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Kha'Zix Build Guide by SpikeThePike

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League of Legends Build Guide Author SpikeThePike

[7.14] Kha'Tank - Survive Like a Cockroach!

SpikeThePike Last updated on July 25, 2017
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I'm a Shyvana main who plays Kha'Zix for fun (or in games where Shyvana is banned or already taken). If you are picking two jungle champions to main, these two compliment each other quite well: Kha'Zix teaches you to think more strategically, looking for assassination targets without risk, Shyvana teaches you efficiency.

This will be a short build guide. I am writing it because I have a faster start and jungle route on Kha'Zix which I think can be more effective than the meta. When I say 'meta' I mean Tinjus' guide, an excellent guide with outstanding explanations of Kha'Zix basic and advanced mechanics, I recommend you read that first.

In this guide, I'm aiming for a very solid bruiser type build which still has high damage. I think Kha'Zix needs this defence to be able to do anything useful in team-fights later in the game. So the late game is tending towards an off-tank build while keeping high damage - Titanic Hydra is a good high damage item as explained below. With that item, and one fully defensive item, and something else for health (Edge of Night / The Black Cleaver), this build is about 25% tankier than most other Kha'Zix builds. The aim is to have that tankiness in the late game without stopping Kha'Zix from being his essential and murderous self.

This is still a fairly new guide, please excuse the lack of masteries and other parts which are still work in progress.

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Jungle Route

Kha'Zix does best to start with the single jungle camps (Red Buff, Blue Buff and Gromp), he clears those fast with Q because they are isolated targets, then coming back to Wolves after he has blue buff so he can spam W, and leaving the Raptors and Krugs until later when he has the Hunter's Talisman jungle item for increased AoE damage (and increased XP).

I tend to first back as soon as I have 700 gold, this also allows Kha'Zix to reset his health and mana.

Although Kha'Zix can heal up by taking Rift Scuttlers, there is a time penalty for that: the Rift Scuttlers are slow to take and a good opponent jungler will know to contest the Rift Scuttlers if facing Kha'Zix, because it's a good bet that Kha will go to them when he is low on health. Therefore it's better for Kha'Zix to go back to base, and avoid the Rift Scuttlers until he is stronger, unless you have vision on the enemy jungler on the opposite side of the map.

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Build goals

Kha'Zix is a super fun champion to play, leaping on opponents and often killing them. He does extremely high burst damage which can be enough to one-shot opponents. He is weaker against grouped opponents: he loses the advantage of isolation and he can usually only burst down one opponent. But his leap allows him always to choose whether or not to engage.

Build goals:
  • Maximise damage at all stages of the game
  • Reach level 6 as fast as possible
  • Good defence for the late game
  • Out of combat movement speed
We achieve the defence, without reducing Kha'Zix damage, by taking defensive runes, and by choosing high damage items which also provide health or defence. Late game Kha'Zix can have a respectable 3400 health, 150 armor and 105 MR with the example full build shown - note that is with only one defensive item: that's a good amount of defence for a champion who damages so hard.

Kha'Zix job is to find isolated enemies and kill them, over and over, as simple as that. The more damage he deals out, the more effective he is, and he especially wants to have high damage in the mid-game when he is at his relative most powerful, levels 6-11 is when the kills should really be starting to stack up. You need to be looking to have Enchantment: Warrior as quickly as possible, as it gives a large power spike. An early kill at levels 3-5 is the best way to do that, but you need to be lucky (an enemy lane weak / over-extended). You should always be checking up on the lanes to see when there might be an opportunity.

