Kalista Build Guide by xSEASeahawks12
GUESS WHO'S BACK - Steamrolling ALL Elos with Kalista S10By xSEASeahawks12 | Updated on June 24, 2020
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+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order ABILITY ORDER
Threats & Synergies
A good Draven is capable of winning every trade in lane, and his DPS in quick fights while you try to land your full Hail of Blades-Rend combo is just too much. However, with a good engage support such as Thresh, Blitzcrank, Leona, and Swain that can punish Draven for trying to catch his axes can help swing this lane in your favor.
As a low-range ADC, Kalista gets completely bullied in lane by Caitlyn. She makes it difficult to last hit as her poke is so immediate and strong with her Headshot and range. Keeping up with her in CS is incredibly hard. Plus, her hard CC trap can completely shut you down as you try to hop around.
Aphelios isn't too hard to lane against, as your quick trades as well as your all in can murder him if you properly play around his Chakram cooldown. However, be very cautious when this gun is available, as his DPS spikes hard.
This match-up can largely come down to the supports, as bot lane often does. In theory, Ashe's perma-slow can seriously hinder your ability to jump around, and her ult is almost a guaranteed kill if it lands. However, if you settle for quick trades and backing out before she can unleash her Q on you, this lane is definitely winnable.
This mostly depends on how good the Ezreal is. At his peak, Ezreal can be a nuisance with his constant poke as Kalista has no built-in sustain, but he has to be good to land all of his abilities on you if you use your Passive correctly. His escapes are not as strong against you, as you can still catch up to him by auto-attacking the wave and still being to land your full Rend that you had stacked on him previously.
Laning against Jhin can sometimes feel like going against a Draven with CC, which can be an absolute nightmare. By avoiding his traps and using your Passive to dodge his attempt to stun you with his W, you can mitigate the CC part. In order to trade with Jhin safely, you have to wait for him to begin reloading before engaging. If you have a tanky engage support (as I HIGHLY recommend) you can wait for Jhin to waste his last shot on your teammate's engage, then quickly follow up.
The only reason this match-up isn't considered minor is because of her immense ability to snowball. Not many ADCs can carry a game like Jinx can. Fortunately, if you're not camped by the jungler, you can stomp the Jinx in lane by dodging her W with Martial Poise and simply out-damaging her in trades. Since her laning phase is one of the weakest among all the ADCs, abuse her while you can.
Kai'sa is in a very similar spot as Jinx. Her laning phase is almost laughable if you play it right, but she scales extremely hard and can be a problem no matter how well you do in the first 15 minutes. In lane, try to land any kind of CC on her and then unleash your HoB-Q-E combo to bring her to half health and escape before she can get a full Plasma stack on you. That sneakily does a ton of damage, especially on squishy champs.
I actually love seeing Kog'Maw being locked in on the other team. He is absolutely allergic to sticky champions with his complete and utter lack of mobility, and if you land one basic on him you can follow him around the rest of the map if needed. Just dodge his E, as the slow hinders your ability to jump, and you're golden. For the late game, don't let him go full-artillery in team fights, as that's when he can actually hurt. Instruct your support to target him off of your Fate's Call, and he should be quickly disposed of.
Some argue that Kalista counters Lucian, but I personally disagree with this opinion. His all in's are second to none among ADC's, and that coupled with hard CC is Kalista's kryptonite. Freeze in front of your tower, and only try to trade if he uses his Q to farm, as that drops his damage significantly. If he ults, use Pierce+Martial Poise horizontally to try to get out of its way. Unfortunately, if he has his E still, this maneuver is rendered useless and you get to soak up everything if no one wants to peel.
With practice, this lane isn't all that bad. Simply stay away from the minion wave as much as possible, as her Q is her main source of poke and it starts hitting like a truck after one back. Utilize Martial Poise as much as possible to avoid being directly across from her at all times. Since you both require good positioning to maximize your impact on the game, use your superior movement to beat her to her spot. This is particularly true when she begins to ult; activate Fate's Call, hop around to give your teammate a straight shot to her, and you have successfully countered Miss Fortune in team fights.
