Delivery
Bonus:

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

Spells:

1 2 3 4
Heal - Autopilot
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Heal

Heal

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




I am an ADC main in the BR server and play a lot of different champions, but I consider Xayah and Kai'Sa as my mains, since I play them the most and the best!

I started playing Kai'sa on early season 10, but I didn't quite commit to mastering her until late season 10. I totally owe my improvement to FXN Saber, without him I wouldn't have been able to wrap my head around this champion!

At the moment she’s my second highest mastery champion. She is also one of my favorite ADCs, my usual comfort pick and the main reason I like her is because of her flexibility and independence when compared to other ADCs!





Ability Rundown
A summary of Kai’Sa’s abilities

Pros & Cons
Champion strengths & weaknesses

Summoner Spells
Best summoner spells


Skill Order
Usual skill orders

Runes
Best runes

Explaining Evolves
What are they and how to get them faster


Itemization
Best items

Dealing Damage
How to optimize damage

Playstyle
Playstyle for all stages of the game


How to ADC
Fundamentals to playing ADC

Matchups
Foes & how to deal with them

Synergies
Allies & how to work with them






SECOND SKIN

Kai'Sa's basic attacks stack Plasma, dealing increasing bonus magic damage. Allies' immobilizing effects help stack Plasma. Additionally, Kai'Sa's item purchases upgrade her basic spells to have more powerful properties.

Living Weapon: When reaching a certain amount of stat from items and base stats, Kai'Sa can evolve the related basic ability. This has a channel time of 2 seconds, and the upgrade is canceled if the said amount of stat isn't reached anymore.

Q evolve - 100 AD
W evolve - 100 AP
E evolve - 100% Attack Speed







ICATHIAN RAIN

Kai'Sa shoots a swarm of missiles that seek out nearby targets. Isolated targets receive more damage as they receive all missiles instead of just a few.

Living Weapon: Icathian Rain is upgraded to shoot more missiles.







VOID SEEKER

Kai'Sa shoots a long range missile, marking enemies with her passive and revealing them.

Living Weapon: Void Seeker is upgraded to apply more passive marks and reduce cooldown on champion hit.








SUPERCHARGE

Kai'sa briefly increases her Move Speed, then increases her Attack Speed. You can reduce this ability’s cooldown by auto attacking.

Living Weapon: Supercharge is upgraded to briefly grant Invisibility.








KILLER INSTINCT

Kai'Sa dashes near an enemy champion marked by her passive and shields herself.









PROS

+ Marksman/Assassin hybrid
+ Great scaling
+ High burst and DPS
+ Flexible build and pick
+ High survivability
+ Decent laner

Kaisa is a late game monster, an assassin marksman who can burst squishies and kite tanks. Her hybrid damage and very flexible builds make it really hard for the enemy to build against her, and with such an adaptable playstyle she can fit into almost any team comp and support. She’s relatively weak in the early game, but if you play to her strengths and optimize damage you will find she has a lot of kill threat in lane. She’s also very slippery and mastering her feels very rewarding.


CONS

- Can lose damage if not played well
- Hard to play when out-ranged
- Very reliant on items
- High learning curve
- Mechanically challenging
- You can int easily with R

Due to her low range she can be abused by poke champions during laning phase and generally does poorly into teams with a lot of range and burst. Playing against melees who can lock her down is also very annoying, as they make kiting harder. On its own her kit is rather simple, but much harder to master and very easy to misuse. She’s very reliant on items to do damage and to get her evolves, so bad item choices (especially early game) can hamper your carry potential.





How independent is she as an ADC?

Overall Kai’sa is pretty self-sufficient in the mid-late game, when she has her Killer Instinct and evolved Supercharge.

She still relies on her support in the early game (especially in harder lanes), but she can be pretty strong on her own after a few AD components. Getting kills early enables her to become independent faster, and in the late game she can 1v1 junglers, mid laners and top laners if you can pull her off mechanically and be smart about your positioning.


How safe is it to blind pick her?

Thanks to her flexible kit and build path she is usually a safe pick, but it can vary depending on meta. Luckily, she’s often decent in the meta.

Your early game is rather weak so getting counterpicked can prove to be a bit challenging, but I believe in the end it comes down more to support matchup. Thanks to her flexibility as a champion and her scaling, even if you are behind you can still carry your games after a rough laning phase.

Poke lanes and games with good Zoning champions like Xayah, Alistar, Zilean and Viktor are generally the hardest to pull off.










FLASH
This is a must have for most champions in the game - Always take it. Use it to dodge important enemy abilities, if needed you can also use it to get in range to kill an enemy. It can also be used in combos, the most famous being Void Seeker + Flash.


HEAL
Heal is good on 2v2 and it does decently well into matchups in which you cannot use Exhaust well (like into Ezreal, Caitlyn, Varus, Xerath), matchups that either burst you on combos or you cannot get in range to Exhaust.

Ideally you want to use it before the enemy applies Ignite, but it can also be used for the burst of movement speed. Good early game summoner but not as good late game.


EXHAUST
Imagine you are against a Lucian, Samira, Kai'Sa, Draven, Tristana, or the enemy has dangerous assassins - all these champions want to get on your face and burst you. This is where Exhaust usually becomes the best option. While your support can take it, most of the times I find it best for you as the ADC to take Exhaust, since you are likely to be the main target and your support will not always be nearby. Aside from reducing burst, the slow can also help you kite or run away.



CLEANSE
So the enemy has hard CC champions, like Leona, Thresh, Morgana or Ashe? Take cleanse. If you get caught, use it before it's too late. It's also a good summoner to remove Ignite and Exhaust.

Remember it DOESN'T work for Skarner R, Mordekaiser R or Malzahar R.



Ghost
Offensive uses: Chasing enemies, repositioning, going all-in.
Defensive uses: Kiting, repositioning, running from ganks, running from engage.

Ghost is overall a good spell in lane and in late game, unlike Heal. Though since its use is not as straightforward as Heal or Barrier, I would not recommend it to new players, at least in ranked until you get used to it.
It is a good option to take when your support takes Exhaust and Heal won’t really be that useful in keeping you alive throughout the game.















1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
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Q
W
E
Q
Q
R
Q
Q
E
E
R
E
E
W
W
R
W
W


This is the most standard skill order for both crit and hybrid build. Maxing W is not worth it in crit build because you will build no AP (and W scales off AP); and in hybrid builds you usually start getting AP items only in the late game, making W max still not good until later on.

At level 2 you can take Supercharge instead of Void Seeker if you feel like you will need the movement speed to dodge an important ability or disengage. It can be good against champions like Pyke, Thresh and Blitzcrank. But in most games taking W at level 2 is the best, especially if you have an all-in support, since it will help you burst the enemy ADC.







1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
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14
15
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Q
W
E
Q
Q
R
Q
Q
E
E
R
E
E
W
W
R
W
W


When going AP builds you usually still max Q first, since it is your main source of damage and the first thing you evolve. AP Kai’sa deals damage by hitting W AND stacking her passive, and to stack passive you will need your autos - which deal AD damage. So getting Q evolve first and maxing Q is still very beneficial, especially in the early game. After that you max W and lastly E.

Again, as with AD/Hybrid builds, you can take Supercharge level 2 if you feel like you need it but Void Seeker is better.










Kai’sa has 2 main runes: Lethal Tempo and Hail of Blades, and she can use as a secondary rune page either Domination, Inspiration or Precision.

In this section I will go into her most common rune setups.





Hail of Blades
Hail of Blades is a great keystone if you have an aggressive support and it works for pretty much any build. It is flexible, it helps a lot with early game damage and gives you easy access to Treasure Hunter (for more gold, thus faster evolves). Hail of Blades allows you to quickly stack your passive with its burst of AS. More of an early game rune, really helpful in lane.

Taste of Blood
Taste of Blood is the only good option you get among its peers. It is good for a little bit of sustain. Sudden Impact can technically be used by Kai’sa, but it procs so situationally that it is not worth it.

Eyeball Collection
Eyeball Collection is the most reliable rune in its group. Ghost Poro takes too long to stack and Zombie Ward is bad because the one to usually take wards is the support, again it would take too long for you to stack it.

Treasure Hunter
Treasure Hunter, Ingenious Hunter and Ultimate Hunter are all viable on Kaisa. Treasure Hunter is my usual pick - Kaisa is extremely gold reliant because her Evolves need stats from items. Combining this rune with Magical Footwear and Future's Market creates a very gold-efficient rune page. Ingenious Hunter is viable if you are going to build items that have cooldowns, such as Zhonya's Hourglass. Ultimate Hunter is also fine for self peel and making picks with Killer Instinct, but the other options better in most games.


Magical Footwear
Magical Footwear is gold efficient and allows you to focus on getting items for your Q evolve without having to worry about spending on tier 1 Boots. However, you may wish to take something else if the enemy has a lot of poke or an engage support and take early boots to avoid getting caught.

Biscuit Delivery
Biscuit Delivery offers HP and mana to help you stay in lane. This can help a lot especially if you are into a rougher matchup.


Precision Tree as Secondary



This is an early game focused setup and it is really good if you can snowball lane. If I want better early trading + sustain I take Inspiration as my secondary, and if I have an aggressive support to help me snowball I like taking Precision.








Lethal Tempo
Lethal Tempo is a good rune for scaling and extended trades, it works really well for on-hit and DPS builds. Good for passive lanes where you just want to farm and scale, as well as lanes with enchanter supports. One thing worth paying attention to is the extra range you get - your normal Q range is just about the same range as your base auto, but with lethal tempo it becomes shorter and that can feel a bit funny if you are not used to it.

Triumph
Triumph suits Kaisa’s diving/assassin playstyle pretty well as it helps her survive after all-ins and gives her some extra gold. Presence of mind can also be used, if you need mana sustain.

Legend: Alacrity
Legend: Alacrity feels really good for its DPS potential, especially if you choose a build that is not very strong in the attack speed department. However, if you are going to get a lot of attack speed from items Bloodline is probably better.

Coup de Grace
Coup de Grace is good against squishy champions and works fine with Kai’sa to finish off low HP targets. If enemy is tanky or has a lot of HP, then Cut Down is better.


Taste of Blood
Taste of Blood is a nice bit of sustain in lane if you like it. If you feel it doesn't make that much of a difference you can go Eyeball Collection instead.

Treasure Hunter
Treasure Hunter is my favorite “hunter” rune for Kai’sa because it helps her snowball and get her core items faster. Ingenious Hunter (depending on build) and Ultimate Hunter can work too, but I prefer to have the extra gold.


Inspiration Tree as Secondary



This is a late game focused setup and it is really good if you are more focused on scaling. Works really well with enchanter supports and lanes where you usually fight extended trades. Really good as a standard! The secondary tree really depends on personal taste and lane. I am comfortable going Domination most of the time, but I will take Inspiration if I feel like I need a bit of help in the early game.
















First thing to note is that only stats from items and levels count -- Runes don't! This is why sometimes you will see a bug displaying you have reached the 100 AD/AS/AP but your evolve is not yet ready.

Kaisa’s evolves are a core part of her kit, identity and powerspikes – this is why all the most popular builds are the way they are and why certain build orders are more commonly seen.

Your first and most important damage spike comes from evolving Icathian Rain, which is achieved by getting 100 AD from items+levels. This ability is your bread and butter for damage. Evolving Void Seeker and Supercharge require 100 AP and 100% Attack Speed respectively. Killer Instinct does not evolve.

