Click to open network menu
Join or Log In
Mobafire logo

Join the leading League of Legends community. Create and share Champion Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


This build has been archived and is for historical display only

This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.

We recommend you take a look at this author's other builds.


Kalista Build Guide by Ayanleh

ADC A Guide to Playing Lethality Kalista

ADC A Guide to Playing Lethality Kalista

Updated on October 14, 2020
New Guide
Vote Vote
League of Legends Build Guide Author Ayanleh Build Guide By Ayanleh 15,288 Views 0 Comments
15,288 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Ayanleh Kalista Build Guide By Ayanleh Updated on October 14, 2020
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!
Would you like to add a comment to your vote?

Thank You!

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.

Runes: Electrocute

1 2
Sudden Impact
Eyeball Collection
Ravenous Hunter

Legend: Alacrity
Coup de Grace

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Heal


LeagueSpy Logo
ADC Role
Ranked #20 in
ADC Role
Win 47%
Get More Stats
ADC Role Ranked #20 in
ADC Role
Win 47%
More Kalista Runes

Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

A Guide to Playing Lethality Kalista

By Ayanleh
Hello and welcome to my guide on playing lethality kalista. Am a 800k+ combined mastery kalista and my guide will go through items, runes, max order and how to play her efficiently with the lethality build. It has a somewhat different playstyle than normal attack speed kalista so if you like one shotting enemies and functioning similar to a ranged assassin like LeBlanc then you have come to the right place.

I have also written another guide here on mobafire which gained over 8 million views and has made many people climb to plat and above so I have somewhat of an experience teaching people, I usually just give you the information while making it simple to understand and short. Now lets learn how to play lethality kalista...


+ Very high burst
+ Very good against squishies
+ Makes your early game even stronger
+ Great early and mid game
+ Easy to pick up
+ Can counter some assassins by oneshotting them

With lethality kalista you have an insane amount of burst once you start getting your Serrated Dirk and Caulfield's Warhammer(components of duskblade) you will be able to outduel many late game scaling adc's and if you are good enough, even some adc's with respectable early games like Jhin or Lucian. She also in general does bad against tanks with her meta builds (atk spd, onhit, lifesteal) so building lethality will make her even better at the thing shes good at: stomping early game. Lethality was designed to be stronger early game as its cheap, has great components and punishes people for not rushing armor. Come mid game you will still be strong especially if you got fed in lane and a fed kalista with lethality is nearly unstopabble as you will be one shotting everyone with your high base damage and scaling on Q and E being literally the highest AD ratio ability in the game. Also kalista's basic attacks only deal 90% of her AD instead of 100% like every other champions, its pretty much riot saying to you that you need build items that makes your abilities stronger and be less reliant on crit. Lethality is not really a basic attack focused stat, it makes your abilities stronger hence why all ad assassins get it.

- Kinda falls off in the late game
- If you miss your Q Pierce you lose out on allot of dmg
- Bad against tanks
- Less attack speed
Lethality kalista also has some cons, she kinda falls off late game with literally every build you can go on her (atk spd, lifesteal etc) they all fall off but lethality kalista can still one shot squishies later on. If you also miss your Q where allot of your damage lies in with this build, then its not good as damage and one shot potential will be reduced allot similar to how atk spd kalista if she misses her E she does less damage. This build is also bad against tanks, you wont be dealing as much damage to them compared to a standard Blade of the Ruined King and Guinsoo's Rageblade build. Though you can still deal a decent amount of damage to them if you can Lord Dominik's Regards or Mortal Reminder. With this build you also have less attack speed meaning your hopping speed is slower, however if you take the Legend: Alacrity rune you will still have around 1.40 atk speed which is enough for kiting bruisers and tanks but you will still lack some attack speed so keep that in mind.