I have never found this lane to be particularly difficult. Hop around her Q when she tries to poke, distance yourself from your wave when she uses her W to clear, and wait for her to pop her E early before Rending her. Her only chance of spell-shielding your Rend comes from a hard prediction, since your E has a very fast cast time. Add in the fact that your ult arguably has a bigger impact on your team's success than hers, and you have an ideal situation to succeed.
Since Kalista has one of the best early games of any ADC, you can counter Twitch pretty easily. By poking/engaging on him at any chance you have in lane, you can destroy him. Twitch absolutely needs time to scale and snowball, and you are the perfect champion to prevent that. In teamfights, withhold Fate's Call until he surfaces, then press R and let your support get right on top of him.
This is arguably the most skill-based match up out there. If you can effectively predict when Varus is going to release his Q and hop accordingly, you can avoid most of his damage. However, if he lands this, it's absolutely massive chunk damage that is nearly impossible to come back from. Buy a Doran's Shield every time and play very safe to avoid his insane poke. Before he hits level 6, you have to hope that your support can get on top of him, as his low mobility can let you stick onto him until he dies or Flashes. Unfortunately, after level 6, if he lands his ult you are dead. Always play behind your support, as even being behind you minion wave isn't enough to block his tendrils of death. If he's going Lethality, then just remember that you out scale him and pretty much punt on dreams of first blood or general laning success.
Even against an OTP Vayne, you can stomp her hard. Your ability to constantly reposition makes it very difficult for her to land her E into a wall, and her laning phase is bad enough that you can destroy her before she scales. While she gets quite hard to play against once she scales, you can play aggressively enough early where you can make the scaling process very difficult. In lane, shove her under her turret as fast as possible and land poke on her as she last hits, since her close range enables you to land full HoB-E combos relatively easily. Just make sure to have good vision in the river with Sentinels and Vision Wards as you play this aggressive.
Xayah doesn't really excel at any point of the game, so this match up isn't all too difficult. If you can, avoid using Fate's Call until after she ults so she has no means of dodging the knock up. Additionally, the moment feathers start to stack up behind you, utilize Martial Poise to jump to the sides and dodge her main form of damage and CC. Keep in mind that all feathers return to her in a cone-like shape and hop accordingly.
This match up would be an extreme threat if there wasn't such an easy solution to countering her. In lane, shove Tristana as hard as you possibly can until she's under tower. Because of her unique E passive, farming under tower is immensely difficult, especially against the caster minions. Of course, if she throws her E on you, you have to back out and hope she doesn't jump on you and proc everything. But if you can get her under tower, you can mitigate most of her threat in lane.
With an immense potential to tank, engage strong, and provide good peel, Alistar can cover most of Kalista's weak points.. Throwing this cow into the mix with Fate's Call can completely obliterate team fights as he chains CC onto carries, and his ability to keep enemies off of you helps you to kite around fights and maximize your DPS. However, he has no poke, which can make it difficult to whittle down your opponents to the point where you can all-in them during the laning phase.
I don't feel Bard provides much to the table for Kalista. While he deals good damage and decent (if not hard to land) CC, his peel is negligible and he's not a very good option for ulting into the thick of things. The occasional heals are nice, I guess.
If your Blitzcrank is any good, you will thoroughly stomp your lane and carry that lead into strong team-fighting and pick potential. Any hook landed pretty much results in either a kill or a burned flash, as you can stick to them no matter how hard they run. Also, your ult CC-chain with a team-wide knock up immediately followed by a huge silence can decimate the other team's chances at fighting back.
While Brand can help protect you by keeping your opponents at bay, it's difficult to put together any cohesive attacks during the laning phase. Your ult could theoretically combine well with his, as he could launch himself into their hearts and get the most bounces off of his ult as possible, but this situation is largely unrealistic. Odds are he'll die the moment he goes in, and you're left without any peel.
Put his poor laning phase together with your strong one, and you have a decent synergy. Since you're already striving to land full HoB procs throughout the game, his stun after you land all your auto's can be pretty strong. His peel is huge against longer ranged attacks, and your ult CC-chain is very strong with multiple knock ups and a powerful slow.