There are many ways to reach the necessary 100 AD/AS/AP. I will list the most common ones – but do take note that certain build paths let you evolve, for example, your Q before level 11 and some that take up until level 13.












Since Kaisa’s kit relies on her itemization to be effective her builds can get pretty complicated as they are very variable and some players will have a preference towards a specific path. But fear not! I did my best to keep it simple and objective for you.

In this section my main focus is on her AD and on-hit builds - full AP one-shot builds are currently only for fun and it has generally been that way since nerfs to her W.





Hybrid Build
On-hit build with a little bit of spice

AD On-Hit Build
Focus on auto attacks and shredding tanks

AD Crit Build
Your average, good-for-anything build







AP On-hit

AP Hybrid



The first is technically an on-hit build, and there are two ways to go about it, generally speaking: Rageblade 3rd or Nashor’s 3rd. You ideally always start with Doran's Blade.
If you go the Guinsoo's Rageblade path you’ll be opting into a more on-hit style and you will get a delayed W evolve compared to the alternative.
If you go Nashor's Tooth instead, you still get the on-hit but you reach W evolve a bit earlier, and since you’ll have more AP you will have a bit more burst than if you went for Rageblade.



The Eclipse build focus on burst AP damage and also has two version: Nashor's Tooth or Guinsoo's Rageblade for a second item instead of a third. If you go Nashor’s you will have more AP burst but no Q evolve, and if you go Rageblade you give up on an extra AP item for triple evolve (note you will still need Nashor’s for your E evolve after Rageblade).
If you are really struggling against assassins you can get Zhonya's Hourglass instead of Shadowflame.


These builds are good when your team lacks AP damage. Early on you will have pretty decent hybrid damage and late game you transition into having more AP damage. This is not necessarily an “AP one-shot” build (though you can still blow up squishies if you’re ahead) - you will deal most of your damage by getting your passive to proc and hitting W combos.







Rageblade 3rd

Navori 3rd


This build gives you both Q and E evolve after a few levels, but you still don’t get the W evolve unless you build Zhonya's Hourglass. Kraken + Terminus gives you both Q and E evolve in time, but I recommend you always start Doran's Blade.
You don’t have to build Zhonya’s, but I find it too valuable to pass up since it gives you an easy W evolve and you get its precious active. If you feel like you don’t need it though, you can go for Bloodthirster, Guardian Angel or Lord Dominik's Regards for your last items.

Honorable mention to the following situational items: Blade of the Ruined King as a 3rd item when you are against a super tanky team, and Wit's End as a late game item when you are facing mages and CC.

This build feels good in most games and is a good on-hit alternative when your team already has decent AP carries. You should be decent against tanks and still deal a lot of damage to squishy champions.








Classical crit

Collector


This build is probably the most flexible, as you have a lot of options. Kraken Slayer, Stormrazor and Statikk Shiv are all decent first items.

Your second item can be Infinity Edge, Navori Flickerblade if you need some ability damage and reduced E cooldowns for self peel (also more of a late game build), and The Collector is the best choice for early game snowball. You can get your Q evolve faster if you buy your next item’s AD components first, and this is especially powerful when going the Collector because of Serrated Dirk.

Your third item is also flexible. Phantom Dancer, Runaan's Hurricane and even Guinsoo's Rageblade are all good. Do keep in mind you’ll be aiming for your E evolve here.

All items after that are situational.


You ideally start Doran's Blade, since this will give you the earliest possible Q evolve, but you may go for a Long Sword if the enemy has strong poke. Kraken + AD-heavy item gives you an easy and straightforward Q evolve, and sets you up for E evolve on your third item.

The crit builds are all-around okay, but they generally get outshined by other builds as long as AP and hybrid are valid.













Here we will be going in-depth on how to optimize Kai'Sa's damage by using her abilities well. At first glance her abilities are rather straightforward, but they can be easily misused. Knowing how you can maximize your damage and still survive a sticky situation will make playing this champion much more rewarding!

Do keep in mind that sometimes the optimal is not always feasible, meaning that to score kills or outplay your opponent you may need to go against what is “optimal” for her Second Skin passive usage for example – but at the same time, using this ability well will allow you to score way more kills.

Players who are new to Kai’sa or who are not very advanced in their mechanics might struggle to use her abilities well consistently. This is FINE – take your time, practice, and have fun first and foremost. You don't need to play perfectly.







SECOND SKIN
Kai'Sa's basic attacks stack Plasma, dealing increasing bonus magic damage. Allies' immobilizing effects help stack Plasma. Additionally, Kai'Sa's item purchases upgrade her basic spells to have more powerful properties.

Living Weapon: When reaching a certain amount of stat from items and base stats, Kai'Sa can evolve the related basic ability. This has a channel time of 2 seconds, and the upgrade is canceled if the said amount of stat isn't reached anymore.




Your passive is pretty straightforward: you auto champions, you stack your passive. You hit Void Seeker, you stack passive. You deal magic damage with each auto. You like having CC on your team. Proc your passive and you get a huge damage bonus.

This means that what you should be looking for in fights is stacking it as fast as possible. But what can you do to achieve this?

For starters, you could take the rune Hail of Blades, making sure to auto the same champion three times in succession to make the most out of the rune. Really good early game when you don’t have a lot of attack speed.

You’ll want to use auto resets such as Void Seeker + AA or Killer Instinct + AA and always hit your W to get your damage off faster – especially early game. Guinsoo's Rageblade also helps, though it doesn’t fit every build. Teams and supports with plenty of CC are also great to have.

Getting Second Skin to proc is very decisive in your early game damage. It is sometimes worth it to Flash on an enemy sitting on low HP and 4 stacks to proc your passive because it’s a lot of damage. It may not seem like it at first, but the small details can make a huge difference. Paying more attention to this ability is a nice thing to focus on if you want to master this champion.


















ICATHIAN RAIN
Kai'sa shoots a swarm of missiles that seek out nearby targets. Isolated targets receive more damage as they receive all missiles instead of just a few.

Living Weapon: Icathian Rain is upgraded to shoot more missiles.



Icathian Rain is your bread and butter to deal damage so you usually want it to evolve first and use it well.

It deals a huge amount of damage to isolated targets, so naturally you want to position yourself in a way that allows you to hit just your target. In teamfights this could mean kiting away from grouped enemies and staying at max range. You want to single out one champion – Supercharge and Killer Instinct can help with that.

It is ideal to fight away from enemy minions and jungle monsters during all stages of the game.

In lane, your Icathian Rain can help you push lane, but keep in mind it deals more damage to low HP minions. You should auto-attack them until they have less than half their HP and then use Q to insta kill them.

This ability is also a great trading tool. If you can get away with it, trade with the enemy ADC or support with auto and isolated Q (as isolated as possible). You will catch many enemies off guard with your damage, especially if you can make full use of your Hail of Blades. If you manage to hit Void Seeker as well it’s great.



Extra tips:


You can cast Icathian Rain just before Void Seeker and Supercharge to deal damage while you are channeling those abilities.

Sometimes you will use Q and see it is targeting minions instead of the enemy champion... How to avoid that? Well, your Q range is slightly smaller than your auto range. So use your Q when you are in auto-attack range and you will most likely hit it!


















VOID SEEKER
Kai'sa shoots a long range missile, marking enemies with her passive and revealing them.

Living Weapon: Void Seeker is upgraded to apply more passive marks and reduce cooldown on champion hit.



First, keep in mind that if you go full AD you are never going to evolve this ability. You need 100 AP to evolve it and depending on your build it won’t be worth it.

Hitting this ability will grant you true sight, which means you will be able to see champions like Akali and Shaco when they are supposed to be invisible. It will also give your 2 plasma stacks (3 if evolved), which allows you to use Killer Instinct on the marked enemy.

When you are only building AD, the main purpose of this ability is to allow you to go in with your R, combo, stack your passive, and snipe enemies. When you have it evolved its poke damage can be pretty okay and hitting it will make your burst combos and “burstier”, so it’s important you don’t miss it.

You can combo Void Seeker + Flash to reposition it and make sure you hit it, especially during laning phase. Your W will go to the targeted direction but it will be cast from your new location. If you time it just right though, you can make what is called "Phantom W", which is a visual bug that makes it look like your W is coming from the place you were before flashing.

In the early game you will want to use this ability to combo and trade/all in. You will see many players using this ability to poke enemies, and in a lot of cases that’s just not worth it.




When can it be good to poke in lane?

You have a poke/long range harass support and you want to help them harass

You want to get an assist/help teammate but you are too far away

You have this ability evolved




What are the best ways to use this ability?

Using it to get vision and avoid face checks

Using it to catch a mispositioned enemy you can kill by following your W with Killer Instinct

Using it as an auto reset

Comboing it with Killer Instinct (R + W) to quickly burst a squishy target

Using it to stack your passive faster

Sniping low HP targets




Why you would want to combo R+W?

Let's assume you have a Rell support and she managed to engage on the enemy bot laner. You could W immediately to stack your passive faster... but what if there is a minion in the way? Or a champion who is not the priority target?
In these cases, you can R behind all these obstacles and MAKE SURE the enemy gets hit by your full combo - Your W, your isolated Q, your autos.
You will need some practice to get the combo right while mid-air!


















SUPERCHARGE
Kai'sa briefly increases her Move Speed, then increases her Attack Speed. You can reduce this ability’s cooldown by auto attacking.

Living Weapon: Supercharge is upgraded to briefly grant Invisibility.



You want to have this ability evolved after your Q and it evolves when you have 100% attack speed. Supercharge has two main uses: to run away or to go in.

Usually, you want to use this ability to dodge important abilities and to kite. Only use it to go in if you can get away with it (if the enemy can't punish you for using your mobility). One exception to that is when you evolve it and gain Invisibility – You can use it to go into range of a vulnerable target from fog of war and surprise them.

When you are pushing into the enemy tower you can use E to take platings faster, but beware if you don't have vision. If there are enemies nearby it is best to use this ability to run away in an emergency. Otherwise, using it for plates and turrets is not that bad since auto attacking will reduce this ability's cooldown.



Some extra uses

In the early game you’ll usually not build Berserker's Greaves, so you can use your E as an attack speed steroid and mobility to compensate for your lack of boots, so use it wisely.

You can use Supercharge before a fight as a way to increase DPS once you’re in... it gives you a nice setup to R in and blow up vulnerable targets. But especially when your target is surrounded by their allies it is a good idea to save E in order to have some mobility. Killer Instinct is one of your main defensive tools, so if you use it aggressively you want to at least have your E for survival, especially if you have it evolved.

You can also use E combined with other mobility tools to run away. As an extreme example (which I have had to use when mispositioned): you can Killer Instinct to go around an enemy, Supercharge to run away and Flash over a wall. When you have all your mobility tools you are pretty slippery, so don't waste them mindlessly. You may be tempted to use E aggressively or to move faster, but it is a self peel tool so be aware of how you are using it.




Ideas on how to juke enemies with your Invisibility

Pretend to go in one direction, E and turn around

Use invisibility so that enemies can't use targeted abilities on you ( Yasuo E, Annie Q, Teemo Q)

Use it as a way to counter auto attack steroids and autos in general ( Xayah W, Kog'Maw W, Ashe Q, Vayne autos, Jhin 4th shot)

Use E to dodge a skillshot and then go in (this often catches enemies off guard).

