Martial Poise Kalista's Basic Attacks have special properties:
    Miss if her target leaves vision
    Only deal 90% of her AD in damage
    Makes her hop a distance that scales with boot tier
    Cannot be cancelled
This ability is what makes you kind of like an assassin, you have literally the most mobility in the game with this ability as you hop every single time you auto someone. It's hop distance is 250 / 300 / 350 (BASED ON BOOTS TIER) and is the reason you rush boots in the early as you can kite, run down and dodge more spells with it. Its kinda hard to use this ability in the beginning so you need to practice how to use it. After you master it you can easily dodge spells and run down enemies with it. Its one of the most OP passives in the game and is what differentiates a good kalista from a bad kalista.

Pierce Kalista sends out a fast but thin skillshot spear which deals large amount of damage upon hitting an enemy. If you lodge a spear on an enemy with your E Rend, you will transfer all spear stacks to the enemy your Q Pierce hits. This is one of the reasons to go lethality kalista, It has huge base damage and has a 100% AD scaling so its bound to deal tons of damage. With lethality/more AD increasing its damage further, its what we max first as it can shove waves very fast because of its base damage and scaling. You can also proc your passive with this ability, meaning if you cast it and right click after, you will hop towards that direction.

Sentinel Send out a sentinel which patrols the area you send to and It will go to that area and return to where you casted it. You and your oathsworn if you auto the same enemy, you will deal a percentage of their health as magic damage. A good skill to patrol common gank routes or to check bushes for you instead of facechecking it. Its also good as it gives bonus damage when you and your oathsworn basic attack the same target.

Rend Passive: Every time kalista basic attacks an enemy she lodges (puts in them) a spear. Press this ability to remove the spears, dealing damage and slowing them. This ability also refunds mana and resets its cooldown when you kill a unit with it making it excellent for farming. Put two points into it before maxing Q so you use less mana for faming. Its very good with lethality as you can execute enemies with it and coupled with Q Pierce's damage you will one shot enemies so fast they cant react. It's also the highest scaling ability in the whole game at max stacks, making long trades not bad on kalista as she can still damage tanks if you go Legend: Alacrity and Berserker's Greaves.

Fate's Call Kalista teleports the Oathsworn ally inside her making them invulnerable and untargetable but also unable to move, declare attacks and cast abilities. They also gain the ability to dash toward a position, knocking enemy champions up. This ability makes you an excellnt teamfighter, although kalista does get outscaled if you cast an aoe knockup late game, your late game suited mid laner or top laner is sure to take advantage of the knockup.