Surprisingly, this is a combo that lanes relatively well, scales well, and team fights well. While it provides a HUGE amount of coordination, you can ult him after he uses his ult and burns the other team's escapes to make it impossible for your enemies to avoid the maximum damage from his AoE. Provided you play safe during lane and let him do most of the damage from afar while making the most of any terrifies that he lands, you can have a solid synergy in all phases of the game.
While Galio support is a dying art, I do love playing with it. He makes it easy to trade off his engages, defends you well when you're jumped on, and your ult synergizes greatly with his huge AoE taunt. Plus, having someone with a global peel ability is always nice.
Try to avoid running this combination if you can. While Janna does a good job of buffing other ADCs, her abilities don't mesh well with Kalista at any point in the game. Your ult synergies also aren't as powerful as you would think, since she always gets put out of position to either heal or knock back enemies. She's better off doing her own thing with her ult, and that's not awesome with Kalista.
Enchanting supports usually aren't great with Kalista, and Karma is no exception. She doesn't effectively hide Kalista's weaknesses, and she doesn't play very well of Fate's Call engages. Her only redeeming quality is that the movement speed buff makes it easier to stick to targets, but even that isn't very good.
Another support that checks off every box that a champ needs to mesh with Kalista. The CC-chain with Fate's Call and Leona's entire kit is a devastating force, and she makes it very easy to team fight. Even the laning phase of this combo is oppressive, as she makes it so easy to lock down the other ADC or out-of-position supports for easy picks and favorable trades. If you have an OTP Leona friend, be prepared to reach a whole new level in your relationship.
If you have to pick an enchanting support, Lulu will have to do. Most of the game with her is meh, but the steroid from her R will make anyone look good. You might want to consider making someone else your Oathsworn, as you can ult that person in and Lulu can follow that up with an ult of her own on that already-deadly engage and make it truly devastating. This tactic does hurt your laning phase, however, as you don't have the additional damage from your W passive or kill potential at level 6.
Combine a squishy ADC who struggles against hard engage and all-ins with a support that crumbles under hard engage and all-ins, and you have a combo that is almost destined to fail. If the Lux is good, then she can do most of the heavy lifting during the laning phase in terms of damage and you can do moderately well at first. When it gets to late game, your ult has to be used almost exclusively on the defensive to help reposition the Lux to either protect her or get to a spot where she can land a good Q+R combo. Unfortunately, she just doesn't do enough to warrant a pick alongside Kalista.
Malphite has kind of a fun synergy with Kalista, as you can double knock-up their team in teamfights which can totally swing the skirmish in your favor. Although you do have to wait until level 6 to do much, and the early levels aren't great for maximizing Kalista's powerful early game, you can use this combo to swing teamfights with strong CC. People usually get scared of engaging on you as it is with a Malphite by your side, so that's always helpful.
While he isn't played often at all in the support role, he has a great synergy with Kalista. Great engages, strong sustain, and the ability to lock up an opponent are extremely helpful for Kalista. But best of all is their ult CC-chain, as you can land a huge knock up and then immediately follow it with a nigh-impossible to dodge team-wide stun.
She doesn't have a ton of peel, which is unfortunate, but you can easily land a HoB+Q+E combo off of a Morgana snare, and Fate's Call provides easy positioning for her to hit the most enemies with her ult. However, utilizing this tactic does require a Stopwatch or Zhonya's Hourglass on the part of Morgana.
Nautilus can lock up an opponent for you as well as keep everyone else off, which is a huge plus by itself. He is also deadly off of Fate's Call, which is pretty much the icing on the cake. This duo is strong through all phases of the game.
It's difficult to follow up on his Q+E combo without one of you taking a lot of return damage, which kills your potential in lane. Using Fate's Call with him also doesn't usually end up with much good, as he gets engaged on fast and your team is left without his powerful execute potential.
I think this combo is really strong, even if the poke in lane has to come largely off of Piercing through a minion and Rending the champion behind it. He can W+Q+E for engage, sustain, and peel, which is great for both quick trades and all ins. Your true potential comes at level 6, when you can ult CC-chain to form a deadly knock-up + charm on the whole team that has almost zero counter-play if the Rakan is any good.
The laning phase of this duo can be oppressive, but only against favorable match ups. In lane, try to always proc your W passive when Senna lands an auto attack, and then try to finish off the rest of your HoB+Q+E combo if possible. However, by late game, Kalista and Senna are just OK as Senna can't maximize Fate's Call immense potential.
While this duo caters more to the professional scene, it can be deadly in the lower elos as well. If the Sett is good, you don't have to do much else outside of kite along with him as he unleashes a flurry of punches and CC. The ult CC-chain is nothing to sneeze at either.
This duo is saved by the ult CC-chain. The damage in lane is difficult to piece together, but its enough to survive with. The heal is actually quite nice, as it covers Kalista's sustain problems, but it's not the best. The movement speed buff is just alright as well. Overall, this duo doesn't feel very strong until you can piece together the ult combo.
It's ridiculously easy to smash the laning phase, carry that lead to mid-game skirmishes, and then dominate team fights with this duo. You can piece together deadly ult combos, but you're not hindered by waiting until level 6 since your level 2 engage is so powerful. To maximize the huge potential of this synergy, you have to get good at immediately reacting once Swain yanks his target and spring into action by landing your entire HoB+Q+E combo and then more on top of that. From a long background of playing with a Swain main, I can tell you that the kill potential with this duo is insane and your HoB+Q+E plus his E+W+Q+Ignite is ridiculously easily to land and is almost a guaranteed kill or Flash against squishy targets. However, you do have to be willing to accept that he'll probably do more damage than you and that you have to play really safe until he lands his grab.
The best Kalista in the world according to League of Graphs spams Kalista-Taric to the tune of a 95% winrate in over 100 Season 10 games. 95%!!! The proof is in the pudding; you both bond to each other at the beginning of the game and you're set from then on out. Taric takes your ult engage to a whole new level, as he hard engages with invulnerability in one hand, a huge AoE stun in the other, and a good sized heal balanced on his head. The stun is strong enough in lane that it's easy to trade with, and the rest of the game is easy with a good Taric. This synergy is only rivaled with Thresh and, in my personal opinion, Swain.
Kalista's most common partner-in-crime and for good reason is Thresh. She easily hops in off of Thresh hooks for easy kills, they have a deadly ult CC-chain combo, and he provides great escapability with his lantern. These two can combine for the easiest and most potent escape in the game, with Thresh taking Fate's Call as far away as possible and Kalista taking his lantern with him. No gank can succeed against this amount of slippery action.
Vel'Koz support in general isn't all that great as you climb, since he's just down there to rack up damage and kills. No peel, no hard engage, and no synergy with Fate's Call makes this combination pretty bad.
This is really unique duo that can be strong for a couple reasons. One, she has just enough slow with her poke that you can land some damage, and the movement speed buff/heal is huge for keeping you in lane and alive. Two, if you lock in with a Yuumi, you have flexibility in that you can Oathsworn your jungler. This can result in some powerful ganks as you just simply pull your jungler from the river and suddenly it's a 3v2 with the jungler right on top your opponents. You do have to be skilled with a Yuumi support though, so I wouldn't recommend running this duo until you're comfortable enough with Kalista's mechanics that you can survive and kill on your own.
There's never a point in the game where this combo is strong, and it's just really hard to impact the game no matter the phase. It's difficult to move in off of his already hard-to-land CC and it's even harder to continue that to the point of killing the other laners. In the late-game, he doesn't do much to help you outside of helping you save gold on a Guardian Angel. You're definitely better suited running someone else with Kalista.
Kalista-Zyra has such an oppressive laning phase that this synergy was upgraded from OK to Strong. While she doesn't have a good follow up on Fate's Call, (another candidate for using your Oathsworn on your jungle by the way) she has tons of damage with her plants and hard-to-dodge CC that is easy to capitalize on. Abuse quick trades off of her snares to force your enemies out of lane, and then farm your way to the top.
The only champion that is not a support included in this list. If you can get someone good to lock in Yasuo mid lane, then you have an engage that is second only to Malphite's R in helping Yasuo hit the most people with his ult. One of THE most fun team comps with this is Kalista-Yuumi-Yasuo, as you can Oathsworn Yasuo instead of your jungler or support for an insane synergy. Whenever Fate's Call is up, you can literally press R and then kick back and relax as Yasuo goes in himself, knocks everyone up, ults off of his own knock-up, and then cleans up his gift-wrapped penta.