KILLER INSTINCT
Kai'Sa dashes near an enemy champion marked by her passive and shields herself.



Now here's the ability people probably misuse the most, and that is because it can be both an offensive tool and a defensive tool. The ability is at its best use when you can use it both offensively and defensively!

You will see some Kai’sa players hitting Void Seeker on a seemingly isolated squishy target, R in and then die soon after because the entire enemy team was there. This can be avoided by exercising self restraint and thinking before acting!

Because of how Kaisa works, you ideally don't want to R into the entire enemy team. Make sure you are sticking to the sides of the teamfight so that you can run away if things go ugly and you can isolate your target.


An important thing to know about Killer Instinct: it counts as a Dash, which means it can be interrupted by Vex and Poppy. You are not untargetable, if you try to R on a Jinx and you fly over her traps, you will get trapped. If you get caught on Poppy ult you will fly away. If you Ahri lands her charm mid air your R will be interrupted and you will get charmed.




Let's look at its offensive uses

Isolating a target to hit Q

This is especially important in teamfights. You can use Killer Instinct to reposition and isolate the priority target. You should be cautious and ideally use R like that when the enemy has used their CC and self peel on someone from your team instead.


Engaging or following up on an engage

This is pretty straightforward. Maybe you or your support manage to get your enemy marked, you see their team is not there and you go in for the kill. You can also use it to help a teammate if they have CC to mark the enemy.


Using it as a auto reset for more burst

This is a use people often overlook but I suggest you do try to practice it in your 1v1. Basically, you can aa+R+aa. Make the most use from that after using your Hail of Blades, you will get 2 stacks quickly after the first 3 you get from the rune.

Using it as a auto reset when you have already engaged on the enemy means you don't need to R to reposition yourself - instead, you can use it in a 1v1 to dodge, get a shield and reset your passive. Your Ult won't go to waste if you use it both offensively and defensively!





Now the defensive uses

Repositioning

Maybe you are caught in the middle of a teamfight and enemies surround you - but suddenly, you see your team has caught someone on the sides with CC – You get a free out of jail card! You can also get yourself out if you hit Void Seeker on a distant target.
Maybe the enemy is standing close to a wall and you need to get away. You can R over the wall!


Juking enemy abilities

Morgana Q, Seraphine R, Sett W - you name it. If you have enemies marked you can R to juke important abilities.
One tip that works best against bruisers and the kind is: when they are going for you, run away to one side and R to the other. This might glitch their minds for a moment and you may get away from a champion like Sett or Riven who used their abilities predicting you were going to follow a direction only to see you dash to the other one.


Getting a shield

Killer Instinct gives you a massive shield. If the enemy has a lot of damage you will want to R to both reposition yourself and soak up damage instead of engaging.




Last useful tips:

Your Void Seeker range is the same as your Killer Instinct range at max level

To be able to R on a target they have to be inside your range. If you R into someone from max range you will be able to cover the area that is out of your normal range. If the enemy is barely out of range but you can see the area of your passive is inside your range, you still CAN'T use Killer Instinct.

You will see a visual indicator (a "pulsation") when you can R someone out of your screen. Useful for getting away!

You will land where your cursor is and will not follow enemy champions. If you R to catch up to someone and they Flash over the wall, your R will go to the direction your cursor was when you cast it rather than following the targeted champion.











Here I will just go over some of her mechanics. I have mentioned quite a few already, but I figured it would be good to have a place summing it all up for you to practice later.

I made a video demonstrating some combos and I have also written everything down for reference. However, it does mention and use Galeforce, which has been deleted from the game. All combos using it can still be done the same way by using Flash!

I want to update this video, but since I’m currently running LoL on a potato-ish PC I haven’t been able to record anything in high quality. When I get to solve this issue I’ll update it.







Click to See Combos







Kai’sa is a marksman/assassin hybrid – she wants to isolate and kill single targets with her burst and kite around the enemy team.

Her playstyle will vary a bit depending on the team you are up against: if you are against bruisers and champions that can catch and burst you, you will want to play as a front to back ADC. You will stand behind your team, hit the closest target, use your abilities for self peel and only go in if you can execute a target and run away.

If you are against squishy, vulnerable champions you can start playing as an assassin. Most of the time you will still be playing relatively safe, but if you are fed and the enemy is actually vulnerable you can easily solo kill them using your self peel and burst. In teamfights you can sometimes get away with using Killer Instinct to reach the backline and kill them one by one once their defensive tools are down.

Kaisa does well with teams that can CC enemies for free stacks and enable pick offs on the enemy carry, as well as peel for her. As a short ranged ADC who revels in close combat, she tends to be vulnerable when her team doesn't have a frontline and when they have mainly ranged champions.








The most reliable way to get a lead from level one is to push for level 2 first. You can use Icathian Rain to help you last hit multiple minions at once, or, if the enemy mispositions and becomes isolated from the wave, you can use your Q to get a nice trade. If it is too risky to push level one, just concede prio and wait for level 2 to play more aggressively.


IF PLAYING INTO GOOD MATCHUPS


In favorable matchups you should generally be looking to get good trades and pressure the enemy while being careful to not get ganked.

When you fight, try to hit your full combo and using E and R for self peel especially when you don't have vision. Before your Q evolve you will have to hit your W, isolated Q and proc your passive to do damage and score kills. If you misuse your abilities you may find yourself lacking a bit of damage or losing the trade.

If you score a kill in the early game, do your best to maintain your lead. Don't get overconfident, remember Kai’sa needs her Q evolve to truly shine. Play around your strengths and don't throw your lead. Use your Killer Instinct wisely.


PLAYING WITH AGGRESSIVE SUPPORT


If you have an aggressive support in the early game (or an engage/hook support), you will want to position more aggressively and be ready to make picks whenever the enemy mispositions. You will want to stand close to them, in a way that minions are not in your way for you to hit Void Seeker and isolated Icathian Rain. Keep your wave frozen in the middle of the lane to give room for your support to engage, but let the wave push into you if you don't have vision in the river and surrounding brushes.





IF PLAYING INTO BAD MATCHUPS


In Hard or Passive lanes your main priority should be farming and scaling. Don't force plays if you don't have a lead or if the enemy lane has more kill pressure than you – you’re not an early game champion, you just have to be patient. Try not to die so as to not give the enemy a bigger lead.

Your priority should be on wave management, macro gameplay and keeping a steady gold and xp income. Getting picks with your team is relatively easy on Kai’sa because of Killer Instinct, so it’s alright to just wait for the right moment to fight instead of trying to force plays.

In a passive lane, dragon rotations can be very risky, and it is often here where players will mess up their lanes.

Avoid rotating to dragon if your wave has not fully crashed into the enemy tower, and don't over-commit to a fight. Don't thoughtlessly rotate without lane prio. Early drakes are not that big of a deal, by the mid game you can focus more on helping your teammates with dragons as you will either have destroyed the enemy tower or lost yours.








Mid game generally starts when the first tower falls. It is at this point where you have to be especially careful if your lane is going even, as the enemy mid or top laners will try to make plays on your lane. Your team will also start requiring your help to get drake, herald or baron.


PLAYING OFF YOUR LEADS



If you are ahead, focus on pressuring the enemy, farming, getting towers and pushing your lead further. Ping your jungler or mid to make plays bot and get yourself further ahead. Once you take bot tower, start rotating with your support to take more towers/objectives and make picks around the map to put yourself further ahead and put enemy solo laners behind.

By "making picks" I mean: you can ambush a lonely enemy or the enemy happens to misposition and your team can collapse without inting. Don't get overconfident as the enemy solo laners might be stronger than the bot laners and still kill you.



IF YOU ARE BEHIND…


If you are behind, it is especially important to focus on farming so you can get your evolves. Avoid making rotations unless you can get something good out of it.

Before making any plays or rotating you will want to shove any lane you are farming, be it bot, mid or top. It is at this stage of the game where many players throw their lead - they stop farming and rotate to every single jungle skirmish.

A good rule of thumb for choosing when to rotate with your team or not is: is there something worth fighting for, and what do I lose for this play?

If your team can get something out of a skirmish, like drake, baron, or tower, then you can look to shove the wave into enemy territory and rotate. If your team is outnumbered, you probably shouldn't go as it is a losing fight. Pay attention at all times to see if enemies are missing - if they are, assume they are rotating or coming for you.



KEEPING A STEADY GOLD INCOME



To get the most out of the mid game as an ADC, solo farm whenever you don't have to be with your team. If you think your team will get caught, spam ping them off, or farm as quickly as possible for good rotation or to allow a disengage. And don't share farm with solo laners and jungler.

At this point in the game you should already have your evolved Icathian Rain and Supercharge (around 2 items, or close to it) so you’ll be very strong. You’ll be important in teamfights. If you are even or ahead, try to keep the enemy chunked with good rotations and good fights.
If you are behind, you might not have managed to get both your evolves yet and your priority should be to get strong enough to be useful to your team.

Also avoid ARAMing mid. If either your team or the enemy team ARAMs but no real fights are breaking out, farm jungle or side lane. Sharing xp with 2+ people will do nothing to set yourself further ahead.










This is where you should already have your core items. Most of the time you will keep the same playstyle as in the mid game - pressuring enemies if you are ahead, farming waves, getting gold and getting stronger to contest objectives or force plays. At this stage it is very important that you do not die, as spawn timers will skyrocket and your team will be at a great disadvantage if outnumbered and without your damage.

This also means making picks is more valuable as you get more time to take Baron and towers! When the enemy has a number disadvantage, always look to see if you and your team can take something for free.

You should have plenty of time and pushing power to always be there for your team, but PLAY SAFE when Killer Instinct and Flash are down.

Also look to always be on the same side of the map as the objectives your teams want to contest - Don't split push bot if baron is up, don't be top when soul is about to spawn. Let the top laners be on the opposite side of the map, as they usually run Teleport.

This is the point of the game where you are usually the main carry. You will deal the most damage to towers and monsters, and in teamfights you should also do a lot of damage as long as you are positioning and building properly.

Your priority is to stay alive to carry your team. Don't wander around on your own.








This section will cover the most basic things to perform well as an ADC - how to farm, wave management and tips on how to survive as a squishy glass cannon. There will be a focus on Kai’sa but the tips here can help you with pretty much any other marksman.

Everything I am going to share I have picked up over time both from personal observations and from getting tips from high elo players!


1.
Farming
Tips for steady income
2.
Wave Management
Types, how to’s, pros & cons
3.
ADC Survival Guide
Survival guide to Summoner’s Rift











1. Use abilities on high HP minions or dying ones only
If you cast abilities on mid-low HP minions, you won’t be able to last hit all of them at once. It is best to use abilities on high HP minions if you need to thin the wave, or to get low HP minions that are already dying.

Be very patient and thoughtful with your autos, sometimes if you just wait a bit a mid HP minion will become low HP you will get the CS without trouble. By being impatient or thoughtlessly autoing the wave you make it easier for you to miss minions.

As Kai’sa, if you need to push the wave you can auto all minions till low HP (you can use Supercharge if needed), then use Icathian Rain to last hit them all at once - it deals more damage to low HP minions! This allows you to basically get rid of the entire wave in one go. You can also use Void Seeker to make sure you get canon minions, especially those that are far away.