Summoner spells
Flash is a very strong spell taken on nearly all champion for its usage grants the ability to instantly dash your champion to the location your cursor is facing within 425 range. You can use it in many clever ways, like dodging the enemy's cc, escaping or flashing for a kill. You should take flash every single game as its a must on kalista.
Heal Heal is a must in the bot lane as it heals and grants movement speed to you and your ally. You can use heal when you or your ally is low to escape from the enemy and hopefully survive or to simply in rare ocassions, dodge a deadly ability.
Ignite is spell that you can take if you want to be aggressive and look to potentially snowball the lane. I only recommend taking ignite in the mid lane. It has good synergy with your kit as you want to snowball the lane in the mid lane or top sometimes. I would not recommend this spell in the bottom lane, unless you got a Yuumi or Soraka who will heal you all the time in that case go for ignite. You can also proc Electrocute with Q E ignite.
Exhaust is a defensive option, if you are in a bad matchup take this rune and make sure your ally takes heal for you. It slows and lowers the damage of an enemy, excellent in the mid lane against some assassins or hard matchups like Ashe or Draven.
Electrocute After amaging an enemy champion with 3 abilities or basic attacks, call down lightning which deals damage upon them. Execellent rune for lethality kalista, it makes it so that your early game is much stronger and coupled with lethality you will do some huge oneshots. Kalista can also proc it very easily with an Basic Attack > Q > E for some spicy damage early on.
Dark Harvest Damnaging an enemy below 50% health deals bonus damage and harvests a soul permanently increasing this rune's damage. You can take this into very easy matchups where you think you can snowball and make sure you have an engage support like Leona or Thresh so you can play aggressive and harvest those souls. Its also very good late game but weaker early game than electrocute. You can also proc this ability without hitting the enemy 3 times, meaning if you see a low health Janna for example, you can execute them Q Pierce and Dark Harvest's damage.
Sudden Impact Gain some lethality and magic penetration after using a dash. This is really good on kalista as she can use it every time she basic attacks an enemy and has great synergy with this build. Make sure you hop after using your Q Pierce for extra damage.
Eyeball Collection Gain an eyeball collection for every takedown (kills or assists) up to 10. Gain bonus attack damage for each eyeball collection from 1.2 attack damage to 12 attack damage. Upon completing your collection, gain an additional 6 attack damage. Extra AD is always nice for your Q E and electrocute's damage.
Ravenous Hunter Heal for a percentage of the damage dealt by your abilities and items up to 14% at 5 stacks. Stacks are gained from takesdowns on unique enemies (kill every enemy champion once). Healing from your Q and E and always nice and your Q espcially will heal you by allot if casted through minions.
Legend: Alacrity Gain 3% attackspeed (+ 1.5% per stack) from takedowns, minions, large monsters and epic monsters up to 18% at 10 stacks. Kalista makes very good use of attack speed especially later on in teamfights as she can use her hop more often and shred tanks more as more attack speed means more spears lodged into enemies.
Coup de Grace Deal 8% more damage to enemy champions below 40% health. Makes you one shot harder with your Q Pierce always nice for executing enemies if they try to get away.
berserker's greaves This boots is a must it gives you the attack speed necessary to kite and lodge those lethality amplified spears into the enemy. You should always look to get this boots over any boots unless in very rare ocassions the enemy is full AD then get Ninja Tabi instead.
Duskblade of draktharr Your most core item is this it grants allot of lethality, some decent AD and CDR for your Q. It also has a passive where you deal bonus damage on your next basic attack after being unseen. It has an amazing build path and you should look to rush boots and a Serrated Dirk which builds into this making your early game even stronger.

Bloodthirster I take this second every game as it has huge AD for your Q and some lifesteal for extra sustain which is always nice to survive when you lodge the spears onto the enemy. It also grants a shield when you overheal yourself with it which is effective in preventing damage from a champions like Xerath
Edge of night I take this if am up against enemies with hooks/pulls Thresh Blitzcrank or abilities that deal huge damage with cc like a vel'koz's Plasma Fission very good item as a third item against those types of champions or else I would recommend youmuus.

Youmuus I take this if edge of night is not necessary. The item is good as its active lets you escape from enemies and its passive makes it so that you can get movement speed out of combat meaning you will get to teamfights faster. Good amount of lethality, CDR and attack damage which is always nice.
Guardian Angel You can take this if you got really fed in the laning phase and have both your Duskblade of Draktharr and Bloodthirster. It makes it so that you can survive burst from AD assassins and not throw your lead as it has a passive that makes you not die once and be revived (it has a cooldown). You can also get it as a 4th item for late game if you need to survive.
Mortal Reminder Very good against champions with huge healing like Dr. Mundo or Vladimir as it has a passive that reduces healing if you damage an enemy. Also give percentage armor pen so its good against tanks with sustain like mao'kai and Cho'Gath. Also good against healing enchanters like Yuumi and Soraka.
LDR If the enemy has no healers but has tanks, then take this over mortal reminder as the armor penetration is higher on this item.
Laning Phase
In the laning phase you should look to be very aggressive as laning phase is your strongest point. Try to get lv2 and look for a cheesy all in with your support (if you have an engage support like Leona or Alistar otherwise dont and play safe). If against a hard matchup wait for 4 points in Q and Serrated Dirk thats when your one shot starts to kick in. When you hit lv6 and backed to get some AD, all in again with your support (engage support or enchanter support does not matter) dominate with your Q damage and the AD you got if its a hard matchup wait till you have atleast max point into Q and a Serrated Dirk + Berserker's Greaves. Early levels You can also look for a short trade using Auto > Q > E electrocute proc or Auto > Auto > E > electrocute proc for some huge damage early on. Do that till you hit 6 and after that just keep engaging if you see an oppurtinity as lethality kalista has little hard matchups early to mid game as you function kinda similarly to a ranged assassin. Also if you got fed in laning phase and are shoved into the enemy, then ask your jungler to come to dragon and kill it for the buff. Swap with top if you got first blood tower and get top tower and herald (they cant contest if you are fed, a fed lethality kalista is very deadly)
In teamfights which start in the mid game you will still be somewhat strong so long as you either farmed up or got some kills then you will have a good mid game teamfighting. Look for any oppurtunity to engage and catch out the enemy with your ultimate Fate's Call and just stay backline and DPS as your attack speed isnt that low (around 1.40 at mid game). You will be able to oneshot some assassins if they try to get on top of you since you will be able to hit Q easier as they are right on top of you. Usually to kill a squihy assasins by mid game is a Auto > Auto > Auto > Q > E and they usually die with such a short combo if on top of you. Look to also poke with your Q (it has same ranged as ezreal's Q Mystic Shot but be wary of your mana as its cost is high. If you got fed by laning phase try to extend your lead to other lanes and get them kills and do objectives like dragon herald into baron and control the map like that. Your late game isnt as bad as the other meta builds, you can still one shot some squshies but tanks will be a little harder to kill but you are still usefull due to your ultimate Fate's Call having an aoe knockup similar to malphite's [[unstoppable force]
Warding and freezing
You should get yourself a Control Ward on your first back in every game, its the best item in the game for only 75 gold. Even if you have placed a control ward, its always good to have one in your inventory at all times as a backup.
For blue side, put a Control Ward in the bush to your side, in this case the number 1 bush and a Warding Totem in the number 2 bush. If your on the red side, you should put the Control Ward in the bush to your side, in this case the number 2 bush and put a Warding Totem in the number 1 bush.

