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Kai'Sa Build Guide by Uncouthlol

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[9.11] Kai'Sa to Diamond

By Uncouthlol | Updated on May 31, 2019
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Runes:

Precision
Fleet Footwork
Triumph
Legend: Alacrity
Coup de Grace

Sorcery
Absolute Focus
Gathering Storm
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Heal

Heal

LeagueSpy Logo
ADC Role
Ranked #17 in
ADC Role
Win 48%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

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

Introduction

Hello everyone, my name is Uncouth, I've mained ADC for the last 4 years. I used to main/one-trick Kalista in season 5/6 but then began switching to more traditional AD Carries. I am currently Diamond 5.

In case you were curious, I generally find myself playing hyper-carry ADC's more than the others. I highly prefer this play-style because of their ability to solo carry games. My all-time favorite ADC's are Twitch, Tristana, and Lucian. The play style I usually enjoy has me farming in the early game then hard carrying late game. If you like to carry games too, then you've come to the right place!

Come check out my Stream here for some high elo flashy plays, inting, and more!

I love to answer questions about builds or talk league in general, so feel free to pop in my stream whenever I'm live and ask me anything, or just say hi!
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Why Pick Kai'Sa?

Kai'Sa is currently a really solid pick. She's very good in the current meta because of her mobility and monstrous late-game damage. While she has a bit of a rough time during the laning phase, she can provide a lot for her team later on. She can self-peel or make plays with her E, assassinate isolated targets W -> Ulti -> Q engage, and pump out loads of damage because of her %HP passive Second Skin. She works best with team comps that can provide more peel or front-line to help you hyper-carry in the mid to late game.
TLDR: Kai'Sa is a great pick at the moment.

A champion like Draven focuses mostly on all-ins during the early game and snowballing his lead to win the game. However, Kai'Sa is a champion that suffers early game, but excels in the mid-late game fights in order to carry the game.

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Abilities (Introduction and Basic Uses)




PASSIVE: Second Skin - Kai’Sa’s auto attacks applies stacks of Plasma, dealing extra magic damage on the fifth stack.

Kai'Sa's Passive is possibly the most defining of her kit. This is because of the % Missing Health Damage applied when you land 5 stacks of plasma. This deals 15% of the target’s missing health, (+2.5% per 100 AP) as magic damage. Her auto attacks apply one stack of her plasma, her W Void Seeker applies 2 stacks of plasma, and immobilizing CC from a teammate will apply 1 stack of plasma. It is important to note however, immobilizing CC from a teammate cannot activate the fifth stack of plasma damage.

There is a second part to her passive. When Kai'Sa reaches a certain amount of stats from items and stat growth, she can evolve one of her basic abilites. These stats include: 100 AD = Q Icathian Rain Evolution, 100 AP = W Void Seeker Evolution, and 100% Attack Speed = E Supercharge Evolution. This part of her passive is the main reason that Kai’Sa is such a good champion in the mid - late game. Once she evolves her basic abilities, she becomes much more useful in fights.


Q: Icathian Rain - Fire 6 missiles that distribute to all targets in range. Low HP minions take more damage.

Kai’Sa’s Q is a really dynamic ability, as it can be used in many different ways. Mainly, her Q is used to help you clear creep waves slightly faster, helping you out when there is multiple minions about to die. This is really easy, because Icathian Rain deals double damage to all minions that are below 35% HP, meaning 1-2 rockets will execute them at that HP threshold. Another way her Q is used is to help you attack isolated targets. Since your Q will distribute to all nearby targets, you usually don’t want to use it until you are only near champions. If you get all the missiles on a single target, it will severely chunk their HP, and let you win most all-ins or trades.

Once you reach 100 AD, Icathian Rain will evolve, and you will fire 10 rockets instead of 6. This nearly doubles your Q damage, so that is why we aim to evolve this ASAP in our build! You will be able to upgrade your Q once you finish Guinsoo's Rageblade, around levels 11-13.



W: Void Seeker - Fire a projectile that deals magic damage and applies 2 stacks of Plasma.

Her W serves a couple of purposes. First off, you can use this purely for damage whether you close or far away from your target. It is more efficient than auto attacking if you can land it, because it applies 2 stacks of Plasma, and can really chunk whoever it hits. Secondly, you can use her W to gap close to enemies. Since you can Killer Instinct to any target with stacks of Plasma, you can land your W, then Ulti into them from long range. This is great for engaging skirmishes, or assassinating enemies! Also note that Kai’Sa’s W does not pass through minions or monsters, so you will need to aim precisely to hit your targets.

Once you reach 100 AP, Void Seeker will apply 3 stacks of plasma instead of 2, and refund 50% of the cooldown if you hit an enemy champion. If you go with the AP build, you will be able to max your W once you finish Nashor's Tooth.


E: Supercharge - Kai’Sa gains bonus movement speed for 1.2 - 0.6 seconds and cannot attack, and then gains increased attack speed after for 4 seconds.

Kai’Sa’s E is an ability that many people have problems with when they are learning how to play her. The main point of your E is to help you disengage, or engage onto enemies. The problem is, many people use the E during a trade, thinking that they will get more damage. You want to use this exclusively use this to help you get away, or get into a fight. Don’t try and use it mid-fight to help you win, unless you are just hitting a tank. Additionally, your basic attacks will reduce the cooldown of Supercharge, allowing you to use it again relatively quickly if you’re utilizing the attack speed bonus.

Once you reach 100% Bonus Attack Speed, Supercharge will grant you brief invisibility while you are charging up with the bonus movement speed. Similarly to the Q, we want to evolve this ASAP, so we focus our item build and runes around obtaining this upgrade before any of the others. We will usually get our E upgrade while building Guinsoo's Rageblade, around levels 9-12.


R: Killer Instinct - Dash to any location near an enemy champion affected with Plasma. Ulting also grants a shield for 2 seconds.


Her Ultimate is really great for making plays. You can dash sideways to dodge an ability, engage onto an enemy champion with Void Seeker, or just use it to gain a quick shield in close combat fight. There’s many ways to use this, but the most common way of using it is to dash into a fight to help secure kills for your team. If you are too far away to help with a fight, this is the perfect way to jump in and start dealing damage as quick as possible. There’s plenty of advanced mechanics for this ultimate, which I will cover in the next section of the guide.

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Abilities (Advanced Mechanics and Strategies)



PASSIVE: Second Skin



- Once you reach Guinsoo's Rageblade, you’re passive will stack up twice as quick with your auto attacks, giving you lots of extra damage as long as you have all 6 stacks of Guinsoo’s Rage ready.
- Your Passive Proc deals more damage to champions with lower health, so use your passive to execute targets for extra damage.
- Your Passive Proc will also deal more damage the more AP you have, making the AP build much more appetizing for an enemy team comp that has lots of tanks/frontline.
- You can deal insane damage to Baron Nashor and Dragon’s, because of the passive damage. Even though the passive damage is capped at 400, it’ll let you burst these objective’s very quick and secure them for your team.
- Your teammates CC cannot execute the finishing proc on Plasma, but your W can. Use this to snipe targets with 3 stacks already, and they will take insane damage. This can also be used to deal a large amount of burst damage, to surprise your enemies before they can Heal, Barrier, or Exhaust you.



Q: Icathian Rain



- Use this on isolated targets to deal a lot of damage.
- When you’re in lane, you can use this to take really good short trades. Do this by using your Q at the same time you auto attack them, so that one of your missiles will hit them too. Since non-minion targets take 30% damage from missiles beyond the first, this does more damage than you might think.
- Sometimes you might want to save your Q until the end of a trade. This is because your Q will follow them if they happen to Flash away from your range. They won’t be aware that you Q’d them until after they Flashed and died to it.
- Use this in lane to help you farm minions. You can usually use this level 1 to farm the first 3 melee minions if you get to lane late.



W: Void Seeker



- Your W is much more effective on AP Kai’Sa
- Your W has a cast time, meaning that you can Flash, and then use W in order to quickly surprise your enemies. I recommend trying this in practice tool first though, as the direction of your W changes with your original click.
- Use your W to kill a minion while walking back to lane, especially if you have an enemy cannon minion about to die under your turret.
- Use your W to poke out squishy targets from far away if you’re playing AP Kai’Sa, since the cooldown is reduced if you hit an enemy champion.
- This deals a lot of damage in the early levels, don’t be afraid to use it if you think it can benefit you.



E: Supercharge



- The more attack speed you have, the shorter the charge lasts
- Try to save your E in teamfights for when you need to dodge an ability or engage/disengage, don’t waste it in the middle of a direct fight.
- Guinsoo's Rageblade will help you recharge your E faster, since auto attacks reduce the cooldown. It will theoretically come back up 50% faster than before if you are auto attacking.
- TLDR: Don’t E until you need it.



R: Killer Instinct



- You can press your R anywhere around an enemy as long as the champion itself is within your range. This means you can go far behind someone who is running away from you, and completely cut them off.
- You can use Killer Instinct as an auto attack reset mid-fight.
- Similarly to your E: Supercharge, don’t use it until you need it. Wasting this ability could hurt you later on, because of how useful the shield and dash are.
- The shield was nerfed, and only lasts for 2 seconds, so use it wisely!
- Sometimes it is a good idea to dash away from one part of a teamfight into another. If you are taking a losing fight in one area, you can sometimes dash to a different enemy to reposition yourself.

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Starting Items




















Doran's Shield

Doran's Shield is going to be the best option in most matchups. Doran's Shield highly benefits ADC's who suffer during the laning phase, and especially ADC's that have short attack range. Kai'Sa has one of the worst laning phases overall, and she needs that extra help in order to survive early. I highly recommend taking Doran's Shield versus aggressive/poke ADC's, and ranged supports (Ex: Draven, Lucian, Janna, Soraka).

Doran's Blade

Doran's Blade is a great option when you aren't going to get smashed in the early game. While you are much weaker than most laners, if you are confident that you can survive the laning phase, then take Doran's Blade instead. The point of taking Doran's Blade over other starting items is because of the lifesteal and extra AD it provides. This is especially useful when transitioning to the mid-game, especially for champions like Kai'Sa who don't have any lifesteal in their core build. Also, the AD provided from Doran's Blade will help you evolve your Q: Icathian Rain even faster! In essence, take Doran's Blade versus easier matchups that you know you can win, or go even.

Doran's Ring

Doran's Ring is a viable option on Kai'Sa because of the mana it provides for her. It is a rare case that Doran's Ring will be more useful than the other starting items, but there are matchups where this is better! The point of building Doran's Ring is to let you spam your abilities during the lane phase, in order to let you push faster. This is great when you are versus champions such as Tristana, who suffers greatly when farming under turret. Pushing in the lane also provides a lot of pressure on the map, so if you are confident that you can win lane by shoving with your abilities, try Doran's Ring instead!
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Core Items


















StormRazor

Stormrazor is always going to be your first buy. Period. The item is extremely powerful in the early game due to the oppressiveness of it's passive, and the stats that it provides. It gives you stats that you need on [Kai'Sa, regardless if you decide to build AD or AP. This is because it gives you plenty of AD, and attack speed in order to evolve your Q: Icathian Rain, and your E: Supercharge. Stormrazor also gives some great early game stats anyways, including: Damage, Attack Speed, Crit, and Movespeed. There currently aren't any better options available, and you'll always opt for Stormrazor first.

Berserker's Greaves

While this might not seem like a core item to some people, Berserker's Greaves is essential on Kai'Sa because of the massive attack speed stat that comes with it. This item grants you a total of 35% extra attack speed, letting you upgrade your E before you even finish your Guinsoo's Rageblade. If you were to buy different boots, then you wouldn’t be able to acquire your Supercharge evolution until you start building another attack speed item after Guinsoo's Rageblade.

Guinsoo's Rageblade

Guinsoo's Rageblade is arguably the best item you can build on Kai'Sa. It grants you AD, AP, and Attack speed, which are all things you desperately need to evolve your abilities. But wait, there’s more, because Guinsoo’s Rageblade’s passive lets your auto attacks apply on-hit effects twice, on every other auto attack. This is extremely helpful because it lets you charge up your Plasma from Second Skin, and also let you charge up your Supercharge faster when it is off cooldown. Overall, Guinsoo’s is a NEED on Kai’Sa, because you will have your evolved Q and E once you’ve built it.
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AD Items [After Core]















































Runaan’s Hurricane (ESSENTIAL)

Runaan's Hurricane will always be the best option for AD Kai'Sa after you’ve completed your core build. Runaan’s will let you apply your Plasma stacks onto multiple targets, which greatly amplifies your damage in teamfights. While the damage from the actual auto attacks are reduced on nearby targets, the Plasma damage will deal the same amount, chunking multiple targets. Runaan’s is also a great option because of it’s innate waveclear. Usually Kai’Sa’s waveclear is mediocre, because of her single target attacks, except for her Q. Runaan’s can push lanes faster and kill enemy minions during a siege. Overall, this is the best option immediately after your core items.

Infinity Edge

Infinity Edge is essential on most ADC’s after their first Zeal item. In this case, since you’ll most likely be building Runaan's Hurricane first, we want to get IE second. Infinity Edge doubles our critical strike chance, and gives us tons of AD in order to pack a harder punch with our auto attacks. Also, this will help us shred tanks because of the 10% true damage conversion with our critical strikes!

Mercurial Scimitar

Mercurial Scimitar is a great option to build versus hard CC or AP, while also gaining some Offensive stats as well. This item is quintessential versus champions such as Malzahar, Lux, or other hard CC enemies. This is due to the active that lets you remove all enemy CC applied to you, allowing you to quickly get out of a sticky situation. This is also a great option if you are versus enemies with a lot of Magic Damage and some CC on their team.

Maw of Malmortius

Maw of Malmortius is the counterpart to Mercurial Scimitar. This item is a great option versus AP assassins, or enemy teams that have a lot of Magic Damage. While you can’t get any CC removal with this item, it does grant more Magic Resist than Mercurial Scimitar, and also gives you a Magic Damage shield when you reach low HP. That’s why this item is preferred over Mercurial Scimitar when you are against champions without CC, but lots of Magic Damage, such as LeBlanc, Syndra, or Viktor.

Lord Dominik’s Regard

Lord Dominik's Regards serves one main purpose. This item’s purpose is to shred tanks with lots of armor. It grants you 35% armor penetration, in addition to some extra AD that will let you burst down those unkillable tanks. This in addition to Infinity Edge’s true damage will ensure that you can take down the enemy frontline, while sacrificing potential damage on squishies. This item works wonders against champions such as: Sion, Malphite, or Poppy.

Mortal Reminder

Mortal Reminder is the counterpart to Lord Dominik's Regards. This item however, only grants 25% armor penetration as opposed to 35%. The reason that this item might be more favorable, is that it applies Grievous Wounds to all enemies you attack. This keeps champions from healing as quickly and is an excellent counter to champions such as: Dr. Mundo, Soraka, or Sona.

The Bloodthirster

Bloodthirster is sort of an offensive and defensive item. This will grant tons of AD, but also gives you a shield that works with the 20% Lifesteal it provides. This item can be really useful on ADC’s such as Kai'Sa or Tristana, since they don’t have any Lifesteal included in their core build path. While other options are usually better, this item can still work wonders if there isn’t anything specifically dangerous on the enemy team, or if you need lifesteal to help your sieges last longer without needing to recall .

Rapid Firecannon

Rapid Firecannon is another good offensive option if you don’t have anything dangerous on the enemy team. While this doesn’t provide any Lifesteal like Bloodthirster, it does provide extra crit and range to help you synergize better with your Infinity Edge. This is a good option to help you fight enemies that are extremely dangerous to attack close range, and also to let you poke out enemies that don’t have sufficient range. You can also use Rapid Firecannon to replace Runaan's Hurricane if you believe that this will be more useful for a specific game.
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AP Items [After Core]



































Nashor’s Tooth (ESSENTIAL)

Nashor's Tooth is the item you must always buy after you’ve completed your core. This item gives you the things that are essential to AP Kai’Sa. Purchasing Nashor’s Tooth will give you four main stats that will make you much stronger. First, you will gain 80 Ability Power, which will let you Evolve your W: Void Seeker, and deal much more damage with your Plasma stacks. Secondly, you will gain 50% attack speed-- which is vital to this build because the rest of your items won’t give any more attack speed, making this the final goodbye to AD stats. Third, Nashor’s passive grants you direct on-hit damage, which directly scales with (15+ 15% of your Ability Power). This is especially strong because we’ve also already built our Guinsoo's Rageblade, which will double our on-hit damage on every other auto attack. Finally, Nashor’s Tooth also grants 20% extra Cooldown Reduction, which will let us spam our abilities more often.

Zhonya’s Hourglass

Zhonya's Hourglass is a great pickup when you are against an AD heavy composition, or you just need the active for some survivability. It grants you extra AP and Armor to help you survive against assassins like Zed, Talon, etc. While Zhonya’s gives great defensive options for you, it also will help amplify your damage by quite a bit, with the extra AP and Cooldown Reduction is provides.
EXTRA NOTE: You can use Zhonya's Hourglass force a risky but sometimes favorable fight. This can be executed by Ulting to engage into the enemy team alone, and then using Zhonya’s immediately. By this point, your team should show up to help you, and the enemy should have tried using some of their ultimates to try and insta-kill you. Once your Zhonya’s Active ends, you can use your E: Supercharge to go invisible and escape, or deal damage and help your team.

Banshee’s Veil

Banshee's Veil gives some great stats for Kai’Sa, but serves a purpose similar to Zhonya's Hourglass. Banshee’s Veil is a really great offensive/defensive item versus AP Heavy compositions. If you are playing versus champions such as Zoe, Ahri, or Xerath, this item will help keep you healthy by blocking the first enemy spell that hits you. Overall though, this item should be bought for almost the exact same reason you would buy a Zhonya’s, but versus AP teams.

Rabadon’s Deathcap

If you are completely unkillable, and believe that more damage is the way to go, consider picking up a Rabadon's Deathcap instead! This will heavily increase your AP, and amplify your damage accordingly. Your passive will chunk people for tons of damage, and your W: Void Seeker will start poking people for about a third of their health against squishies. This is a risky buy, but if you are confident in your ability to survive, Rabadon’s Deathcap is the item for you.
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Defensive Items


I have only included Guardian Angel here, because I've already covered all of the other defensive options. The reason I already covered them is because they can be considered both Offensive and Defensive. Those items include: Mercurial Scimitar, Maw of Malmortius, Zhonya's Hourglass, and Banshee's Veil. Scroll up if you'd like to read the descriptions for these items!







Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel is always a great buy when you have a team composition that you know will have advanced in the fight after you died. The reason for building GA is when you are playing versus a one-shot assassin such as Talon or Katarina. These champions can take you out of a fight before the blink of an eye, but they usually die as a one-for-one trade for your death. Buying Guardian Angel means that your team can likely kill them before you respawn, and then win the fight since you were saved. Overall, this serves as a last-resort defensive item when you need to stay alive longer in teamfights!
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Support Matchups

Best supports with Kai'Sa


Sona Nami Brand Zilean Leona Thresh









Supports that Counter Kai'Sa


Teemo Sona Nami Zyra Janna Thresh




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ADC Matchups


Below will include general match-up guides for Kai'Sa. I will be working to improve these and make them as comprehensive as possible overtime, but these are very time-consuming, so it will be a work-in-progress!
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Final Note



If you guys liked the guide and want more info added, and/or more guides like this one, leave an upvote to help me out (top right :D) ! Any feedback is heavily appreciated, and if you have any questions about anything, feel free to pop in my stream when I'm live, or just post a question in the discussion thread! I respond to all questions as thoroughly as I can, so you can rely on me for any confusions you might have about Kai'Sa, ADC, or just league in general! Thanks for reading :)

Check out my Twitch Channel Here!