2. How to farm under tower
If Melee Minion is full health; it takes 2 tower shots + 1 auto attack to kill them.

If Caster Minion is full health; it takes 1 tower shot, and 2 autos if you are very low level, 1 auto if you are higher level or with items.

If your minions dealt damage to enemy minions under tower, use your abilities to get them into last hit HP range. You will have to practice this a bit.




3. Farming safely
Sometimes enemies will harass you when you go for cs. This can be deadly at times, so always pay attention to enemy and ADC movements to see if they are going to harass you. If you think they are, you can use your Void Seeker to farm the most dangerous and valuable minions from safety. Just pray the enemy doesn’t body-block you!




4. Farming mid-late game
As an ADC it is important to farm consistently. Around the time where the first tower falls you ideally want to go to the mid lane and farm there while your team is not doing anything important.

If your mid laner wants to stay mid, farm side lanes (top or bot) then rotate with the team to mid. If your tower is down, make sure the entrances to your jungle are warded. If you have no vision you have to stay closer to your tower.

If there is nothing to farm, or nothing to do, or it is too risky to walk up to minions, farm jungle camps your jungler is not going to take.











I feel it is difficult to explain wave management in text format so I will try to keep this short and simple as possible for your convenience.

There are three main types of wave management and each one has their uses and a way to accomplish: Fast Pushing, Slow Pushing and Freezing.






This is usually what low elo players do constantly, especially newer players. This is when you quickly kill all minions, which results in a thin wave that crashes under the enemy tower.




HOW TO FAST PUSH

Fast pushing is easy - you auto attack frequently and use your abilities to kill minions as fast as possible, ideally without losing CS.

WHEN TO FAST PUSH

Ideally you want to fast push when you want to quickly crash your wave on the enemy tower to recall, fall back and/or make the enemy laner lose cs.



ADVANTAGES

Fast pushing gives you more freedom to rotate to your team faster. It is also good if you need to fix your minion wave or retreat quickly.

DISADVANTAGES

Fast pushing can actually create a freeze (which I will get into soon) if you don't push the wave all the way into enemy tower - so basically when you don’t push fast enough or if you push the wave at the wrong times. This can make you lose a lot of cs. When pushing in a hurry you also run the risk of missing most of your last hits.








Slow pushing is when you create a big minion wave that slowly pushes to the enemy tower.




HOW TO SLOW PUSH

You can create a slow push by keeping the enemy minion wave smaller than yours, but not killing them too quickly. You can achieve this by killing excess caster minions, since they deal more damage, and only last hitting melee minions. If the enemy allows this to happen you will have bought enough time to stack 2 minion waves. Once that is done you usually want to fast push to crash them or wait for another wave to stack and then crash.

WHEN TO SLOW PUSH

A slow push is a really good way to deny enemy CS if you can zone them from walking up. Make them patiently wait when they are alone in lane.

It is also ideal to slow push when you want a big minion wave to hit the enemy tower. This has multiple functions: facilitating tower dives, rotating to skirmishes, creating good recalls, harassing enemies under turret while they try to farm.



ADVANTAGES

Tower diving. Your minions will also aggro enemy champions once they hit you and you are close to your minions.

Taking stronger trades. If the enemy trades with you and your wave is bigger, the minions will deal a huge chunk of damage in the trade. In early levels this is especially important!

It is hard for the enemy to freeze a massive wave especially if you have the pushing power to kill the enemy minions and crash the wave.

You can zone the enemy away from cs when you have a bigger wave to back you up.

DISADVANTAGES

The main disadvantage is when you are away from your push. If the wave is slow pushing into the enemy tower and you cannot get close to it, your minions will kill the enemy minions too fast and deny you xp and gold. Likewise, enemies can use the advantages of slow pushing against you.








A freeze is when the wave is stuck and doesn't push to either one side or the other. It is a great defensive move and can be very bad for the enemy.

In laning phase, you ideally want the freeze to happen just outside of your own tower range so that it can be beneficial to you. Having a freeze happen in enemy territory is extremely dangerous for you and puts the enemy in a safe position.

Freezing requires a lot of practice and attention, so if you are still new to this, just start by trying to avoid freezes from happening and learning fast push & slow push. Once that's more settled on your mind try to practice creating and keeping freezes!



HOW TO FREEZE

Freezing is the hardest to get the hang of because it depends on the position the wave clashes and how healthy minions are.

To freeze the wave outside of your tower range you need to have around 3 or 4 healthy minions on the area of the closest bush to your tower. To keep the freeze you want to last hit minions, but if you see the freeze is turning into a slow push (into your tower) you will have to thin the wave by killing excess caster minions.

If the wave is becoming a slow push into enemy territory, just let it happen so that you can keep denying enemy gold and xp. The enemy will stop this from happening if they auto the wave.

To freeze the wave in the middle of the lane you need only to keep an equal amount of minions on both sides.

A freeze in enemy territory usually hapens when you try to fast push, but your wave clashes with the upcoming minion wave just outside enemy tower range. This type of freeze is good for the enemy as it leaves you vulnerable, and if you recall during such a freeze you will possibly lose an entire wave of gold and xp.



WHEN TO FREEZE
Maintain a freeze in your territory if you want to hold a more defensive position in lane, which you might want if you have Flash down, if enemy jungler is nearby, or if the enemy has a very aggressive engage lane, like Leona + Tristana.

A freeze in the middle of the lane is very good if you have an engage or hook support, like Rakan or Blitzcrank, as it gives them the most space to find all-in opportunities.

A freeze in enemy territory is very dangerous and is best avoided if enemy can somehow engage on you or gank you.

BREAKING A FREEZE
To break a freeze in middle or enemy territory you need to get close and fast push. If that's too dangerous, ask your jungler for help. If the enemy fights it's a 3v2 in a best case scenario.

To break the freeze close to your tower you can just let the enemy wave stack and crash or you can thin it and begin a slow push towards the enemy tower.



ADVANTAGES
Freezing allows you to zone the enemy away from cs, set up for ganks (if done in your territory) and keep you protected from ganks. If you manage to freeze the wave in the middle of the lane you give more room for your support to engage or catch the enemy from the bushes or the alcove. Keep in mind the enemy support could do the same.

DISADVANTAGES
A poorly positioned freeze makes you very vulnerable to ganks, engages, and can make you lose a ton of CS and XP. Freezing defensively can also make ganking difficult for your jungler (if there are too many minions) and it can make it harder for you to rotate to river skirmishes. In other words, defensive freezes sometimes mean you hold less lane priority.










Golden tip #1: Free Freezes
If the enemy fast pushes to recall, watch to see if their wave is going to crash. If you or your support can hold 3-5 minions and the enemy recalls you will naturally create a freeze on your side and you can safely recall as you will only lose about 2-3 minions at most while the enemy will lose an entire wave. If you do it correctly the wave will not crash on your tower. Abuse this to get level leads especially in lower elo!!! If you just pay attention you will see enemies often giving you free opportunities to freeze.



Golden tip #2: Freezing after losing turret
This goes beyond laning phase. If your team is playing the neutral game and there are no objectives to contest, seek to keep a freeze on your side of the map once your tower is down. This is especially good if you are behind and needing to catch up on cs and xp. Many people just fast push at this point, but it is not always the best choice as if you have a frozen wave deep into your territory the enemy team will either
1: lose a ton of cs and xp
2: go there to stop the freeze (which puts them in perfect spot to get collapsed on)



Golden tip #3: Cheater recall
A cheater recall is basically when you create an early slow push with a cannon wave, crash it and instantly recall. This allows you to get an item advantage in early levels as the enemy will have to stay to farm under tower and then crash their wave on your tower. If they don't do this they will have to take a bad recall... and while they are forced to choose the lesser evil, you can seek to punish them using your item lead.
To have a cheater recall you need to get lane prio (ideally you want jungler to start top or leashless) and let the wave slow push into enemy tower in a way the third minion wave will crash and you can recall. You need a cannon wave to crash because this will give you more time to get back to lane and not lose cs & xp.



Golden tip #4: Instant level advantage
For this you need your jungler to start top/leashless and the enemy bot lane to leash.
Sit in the bush closest to the enemy tower, and when minions arrive, exit the bush and hold the wave there until your minions catch up.
What happens is that because the wave did not meet in the middle, your minions will focus on an enemy minion and kill it faster. So when enemy laners return, they will lose a melee and thus lose their level 2 spike. Get your level 2 earlier and pressure them!













It is common knowledge that Summoner's Rift is a very perilous place to the average ADC player. If you are not careful, no matter how fed you are you can still get solo killed by 0/10 Yasuo OTP player. Even the enemy enchanter support can solo kill you under the right circumstances (I’m not joking).

This is why this section of the guide exists. Hopefully you will be able to last longer following some of these tips!




KNOW YOUR LIMITS


You can only do so much when you have no summoner spells, when you have had a stressful day at work/school and you can't move your fingers because it’s too chilly outside. On top of that you could be playing against your personal counter - maybe you just can't play against Vayne with any champion because she tilts the hell out of you and you end up losing the game regardless of what you do.

It's important to be realistic and understand your limits as a player - whether you are against a champion you cannot stand, how much BS you can take before tilting and running it down, how many buttons you can press at once to survive a teamfight, how aware you are of your cooldowns. Play safe/cool when you know you are at a personal disadvantage.




KNOW YOUR CHAMPION’S LIMITS


I get it, sometimes Kai’sa feels like an assassin and playing her gives you an adrenaline rush that not many ADCs can offer. Diving the enemy ADC and one-shotting them feels really good! But Kai’sa is not unbeatable and if you decide to take risks when your Flash, Killer Instinct or Supercharge are down you could end up throwing your lead - or the game.

You can be 10/1 and still lose to the average assassin player if your self peel tools are down and you are surrounded by 3 enemies. Make conscious decisions and don’t blame your team if everything goes wrong after you pushed your champion’s limits way too far.



RECOGNIZE BIGGEST THREATS


This is both champions as a whole and specific champion abilities. Malphite may not be a huge threat himself, but his Unstoppable Force is, so you want to be ready to react accordingly when his R is up. If you know you can't outplay a Zed then track him on the map and keep your distance. On champion select, instead of waiting for the game to start, stop and think about what abilities in the game can kill you and plan how you can avoid getting hit by them.





Example...


The enemy team is: Malphite top, Yasuo mid, Warwick jungle, Ezreal and Soraka in the bot lane.






STEP 1: LIST WHAT CAN KILL YOU IN A SKIRMISH


Malphite’s R + Yasuo’s R combo


Yasuo Steel Tempest (Q) + Last Breath (R)


Ezreal combo + R (trueshot barrage)


Soraka’s Equinox (E)


Warwick’s Infinite Duress (R)




STEP 2: LIST HOW YOU CAN SURVIVE THESE THREATS



Bring Exhaust for Warwick and Yasuo.
Bring Heal to not die from Ezreal poke/combo.
Use Supercharge or Killer Instinct to dodge Warwick R, Yasuo Q, Ezreal R, Malphite R
Build Zhonya's Hourglass to dodge important combos or buy you time
Use Killer Instinct for its shield instead of using it to dive only
Time your Flash to avoid enemy abilities.
Use your Supercharge invisibility to kite Yasuo and Warwick, as well as prevent Yasuo from using E to get on top of you..
Build Quicksilver Sash to cleanse Warwick R (not the best option since it won't be very useful against the rest of the team).


