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Kalista Build Guide by ColdStuff

ADC Kalista Season 8 - The Spear of Vengeance Strikes!

ADC Kalista Season 8 - The Spear of Vengeance Strikes!

Updated on July 6, 2018
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League of Legends Build Guide Author ColdStuff Build Guide By ColdStuff 193 5 631,300 Views 16 Comments
193 5 631,300 Views 16 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author ColdStuff Kalista Build Guide By ColdStuff Updated on July 6, 2018
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Press the Attack
Legend: Bloodline
Coup de Grace

Taste of Blood
Ravenous Hunter


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Heal


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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

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Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
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Hello, my name is Kasarana and this guide is about Kalista ADC. You'll learn the fundamental skills of Kalista, what items to buy to best increase your chance of success, and how to play the game to help you climb out of low elo and carry games.
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The Champion

Kalista is a highly mobile Attack Damage Carry with high engage potential and excellent utility. She brings a good early game, an excellent mid-game spike, and late game utility with her kit. Her unique cooperative strengths make her the most unique attack damage carry in the game.

In combat, she fulfills a niche that Lucian and Ashe simultaneously occupy. Highly mobile, and high utility. While Kalista doesn't have the amount of CC on demand Ashe does, or the burstiness of Lucian, she brings unparalleled mobility that can only be matched by a select few high mobile champs, such as Riven or Lee Sin.

Kalista requires knowledge of mechanical nuances, cooperative ability, and the ability to make split-second decisions and high calibre focus on the area between you, your team, and the enemy.
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Fundamentals of an ADC

~Coming Soon~
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Building Kalista (like any other champion) is not an unidirectional thing. Think of it more as a tree with sprawling branches that emphasize different traits and leaves at the ends. Your trunk (foundation) is usually your standard Blade of the Ruined King and Runaan's Hurricane. These items give you the offensive stats and passives you need to build the rest of your build path on.

There are a couple of important guidelines though.
Target AS value is around 1.7 - 1.8. This will give you the best trade-off between raw Attack Damage and decent Attack Speed for kiting, while reducing diminishing returns on Martial Poise. Any more, and you're likely over investing in Attack Speed.
Your analysis of what you really ought to buy should be based off of what you're against on a game-to-game basis. Sometimes, buying Berserker's Greaves will be unnecessary, or you might need to change your starting items. It's all about, what you want and what you need.

Your jump range scales with your boots tier! [Tiers are: No boots -> Normal boots ( Boots) -> Full Boots ( Berserker's Greaves)]
[*] The speed of your jump animation scales with your movement speed and attack speed. If either one is reduced, you will jump slowly ( Nami's Tidecaller's Blessing) or wish you were stunned instead ( Nasus' Wither)
[*] The jump frequency scales with your attack speed! The more you auto attack, the more you will jump
The jumprange values are close to:
[*] No boots - 250 units
[*] Boots - 300 units
[*] Berserker's Greaves or other Tier 2 boots - 350 units
That being said, here are the important options for Kalista
Berserker's Greaves- nice boots, very good for beginners to prioritize. Gives you a good chunk of attack speed. These are Kalista's quintessential boots for most games.

Ninja Tabi- Good at negating physical threats whether by auto attacking or casting abilities, good pick up against Graves or Jhin

Mercury's Treads- When there is simply so much CC flying around that it's very hard to dodge.

Boots of Swiftness When you're against Nunu & Willump or Nasus. Gives you nice rotating power too.

Potential Candidates for Additional Items:
Mercurial Scimitar -> This item is heavily prioritized in almost every game. The stats are nifty against all magic damage and crowd control threats that sit in the midlane and the jungle, and enhance your ability to cleanse negative status effects, such as stuns or slows. This item is a must have if you're against a champion such as Malzahar or Skarner. The Quicksilver Sash component is the most important part of the item.

Bloodthirster -> A very nice item indeed, it amplifies your survivability by giving you a shield that is utilized as a hybrid offensive and defensive staple for many ADCs.

Phantom Dancer-> This item is very common to take on Kalista, especially in the Far East and Europe. It amplifies your dueling power and gives you additional attack speed and critical strike chance. I would take it against the likes of Draven, Vayne and Yasuo.

Maw of Malmortius -> This item greatly amplifies your survivability against heavy magic damage burst. The CDR is very nice and the shield is just the icing on the cake, extra combat stats greatly increase the value of this item for Kalista. Take it against your favorite (or least favorite) magic damage nuker, such as Syndra, Diana, Veigar and LeBlanc.

Guardian Angel-> Is Zed making you go poof? Is Talon bming /all chat because you died instantly? Yes? Well buy this, and you'll have a 27% higher chance of killing them instead! Guaranteed!

Death's Dance-> Still instapopping? Death's Dance has you covered, not only is it super effective against AD threats like Zed and Talon, it also gives you the time you might need to survive an AP mage's burst, Timberlake style!

Guinsoo's Rageblade-> a fun item, it's good for end game builds and enables you to stack Rend very quickly and deal a touch of magic damage.

Armor Penetration Itemization
Black Cleaver-> Very useful against teams that are instakillng you, but you still need armor shred.

Lord Dominik's Regards-> Very useful against the likes of supertanks, such as Cho'Gath, Sejuani, Braum or Zac

Mortal Reminder -> Very useful against drain-tanks,healing supports, and lifesteal gods such as Swain, Vladimir, Soraka, or Draven
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Lethal Tempo and Press the Attack are up to personal preference on Kalista, Lethal Tempo is best used by experienced Kalista players who know the nuances of her dashing, and can quickly and independently auto attack and move between the fluidly, whereas Press the Attack is good for those who are looking to pick up the champion, but still need a little help with specific nuances of the champion. Both are excellent choices in whatever game you may play.

From then on, it becomes stylistic and contextual, Keystones determine your overall playstyle, but secondary runes dictate your preferences. Triumph is my personal preference, but Overheal is still a viable option. Overheal is probably better against more heavy poke threats like Varus or bursty champions like Graves or Talon. Whereas Triumph is a solid choice for transitioning from a fight to a fight. Presence of Mind is unimportant on most champions, so we won't consider that.

On the Legend side, you can pick between Legend: Alacrity, Legend: Tenacity, and Legend: Bloodline. All three are really nice choices, but most will spec into Legend: Alacrity, you can model your rune choices by the proplayer examples given below.

The final slot is reserved for the Combat Tree of Precision. In general, Coup de Grace is generally the way to go, but there are fringe cases where Cut Down would be better

From then on, it becomes a little more contextual I like Taste of Blood because it synergizes amazingly well with Kalista's excellent early game, and Ravenous Hunter because it grants healing on your abilities like Pierce and Rend. Try some other runes down the Sorcery, Resolve or Inspiration if you're looking to experiment with playstyles.

If you're looking to copy the best pro runes, here is what a collection of them run.


KZ PrAY:Arguably Best ADC of All Time
Precision + Sorcery: Lethal Tempo, Overheal, Legend: Alacrity, Cut Down
Celerity, Gathering Storm

Precision + Inspiration: Lethal Tempo, Overheal, Legend: Bloodline, Coup de Grace
Magical Footwear, Biscuit Delivery

SKT Faker: Best Midlaner in the World (?) - has not played Kalista recently
Precision + Domination: Press the Attack, Triumph, Legend: Bloodline, Coup de Grace
Sudden Impact, Zombie Ward

KSV Ruler: 2017 World Champion! (?) - has not played Kalista recently
Precision + Domination: Press the Attack, Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, Coup de Grace
Taste of Blood, Eyeball Collection

Precision + Resolve: Press the Attatck, Overheal, Legend: Alacrity, Coup de Grace
Iron Skin, Second Wind (Iron skin has been removed! Consider a different resolve rune!)

KT Deft: Alpaca Boy (?) - has not played Kalista recently
Precision + Inspiration: Fleet Footwork, Overheal, Legend: Bloodline, Coup de Grace
Biscuit Delivery, Minion Dematerializer

Afreeca Kramer:
Precision + Sorcery: Lethal Tempo, Overheal, Legend: Alacrity, Coup de Grace
Celerity, Gathering Storm

bbq Ghost:
Precision + Inspiration: Lethal Tempo, Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, Coup de Grace/ Magical Footwear, Biscuit Delivery
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Kalista hurls a fast and narrow spear, dealing physical damage to the first enemy hit. If Pierce kills its target, the spear continues onward, transferring all of the dead victim's Rend.png Rend stacks to the next enemy it hits. This can repeat indefinitely until the spear reaches its maximum distance. It both applies and triggers Sentinel, and applies a stack of Rend

Use Pierce to poke from long distances, CS far away while your support is roaming or in base, etc. etc.

Neat Trick! This is pretty rare occurrence, and but you can stack Rend on a neutral monster, such as gromp or krug and continuously reset the camp over with help from Martial Poise if an enemy champion approaches, get the monster low, kill the camp with Pierce and pass all stacks of Rend onto the enemy target. You'll instantly apply a huge amount of Rend stacks and are able to an immense amount of burst.

Another Neat Trick!
Pierce enhances Kalista's mobility outside of combat, as it can trigger Martial Poise when there are no nearby enemies. Use it to hop over narrow walls, such as Dragon or Baron Pit, the wall behind Krugs or blue buff, etc.

PASSIVE: While Kalista and her Oathsworn are near each other, she gains 5/10/15/20/25 attack damage. Additionally, Kalista and her Oathsworn's auto attacks apply Soul-Mark

If both apply Soul-Mark within 2 seconds of each other, the target takes bonus magic damage, capped against non-champions, and cannot be Soul-Marked for 10 seconds. Soul-Mark executes minions below 125 health.
ACTIVE: Kalista summons a Sentinel by her side to scout the target area.

Neat Trick! Use Sentinel to scout Baron and Drake Pit, it's one of the freest forms of vision in the game. (except maybe Hawkshot, or Heightened Senses)

Kalista's basic attacks and Pierce each lodge a spear in her target for up to 4 seconds, stacking up to 254 times. (let's be real, you're not getting to 254 stacks in a teamfight)

If Rend kills a target, the cooldown is refunded, and Kalista gains back 10/15/20/25/30 mana.

Rend composes the vast majority of Kalista's burst, so keep an eye on how many rend stacks you have in the targets you want to DPS and chop up.

Neat Trick! Rend's range is not fixed, it can be extended by attaching a Rend stack on another enemy in the general direction of your primary rend target.

Fate's Call
Kalista draws her Oathsworn ally next to her, placing them in Stasis for 4 seconds.
During Fate's Call, Kalista's Oathsworn can click on the target location to dash there, stopping at the first enemy hit, Airborne icon knocking up all surrounding enemies and landing themselves at their basic attack range relative to the target hit.

Most of Fate's Call's power is concentrated into the level that your support is on with you. Communcation will be key into the timing and usage of good Fate's Call
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Stellar positioning is something that Kalista can easily achieve with highly characteristic dashing and good mechanics. Here are some tips to help you deal with your team tabbing up that Vaynespotting points on you

1. Be wary of threats to you.
Where's Zed? Where's Shaco? Where's Twitch? Good ward coverage can help, but it won't really help much if they just ignore all wards because they're snowballing. Stay with your Soulbound or team, coordinate well and be careful. You're the squishiest ADC in League barring Ezreal or Vayne.

2. Please don't dive the back line.
I can't stress it to you enough, you need to kite tanks so that way you can shred through them and hopefully avoid their immense host of CC, which will often defeat the purpose of diving backline, and get you killed which results in an approximate effective damage of 0!

3. Use Martial Poise well
It's more of a mechanical issue than a raw gamesense idea, time your clicks so you get an excellent feeling of what to do what, when and where.

4. Know the individual match-up, and adapt
Often times, you'll be facing a champion that is either weaker Vayne, or stronger Draven than you in the early game. So while you might want to normally go really aggro on Vayne normally, or passively against Draven, individual skill will probably matter a lot. Is the Vayne somehow way better than you in lane? Play a little back and wait for your jungler to come. Is the Draven dropping axes like hell? Play aggro against him. Don't let your ego get to you and be RATIONAL and LOGICAL.

In addition, botlane is a 2v2 lane, don't ever underestimate the power that the support brings within that lane, even if it is a relatively weaker early game support like Taric. Supports can make or break a bot lane, so respect their own damage output.
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Combinations down Bottom Lane

In general, ranged supports are inferior to melee ones for Kalista, primarily because of the fact that they can't engage as hard with Fate's Call due to their frailty, however, they have an easier time to proc Sentinel than melee ones.

Annie support is fairly uncommon nowadays botlane, but she is an effective engage tool with Fate's Call- Summon: Tibbers or Incinerate.

Brand support brings a bursty, unusual form of botlane in which in most games, Brand will probably out damage you. Use Fate's Call in a 2v2 to protect Brand from an ultimate or CC, or elongate the CC chain he does when he Sear a target afflicted with Blaze. You'll need to primarily play around what Brand does in these situations?

Lulu support is quite good with Kalista, Whimsy in both it's offensive and defensive applications and Help, Pix! help significantly with Kalista's lacklustre late game. Engaging with Fate's Call and Wild Growth can quickly both engage and disengage fights.

Janna support is fair with Kalista, Fate's Call and Monsoon can make for some really nutty plays. It's up to Janna to make tactical decisions with Fate's Call

Karma support is rather bad with poor Kalista. You may establish the dominance in lane with Karma's poke from Inner Flame and Soulflare, but her kill pressure is super low compared to how much damage she deals with Q and RQ, and the MS buff on Inspire and Defiance isn't very useful because Kalista doesn't benefit as much from Movement speed as she does with Attack Speed

Zilean support offers situationally good engage power if he happens to land Double Time Bomb and a very broken ultimate in Chronoshift at the expense of lower utility compared to most supports. Still, if he manages to pull a dime-in a dozen double bomb, a quick Fate's Call can quickly send the enemy team into grey screens.


Thresh support is on paper quite good, you have the extra range on his auto attack so he can apply and trigger Sentinel with relative ease. The problem is his lack of innate tankiness that is supplemented by his passive which is based on time, and his inconsistency in the echelons of solo Q.

Blitzcrank is in the same power point as Thresh, with more raw pick potential as opposed to lower utility and AoE cc. Still Rocket Grab in combination with Fate's Call can quickly pull a backline carry into the direct middle of your team. Offering no possible chance of escape.

Braum is an excellent partner with Kalista, Braum brings decent kill pressure in lane with Winter's Bite and Concussive Blows, given how easily Kalista can stick to her target, in tandem of Braum’s tankiness with Unbreakable and the additional engage power with Glacial Fissure gives high amounts of playmaking potential. Excellent support.

Rakan is an absolute nightmare with Kalista, the immense engage with Grand Entrance and the accessibility of The Quickness in tandem of Fate's Call practically guarantees a Charm + Knock-Up combo that guarantees havoc on both the frontline and backline of any team. Gleaming Quill provides sustain in lane. also Excellent support.

Alistar makes excellent plays in tandem with Kalista. Fate's Call and Pulverize creates a super-hard engage that is both disorienting and effective to set up for time to stack Rend and Trample. Triumphant Roar gives good sustain in lane. Their 2v2 all-in is amazing.

Pyke is a good play-maker and pairs well with Kalista due to his long range engage potential with his hook and her ability to cover him when he's in danger.
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Kalista is naturally a team-oriented Attack Damage Carry pick, as a result, she may be more situational that most ADCs. If you're looking to pick Kalista up as a more situational pick as part of your ADC repertoire, there are some key guidelines to use when playing with Kalista

Avoid picking with:

Low DPS/ Burst compositions:
utility midlaners such as Karma, most tanks toplane or in the jungle, non-scaling jungle bruisers such as Elise or Lee Sin.
REASONING: Kalista already has mediocre late game DPS as it stands due to her lack of steroids and 90% AA scaling.

INSTEAD PICK: Twitch, Vayne, Tristana

Split pushing compositions:
Tryndamere, Fiora, Zed

REASONING: Kalista likes to force 5v5 with her powerful engage with Fate's Call, splitpushers force her team to play back and waveclear. In the case of midlane assassins, if they group up with their team, then it maybe acceptable with Kalista, but more often then not, it's not going to happen in higher elo, and you're also not playing to a champion's strength.

PICK INSTEAD: Sivir, Caitlyn

Avoid picking against:

Heavy Slow Compositions:
I.E. Nasus, Nunu & Willump, Ashe, Braum, Gragas, Lulu, Singed

PICK INSTEAD: Caitlyn, Vayne, Jinx, Jhin, Twitch
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9th of September, 2017 - added a couple more supports to match with, adding midlane threats as well.
31st of October, 2017 - Spooky edits
7th of November, 2017- Preseason is go.
20th of November, 2017- TLC
6th of December, 2017[/b}- a bit of readability
6th of July, 2018- midseason update
League of Legends Build Guide Author ColdStuff
ColdStuff Kalista Guide
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Kalista Season 8 - The Spear of Vengeance Strikes!

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