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Scaling MR glyphs are excellent on all junglers, because junglers do not need magic resistance before around level 5/6 - jungle camps do no magic damage, and if you are ganking earlier even an AP opponent can't do too much damage to you because he will not have built any AP yet. CDR glyphs are nice to have early, smoothing out those earliest clears, and giving you 35% CDR at full build (unless, in a long game, you replaced boots with Trinity Force to max out CDR). Alternatively you can take full scaling MR glyphs: in the late game having +27 MR, for free, from glyphs is extremely valuable and can remove the need to build an MR item, especially now that Edge of Night no longer gives MR after patch 7.14. MR glyphs helps him to become a Kha'Tank :)

Lethality marks are the strongest marks on Kha'Zix once he gets going, it's incredible to have +14 lethality from runes, and these only become stronger when paired with Lethality items like Duskblade of Draktharr. This will help all game, including your earliest clears. All of Kha'Zix abilities scale off his bonus attack damage, but all of Kha'Zix abilities (except his passive) also scale off armor penetration because they all do physical damage. If you don't have a rune page with Lethality marks, then flat Attack Damage marks are the next best alternative.

For seals, scaling defences are taken, which are the strongest seals if you are able to have them, because their benefits at level 6 are already the same as the flat runes, and late game they provide extra defence for free - Kha'Tank. You can look at it like this: compared with 9 flat armor seals, these rune choices give an equallty strong level 6 (with more health) and noticeably more armor later (an extra +10 armor at level 18). But you need to have some armor early: in order to have these and still survive levels 1-5, we have to take a few flat armor seals. Alternatively you could take 1 armor quintessence: 1 flat armor quint gives more armor than 4 flat armor seals.

I take AD quints, even though they actually don't give that much AD - only 2.25 AD each. You can also look at taking 1 flat armor quintessence to have enough armor for the earliest clears: that missing final +2 AD is hardly anything, by the time Kha'Zix has the Warrior jungle item, you probably won't notice any difference from not having the third damage quint.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

If invading, take W at level 1, for some ranged damage and greater safety.

Otherwise take Q at level 1 for a quicker first camp, and then W at level 2 for essential sustain in the jungle (+120 hp from using it twice on a camp).

We take a second Q at level 3 because it is Kha'Zix highest damage ability overall, and he generally won't be ganking until he has level 4 after first back, because his health and mana are usually too low at level 3 to do anything useful. Therefore we take E at level 4: leaping onto the Raptors camp helps to take it down quickly.

I suggest maximise Q first, as this is Kha'Zix most damaging ability due to its low cooldown and due to the bonus if the target is isolated. Then maximise E, to reduce its cooldown and that also gives a nice damage increase, +35 per level. Maximise W last, because points on W do not improve its heal, and do increase its mana cost.

Evolving abilities

It's a hard choice whether to evolve Q or E or R first.

Taste Their Fear I suggest evolve Q first, that gives at least a +100 damage bonus from the ability against isolated targets, and this really starts to hit hard once you have Enchantment: Warrior on your jungle item and with Death's Dance which you will be building mid-game - this is because, when evolved, the ability's (bonus) attack damage scaling increases from 156% to 260% (on isolated targets), so it's good to evolve that at the same time that your AD is starting to become high. Evolved Q should let you take several kills at levels 6 to 11. If you don't take this at level 6, it's pretty much essential to have it at level 11.

Leap Kha'Zix E is his signature ability, and it feels good to evolve that early, but actually it's probably best to be patient and wait until after you have that increased Q damage. The Evolved Leap resets on a kill or an assist, so Kha'Zix can achieve a quick double kill or get himself out of danger after getting in to danger, but to achieve that it's essential to have enough damage to kill on the first leap: therefore you want completed items and evolved Q before taking it. The Evolved Leap also has an insane range, you can leap onto opponents from outside their field of vision.

Void Assault I usually evolve R in my games, instead of evolving W. Sometimes I take R as the first evolved ability at level 6, if the enemy team has a lot of squishies as it gives you more ability to roam the map and pick off individual enemies - especially if the enemy jungler is squishy or ranged, someone like Twitch or Kindred, you want to be able to get close to them without being seen and then take a clean kill.

Evolving Void Spike is not usually necessary in my opinion, it does not increase Kha'Zix damage on single targets. Only evolve this if your team lacks CC, or if you are against a Vayne or Graves or Akali - it counters their invisibility.

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Kha'Zix quick combo to assassinate a low health target is:

Leap (E) - Q (mid air)

The Q can be cast mid-air before the Leap has landed, Q Taste Their Fear has a larger range than melee range (and even larger when evolved). This can allow Kha'Zix to have the famous double leap, if the target was low enough health to die from just the Q. Q is surprisingly effective on high mobility targets like Yasuo, Zac and Zed: if you are able to target and activate Q even momentarily, it will still damage them even if they leap / shadow switch away from you. It can kill opponents when they think they retreated safely under turret.

Kha'Zix full burst combo to 100-0 a champion is:

W - Leap (E) - Q -- auto attack -- auto attack

Again, the Q is cast mid-air, so that you get all that damage off on the champion as quickly as possible. For a good setup, make sure that Kha'Zix has his passive Unseen Threat available before starting this combo so that it will apply to the first auto-attack. You also really want Thunderlord's Decree to be off cooldown, normally it will be if you did not engage an enemy champion recently. Following the two auto-attacks, if you have around 30% CDR, Q should be off its cooldown so you can hit quickly with that again. Alternatively when ganking, sometimes you want to hold back the Leap until later in case the target flashes or dashes away.

Late game, for an extended burst, if Kha'Zix has an auto-attack reset item - meaning Titanic Hydra ( Ravenous Hydra and Tiamat are not auto-attack reset items) - then the first Q in the above combo can be immediately followed up by an activation of that item:

W - Leap (E) - Q - Titanic Hydra -- auto attack -- auto attack

This gives a heavy additional hit of damage, quickly because of the auto-attack reset - it's not necessary to wait for a basic attack before activating Titanic Hydra because the Titanic Hydra's auto-attack reset can be used as an immediate follow up to the Q.

Super deadly combo is exactly the same as the above, but starting with R.

R - W - Leap (E) - Q -- auto attack - R - auto attack

So you approach the target under the invisibility from Void Assault to get into the perfect position for casting W, and to give the target much less time to react (and also no opportunity to damage you as you come in to kill). For example, coming from brush to gank a lane, you activate R exactly at the moment when you emerge from the brush. The second activation of R, around 2 seconds later, resets your Unseen Threat passive so that the following auto attack does increased damage and re-applies a slow. With this combination you should be able to 100-0 most targets.

Kha'Zix sustained DPS combo to take down a large jungle camp, including Dragons and Rift Herald, in the shortest time overall (this also works against tanky opponents who will need multiple attacks to take them down) - is:

Leap (E) - AA - Q -- AA - W - AA - Q -- AA -- AA

This is good because the Q will give an auto-attack reset, so the Q hits very quickly after the first auto-attack (similar to Shyvana's auto-attack + Q combo, or other champions with a reset like Talon, Rengar, etc). Thanks to low cooldowns, the Q will keep on becoming available after two auto-attacks, you always want to use it just after an auto-attack started to have most benefit from the auto-attack reset. There is time between these attacks to fire off some void spikes (W): in this example, we wait until after the second auto-attack to give some time for the jungle camp or enemy to damage Kha'Zix, so that there is some benefit from the heal on W, note that Kha'Zix cannot cast W and attack at the same time.

Attack speed does not make too much difference to any of these combos, because of those auto-attack resets.

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The Enchantment: Warrior is taken in all Kha'Zix builds, it's perfect for him with 10% cooldown reduction (available already with Caulfield's Warhammer) and high damage, all of his abilities scale off the bonus attack damage he builds. Rush to complete this item after you have Caulfield's Warhammer, completing it adds +35 attack damage for only 475 gold. For the underlying jungle item take either Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior or Stalker's Blade - Warrior according to personal preference and match-up, both are good. The red jungle item is better against strong melee junglers who might try to duel you, and opponents with tricks or invisibility (for example Shaco) because it provides vision. The blue jungle item is better for early ganks, and generally against low damage, faster moving opponents. Both items do about the same damage with the Smite, the blue jungle item does it instantly, the red jungle item does damage over time (which sometimes means you can kill steal from an ally, that's OK, Kha'Zix is supposed to take kills).

Death's Dance is better than The Bloodthirster or Ravenous Hydra or other lifesteal items, because its lifesteal applies to damage from abilities and not only damage from basic attacks: Kha'Zix deals most of his damage with abilities. This sustain really helps Kha'Zix mid game, he can be on full health before he engages, so we want to take this item as early as possible. The +75 attack damage is the highest of any items Kha'Zix will buy (only exceeded by The Bloodthirster), and really helps his Q damage so it is great to have this completed around the time Q is evolved, e.g. level 11. It is also a defensive item, the combination of its lifesteal and damage dissipation is similar to having an extra +300 hidden health mid game. Another reason to take this item first is its nice build path, each of the individual components is good already, and one can easily be bought every time Kha'Zix has to back with 900-1100 gold.

In any Kha'Zix build, The Black Cleaver can be taken for its damage, health and 20% CDR, this is normally enough to max out CDR at 40%. There is an armor penetration effect which becomes significant in prolonged fights, and Kha'Zix full combo makes good use of it because it will already have been procced twice by the time of the Q, which is Kha'Zix most damaging ability, and six times by the time that the Titanic Hydra is activated. This should kill most opponents. It also provides a movement speed boost following attacks, this is helpful in those fights where you don't secure a kill and so you cannot leap out of the fight, it is also a minor help when taking jungle camps. Pairs well with the Lethality items because the combination of Lethality and armor stripping with The Black Cleaver makes all of Kha's damage scale harder. It is a perfect mid game and late game item on Kha'Zix, but for a first item it is not so good because the armor shredding benefit which gives this item its power does not come until the item is complete, and the incomplete component items are fairly weak for something so costly: if he builds this item immediately after the jungle item, Kha'Zix will be waiting a long time to do damage.

Titanic Hydra completes my bruiser build and is actually the strongest out of all available damage items for Kha'Zix in the late game when Kha'Zix health is high: this scales off health. The strength is due to its active, which does high damage as well as giving an auto-attack reset, see the extended combo. This active adds up to around +800 damage to the damage from his extended combo (that's +420 damage from having one additional basic attack and +380 bonus damage from the item itself). It is on a short cooldown for an item, similar to the cooldown on Kha'Zix leap, so the active should usually be available when Kha'Zix engages: that's the reason it is such a good item for him. It also provides heavy area of effect damage, which helps Kha'Zix in a 1 v 2 situation or a team fight. It provides health and health regen which are great for him to have: especially combined with Guardian Angel, having the health increases his survivability by a large amount. It is higher damage than a Ravenous Hydra or any other item, and higher defence than a Sterak's Gage unless the Sterak's shield is triggered. It matches perfectly with the way Kha'Zix play style evolves over the game: early and mid game he looks for assassination opportunities, and late game he needs to be able to 100-0 all opponents and have a reasonable chance if he takes on two opponents at once.

Optional items / jungle item replacements

Mortal Reminder increases Kha'Zix late game damage against armored opponents, because 80% of his damage is physical damage, also because his abilities all scale hard off AD. Kha'Zix also scales well off armor penetration, it is not possible for him to have too much of it. A combination of % armor penetration and flat armor penetration is the most effective, so this item works best when combined with lethality items. This is also a good item because of its low cost. An important situational item against tanky enemies with strong sustain powers, like Kayn, Darius, Dr. Mundo, Volibear and Zac.

You can alternatively build Lord Dominik's Regards if there are two or three tanks on the enemy team, but with a bruiser build Kha'Zix will achieve over 3000 health on full build, so only full tanks are likely to have higher health than him to make Lord Dominik's Regards an effective purchase.

Duskblade of Draktharr gives excellent damage benefits when paired with a play style where you use brush and your ultimate often, so if you Evolve R first, this is a very good buy. The vision control is also excellent to have if you are relying on not being seen.

Trinity Force is a damage, health, 20% CDR and Rage passive item with large overlap with The Black Cleaver, so generally you do not want both items together in a build. The Black Cleaver is better against any squishy target, because high AD and flat armor pen is very good against squishies. In place of the high AD and armor pen, Trinity Force brings a bit of mana, and higher attack speed which is useful only if Kha'Zix is in prolonged engagements with enemy tanks - normally taking down tanks should be the job of your ADC and other carries, so Kha'Zix should usually take The Black Cleaver and keep to what he does best. But in a 1 v 9 game you might find you need Trinity Force instead, and it's also an excellent boots replacement in a long game.

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Defensive items

For a fully defensive item, the normal choice is between Dead Man's Plate and Guardian Angel against full AD, and Spirit Visage against full AP. Against mixed damage Kha'Zix is kind of in a tough spot, as he doesn't really want to have to take two full defence items which is going to limit his damage, and since Patch 7.14, his previous go-to MR item, Edge of Night, now gives health instead of MR. Personally I will take Mercury's Treads as my boots against mixed damage, and then just build armor and health and try to keep out of the way of the Brand or the Veigar, you can also look at Maw of Malmortius.

Guardian Angel is costly, but gives a decent amount of armor and 1400 gold's worth of AD. The revive should often give you enough time to Leap out of a situation, best paired with evolved E so that you can get the reset if you get an assist while you are reviving. This item is almost guaranteed to save you at least one death in a game.

Against a team which is mostly AD, Dead Man's Plate offers armor and health, similar to Randuin's Omen but it lacks the unique passives on that item which reduce auto-attack damage from an ADC and other opponents who can crit strike. But Kha'Zix is generally not exposed to too many auto-attacks, he's not much of a team fighter. The reason for picking Dead Man's Plate is that it gives out of combat movement speed. This is great for the map presence and mobility that Kha'Zix requires. There is also a small attack buff on your first attack on a target - the buff increases at 100 stacks and adds a short-duration slow, stronger but shorter duration than the slow from Unseen Threat but both work well together.

The Black Cleaver or Trinity Force makes an excellent pairing with Dead Man's Plate as the Rage passive adds speed when you attack, which helps to counteract the loss of momentum stacks on DMP, without that Kha'Zix feels clanky and slow when he comes into combat with Dead Man's Plate.

Against certain enemies with hard CC (stuns, silences, etc) which disable Kha'Zix leap, he becomes hyper vulnerable to grouped opponents. In these cases take Mercurial Scimitar to have an escape, it also provides a decent amount of magic resistance.

In addition to one of these items, you should take defensive boots in the late game.

I do not recommend Sterak's Gage. From his defensive item Kha'Zix needs additional resistances, not additional health. What's wrong with Sterak's Gage? "Hey, you're being heavily focused and just lost most of your health? Have a rapidly decaying shield." Thanks a lot, Riot! The only situation where it is actually useful is against opponents who have short duration CC - so the shield might keep you alive for 1 second while the CC has disabled your leap, then you can leap out afterwards. In any other situation, you will generally die even when the Sterak's Gage shield pops up - it's almost like a red flag to your opponents saying "I'm almost dead, this shield will wear off in 3 seconds and then I'll be an easy kill". Note also that the attack damage given by Sterak's Gage is base attack damage not bonus attack damage, but all of Kha'Zix abilities scale off bonus attack damage only - so the Sterak's Gage item adds no damage to his abilities. AVOID!!!

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The End

This is a build guide not a full guide to the champion.

I hope to be adding more to this guide in the rest of Season 7 now that I'm playing Kha'Zix some more.

As mentioned in the intro, if you want full details of the champion and his mechanics, and a meta build, you really should read Tinjus' guide - it's awesome, has helped me a lot in my own play, and Tinjus makes some really great Kha'Zix videos!