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Cassiopeia - Snake In The Grass

Last updated on August 29, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Welcome to my first guide. I shall be introducing a highly underrated champion, Cassiopeia. While she may not hold the spot light when it comes to AP champions, I believe she is vastly overlooked.

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Pros & Cons

-One of the best harassers in the game
-Excellent lane sustain
-Preforms EXCEPTIONALLY well in regards to mana management
-Escapes and scouts well

-Requires more time to burst
-Prone to mistakes later game

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For runes, I run with and . I find it to be far better than flat AP on her because her ultimate does an exceptionally high amount of base damage. She has great AP ratios, so try and see what fits you best.

work flawlessy with her passive, . You WILL be spamming spells and you will WANT to be keeping up on mana.

is used for her ult. I shall never forget the day I was midding against a twitch who screamed "didn't you just ult?!!?!" Is not really used for her other abilities.

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9/0/21 is what I find to be most effective. Ignite synergies REALLLY well with her poisons, so you will want it to be off cool down as often as possible. It also provides more mana regen and the movement speed buff which allow you to harass better and avoid ganks early game.

21/0/9 is nothing to smirk at, I just prefer having Ignite and ready when I WANT.

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A note about using her skills:

It is
important you use smart cast with Cassiopeia. This allows you to use an ability at the time of activation wherever your mouse is located. If you have your mouse over an enemy and hit R, you WILL use your R at that instant. You can change your default controls by hitting escape, and in Menu -> Key Bindings.

After casting a spell, any subsequent spellcasts will cost 10% less for 5 seconds. This ability stacks up to 5 times.

By spamming your abilities, your spells will cost less. Stacks up to 50%. This is what allows you to farm and harass efficiently.

Cassiopeia blasts a small target area with a explosion of poison. All targets hit are poisoned and dealt magic damage over 3 seconds. Cassiopeia is granted a movement speed boost for 3 seconds if she hits a champion with the spell.

Cooldown: 3 seconds
Range: 850
Radius of AoE: 75
Cost: 35 / 45 / 55 / 65 / 75 mana
Total Magic Damage: 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+0.9 per ability power)
Movement Speed Boost: 15 / 17.5 / 20 / 22.5 / 25 %

This is your main ability used for harassing. Very similar to Karthus's mines. If I don't think I can get a kill before 2 or 3, I will take this as my next ability to help with last hitting and harassing. This is a great ability for chasing and retreating as it gives you a movement speed buff. Applies poison.

Cassiopeia throws a growing cloud of poison to a target location. The area lasts for 7 seconds and provides vision over it for the duration. Any enemy that passes through it is poisoned for 2 seconds that is renewed by continual exposure. Enemies poisoned are dealt magic damage each second and are slowed.

Cooldown: 9 seconds
Range to Center of AoE: 850
Radius of Aoe: 100-175
Cost: 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana
Magic Damage Per Second: 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65 (+0.15 per ability power)
Slow: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 %

Another great tool for chasing and retreating, applies a poison and a slow to enemies who stand in the purple pool of doom. Excellent tool for farming minions, as they are not smart enough to move out of it. Lasts for 2 seconds AFTER an enemy leaves it.
Added in a recent patch, it will now give sight wherever it lands.

Cassiopeia deals magic damage to her target. If the target is poisoned when hit then Twin Fang's cooldown is reduced to 0.5 seconds (affected by cooldown reduction).

Cooldown: 5 seconds
Range: 700
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 mana
Magic Damage: 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+0.55 per ability power)

Your bread and butter. This is where nearly half of your damage comes from. You target an enemy and deal damage. If they are poisoned, you can do it again. And again. This is why its important to hit them with your Q and W if you plan on harassing. While your poison is an annoyance, if they are stupid enough to keep letting it being applied to themself PUNISH THEM WITH YOUR E.

Cassiopeia deals magic damage to all enemies in a cone in front of her. Enemies facing her when damaged are stunned for 2 seconds, while enemies facing away are slowed by 60% for the same duration.

Range: 850
Cone Width: 90ยบ
Cost: 120 / 160 / 200 mana
Cooldown: 130 / 120 / 110 seconds
Magic Damage: 200 / 325 / 450 (+0.6 per ability power)

This ult is a face melter. Timing is VERY important. Placement is as well. It has a pretty short range compared to other ults i've seen, so it requires you to be close for any effect.
Much like ashe's ult can decide team fights, so can your ult. If their carry is real close behind the enemy tank, and you can hit them both, it is probably wise to do so. You have effectively CC'ed their initiator and their damage dealer securing kills for your team, and stopping the enemy team from dealing significant damage.
At the end of the game, if you're not dealing 600+ damage with this (closer to 700), you're doing it wrong.

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Early Game

Early game, you have several options.

Cassiopeia is excellent in any lane, because of her ability to harass and push lanes very easily.

You will probably want to end up buying a . Cass is squishy with 455 hp starting, and if you are laning against an excellent poker you really don't have much of a choice here. If you do, you may also want to take as it will benefit the most from your item choice, as it has a lower mana cost (synergy with ) and has a .9 AP ratio.

I will typically buy a but I am also very fond of and and red pots. With how much you spam your spells, the extra mana can really be useful and both build into wonderful items for Cassiopeia. I will also start with for scouting, and the reapplying poison. If you go for first blood and stand auto-attacking, enemies tend to forget the are standing in your purple pool of doom. I use it for scouting. deals more damage, so take what you feel you are more comfortable with.

DO NOT FORGET TO USE YOUR AUTO ATTACK TO LAST HIT. You may be tempted to just spam QQQQQ, but it does not stack and you WILL waste mana.

Try focusing on zoning your enemy if they don't have a lot of harass, or are playing cautiously. You can typically bait them into a or . If possible, run up and Q, back a bit and Q them again while staying out of range. doesn't stack so try not to let it fall off, but don't stand there spamming it either.

If you think you will be able to kill your laner, take next. It deals 60 magic damage at level 1, and if you have your magic pen runes and masteries all set up it should be dealing at least 60-80 damage a pop, and you can usually land at least 2.

Until I hit 6, I will have one level in each poison, and max . This will typically provide the best harass and farming. If you haven't won the lane yet, start playing OVERLY AGGRESSIVE. This will more than likely lull your opponent into a sense of false security in that you are being too reckless. If you were farming properly, you should hit 6 before they did. When they come up and try and stun/silence/snare you, pop R+W+Q+D/F. They will have both your poisons on them, lost 250+ hp, be slowed, and ready to be taken out by your E. Be ready to flash to land your R if you can, or to secure that last hit with a good Q and E combo.