My second tip is freezing; in short only damaging the minion wave when going for last hits and not using abilities on it. The wave will freeze and will take allot of time to push into you or the enemy giving you a lead as you can zone the enemy. You should freeze when you have an advantage vs an easy matchup like Kai'Sa or Varus for example freeze the wave and if he/she steps up to cs you do massive damage or even kill him/her. You can also freeze if you are getting ganked all the time, freeze the wave and let is push to you so you can farm next to your tower then the enemy jungler wont bother ganking you.
General Tips
-You can auto and get a minion low and kill it with Q which will transfer all the rend stacks that the minion had and onto the enemy which got hit by your Q

-Sometimes ult to save your oathsworn so they can escape, especially for squishy champions like Sona

-Make sure to use your spear and bond an oathsworn while in base to not delay any invasions your team might do at the start.

-Use your W all the time as it has no mana cost and lasts for 7 laps, use it on commmon gank patterns to reveal the enemy jungler to your allies

-Your hop works like this, if you auto attack an enemy and mid auto attack (as it flying to the target) you issue a command/right click, then you will move your character to that direction.

-Ask for an engage support in champ select as kalista is best with those kind of champions especially with this build where you need to snowball early.

-Slows reduce kalista's hop speed and movespeed bonuses increase the hop speed.

-You can do a very quick double dash with your passive by using q after your auto dash and clicking again. It is incredibly useful for dodging skill shots or for quickly getting yourself into a better position in lane.

-Sometimes if with a safe support like Sona or Soraka then its better to cast the spear on a tank for example Malphite or Sejuani

-You have powerspikes at lv2, lv6, first back, lv12 and when you get duskblade and Bloodthirster.
And this concludes my lethality kalista guide.. In my opinion lethality kalista is kinda strong but no one knows about it so through my guide and streams I want to make it meta. It has very huge damage, amplifies her her high scaling Q and E and overall makes you much stronger early game.

Also Kalista is arguably the hardest ADC and needs allot of practice in normals before taking her in ranked. Practice makes perfect and shes very good when mastered so dont give up and have fun playing this build on kalista

If this guide has helped you can upvote my guide and follow me twitch where I stream ( and good luck on your games!
League of Legends Build Guide Author Ayanleh
Ayanleh Kalista Guide
Vote Vote
A Guide to Playing Lethality Kalista

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide