Cassiopeia Build Guide by Xavier Senori
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Threats & Synergies
Ahri is not hard to deal with pre-6. With the movement speed from your noxious blast, you should be able to easily dodge her skillshots when you go in to do some damage. You should be able to control the lane pre-6, afterwards play a bit safer. If she all ins you post-6, stay calm, and ult her in between her spirit rush casts when she will certainly be facing you. You should outscale her into the late game.
Akali is super easy to deal with pre-6. You should be able to easily outrange, ourharass, and out farm her. Be super aggressive pre-6 because you want to set her as far behind as possible during her weakest stage of the game. Once she hits 6, you will have to start playing more cautiously and closer to your tower. Invest in pink wards early on to get free kills on her when she engages on you. Drop the pink ward and miasma on her shroud and go to town. Unless you are substantially ahead, you may want to purchase some early magic resist. Buy a Negatron Cloak early on and upgrade it later into an Abyssal Mask if you are having problems with her burst.
Approaching Anivia is almost impossible as cassiopeia, as she has a stun and a slow. Her harass is stronger than yours early game if she lands her skills, and she can easily chunk you. On top of that she outranges you. Try to just turn the lane into a farm fest. Roam whenever possible as you should outscale her, but realize that she is going to push your lane to tower incredibly quickly.
Annie is easily manageable. You outrange her in practically every way. However, if she ever makes an aggressive move towards you, be prepared to flash out of her flash + tibbers combo. If she gets ahead in lane, buy an early negatron cloak and rush Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Banshees Veil if there are multiple APs on the enemy team. Otherwise, RoA into Rylai's should make you plenty tanky to survive her burst.
Azir's only strength against cassiopeia is that he can zone her pretty well his soldiers. That being said, his cooldowns early game are pretty long, so if he mispositions his soldiers, be ready to go aggressive. Don't be afraid to trade with him, just remember to move out of the range of his soldiers when you are trading. You will outscale him later in the game.
Playing against Brand early game is a skill matchup. If he lands his stun on you, hes going to put out the hurt. However, with the MS you get from your Q, you should be moving fast enough to dodge most of his skillshots, while still getting in some harass. You will heavily outscale him late game.
Diana's early game against you is really weak because of her lack of range. However, her shield makes it hard to make your damage stick. After she hits 6, she becomes incredibly scary, as her all in hurts a lot. One option is to rush an banshees veil, which will mitigate a lot of her damage, while still allowing you to DPS her down quickly.
Fizz is easily manageable pre-6. Anyone who says that he counters Cassiopeia is dead wrong. You actually destroy him in lane before he gets his ult. If he uses his playful/trickster to harass you, drop your Miasma, move into it, and wreck him. You win exchanges post-6 as well as long as you dodge/flash his ult and land your Noxious Blasts on him.
Gragas puts out tons of damage, and can easily mitigate away your harass damage via his natural health regen and damage reduction. Control the lane level 1-3. Afterwards I would recommend simply pushing the lane and roaming because you are going to go oom trying to harass him down. Your early wave clear is better than his, use this to your advantage by forcing him to lose cs under tower.
One of Cassiopeia's easiest matchups. You outharass and out DPS him ten times over. Make his laning phase a living hell because he scales in a fashion very similar to you. Harass him whenever possible, and don't be afraid to trade with him, as you should win all 1v1 trades. Consider buying a zhonya's mid game to counter his ultimate.
Kassadin gets destroyed in lane by Cassiopeia because she can utterly deny him any farm with her harass and zoning potential. Be incredibly aggressive, don't let him cs unpunished. Post 6, push his lane to his tower and roam. If he follows you should be able to kill him because you should be way ahead in cs, and thus gold. If he ever roams, punish him by pushing his mid tower hard.
Katarina is somewhat hard to play against. Her ability to Shunpo over your skillshots makes it really hard to harass her. On top of this, her gap closer and burst damage can easily ruin your day. However, because she is a melee champion, you should be able to completely control the lane pre-6. After this, ward up, push her under tower, and force her to lose cs or get harassed. Don't try to 1v1 her unless she is getting wrecked in lane, especially since Petrifying Gaze is really hard to land.
LeBlanc is not as problematic as most people make her out to be (though with her burst and mobility she is still a pain). Most LB players assume that their DPS is going to be higher than yours, but I guess they haven't played against many Cassiopeia players because they are dead wrong. Your level 1-2 are much stronger than hers, use this to your advantage to zone her and control the lane. If she all ins you, dont run, turn around and fight. A good trick when LeBlanc players constantly W + Q harass you and then Distortion out is to drop miasma where she came from so that when she blinks back you can follow up with as many Qs and Es as you can. Invest in an early Negatron Cloak if you need the MR.
Lulu is the most infuriating and annoying champion to play against. She outranges you and has a low cooldown shield that essentially makes your harass useless. On top of this, her ult makes it impossible to burst her down. Avoid 1v1 engagements with her from the start, and simply push lane and roam.
Lux is not too difficult to deal with. As long as you can dodge her binding, you should be fine in lane and for the majority of the game. The only problem is that her range will make it hard to harass her, so roam and farm your jungle whenever possible.
Nidalee is super easy to deal with. You out harass her as long as you can dodge her spears. MS quints and T1 boots should help with that. Stay behind your minion line and harass from there. Her early minion clear is awful, so if you want to force her to lose cs, push her under her tower and harass her there. Late game your Seraph's Embrace should protect you from her spear, though you may consider a Banshee's Veil.
Orianna can be a pain in the butt. Her shield makes it hard for your DPS to stick to her. On top of that, her slow makes it hard to engage on to her after landing a Q. Finally, her teamfight potential is generally better than yours late game due simply to her utility. That being said, you should be able to out DPS her during most stages of the game unless you fall behind. During the laning phase, you will want to harass her whenever possible, but don't all in her if her Q+W combo is up. The good news is that her ult is easily flashable, making it possible to easily outplay her during post-6 allins.
Ryze is probably Cassiopeia's easiest matchup. All of your skills outrange him, and he has to face you in order to use his combos. When he goes to combo you post-6, just ult him in the face. During the laning phase, harass him to hell, and outscale him into the late game.
Syndra is easily Cassiopeia's hardest counter. She outranges, outharasses, and out CCs you in practically every way. She can burst you down before you DPS, and any attempts at following up a Noxious Blast with some Twin Fang's are always met with a stun and a lot of damage. Avoid direct confrontation with her throughout the game, and call for ganks. Late game you will outscale her because you have higher DPS.
Twisted Fate is super easy to deal with. You outrange, outharass, and outscale him into the late game. Early on, make sure you are harassing him to hell, do not let him farm. Twisted Fate has an awful early game and laning phase, take advantage of that. Once he hits level 6, make sure you keep him pushed to his tower so that he can't roam. If he ults another lane, punish him by taking his tower.
Veigar should never be able to kill you during the laning phase unless you get really far behind. If you rush RoA and Rylai's crystal scepter you will be too tanky for him to one shot you. Consider Nullifying Orb. Late game stay away from him and be ready to Zhonya's if he does catch you out.
Xerath is a pain in the butt due to his range and stun. It is hard to get within range to do any DPS, and if you move towards him, he can easily stun you and put out the hurt. A good trick if you want him to push is to stay within your own minion line so that when he goes to harass you he will damage your minions and naturally push the lane. The good news is that your Noxious Blast's movement speed boost makes it easy to dodge the majority of his skills. If you are having problems with him, buy an early Negatron Cloak for the MR, push the lane, and roam.
Yasuo is pretty easy to deal with pre-6 because of your Miasma. Yasuo players are notorious for all inning around level 2-3, so just have a point in miasma ready and drop it and move into it whenever they engage on you. This will allow you to get off at least 2-3 Twin Fangs while you retreat. Take Exhaust, invest in armor runes, harass him whenever he tries to CS, and avoid confrontation in your minion line, as he will just dash around, making it impossible for you to land your Q's. Buy an early Seraph's Embrace/RoA and Zhonya's Hourglass and you should be able to easily out duel him at all stages of the game.
Zed is pretty easy to deal with, especially in the current meta. Take Exhaust against him, and laugh at his attempt to all in you. Pre-6 you wreck the lane, as his only reliable means of farming is with his Q. If he all ins you, just drop your Miasma, move into it, exhaust, and destroy him. Rush Zhonya's and Seraph's Embrace/RoA and his chance of killing you will disappear completely.
Ziggs is pretty easy to handle, especially early on. Invest in early boots and in order to dodge his skillshots. Harass him as per usual and try and zone him out from farm or force him to waste mana. With flash up, you should win most engagements as long as you flash his ult. You should outscale him into the late game.
Karma's shield makes it hard for your damage to stick. On top of that, her snare makes you very vulnerable to ganks, and getting caught out late game in teamfights. In lane, try to keep the pressure on her, even if your damage isn't sticking to her. Push the lane and farm your jungle whenever possible, and you should easily outscale her into the late game.
Malz is a pretty serious problem in lane, as his spell shield protects him against early harass, he can burst you down with his ult, and he pushes harder than you. Harass him early to force him to place his space aids on you instead of on the minions, and push him under his tower. Call for early ganks if possible.
Her spell shield makes it very hard to trade with her. On top of that, she can snare you everytime you try to engage on her. Finally she pushes lane really hard, making it hard to farm and push lane. Early on try and push the minions into her tower to cost her CS, and remember to pop her shield before calling for ganks. Late game you will outscale her hard.
Zyra is annoying to play against because engaging against her generally means taking several plants to the face. That being said, if you can dodge her initial bind, you can easily move out of the range of her plants and DPS her down. Buy an early negatron cloak if she gets ahead because she starts to hurt come mid game.
Corki is fairly easy to deal with, as by the time he gets his ult, your movement speed has started to scale up and it become easier and easier for you to dodge his abilities. His early clear is abysmal, so push him in under tower and roam. Late game he becomes a poke machine, so you may have to force engages against his team with flash ults.
Zoe is pretty easy to deal with as long as you are avoiding her sleepy bubble, which shouldn't be too hard with the MS from your Qs. Take cleanse if needed, as with this + seraphs + zhonyas she should never be able to one shot you
Talon is easy to deal with in lane. Push him into tower early on to deny him CS and prevent him from all inning you amongst your minion line. Eventually you will want to get a zhonyas to counter his ult, but early/mid game focus on pushing him in to deny him the ability to roam and get kills elsewhere.
Pretty easy lane. The MS from your Q should allow you to dodge his knockup, and if he tries to ult you you can counter it with your own ult.
Ekko is annoying to play against during lane, as his MS makes it hard to land Qs, his shield makes it impossible to make your damage stick, and his ult makes all the harass you put into him obsolete. His early pushing power is weak, so push him into tower to force him to lose CS and deny him the ability to roam.
Your MS boosts from your Q allow you to kite outside of the range of his stars. On top of that he has to move directly at you for the most part, setting himself up for an ult to the face.
Taliyah can prevent you from engaging her pretty much all the time by just knocking you back. Her wave clear is pretty strong, and her damage is solid as well. She can roam easily and is often referred to as TF 2.0 Take her tower when she roams, harass her when you can, and you should outscale her into the late game.
Vlad will outheal any harass you put out, causing you to waste your precious mana. On top of this he can easily dodge your ult with his pool. That being said you heal for a bit as well, so its very hard for him to kill you in lane early on. Push lane and roam to get kills or call for super early ganks
Viktor's shield and burst damage make him sort of a nightmare for cassio players. Harass him early when your burst is on par with him, but avoid him later on during the mid game unless you are confident you can land a solid ult. Remember his ult still ticks damage even when he is stunned by yours. An early negatron can really help give you the advantage in lane.
PLEASE READ: In the last year or so I have started medical school and have almost no time at all to play League of Legends. HOWEVER, I still closely follow the meta and WILL keep this guide updated as often as possible. Thanks for your understanding.
Welcome to my Mobafire guide on Cassiopeia, one of the hardest yet most rewarding champions to play in League of Legends. My name is Xavier Senori, and I am an S5 Diamond Cassiopeia main. Cassiopeia is an incredibly high skill cap AP champion who can put out the highest single target DPS in the game. She is tough to play and even harder to master because she is highly dependent on skillshots and positioning. One wrong move and your DPS drops considerably. Furthermore, correct or incorrect use of her ultimate, Petrifying Gaze, can singlehandedly win you or lose you games. This being said, if you are willing to put the time and effort into learning her, she will reward you beyond your wildest dreams. A good Cassiopeia can heavily influence the outcome of a game. A great Cassiopeia is absolutely terrifying and can easily carry the game by herself.
I have been playing Cassiopeia since season one, and have played more games with her than I can count. During season 5, I used her almost exclusively to climb to diamond in 36 games. I have heavily theorycrafted with regards to item build, runes, masteries, matchups, etc and know the intricacies and little known nuances about Cassiopeia than even some of the better Cassiopeia player still don't know. I hope that you can use this guide to improve your Cassiopeia game by learning exactly why this champion is so incredibly strong when played correctly and efficiently.
In the recent patches, Cassiopeia's gameplay has changed dramatically. With a new passive, the grounding utility of her W, the less punishing E, and overall skill cooldown changes, her item build and power curve have shifted. However, what remains true is that she is still an incredibly strong harasser, dueler, and roamer.
+ Highest DPS in game
+ Great utility
+ Strong 1v2
+ Ult wins games
+ Hyper carry scaling
+ Great baron/dragon DPS
+ Extremely rewarding
|Cassiopeia is a decent pick in S7 solo queue due to her high DPS and utility. She works best against non dive heavy team comps and with teams that can protect and peel for her. In teamfights, if not killed immediately, she can often put out more DPS than the rest of her team combined due to low cooldown high damage E and Q spam. Her late game damage potential is unparalleled. Furthermore, her dragon and baron DPS are insane, allowing for the rapid taking of these objectives at any point.|
+ Very squishy
+ Requires great positioning
+ High skillcap
+ Weaker early game
+ Dependent on farm
+ No escape
+ Mana issues early on
+ Easily focused
|Cassiopeia is incredibly hard to play well. This is because she is an AP champion that plays like an adc. She is very skillshot and position dependent, especially in teamfights. If you die early in a teamfight your team loses out on a huge portion of its potential damage, as you do damage over time, not burst damage. She is incredibly susceptible to early jungle ganks because she has no natural escape. On top of this, her early game is weaker due to high mana cost abilities. Finally, as with most AP carries she is rather squishy, especially early on, so she runs the risk of getting bursted down easily.|
Sorcery/Inspiration is my preferred build on Cassiopeia. This set just synergies really well with her kit. Sorcery/Domination with Taste of Blood/ Cheap Shot and Ravenous Hunter is definitely another really viable option if you don't want to worry about minion dematerializer. Pick based on personal preference. If you want to play more aggressively go with the domination build, if you want more utility, go with the inspiration build.
Sorcery - Tier 1
|Phase Rush is the only really viable option here. Not only does it really supplement Cassio's kit by letting you stick to your prey, escape, and kite, but it also gives you resistance to slows, which can be used defensively. This rune just synergizes too well with her kit to not use. Summon Aery is viable, but Cassio's abilities are spammed too often to really make it an efficient choice.|
Sorcery - Tier 2
|Manaflow Band is easily the best choice here. Her early game is plagued with mana issues due to her high cost spammy abilities. She needs this rune to really be present during the early game and not become irrelevant from the get go. This single rune solves a lot of the mana issues she had been experiencing during previous seasons and is a huge, but often ignored buff to this snake. Because of her low cooldown abilities, it is very easy to stack this rune quickly.|
|Nullifying Orb is a very niche option that I rarely run only when up against certain very bursty AP champions like Veigar and LeBlanc. You will have to play more conservatively with your mana as a result of not having manaflow band, but it will pay of when you repeatedly make it out alive in unfavorable encounters.|
Sorcery - Tier 3
|Celerity is generally the best option here. Cassio's absolutely loves movement speed, as she has no escape of her own and needs it for everything from engaging, to kiting, to chasing her victims. Bonus AP off of MS scales well with her as her Q and passive already give crazy amounts of bonus MS.|
|Transcendence is a viable choice, as her standard build doesn't max out her CDR. However, CDR doesn't scale well with Cassio as she already has very low CD spammy abilities, and she will never get use from the bonus adaptive armor, as she will never go above 40% CDR.|
Sorcery - Tier 4
|Scorch is likely the best option here because of Cassio's already existent DoT-like nature. The burn is nice and adds a lot of DPS to her early game via poke damage. While it's use is limited later on in teamfights due to its hefty 20s cooldown, it really shines during the laning phase. Take this against mid matchups that you can poke heavily, in games where there will likely not be a late game, or if you plan to combine it with Liandry's Torment for a late game poke comp.|
|Waterwalking is a very solid option if you see the opportunity to roam a lot. If your enemy mid laner is someone like Zoe for example who pushes very slowly during the early game, you may consider running this run to push lane and gank. This rune has the added bonus of giving you bonus stats for taking objectives like scuttle crab, baron, and dragon, which is nice.|
|Gathering Storm is my personal favorite rune to take on Cassio when I know the game wont be determined early on. While her early game can be really strong, she really shines as a late game monster. Her scaling is bonkers, and this rune only accentuates that strength. If the enemy team comp is unlikely to allow for a late game to happen, this may not be your best choice, but overall this is my default rune for this slot.|
|Time Warp Tonic really improves your sustain in lane. The extra healing with potions is bonkers, especially if you invest in an early Refillable Potion, which you should. Definitely pick this up if you want to out sustain the enemy mid laner, or like staying topped off against bursty champions.|
|Minion Dematerializer really helps Cassio's early game. Her mana costs are really high, and pushing lane can be costly, especially if you are being shoved in by a hard pusing champion like malzahar. Chose this rune when you need your spells to go the extra mile in killing minions, whether this be to push the enemy mid laner in so that you can roam, or simply to keep the enemy minions from crashing into your tower. The mana this rune saves can not be underestimated.|
|Perfect Timing is another really solid option. This rune allows you to play aggressively, dive, and/or escape in certain situations. If you are playing against a heavy AD team or an AD mid, pick this rune up if you plan to build into zhonya's as if will save you some gold.|
Flash: Standard summoner spell for most mid champions. It is a get out of jail free card, a re-positioning spell, and can be used both offensively or defensively. Cassiopeia has no natural escape, and has no blink, dash, teleport of any kind. She absolutely needs this spell to function.
Ignite: Secondary summoner spell that most mid AP carries run, Cassiopeia being no exception. Your goal as Cassiopeia is to carry your team and secure kills. This spell allows you to do this. It is also a great to have for its healing reduction. Don't take against hard matchups.
Teleport: I like to take this when playing a more defensive lane, when playing top lane, when I plan to build tanky with RoA, when my top laner doesn't take Teleport, or when I know my lane opponent is going to play really safe. It allows you to teleport to your lane, or any other lane as a gank, a counter gank, or to defend a turret. More importantly, you can show up at any time to objectives like dragon.
Exhaust: Cassiopeia already puts out ludicrous damage late game, so I often opt for this spell over Ignite. It helps save you from aggro mids, jungle ganks, and allows you to protect your teammates in teamfights. I pick this often against dive comps, like those with Irelia, Jax, etc, or against specific champions like Yasuo.
Barrier: Run this summoner spell when up against burst mid laners like LeBlanc or Zed or burst enemy team comps. Unlike Exhaust, this summoner spell can be used to mitigate damage even when the enemies are untargettable, out of range, or moving/dashing too quickly to click on. It can also be used in conjunction with Seraph's Embrace to bait out enemy engages.
Cleanse: Run this when up against a CC team, or specific CC that will surely ruin your day. I take this against champs like Brand who plan to stun, ignite, and burn you with their passive, all of which can be instantly cleansed, leaving them helpless and at your mercy. Against long CC like Fiddlesticks jungle or Morgana support I sometimes take this as well.
Serpentine Grace: Cassiopeia cannot purchase boots, but instead gains 4 - 72 (based on level) bonus movement speed, for a total of 332 - 400 (based on level) movement speed. Following her recent rework, this has become Cassiopeia's new passive. This passive allows you to forgo boots and buy a 6th item instead, making her potentially the strongest late game AP carry.
- You cannot purchase boots, which means you have an extra 6th item slot!
- The scaling on this passive is a bit slow early game, hence why we run 2X Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed. If we don't, the enemy mid laner will temporarily outscale her speed as soon as they buy boots.
- Cassiopeia has 400 movement speed (not counting items) at level 18.
Noxious Blast: After a 0.4-second delay, Cassiopeia blasts the target area with Noxious Poison, dealing magic damage every second for 3 seconds to all enemies it hits. Cassiopeia gains bonus movement speed that decays over 3 seconds if Noxious Blast hits an enemy champion. Your harassment, escape, and Twin Fang enabler tool. It is a bit expensive during the early game, but does much more damage then it used to. Use this skill to poison minions before killing them with your E for easy last hitting.
- Use Noxious Blast to check bushes. An icon will pop up above your skillbar informing you that you have received your increased movement speed buff if you happen to have hit a hidden enemy in the bush.
- The 0.4 sec cast time early game requires you to predict where your opponent will be. A good tip is to wait till you opponent stops to auto attack a minion to Q under him, guaranteeing a hit.
- When running away, continuously spam this on the chasing enemies to increase your movement speed. Don't underestimate the utility of this spell.
- With 40% CDR, the cooldown drops to 2.1 seconds!
- Use this skill for the damage, but even more importantly, for the utility it provides.
- At max level, this ability offers a temporary increase in movement speed of 50%!
- With the recent rework, damage has been shifted into this skill, making it more appealing as a damaging skill. However, the mana costs early game are high, so you usually want to max E first anyway.
- Poisoned enemies now have an audio effect that you can hear. It sounds like repeated clicking every time a poison tick goes off.
- Noxious Blast does not reveal you when you are in the brush.
Miasma: Cassiopeia spits forth eight bolts of venom in an arc, leaving toxic clouds of Debilitating Poison where they hit the ground for 5 seconds. Debilitating Poison deals magic damage to enemies standing upon it every second, also grounding them and applying a slow that decays over the area's duration. Miasma has a minimum cast range. This is your second way of poisoning your target. If you miss your Q, drop this on the enemy to insure that they stay poisoned until your Q cooldown is up.
- A unit that is grounded cannot activate mobility spells, including flash and all dashing/blinking abilities.
- Because this ability has a minimum range, you can no longer drop it on top of yourself in order to fend off an enemy that is diving/on top of you.
- This ability can go over walls.
- Miasma no longer gives you vision.
- When you miss your Q, smart enemies will try to come in to harass you during your Q cooldown. Surprise them by dropping Miasma on them and beginning your E spam. Remember, you have two ways of poisoning opponents.
- One Q+W combo will poison the caster minions on the backline and set them up for killing with E.
- Use Miasma to zone the enemy mid laner by effectively removing a part of the lane that they can use or to save yourself from a gank.
- The slow is significant, but the damage is not. Use this skill mostly for its utility, not for its damage.
- Miasma does not reveal you when you are in the brush.
- Drop this right in front of fleeing enemies with movement abilities to either force them to flash over it or stop them from escaping.
Twin Fang: Cassiopeia launches her fangs at the target enemy, dealing them 52 - 120 (based on level) (+ 10% AP) magic damage. If the target is poisoned, Twin Fang deals bonus magic damage and heals Cassiopeia. If Twin Fang kills its target, it refunds its mana cost. Your bread and butter skill. Spam this skill on poisoned targets to nuke them down. If you land it on a non-poisoned target it pretty much does zero damage, however, it doesn't go on a lengthy cooldown like it used to.
- If the target is poisoned, Twin Fang deals bonus magic damage and heals Cassiopeia for a significant amount.
- The healing counts as spellvamp and thus benefits from items such as Spirit Visage
- Even in a losing fight, keep spamming this on poisoned targets, the spellvamp can keep you alive for longer than you expect!
- Look for the "poisoned" icon above enemies to double check that your Twin Fang will be hitting a poisoned enemy.
- Don't use this in lane (except when last hitting with it) if the enemy isn't poisoned. It does almost no damage in this scenario and isn't worth the mana cost.
- You can spam this on enemies affected by Twitch, Singed, Teemo, or even Gromp poisons for the full damage effect.
- Try to always last hit minions with this skill (even if they aren't poisoned), as it returns the cost.
- Twin Fang reveals you when you are in the brush, so do not cast this on an enemy when you are trying to use bushes as an escape.
Petrifying Gaze: After a brief delay, Cassiopeia blasts enemies in a cone in the target direction, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit. Enemies facing Cassiopeia are stunned for 2 seconds upon being hit by Petrifying Gaze, and all other affected enemies are instead slowed by 40% for the same duration. A incredibly powerful and potentially amazing AoE stun ultimate. Most useful in defensive situations where you can guarantee the enemy will be facing you, or during re-engages. Even if you miss the stun, the Rylai's Crystal Scepter enhanced AoE slow is almost as good.
- Camp bushes you know enemies have to pass through in order to guarantee the stun.
- Don't be afraid of ulting an enemy facing away from you, the damage and slow are still incredibly strong.
- Sometimes it is best to hold off on ulting early on in teamfights. Using Petrifying Gaze as a re-engagement tool can sometimes be even more effective.
- Try to land this on both the jungler and the enemy mid when you are getting ganked to ensure a getaway or a 1 for 1 trade.
- You can ult then flash mid-ult to Petrifying Gaze anyone in the direction you flashed regardless of where you were facing. This effectively removes the cast time and can easily catch people off guard.
- Reveals you in the brush.
General Skilling Order
This is the skill order I take in most of my games. Max Twin Fang first because it is your main damage dealer and costs less then Q. Max Noxious Blast second as additional damage. Take Miasma at level 4 for its utility (slow, grounding, and backup poison), but max it last. Start with Q at level one to scout bushes for potential invades, or E at level one if a lvl 1 teamfight is imminent.
Maxing Noxious Blast over Twin Fang first is very situational. I only ever do this when I want to farm from a distance and/or when I don't want to trade with the enemy mid laner. A fed mid laner, or a scary burst champion like LeBlanc might merit going this route so you can farm from a safer distance.
Standard harassing combo. Depending on how close you are to your enemy and whether they are running away or not, you may only be able to get in two Twin Fangs between Noxious Blasts. Cassiopeia's auto attacks are very responsive and very strong. Weave them into your combo to maximize damage.
Use this combo when you catch someone walking into a bush in which you are camping out. Drop miasma before the ult to maximize the amount of time that they are standing in it and thus the amount of damage they are taking. Weave in auto attacks and ignite if necessary.
Use this combo when you miss your initial Noxious Blast and require the enemy to be poisoned before starting your Twin Fang spam. Your Noxious Blast should be back up again after two Twin Fangs.
Use this combo to initiate or during teamfights. Save your Petrifying Gaze for the most opportune moment, either as an engagement, disengagement, or peeling tool.
Starting with Corrupting Potion is the best option right now. The extra mana + burn, along with no longer having to buy health pots really makes this a solid pick. Combined with The Dark Seal, its efficiency gets even higher.
Doran's Ring + 2x Health Potions is a solid start as well. Its hard to get early kills due to lack of mana, but the extra health is strong against unfavorable matchups or burst champs.
The Dark Seal should be your first buy when you are even in lane or ahead. The additional mana plus interaction with Corrupting Potion plus possibility of stacking the passive helps secure the early game for you. If you are behind, skip this item, as you can't afford to dump gold into it, and instead should focus on acquiring your core item (to start stacking them) first. Unless you are steamrolling the enemy team, do not upgrade this to Mejai's Soulstealer, just sell it later.
Tear of the Goddess is an exceptional item on Cassiopeia. This is because she has some serious early game mana problems that can be remedied by simply buying this item. On top of that, as Cassiopeia it is incredibly easy to max out, as your skills are spammable. I buy this item first or right after The Dark Seal in pretty much every single one of my games. The shield that you eventually get from Seraph's Embrace has saved me more times than I can count.
Your first major item should always be Tear of the Goddess because Cassiopeia has huge mana problems early on, even with proper E management. This item solves this issue for the most part. Like Catalyst of Aeons, Tear of the Goddess sets you behind the enemy mid laner because it offers no real offensive stats while you sit on it, but it pays off when you can get Seraph's Embrace, which gives you huge offensive stats and kill potential.
|After Tear of the Goddess, your next buy should be Catalyst of Aeons. This item's health and mana regen will make laning phase much easier on you, but will set you further behind your lane opponent because it also offers no offensive stats. Do not worry though, this deficit won't last for long!|
Upgrade your Catalyst of Aeons to Rod of Ages when not up against a heavy AP enemy team comp. Do this ASAP so that you begin stacking it as soon as possible, making you tankier earlier in the game. The additional AP finally adds some offensive power to your build.
Instead of building RoA, upgrade to Abyssal Mask when up against a heavy AP team comp, especially if the jungler and the mid laner are both AP champs. You exchange a bit of health and mana for a huge boost in magic resistance. Damage is pretty much the same between the two.
PLEASE NOTE: Since patch 8.6, Abyssal Mask's aura has been reduced to practically melee range, making this part of the item much less valuable on this champ. I still believe it is a viable option over RoA when you really need the magic resistance, its just not as amazing as it used to be.
Pick up a Seeker's Armguard if you are struggling against an enemy AD champion and eventually plan to build a Zhonya's Hourglass. I'm not a huge fan of Zhonya's Hourglass because it takes an incredibly mobile champion who need to weave in and out of a teamfight and makes them immobile for a few seconds. However, buying this item early could mean the difference between getting bursted down by a Zed or Talon during laning.
If you are up against a bursty AP or AD champ, you may want to rush an early Null-Magic Mantle or Negatron Cloak. You lose out of the offensive and utility capabilities of other early game damage items but at least you won't die. These build into Banshee's Veil or Abyssal Mask later anyway. Going this route can be very beneficial if you are getting bullied in lane, as survivability during your weaker early game is key.
Mid Game Core Build
|You eventually want to upgrade your Tear of the Goddess into Seraph's Embrace. This usually means that I am picking this item up right after finishing RoA/Abyssal. Once you get this item, your damage sky rockets, and you get an amazing active that has saved me countless times. This item can be rushed if you are getting bursted down often.|
Seraph's Embrace gives you a hefty DPS boost while also giving you a massive mana pool and an amazing active. The bonus AP is nice, but it is the mana that really makes this item shine. I often have max stacks on it at 16-20 minutes. I sometimes chose to upgrade it early into Seraph's Embrace, getting a massive damage boost, not to mention incredible lane staying power.
Most games, I go Tear of the Goddess into Rod of Ages/ Abyssal Mask into Seraph's Embrace into Liandry's Torment + Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Rabadon's Deathcap + Void Staff. I then build whatever items my team needs or I need to survive and/or push our lead.
One thing to note is that Cassiopeia requires some sort of health item to keep her alive in engagements. Cassiopeia cannot afford to die early on in teamfights because she is not a burst champion, she is a DPS machine. Thus, you need either Seraph's Embrace shield, Rod of Ages/ Abyssal Mask, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, or some combination of these to fulfill her HP needs. Do note that Rod of Ages into Rylai's Crystal Scepter takes a long time to build, and though it will make you very tanky, it offers much less damage than other builds and may put you really far behind. If your team is going to need significant damage output early on, you don't want to rush these two items consecutively because it will leave you lacking the DPS your team might need during the early game. However, if you are are isolated in top lane and aren't going to be needed anytime soon, this build has some merit.
Late Game Items
|Void Staff is really strong on Cassiopeia, especially after enemies start stacking more than 100 MR. Because of the plentiful MR item choices in the game at the moment, high MR enemy teams is going to be common. If I am winning lane really hard and don't need survivability, I will sometimes pick this item up right after Rod of Ages and Seraph's Embrace. If it's time to build this item, but there is very little MR on the enemy team, build Rabadon's Deathcap or some other offensive item first instead.|
|Rabadon's Deathcap is strong, but it increases your AP based on the bonus AP you already have. Early game, when you don't have many AP items, you get little out of this item's passive. However, this item synergizes incredible well with Cassiopeia's 6 item, high AP scaling. If I am winning lane really hard and don't need survivability, I will sometimes pick this item up early on. If it's time to build this item, but some members of the enemy team have high MR, build Void Staff instead.|
|Rylai's Crystal Scepter synergizes well with Cassiopeia. The slow makes it very easy to land your Qs. On top of this, Rylai's Crystal Scepter gives her AP and a nice chunk of health that she needs to keep from getting bursted down. Rylai's Crystal Scepter also works well with Liandry's Torment. Every one of your skills will proc and double Liandry's Torment's movement-impaired burn. This means that you can burn away approximately 10% of an enemy's health with just one spell via the burn alone. With recent nerfs, this item has fallen a bit out of favor, but is definitely still a viable options, especially when looking for a little HP boost.|
|Buy this item when playing against a high health, tanky enemy team, and usually only in combination with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, as you need the slow to proc the double burn. The recent changes in 8.4 make this item a very solid option on cassiopeia, perhaps even core. The magic pen was removed which is a bummer, but it was replaced with a ramping percent damage, which is really nice as you aren't a burst mage and should expect to be in prolonged combat situations often.|
|I have mixed emotions about this item. This item is a great purchase against heavy AD team comps or if you feel confident that you can zhonya's a heavy hitting enemy skill. However, because Cassiopeia has no escape, 90% of the time, the active only prolongs your inevitable death. On champions with long cooldowns like Lux that blow their load and then have to wait for their abilities to come back up, this item can be very beneficial because you can wait out your cooldowns during the active. Unfortunately with Cassiopeia you are wasting DPS time using the active. With the recent nerfs in patch 5.13, I favor this item even less now, since it offers less AP.|
|You pick this item up usually during the mid/late game. It makes you much harder to kill, especially for enemy AP or burst champs. By the time you get this item, you should be near 40% CDR without blue buff. This item is a very solid option on Cassiopeia because she doesn't really have a solid escape. If she gets engaged upon, its pretty much GG for her unless you land a godly ult. Thus, the shield this item provides is invaluable for this champion. Buy this when enemy AP champs are becoming a problem and/or against heavy engage team comps.|
|The recent 8.4 changes to this item made it much less viable on Cassiopeia as it has turned more into an early game pressure item than a sustained damage item and has lost its movement speed boost (which this champion LOVED). Cassiopeia can't really afford to be building anything outside of the standard RoA/Abyssal + Seraph's early game. As such, buying this item early for the pressure delays your core build, and that's a no no. Perhaps this item can be of some use late game when looking to build more bursty.|
|I get this item as a defensive 5th or 6th item more often than Zhonya's Hourglass. Like I've mentioned before, Cassiopeia is highly susceptible to burst damage and gap closers. You dying early in a teamfight can spell disaster for your team, as they lose out on a massive portion of their damage. This item effectively allows you to cheat death and live after the enemy team has wasted their cooldowns trying to gib you.|
Overall, Cassiopeia is incredibly flexible. Even her core items can be altered on occasion. As always, don't build the same way every game, adapt to the situation at hand. Furthermore, this is simply the best way that I have found of building Cassiopeia. There are certainly many other effective and potentially even better ways of building her.
- Focus on last hitting poisoned minions above all else. Your primary goal is to farm and make gold.
- Once you have Tear of the Goddess farm the wraith and wolves camp whenever your jungler isn't around.
- Use your Miasma to zone the enemy mid laner.
- An easy and effective way to land your Noxious Blast is to wait for your lane opponent to come up for a cs. They have to stand still for a second to auto attack the minions, making it incredibly easy to land your Noxious Blast. This will take some practice though, as you need to be watching the HP of the enemy minions AND your own to know when they will come in.
- Cassiopeia's auto attacks are very responsive. Whenever you land a Noxious Blast on your opponent you can follow it up with an auto attack.
- Don't be scared of flashing in for kills as long as you don't end up under the enemy tower. You should of course try to kill the enemy, however forcing them to flash and pushing them out of lane is almost as good.
- Ward both river bushes, or if you only have one ward, ward one side and stick to it. If you blow flash to escape a gank, stop being as aggressive and focus more on farming until your flash is up again. Remember, you have no natural escape once flash is down.
- In top lane, if the enemy champion is melee, feel free to land as many Qs as you can on them for free harass. However, make sure to have your river warded, as top lane is much less safe then mid.
- If the enemy mid laner is playing passively, or you fear getting ganked, simply push your lane and roam. Cassiopeia can clear minion waves and push lanes really quickly, allowing her to make her way to other lanes and usually make it back in time to keep up with farm.
- Once you pick up Rylai's Crystal Scepter start roaming even more. Even with enemy wards, Cassiopeia ganks can still often be successful due to the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
- Camp out bushes you know the enemy mid laner will pass through when they are returning from farming the jungle or roaming to ensure a free stun and kill with Petrifying Gaze.
- Whenever you get blue buff, try to set up for dragon. Cassiopeia is easily one of the best early dragon DPSers in the game due to her high early single target DPS. She can take it in a matter of seconds with the help of the jungler, putting your team way ahead or allowing them to catch up in gold.
- Teamfights will begin to break out at this point. Remember that you are incredibly squishy even with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, so stay behind your tanks and frontline, and avoid getting bursted down at all costs.
- Cassiopeia does insane damage late game, especially when she has 6 items.
- Cassiopeia has the highest late game single-target DPS in the game. If you can make it to late game, you should be able to demolish teamfights as long as you arent caught out and bursted down.
- With no escape, you need to make sure that you stay far behind your front line and tanks to avoid getting picked off.
- Do not wander off alone or by yourself.
- Sometimes it is better to save your ult till halfway through a teamfight than to run in at the beginning putting yourself in harms way. Remember, Petrifying Gaze is an amazing re-engagement tool.
- Poke the enemy down with your Noxious Blast when it is safe to do so. Though the damage is not that great, any free poke will give your team an advantage when the teamfight breaks out.
- When getting sieged upon, drop your miasma in the way of the minions. It prevents engages due to the grounding effect, and late game it should do enough damage to make clearing the wave significantly easier for your team.
Most people fall into the noob trap of warding the side bushes of mid lane. Stop being lazy, and force yourself to instead either stealth or vision ward the bushes in the middle of the river on either side of mid lane. Note how this gives you vision of four different exits/entrances (denoted by the yellow circles) and some dragon control. This will give you plenty of time to react to an enemy jungler when they are near. Ward both sides if you can, however if this is not possible, ward one side and stick to it religiously.
This map should give you an idea of where you should be warding. Obviously early game you will want to have the bushes in river warded to protect yourself against ganks. As the game goes on, however, warding dragon and baron will become increasingly essential. If your support is not doing it, you need to take the initiative and ward. I cannot tell you how often games are won simply because of better vision. Sacrificing a little time/gold for vision goes a long way. Remember kids, wards saves lives. Don't just hold onto the trinket, USE IT!
|You can switch to this item at around level 9, and start spamming it on cooldown. It really doesn't matter where you place the ward, just try to get down as many as you can to give your team as much information about enemy positions as possible.|
This is a youtube video of me playing Cassiopeia in early season 3. Though some things like the optimal item builds are different now, the gameplay, strategies, and tips remain largely the same. Yes I know I pronounce Ahri weirdly.
This is a youtube video of me playing Cassiopeia at the end of season 4. This if following patch 4.16 in which Cassiopeia received a rework. Her gameplay changed significantly, as did her optimal item build. That being said, a lot of her playstyle is still the same as before.
This is a video of a high elo Korean player playing Cassiopeia that was released a few months back. It really showcases what a well played Cassiopeia can actually do. Notice the amazing positioning, ridiculous DPS, and high speed action.
Thank you for visiting and reading my guide. I hope that you learned something about Cassiopeia and that it will help you towards your goal of mastering her. She is a very hard champion to play well, but do not give up on her. With enough practice you can become the Cassiopeia that everyone fears. Use the tips and trick above and I can guarantee you that you will see improvement in your play. If you have any suggestions, advice, or questions, feel free to leave me a comment here or message me. As always, please try out the build before voting.
Special thanks to Robin, Jeff, Chris, Christian, and Jordan Fawcett for putting up with me over the years and allowing me to mid every game to practice and master this amazingly rewarding champion.
Also, thank you to King Cobra for his insightful guide and tips.
3/17/14 Initial Posting
3/23/14 Fixed Spelling/Mistakes, Enabled C2V
4/2/14 Added a second gameplay video
4/6/14 Updated Runes
4/25/14 Updated item build/section/SS/matchups
5/10/14 Updated various sections
5/30/14 Updated Masteries
6/12/14 Updated various sections
7/4/14 Updated Tips
7/16/14 Updated Items/runes/SS/matchups
9/7/14 Updated matchup section
9/16/14 Patch 4.17 Update
10/7/14 Updated various sections
10/25/14 Updated Matchup section
11/12/14 Corrected a couple math errors
12/13/14 Incorporated patch 4.21 Changes
1/11/15 Updated various sections
4/26/15 Updated various sections
7/11/15 Updated Masteries, Runes, and Items
9/8/15 Updated Various Sections
9/18/15 Updated Various Sections
11/11/15 Patch 5.22 Mastery Update
6/7/16 Patch 6.10 Update
10/12/16 Updated various sections
7/2/17 S7 Update
1/10/18 Runes and Matchups updated
2/24/18 Patch 8.4 Update
4/4/18 Patch 8.7 Update
6/19/19 Updated Runes