STEP 3: ADAPT TO YOUR GAME



Maybe Warwick and Ezreal are not fed but Yasuo is. What do you do? Well then your priority should be holding your R, E, exhaust and Flash to survive Malphite R and Yasuo Q+R. You can also avoid being in the same lane as Yasuo and keep an extra eye out for him during teamfights. Maybe build a Mortal Reminder for Soraka and Warwick.

Go into the game with a game plan on how you will survive each and every threat.






POSITION WELL IN TEAMFIGHTS


Kai'Sa can play either as an assassin or a traditional “front-to-back” ADC. When playing as a traditional back line carry you’ll typically want to auto and kite whoever is closest, saving your self peel for them.

And when you want to play more as an assassin (or change into that playstyle mid-fight) you’ll ideally want to pick off an isolated carry and burst them, then survive. To survive you’ll need to use your abilities wisely and also pick the right moment to dive the enemy correctly – you don’t want to go in when they are clearly well-protected by their team or when they have really important abilities still up.

Aside from teamfighting, you don't want to be the one going into fog of war to ward (use Void Seeker to scout), or be the frontliner. Play around getting free picks (either by yourself or with your team, when it’s safe to) or waiting for the enemy team to engage on you.




POSITION WELL ON THE MAP


Stay away from high threat enemy champions if you are alone (usually the assassin or fed bruisers, but it can also be mages or enemy AD carry). Don't sit alone in lane and avoid pushing too far into enemy territory without vision. Be in position to rotate to baron/drake skirmishes.




USE BLUE WARDS, VISION PLANTS AND CONTROL WARDS


ADCs have to ward too. Be mindful of your wards since you don't have many - every time you want to stick to one side of the map, use vision control to make sure you are not getting flanked. If you do get flanked, see if you can use Killer Instinct to reposition and run away! (Or outplay your enemy)




GOOD RECALL TIMING AND GREEDING


If you are sitting on a lot of gold and your team is not around, recall. You are usually a key member of the team to take objectives so it's important you are there for your team when they need you - sometimes staying to push one extra wave or take a few jungle camps will cost you a baron because you had a late recall. Sometimes you will die for being too greedy!

Try to have your recall aligned with your support's in the early game. Recall when you have a lot of gold, when you need full mana/hp and when the enemy gives you an opening to do so (when you are not getting pressured/ when they are not looking to make plays on the map). Good recall timing is extremely important so that you don't fall behind and so you are not alone/mispositioned.












In this section I will go into Kai’Sa's matchups - how the enemy wins, and how she wins. I will go into the usual bot lane marksmen matchups in relative detail. If you have questions about a specific champion that is not included here just let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do!

Champions are in alphabetical order.








APHELIOS - GOOD MATCHUP

HOW HE KILLS YOU
Level 1 Aphelios does not have his Q, so what he will try to do is auto attack you with Calibrum and push for level 2 first. After level 2 how he kills you will vary a bit depending on his weapons, but on summary he will want to use his rotations on you. When he has low ammo on both weapons he can get up to 4 weapon effects on a single fight if he is good, so avoid engaging at such times.

HOW YOU WIN
You will want to play around his weapon rotations to avoid his Crescendum, the Chakram combos and his poke especially. Aphelios is squishy despite his sustain, so you will win by catching him and bursting him. Avoid long trades and take advantage of him misusing his abilities - at level 1 his Q has a 10s cooldown, which means that once he uses it you will have a window of opportunity to fight and kill him. Supercharge invisibility is great to counter him when he uses Severum, the Scythe Pistol Q. Exhaust is really good in this matchup.



HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIS WEAPONS


Calibrum, the Sniper Rifle: when he has Calibrum he will win by poking you. If he has Gravitum, the Gravity Cannon as a secondary weapon he can set you up for a gank or engage with his support using his Q or R followed by Gravitum Q.
If he has Crescendum, the Chakram he will seek to stack chakram using the Q (turret), and then Calibrum Q you to kill you from afar.

Severum, the Scythe Pistol: severum gives him sustain which means that it is good for him to go for trades as he will recover from them faster than you in most instances. Extended fights are favorable to him and he will become deceptively harder to kill especially if he has R, so you’ll want to burst him and make sure to use Exhaust to cut off his DPS.
If he has Crescendum, the Chakram as his secondary weapon he has the deadliest weapon combo for 1v1 as he can quickly stack chakram and he will have a ton of sustain. Avoid trading or going all-in on him with this combo. Try to bait his Severum Q and use evolved Supercharge to avoid damage. But ideally you do not want to fight him with this particular combo.

Gravitum, the Gravity Cannon: this is the weapon he will use to make picks so it is important to have vision to make sure he will not set you up for a gank. The weapon slows so it may be hard to chase and kite him – when he has this weapon, you might want to hold on to Killer Instinct to chase him instead of using it to engage on him. He wins if he can chain cc you and kill you while he is out of your range.

Infernum, the Flamethrower: with infernum Aphelios will usually push the lane and try to poke you through your minions. You will want to avoid that poke by walking around your minions as you would do when trying to avoid a Miss Fortune Q bounce. Be very patient and careful to not fight him when he has a huge minion advantage. In a skirmish you will want to avoid his Infernum R as Infernum deals AoE damage that splashes around champions it hits.

Crescendum, the Chakram: Most weapon combos are deadly with this. Aphelios wins when he can get very close to you, as he gets more attack speed and damage if he stacks mini chakrams. This weapon is especially bad for you as you want to fight in a close distance, which means you make it easier for him to stack this weapon. He is also harder to kill as he will usually build sustain, so avoid long trades with Aphelios. Either burst him or don't fight. Careful with his turrets, they can soak up your Icathian Rain and Void Seeker damage!




ASHE - BAD MATCHUP

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
Ashe will kill you by poking you and kiting you. She has superior range, built-in slow, good trading with Q and CC on her ult. She will seek to abuse her range in lane then run you down with her slow - if you are the one going towards her, a good Ashe will kill you by kiting. After 6 she will kill you by abusing her R stun to burst you.

HOW YOU WIN
Ashe is squishy and immobile, you kill her by sticking to her face and bursting her – but actually doing that can be pretty hard because of her slow and range. Ideally you want an engage support so that you can chain cc her, but if you don't have one, you have to avoid her poke and find a way to catch her when she is isolated and you are strong enough to assassinate her. If you have really good reflexes and enough distance you can dodge her R with Killer Instinct and Supercharge, but taking Cleanse is more reliable and consistent especially in lane. Don’t underestimate her DPS!




CAITLYN - OKAY MATCHUP

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
She is one of the most annoying ADCs to go against in lane. She will seek to bully you away from farm and get a gold lead, and when you try to get close she will try to E+headshot you. If you don’t respect her early game she will just shut you down by abusing her range and burst.

HOW YOU WIN
Caitlyn often wins through wave management and good trades, so in the early game try to not give her any of those. Accept you might have to concede minions to preserve your HP and try your best to not get constantly pushed under your turret. The good thing about her early game pressure is that she will become vulnerable to ganks, so after 6 you can try to get her during a gank and use Killer Instinct to stick to her. If you have a support with CC that can actually catch her and she doesn’t have a support strong enough to protect her you might get lane prio.
Do keep in mind Caitlyn is usually not that hard to deal with once you have your evolves and ultimate – as long as she is not fed. Be patient, farm as well as you can. If you manage to not give her a lead you will outscale her.




DRAVEN - BAD MATCHUP

HOW HE KILLS YOU
Draven has a really strong early game trading power and he wins by abusing it. While his Q is active he will seek to auto you and run you down catching his axes (keeping his Q going). He will use his knock up to slow you and make it harder for you to get away.

HOW YOU WIN
First you have to respect his stronger early game. You win by not giving him kills.
Accept you do not have the damage to trade well until you get at least your Q evolve and/or hit your full isolated combo. If he runs at you, you can use Supercharge to back off. Once you get your core items and scale he will not be that big of a problem unless he is fed.
Do keep in mind that trading 1 for 1 is really bad for you in this matchup as Draven will snowball harder than you in the early game. If he gets behind he is basically useless though. Exhaust is a must for this matchup.




EZREAL - GOOD MATCHUP

HOW HE KILLS YOU
Ezreal will seek to do either 2 things: farm or poke. Any engage you might have he will avoid, and when he gets the opportunity he will seek to poke you with his Q. Once he gets strong enough he will easily burst you if he hits his full combo.

HOW YOU WIN
You win by dodging his poke and when you trade it is really important you dodge his Q and W. You can avoid his poke with minions, so try to get a minion advantage to act as a shield and harass him using your Q.
He can be annoying but I personally find this to be a rather easy matchup for Kai’Sa. Unless Ezreal gets an annoying poke support to harass you, you should for the most part be allowed to farm for free and have more control over the minion wave. You’ll scale pretty hard and in 1v1 he’s easy to assassinate and to stick to in a fight. If he gets caught and you hit full combo he should die, but if you get hit by his poke and combo he can try to run you down.




JHIN - SKILL MATCHUP, SUPPORT DIFF

HOW HE KILLS YOU
Jhin wants to trade with you so that he can get you low enough to execute you on his 4th shot or snipe you on his ultimate. He is kinda like Draven, if he is allowed to snowball things can get pretty nasty.

HOW YOU WIN
You have to dodge his W root - this means you want to avoid going into his traps (pay attention to where they are placed), stay away from minions so that his Q won't bounce on you (once it targets you it is unavoidable), and you will want to avoid his support hitting any abilities on you. If he autos you be ready to sidestep his W. You will also want to avoid trading on his 4th shot and overall sitting on low health in lane.
Jhin is fairly squishy and immobile, so in early laning or before a gank you want to get his Flash. You ideally don’t want to trade too hard since he has the advantage, but if he gets caught in 1v2 with your support and there are no minions nearby you can chunk him pretty hard. Still, don’t force things too hard, it’s better to wait for the right moment and not give him a lead. You beat him late game.
Support matchup and synergy with Jhin will make a huge difference on how this lane goes.




JINX - BAD MATCHUP

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
Jinx will seek to abuse her range on Q to stack Lethal Tempo and keep her distance from you. Her traps, if well-placed, will force you to go around them, which buys time for her to do what she has to do to kill you. She will seek to poke you with her autos, W and she will R/run you down once you are low enough. Flame Chompers! can trap you mid flight during Killer Instinct.

HOW YOU WIN
Jinx is squishy and immobile, and her early game is also weak – however, she still has the upper hand thanks to her range and DPS. Plus, she scales just as hard as you. Support matchup and synergy with Jinx will have a huge impact on how the lane goes.
Kai’sa has better burst and Jinx has better DPS overall, plus she has poke. If you get poked and she gets a minion advantage it becomes really hard to trade with her and win. You have the upper hand if she gets caught and CC’ed, especially after 6, but be careful to not get trapped by her E. You have to kill her before she “ Get Excited!”.
If you’re strong, if she is alone and if you can get close to her without getting poked she should be fairly easy to assassinate. In teamfights, be on the lookout for any CC that hits her (or try to hit Void Seeker) so you can burst her using Killer Instinct to get close – but be very careful about her support! If they are around or have cooldowns you can get baited and die.




KALISTA - GOOD MATCHUP, SUPPORT DIFF

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
A good Kalista will play aggressively in the early game with an engage support and your lane will be very dangerous until she falls off. Kalista will look for extended trades so that she can stack her spears and she will use her passive to dodge any potential engage on her. After 6 she will have much higher kill pressure with her engage support because of her Ultimate.

HOW YOU WIN
Kalista usually wins longer trades because of her spears, sustain and mobility so you need to focus on bursting her before she causes too much damage, but if the Kalista is bad you can get away with a lot of stuff.
Try to get those favorable trades with isolated Icathian Rain. Hitting Void Seeker may be hard, so try to save it for when you are guaranteed to hit (like when Kalista gets CC’ed, or when she’s not autoing anything). Pay attention to when Kalista uses her R and prepare to dodge her team’s engage with your Supercharge, Killer Instinct or Flash.
If she doesn’t get an early lead she shouldn’t be an issue, it’s very hard to find a good Kalista player. Support matchup will dictate if you should play aggressively or not. Late game you should be able to deal with her easily.




KOG’MAW - OKAY MATCHUP, SUPPORT DIFF

HOW HE KILLS YOU
Kog’Maw himself is generally an okay matchup, the issue is always his support and team. If his team plays around peeling for him you will not be able to get close to him while he kites you from his superior range with his R, W and Lethal Tempo. Kog’Maw wins by staying safe and bullying you while out of your reach. Early on it can be hard to kill him when his support is around because people usually pick enchanters to babysit him the whole game.

HOW YOU WIN
You don’t want to trade with him while his W is active, and you should try to avoid his skillshots. Without his W you have better trading. He is rather easy to assassinate, but for that you’ll need to get on top of him without getting poked. If you don’t have enough damage to burst him early game you’ll lose the extended trade and he can run you down.
You can play more aggressively when he is alone (truly alone, not baiting) unless he is already fed. Overall it’s the support matchup that will dictate how the lane goes and when you can go in – You might have to play on your toes until someone can get an engage off on him. Once he dies be mindful of his passive exploding on top of you.




LUCIAN - SKILL MATCHUP

HOW HE KILLS YOU
A good Lucian will seek to play aggressive in the early-mid game whenever he can. He can force plays and trades whenever he wants because he will win most of them - he has insane damage on his combo early on especially when paired with a support that plays aggressive as well, like Nami, Rakan, Braum or Thresh.

HOW YOU WIN
Lucian can’t do much if you just play safe and scale, so respect his stronger early game and take favorable trades. If fighting feels like a bad idea, focus on getting your Q evolve. Consider bringing Exhaust for his burst combo and be patient so you can get your full combo off to win the trade.
If your support engages on him, you can follow up but be ready to pop your Exhaust because if he fights back he can probably still kill you. Don’t sit alone in lane with him until you’re strong enough to fight back. You can use Killer Instinct to reposition away from his ultimate. Do not let the wave freeze close to his tower, especially if he has a catch support like Thresh, Pyke or Pantheon – try to keep a freeze near your own tower to stay safe. If Lucian doesn’t snowball you out-scale him so focus on not giving him any leads, much like you would do against a Draven.




MISS FORTUNE - BAD MATCHUP

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
How Miss Fortune kills you depends on her build to some extent, but overall she will seek to poke you with her Q or her E (if she is building Tear of the Goddess). She will poke you down and then run you down once you are low enough. A support with CC will greatly increase her kill threat as she will be able to freely auto you and use R. She build a lot of AD so she can really pack a punch.

HOW YOU WIN
Overall I find this matchup hard to deal with – Miss Fortune has decently strong laning with her poke, plus she can either build for burst or DPS. Very versatile champion with a lot of range and an easy to hit slow, it’s hard to stick to her.
You win by catching her and bursting her before she bursts you. You don’t want to force things early on, but if you see an opportunity you may be able to chunk her hard or even kill her. The matchup becomes easier as the game goes on – Miss Fortune is vulnerable to getting dove, so if you manage to get on top of her assassinating her shouldn’t be too hard. The issue is that she likes to build sustain and if she can poke you, you can lose the fight pretty hard.
You can reposition away from her ultimate with Killer Instinct and Supercharge. Even if you are ahead, don’t face-tank all of it!




NILAH - BAD MATCHUP

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
Nilah is a scaling all-in melee hypercarry champion. Early on she will seek to farm or trade by going in and out with her Slipstream and after she gets a few levels up on you she will try to all-in while you are at a disadvantage. Her E has two charges so it can be hard to stay out of her range. She can delay you passive stacking with Jubilant Veil since it will eat up your autos.

HOW YOU WIN
Nilah is generally a harder matchup for you. She wants to be in close range and so do you, but kiting her is hard because of Slipstream and Apotheosis. Plus, unless you manage to bully her away from farm she will get a level lead on you and can use that to take favorable all-ins at levels 2, 3 and 6.
Her W blocks your autos so when she uses it it’s a good time to have Icathian Rain and Void Seeker to keep up the DPS. Taking Hail of Blades can be bad, it can go to waste easily. Use your mobility to kite her and try to dodge her Q. Exhaust is good in this matchup.



SAMIRA - SKILL MATCHUP

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
Samira usually brings along an engage support, so she will seek to combo you once you get caught. She will also want to stay pretty close to you to deal more damage on her melee autos and Q. She will use her W to deny your W and Q while she is fighting close to you.. Once you are low and without self peel she will Ult you to finish you off. When she cannot get close to you, she will seek to stack her style points and poke you with her Q until you are low enough for her to dash close to you.

HOW YOU WIN
Samira is a feast or famine champion which means that in the early game your priority should be to not give her kills at any cost. You can out-DPS her late game if she doesn’t get a lead, but even then it’s wise to not underestimate her. Bring Exhaust to cripple her all-in combo. When you are half HP, stay away from your minions because she can dash to them and kill you if you are too close.
A lot of people consider her to be a bad matchup for Kai’sa and I can see why – she can block all your damage combo with Blade Whirl, she builds sustain (so assassinations are harder) and she can also assassinate you if she’s strong. But I personally think this is more of a skill matchup.
Samira only has 1 dash, you have speed and a dash after 6. When she goes in you can Exhaust to slow and cripple her damage, then use your mobility to gain some distance. Try to avoid her ranged Q to delay her R. Be very patient with Void Seeker in the early game, hitting it can be the difference between life and death when both you and Samira are fighting to see who will one-shot the other one faster.




SIVIR - DECENT MATCHUP

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
Sivir ill seek to poke you with Q and pressure with superior wave control. When she is low on HP will try to bait your abilities to sustain a bit using her Spell Shield. When she cannot kill or harass you she will seek to constantly push waves to pressure you and get tower plates. After 6 she has insane potential to run you down especially if she gets a kill reset.

HOW YOU WIN
You need to dodge her Q, otherwise you’ll take a lot of damage for free. Sivir can be annoying, Spell Shield can block a lot of your Q and W damage but it’s also not the end of the world. She has a weak early game, you have stronger trading and all-in when your abilities are up, so try to get a lead on her early on. It is very hard to match her push, but try to not get constantly pushed under your tower.
Sivir scales really well with items so don’t underestimate her late game – she has great teamfighting, DPS and catch potential with On The Hunt. If you manage to get her, try to kill her fast. Avoid sticking too close to allies in teamfights and ping your team to focus her.




SMOLDER - BAD MATCHUP

HOW HE KILLS YOU
Smolder’s win condition is poking you the entire game and getting to his 225 stacks of Dragon Practice. He is generally weak in the early game so he will seek to poke you until you are low enough to kill or get lane control so he can farm safely. In the mid game he will start getting strong and look to shove waves and join fights to rush his stacks. Late game he should have enough to unlock the execute on Super Scorcher Breath.

If you try to engage him, he can use Flap, Flap, Flap to run away and if you are low his Achooo! and E will keep you from running away. MMOOOMMMM! heals him and if you are out of his range he can use it to kill you from afar, and it deals more damage if you are caught in the middle. After he gets Rapid Firecannon it becomes much easier for him to poke you.

HOW YOU WIN
Achooo! is his main form of poke and wave clear until he gets 25 stacks of his Q (which gives him AoE damage). It is especially strong if he starts with Doran’s Ring, has Comet, and/or puts points in W – That means you always want to avoid getting hit by it! You will want to punish him when he misses his E and R as well.
It is fairly easy for him to poke you all game, and later on one-shot you. It will be better if you have a support that can engage and lock him down for you to burst him. You should generally hold your Killer Instinct to chase him if he uses Flap, Flap, Flap to fly over a wall, or to reposition behind his ultimate – Don’t tank it, and remember it heals him. You might also want to get Exhaust or Ghost against him.
You are both strong late game carries but Smolder has the upper hand on you thanks to his poke, better teamfighting and burst potential. Unless you one-shot him first, late game he can two-tap execute you. You’ll need to play around your team catching him.




TRISTANA - SKILL MATCHUP, SUPPORT DIFF

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
Tristana is basically an assassin marksman. She will jump in when you are alone and burst you. She can also freely jump on you if your support or team cannot peel for you. Her fully stacked E is what is going to kill you most of the time, and if she manages to stack it, even if you survive, her jump will reset so she can keep chasing you.

HOW YOU WIN

To me Tristana is pretty much a skill matchup. You both have good all-in burst combos, you are both “assassins”, you both snowball, you both scale really hard, you both like having supports with CC. Sometimes Tristana has the upper hand in all-ins, sometimes you have the upper hand – this usually depends on who has the better support and support synergy.
Against Tristana you should be looking to go in when her abilities are down, especially her E. If she jumps on you with her E up you should try to get out of her auto range or Exhaust her. After level 6 it’s a good idea to hold on to Killer Instinct to dash on top of her in case she uses her R to push you away from her.
In lane, if you support catches her be very careful of her turning on you with her E. You can’t let her stack it, if you feel like you’re going to die you’ll have to Flash away before she stacks it and gets her W reset. Also, avoid standing close to low HP ally minions, as they will explode and poke you when she last hits.




TWITCH - DECENT MATCHUP, SUPPORT DIFF

HOW HE KILLS YOU
Twitch can be really annoying and dangerous if you are not paying attention, depending on his support. When he wants to go in he will go invisible and trade, after six he will all-in. With his R and Lethal Tempo it can be for you to get close to him fast enough to kill him.

HOW YOU WIN
Twitch will usually try to play similarly to an assassin. Keep an eye on him and be suspicious whenever he goes missing, and pay a lot of attention to his support.
Overall I find that Kai’sa can do fine against him, especially if you manage to not give him any kills. By himself, Twitch is rather easy to assassinate especially late game. The issue is usually his support, like Kog’Maw, people like to pick enchanters to babysit Twitch and that can make him obnoxious and hard to kill.
In skirmishes try to pick him off alone. Bring Exhaust. Hit your W if you think he’ll try to get away, it will reveal him so he won’t be able to run away. When he has R you have to be careful, if you are strong you can still fight him but if not you’ll have to run away and get out of vision. Evolved Supercharge is really good in such situations.




VARUS - BAD MATCHUP

HOW HE KILLS YOU
Varus will seek to poke you from range and burst you. If you get too close he will R and burst you, so it is a pretty hard matchup to play. A bit similar to Caitlyn. He will always try to keep his distance from you and combo you when you are low HP.

HOW YOU WIN
Varus is a really annoying matchup for Kai’sa. In lane he has decent poke, he can build burst or go for DPS, and his R is hard to dodge when you are close to him (and you have to be, in order to kill him.
Your saving grace is that most people don't know how to play him well and he has a record of being a pretty nerfed ADC due to his proplay presence. Consider bringing Cleanse especially if he has a support with CC. Depending on support matchup you might want to avoid fighting until you get Q evolve, unless your team manages to catch him. If Varus hits his ult on your support, stay away from them so that you don’t get rooted. His ult also gives Varus instant stacks to burst you on his Q so it is essential to avoid any abilities he throws your way. In lane you want to avoid getting poked by his Q and engaged on by his support. You ideally want to go in on Varus while his R is down, if you have an engage support it will be good for you as Varus is vulnerable to CC. If you have an enchanter you will have to focus on trading when his abilities are down.




VAYNE - SKILL MATCHUP

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
At early levels Vayne will seek to farm and occasionally poke you with her Q+aa, getting free autos off whenever she can. You both are pretty low range ADCs so she will seek to proc her W when she can and use her Q to avoid your root. Once you are low enough she will run you down. After 6 she can force fights with you and win because of her superior 1v1.

HOW YOU WIN
This matchup is pretty volatile and can go either way at any moment. Generally speaking, in lane the one with the upper hand will be the one with the best support. Before 6 you can get good trades off if you manage to hit isolated Q or W, but you’ll get slapped if Vayne can proc her passive or run you down with Lethal Tempo. After 6 she generally has the upper hand until you get Q evolve, then you’ll be pretty even and you’ll get another spike with E evolve.
When Vayne uses R you should try to hit her with Void Seeker so she will be revealed and you can keep trading with her. If your team can CC her easily it can be good to hold on to W so you are guaranteed to hit her.
Even if you are ahead it’s wise to never underestimate her. Remember she scales just as hard as you, if she gets a shut down she can come back even if you managed to get a lead on her in the early game.
Avoid being close to walls. After six, if your jungler ganks you should expect Vayne to turn on you - some Vaynes will usually attempt to take you to your grave with her by ulting, using their invisibility to catch you while you and your team thinks she is running away. Expect Vayne to turn on you so stay safe with your team and away from walls. After six avoid pushing into Vayne’s tower as she can run you down with her passive and R.




XAYAH - SKILL MATCHUP

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
In lane Xayah will want to poke you and zone you with her feathers. If you don’t watch your steps she will root you for a decent chunk of damage or an all-in. She has good trading with her W, great CC follow up and after 6 she can be pretty hard to kill thanks to Featherstorm.

HOW YOU WIN
I find this matchup to be more Xayah-favored in the early game and more Kai’sa-favored in the late game. Early on Xayah can put a lot of pressure on you – she has Double Daggers to poke, she has strong trading with Deadly Plumage, high kill threat with Bladecaller (especially if she has an engage support), great zoning and good wave control. Good wave control means she can get more minions, which makes it much harder for you to get an isolated Q on her and trade.
The bright side is that you will scale harder than her – you are better at taking out single targets, while Xayah is better at teamfighting and zone control. After 6 she can be harder to kill because of her ultimate, but with Killer Instinct and Supercharge it becomes easier to kite around her feathers or get behind her. The ADC matchup depends a lot on player skill and team composition.
In lane, be especially careful if she has a support with CC. If you both have engage supports the lane will be very volatile but Xayah generally does better still. Exhaust is good to have.




ZERI - OKAY MATCHUP

HOW SHE KILLS YOU
Zeri thrives in long trades but if she is fed she will have the damage to burst you. She relies on her speed, slow and range to run down opponents from a safe distance and also punishing anyone that gets too close by either kiting them or disengaging over a wall. Because of her more reactive playstyle she will seek to poke you from range if she can, and when you get close she will press R, gain a bunch of stacks and kite you/run you down to death. In lane she will seek to trade with Q and aa if she can, and use her E to trade you inside a minion wave if needed.

HOW YOU WIN
Zeri is a tricky matchup. Early on you both have good trades and are relatively weak, but Zeri will usually spike earlier – Her main weakness is that she will be squishier than you. She has more range and poke to harass you, which you counter by having a minion advantage, but if you do push into her tower you will set yourself up for a gank to which Zeri can easily follow up with her slow and R movement speed.
Since she cannot easily wave clear and her Q is blocked by minions you want to always have a minion advantage and stand behind them.
Out of laning phase things get worse for you as she will be able to absorb your R shield and safely disengage with E or R. She thrives in longer trades, so if you can't burst her she will simply kite you and run you down while you are on cooldowns. She can also hit you while you are invisible. Overall, it can be a nasty matchup but definitely playable if you are fed or if she is not too fed. Ideally you want to use your own movement speed and E to dodge her Q's. If she is squishy you can try to assassinate her but beware of her disengaging over walls.










In this section I will go into Kai’Sa’s synergies - her best and worst supports, and how to play around them. First I go into overall synergy with support types (enchanter, hook, engage, mage), then I go into each one of the USUAL supports.

If you have questions about a specific champion that is not included here (like off meta or unpopular supports) just let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do!

Champions are in alphabetical order.




SUPPORT SYNERGIES IN A NUTSHELL


TANK SUPPORTS
Kai’sa has great synergy with supports like Rell, Leona and Nautilus because they are all-in champions with tons of CC to help you stack your passive and make cross-map plays with Killer Instinct. If these supports can land their CC on an important carry you’ll be able to dive or join a fight from very far away! If you have these more aggressive supports you should generally look to play around getting picks and snowballing.


CATCHER SUPPORTS
Catcher supports like Pyke, Blitzcrank, Thresh and Rakan are great because they snowball harder, can chain CC and make picks just as easily as tank supports. They are the best to snowball lane, landing your whole combo is pretty easy with them around. Some, like Rakan and Thresh have great disengage and peel for you as well. However, they are overall less durable than tanks so during the early game if you cannot kill the enemy in one go you might have to fall back.


ENCHANTER SUPPORTS
Kai’sa can do well with with enchanters like Lulu and Nami (who focus on trades)... but some enchanters are better than others. If you have kill threat you can try to snowball lane, but if not it’s fine, just farm and scale that you will be alright.

With poke enchanters like Janna, Yuumi and Soraka Kai’sa can do poorly, so in the end it depends more on support matchup and skill level. If you get a poke support it is usually best to try to match their poke with Void Seeker if you can, but focus on scaling rather than snowballing lane.


MAGE SUPPORTS
With mages like Xerath, Lux and Zyra, Kai’sa can do well because of their CC, however, depending on support matchup, it will be bad for her as she might not be able to get close without getting all-ined or taking a bad trade. If it is a good matchup where you have a lot of kill threat try to snowball, otherwise focus on farming and scaling. The good side is that if you hit your combo you’ll have kill threat, and if your supports lands CC after 6 you can get some pretty good pick offs on the enemy carry.










ALISTAR - GOOD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIM
Alistar is a good support overall. He has a lot of CC and he has decent peel to help you kite divers and sustain in lane.

If he manages to get someone, landing your combo and chunking the enemy should be pretty fine. However keep in mind that if the enemy has more range you and Alistar can get bullied pretty hard and you’ll have to be very patient and wait for good opportunities.

You generally want to have your wave around the middle of the lane and have a slight minion advantage so that you have room to all-in the enemy safely (big enemy wave=more minions focusing you during a fight).




BARD - DECENT SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIM
Bard has great trading, peel and okay CC. There are better supports for Kai’sa, but he can do a great job if he is good. If he CCs someone you can immediately go for a combo if you are in range, but don’t be too greedy.

Thanks to his portals and CC it is pretty easy to roam with him, disengage and make picks, which makes life easier for you. So play around him for easy picks throughout the game.

His R can be really good in situations where you need to buy time for Supercharge invisibility and your combos.

Big enemy waves can actually be a good thing with Bard because he can hit stuns on champions through enemy minions. He can also harass enemies under tower. With a wave in the middle Bard can harass and zone enemies off the wave, which eventually creates a slow push to you, which eventually leads to perfect tower dive setup.




BLITZCRANK - GOOD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIM
Laning with a Blitzcrank is great if he is in a favorable matchup (and if he can land hooks). If he catches anyone you get your full combo off for free. Hold your Q for his hook or go Hail of Blades for better burst combo with your W. Mid-Late game you also play off catching mispositioned enemies with Blitz, so ideally you want to have vision control and play in fog of war.

Ban Ezreal and/or Morgana to win lane. Samira, Vayne, Lucian and Tristana are also good bans because they have mobility or ways to counter Blitz hook.

Blitz does well into enchanters. If the enemy picks a tank like Nautilus or Leona and Blitz pulls them, you have to be ready to sidestep the enemy engage. If they turn on you Blitz can't do anything other than bodyblock and especially if enemy has a Lucian or Tristana they easily kill you with an aggressive support.

For Blitz you want to always have a minion advantage so that Blitz has more chances of landing his hook on a champion. He is very scary close to enemy towers so try to build a huge wave and crash it and harass enemy under turret. Even if the enemy plays back, Blitz can make plays in the bushes with Hex Flash.




BRAND - OKAY SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIM
As with most other mage supports, Brand and Kai’sa can be an especially lethal lane, but that is only because Brand can basically solo kill the enemy ADC. You don't have great synergy per se, just a strong damage combo if you both can pull it off.

If Brand is into a good matchup you can most of the time just sit back and wait for him to carry your lane for you (just kidding, but not much). Use his pressure to get farm and tower plating lead. In skirmishes you can use Killer Instinct to finish off anyone Brand was able to get.

Keep in mind that Brand offers you basically no peeling, so if the enemy has a lot of divers or burst you might have to hold on to your abilities for self peel rather than for making picks. Also keep in mind that if your Brand is fed he himself might get focused and you can profit off that (aka you assassinate enemy diver while they’re distracted).




BRAUM - OKAY SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIM
Braum is not the best support to offer a good engage like a Leona or Rakan can, but he makes it up with peel. Braum has excellent peel and he basically counters the lane bullies that tend to harass Kai’as in lane (Xayah, Miss Fortune, Ezreal, Caitlyn).

With his slows and passive you can easily run the enemy down and win trades easily after you get a few items. If trading is too risky you can just chill, and if you want to all-in with Braum you can do so as well, if you have the damage. If Braum hits the enemy carry with his R in a skirmish you can dive them with Killer Instinct and sticking to them should be easier thanks to his slow.

The main issue with Braum is that he is rather situational, he doesn't have the most reliable engage and it is hard to find good Braum players. It can take some time to get used to playing with him.




JANNA - BAD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
A good Janna will want to poke during the laning phase. Other than that she is more centered around disengage. She can be a nuisance to the enemy but playing around her can be a bit boring as she mostly focus on peeling for you and not necessarily empowering you like Lulu, Nami or Renata. It’s a good support to farm and scale with.

Following up on Janna hurricane can be done, but in lane it can be difficult because of its really long range. Take free trades if you can but don’t over-commit.




KARMA - OKAY SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
Yet another enchanter who feels kinda “bleh” for Kai’sa at times, but who can work decently depending on matchup and on how good she is. Karma is a lane bully who provides utility but if not played well can feel lacking. You win lane by taking good trades after she bullies the enemy.

She’s a really good baiter. Her root can be hard to land but it can be rewarding when she mananges to bait an enemy, land her root and allow you to follow up with Killer Instinct.




LEONA - GOOD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
Leona offers a lot of CC, which is great for all-ins and stacking your passive. Plus her R has a relatively long range, which can be useful to catch the enemy carries. She also gives you damage on her passive (when she hits an ability on an enemy she marks them, and when you attack them it deals magic damage).

With Leona you pretty much want to play for all-ins, though you should make an effort to optimize your damage in the early game. Avoid getting poked and work on having a minion advantage in lane. Then Leona can try to engage, and if the enemy plays safe, you can try to bait them by trading with enemy ADC or support.

Leona has more kill pressure in lane if she takes Ignite, so consider taking Exhaust for her when needed. If you think you can't use it well, Heal will still make a difference in keeping Leona alive. You can also use Exhaust if enemy Cleanses Leona stun, to slow them down.

You never want your lane to be frozen close to the enemy tower because then Leona can't engage. Build a big wave and after 6 you can crash it and tower dive the enemy.




LULU - GOOD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
Lulu is great at empowering hypercarries and peeling for them, so if you have a Lulu I suggest you play for a more hypercarry playstyle. Depending on the game you might have to play a bit more passive but later on you’ll shine.

In all-ins and teamfights Lulu can R you and you can go in with Killer Instinct, which makes you really hard to kill. But that’s usually better when the enemy is trying to run away, for most of the game you’ll want to stick close to her and let her empower you by enhancing your autos and giving you speed.

Play close attention to her cooldowns before making plays.




LUX - DECENT SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
Lux is pretty much the same as any other mage support - you have to play around their burst and pick offs. She can offer you some peel in fights with her shield but it is not very reliable.

Mid-late game if she lands her Q you can easily follow up with your R for burst. But in lane, do not walk up to trade if you have to go too far and risk getting focused down by both enemy laners.

One final thing to keep in mind is that many Lux players focus more on being the carry then peeling for you. Because of that, consider taking a more reliable and selfish summoner spell for yourself like Exhaust or Cleanse if they are better than Heal for your game.




MILIO - DECENT SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIM
Milio is a decent support for you in general – his Ultra Mega Fire Kick disengage with Breath of Life make his peeling really valuable when you are fighting for your life, trying to not get caught and trying to kite.

He can’t do much to enable your assassin playstyle, but he can definitely enable your hypercarry playstyle quite well. Similarly to a Lulu, you’ll generally want to stay close to him and perhaps play a little more front-to-back.

In lane you should look to trade when possible, but there’s no need to go too hard – you can focus on getting your evolves and scaling.




MORGANA - OKAY SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
Playing around Morgana is similar to playing around other mages, with the difference that Morgana does not do as much damage as Lux or Zyra for example. You’ll have to play more patiently and choose your fights carefully. You can bait enemies into trading with you while Morgana has her shield up. With her R she can bait enemies and set you up nicely.

The other issue with Morgana is that she is not as reliable as an engage support and she is a very situational pick. She has good long range CC, but as you might have seen me mention with other supports, it can be dangerous to walk up. It is however safer than with a Lux, considering Morgana black shield is so good against a lot of stuff.

She is decent at countering CC, especially nasty ones like Leona CC, making you safer, but at the same time depending on the game and how good Morgana is she can be quite useless and it will be hard to play around her. Not a bad synergy, but not the best either.




NAMI - GOOD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
Nami is a great enchanter for Kai’sa overall. However, like the others, you both need to be on the same page and if Nami is bad it will be harder to play around her.

With Nami you want to be looking for favorable trades and make picks when she manages to catch someone. She is really good at helping you stick to the enemy because of her speed too.

If the enemy has an engage support you should use her speed to avoid engage. A Nautilus for example, might miss his hook, not be in range to auto, so you and Nami have a window to punish him before his abilities are back up. After 6 though you should always be aware of Leona and Nautilus R because they can get you both even if they miss their hook and Nami can only hold them for so long.



NAUTILUS - GOOD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIM
Nautilus is pretty straightforward and easy to play around. If he lands his hook you go all in. After 6 you have a nasty combo and the enemy basically can’t run away. Play around vision to cheese enemy and roam with him with your lane prio if you feel like it.

If you don't get lane prio you and him can gank your own lane from the river if the enemy is pushing into your tower, it is much easier for Nautilus to hit his stuff coming from the river if enemy minions are under your tower.

He is also pretty easy to set up dives with because of his R with yours, as well as his tankiness.

Mid-late game Nautilus might be the main engager for your team. Stay close enough to be in range to combo with him, but hold on to some form of self peel in case you get dove by an assassin.




PYKE - GOOD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIM
Pyke and Kai’sa are a really nasty lane especially against squishy champions. With Pyke I found it best to get a more burst focused build, with an early Q evolve.

Stand close to Pyke and away from enemy minions to maximize your kill potential. He deals a lot of damage so the enemy should be pretty much dead. After 6 you can roam with Pyke and capitalize on his catches with Killer Instinct.

Ban Ezreal or Morgana as they can make it hard for Pyke to land hooks and snowball. Keep lane in the middle with a slight minion advantage to you or fully under enemy tower to pressure/zone the enemy and make it easier for Pyke to land hooks.

You can ask to go mid after taking bot or putting enemies too far behind, since it will be easier for Pyke to be around to help you while also pressuring other lanes. This is also valid to other roaming supports!




RAKAN - DECENT SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIM
Kai’sa and Rakan work pretty well together. I personally think there are better catcher support synergies to pull off, but it’s still alright. The playstyle is the same: look to make picks, if you think you’re not strong enough just wait till you have Q evolve.

Good bans for you and Rakan lane are: Morgana, Lux, Ezreal, Caitlyn, Thresh, Vayne, Senna - basically lane bullies, champions that can interrupt Rakan W or that have dashes.

Rakan is very flexible, you can play for all-in or short trades (because he easily disengages), it really depends on how your lane is going.




RELL - GOOD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
Playing around Rell is pretty much the same as other engage supports. You want to go all-in whenever the situation is appropriate and favorable. She can also get rid of shields, which makes her extra useful against enchanters like Lulu, Karma and Janna who can often stop you from killing enemies because of their shields.

The issue though is that once she goes in, she has no way of getting out. You need the damage to actually kill the enemy. Your lane can also be miserable if you both get bullied by long range champions. But usually, if you can catch someone you should be able to kill them if you are not behind.




RENATA GLASC - OKAY SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
You and Renata have really good disengage and you both work really well in extended fights. In mid-late game especially, Renata can truly enable your diver/assassin playstyle with Bailout. If she gets in position to potentially catch someone with Handshake hold your abilities for a burst combo.

One downside to Renata is that I find her to be a bit of a weak enchanter in the early game, and I think she does better with other types of ADC. I don’t feel like you two do much together until you get to late game.




SENNA - BAD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
Senna and Kai’sa don't have the best synergy. Senna wants to poke and have short trades while Kai'sa wants to trade and go all-in. Senna also prefers to scale and be opportunistic and her CC is not reliable. Her peel is also quite limited.

In this lane you will want to play around Senna. If she catches someone you want to trade if you can, but don't over commit. She has higher range than you so be careful about stepping up in a fight. In general, let her do her thing and scale. If she gets caught she has her Q and R to survive so focus on taking down the enemy ADC if you can.




SERAPHINE - BAD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
Seraphine is not the best support for Kai’sa overall. Generally Seraphine wants to poke and at level 6 start making plays with her ultimate. She is rather weak in lane, she just wants to scale and teamfight… You can capitalize on that for sure, but she doesn’t do much to enable you and in lane you are both rather weak.

During early laning phase focus on farming. If she manages to root or stun an enemy, see if you can get a combo off without getting punished – remember her range is much longer than yours.




SONA - BAD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
You and Sona have little in common - Sona wants to poke and scale… while you can play as a front-to-back ADC, sometimes you just want to all-in and Sona can do nothing to help you.

Level 6 Sona can make plays with her R, but she is very squishy. Late game she offers a lot to your team and you will of course benefit from it, but you would probably get more value out of your laning phase with another support.




SORAKA - OKAY SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
Soraka is a poke and scaling enchanter like Sona but I consider her better in most cases. Soraka can be deceptively hard to kill and she is able to empower your trades a lot with her healing.

In this lane focus on getting good trades off if they are free, but other than that just farm and have your evolves as your main goal. In the late game Soraka will be great help not only to you but to your entire team. Let her do her thing and focus on farming and scaling when there are no opportunities to get kills.

If you and Soraka are really in tune, you can even bait enemy into fighting you - only to outplay them with your Soraka R.




TARIC - BAD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIM
Taric can be pretty situational and easily countered. You don’t have much in common, in lane you’re generally weak… Only late game he might be able to better empower you with his stun and ultimate, but I think there are better supports for Kai’sa.

Taric has incredible stick potential once he manages to get on top of someone, but without Flash his engage is quite limited. You will need to position really well to not accidentally make him miss a stun when you’re supposed to be the one hitting it.

At level 6 you are a great duo to accomplish goo tower dives though.




THRESH - GOOD SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HIM
Thresh is a great support for Kai’sa – he has catch potential, he gets tanky, he has disengage and peel. He is an excellent support to plan baits and making picks in fog of war.

In lane you want to ideally keep the wave around the middle. Try to poke enemy and create an opening for your Thresh to land a hook. When he does land a hook you will want to be well positioned - close to him - so you can follow up with your root combo.

Please pay a lot of attention to his lantern. You might lose a free kill or end up dying if you ignore it exists. The lantern is really good during ganks - and remember that if you think you might be ganked, try to communicate that to Thresh so he can position further back to lantern you to safety.




YUUMI - OKAY SYNERGY

HOW TO PLAY AROUND HER
Yuumi is a 1x2 lane in most cases. Sometimes you can do really well with her, but she is not your ideal support and you don’t really have synergy. You will likely get focused, poked and kited if you are into a really nasty matchup.

You can't all-in during the early game unless the enemy misplays and gets low health. With Yuumi you will want to poke and take favorable trades IF it is safe. She is especially useful against poke champions because of her shield.

Her strong late game peel and ultimate are good for you though – if Yuumi sticks to you, you can take her for rides with Killer Instinct and be a very hard-to-kill assassin, which is something no other enchanters can do for you. Laning can be hard or boring, depending on matchup, until that point. If you see you can’t do much in lane to get kills and snowball, focus on farming and scaling rather than snowballing lane and play safe until you both get stronger.











That's all I have for this guide. Thank you for taking interest in it! I hope it was helpful.



This was the second guide I created on Mobafire, and like its predecessor it has gone through a lot of changes over the years. I had been wanting to revamp it for a while, since I’ve always wanted them to have similar quality. When I did it, I chose not to do a skin theme – I don’t know why I just felt I wanted to stick to the original champion theme and I’m happy with how it turned out!

If you have any suggestions or feedback, please let me know. I will keep updating this guide and keep adding things to it.



Good Luck & Have Fun playing Kai’Sa!








Last updated: Patch 14.9
Lastest changes: Updated items

Planned updates: Keeping it up to date with the meta.





MY OTHER GUIDES!!!


My Straightforward Guide to Caitlyn


My Unbeatable Crit Sivir Guide


Complete Xayah guide


Complete Zeri Guide


Complete Nilah Guide


Off Meta Kindred ADC Guide



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