Kassadin Build Guide by Mo0s3
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Not Updated For Current Season
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"For my next trick, I'll make you disappear!"- says Shaco. Then he starts hitting you for 5-6 seconds until you actually die. Well, I can make you disappear for less than a second. And I don't even need to pull out anything out of my sleeve. This is Kassadin- one of the quickest nukers in the game, and this guide will focus on a different build that actually makes him a huge threat both early, mid and late game.
Kassadin is my main champion and I have about 350 games with him or so. I'm not a high ELO player (ranked games suck), but I can teach you quite a lot about this champion. I have tried almost all builds on Kassadin and seem to have found a very good one. This build will make you a threat even early game, when Kassadin is very very very weak, and you will still crack peoples' skulls mid and late game. So without further due, lets get started!
Now I have written another guide for Kassadin, but I just put so much things from the time I posted it on the site, that I just decided to delete the old guide and publish this guide, which is a better version. I hope you enjoy my work :)
OK so at the fountain at lvl 1, grab yourself a Meki Pendant + 2x Health Potion. We are going to rush Tear of the Goddess. The reason behind this? You need mana + mana regen so you can spam your spells with no worries. Finishing up the Tear will let you have quite decent mana regen + the nice passive.
For the love of god, please don't take Doran's Ring. Yes, it looks good on paper. Yes, it makes you a little stronger early game, but it slows your item build like a lot. Dont take this, you dont need it. You can do just fine without this item.
When you go back to base, make sure you have money to finish your Tear of the Goddess, and start working towards your movement speed. Some say Sorcerer's Shoes, others say Mercury's Treads, I say Ionian Boots of Lucidity. These boots are just made for Kassadin. The CD reduction is so sweet that its just to good to be ignored. AND they are also cheap. I run with these almost every game (in the others there are 5 strong cc'ers and I'm just obliged to take Merc's).
The second time you go back, buy yourself Sheen. Yes, you're sight is OK. I said Sheen. You dont have enough damage, and this item will provide it to you. Extra 100 dmg for your combo is just sweet early game. Having this item will also boost your AP a little, from which you also benefit. Just trust me on this one, get Sheen and when you hit someone you are going to hit hard.
Now arises the question- we gonna build him super squishy or just kinda-but-not-squishy? I say the second choice is best. And saying that, you probably start thinking about Rod of Ages, and you are right. We build this item next. It provides you with a nice boost of HP + MP + AP which are all perfect for Kassadin. Now that this item is not build-it-first-or-forget-about-it, you can build it around 20-25 minutes and it will still do you a good job. You need more staying power + more AP so you can wreck faces even harder. This is the item for us!
Just to mention- you can go vice versa if you are being whacked- go for the Catalyst the Protector, build your Sheen and then finish Rod of Ages.
Right about this point, you should have around 2K mana, which means that now is the time to turn your Tear of the Goddess into Archangel's Staff. This item will provide you with a massive amount of AP so you can do your job with ease. Hello, taking huge-chunks-of-those-****s'-health days!
The build is almost finished. All you have to do is turn your Sheen to Lich Bane. This item is so awesome on Kassadin, it makes me cry. It provides you with another damaging skill to your arsenal. Hitting 400-500 AP = 400-500 damage aside the basic combo. Start crying, Veigars and Ryzes!!!
About this time (or even before you finish your Lich Bane), the game should have ended. If it continues to go on, your next item is going to be Rabadon's Deathcap, and I dont wanna hear any complaints about it. It provides you with a **** load of AP + the passive, which again provides you with a **** load of AP. Buying this will turn your damage from "holy **** kassadin nuked me" to "wtf happened???". Really, nothing more can be said in here.
The last slot I leave it open to you- you can consider buying defensive items like Banshee's Veil, Guardian Angel, or whatever you like.
Now Kassadin is not a good farmer at all. And we all know that. Sad, but true. However, obtaining last-hitting skills is key to being a successful Kassadin player. Learn to last hit, its the only way you can earn money early game. I cant really stress this enough. Even if you have to, last hit using [skill=Null Sphere]. When you lvl up a bit, go kill golem. Its essential that you get that buff. No other character deserves the buff more than you do. Trust me, having that buff will increase your effectiveness very much.
Now I will go into more depth on how you farm, because I get a felling some of you may now know how to last hit for example when you are tower hugging. "Wait, but how the hell can i still farm efficiently when tower hugging?", you may ask me. And I will reply to you "quite simple, my friend". Now you may not last hit all of those creeps that tower is hitting, but killing 3-4 creeps every wave which a tower is hitting parallelly with you is great.
Common scenario: you are mid (or bot or top whatever) and you are pushed far back to your tower by some aggro champions or champions with a great early game. Now don't get your head down, early game is all theirs, but we both know late game it's all you, baby! And late game decides those matches, not early game! So, lets return to that scenario:
Now I can teach you how to last hit by your tower ONLY full HP creeps, as it is simple for me to write it down. Last-hitting creeps on lees than full HP I cannot teach you, as it is very situational. In order to do it right, you must play a lot and a lot of games. Now I will divide this farming into sections:
Farming MELEE creeps
Simple enough- at early levels when your natural attack damage is not high enough, it goes like this: hit the creep ONE time, then wait for the tower to hit it TWICE, then kill it with one autoattack. It is as simple as that. When you get to higher levels, striking once at the beginning will not be necessary. Just wait for the tower to hit twice, then you hit the creep and it will die.
Farming CASTER creeps
Again pretty simple- at lower levels hit the caster ONCE, then wait for the tower to hit it ONE time and then you hit it again and it will die. Higher levels again like melee creeps- let the tower hit it once and after that hit it.
Cannon creeps are more difficult, so I suggest you Null Sphere them when they are low.
I hope I managed to bring in some light about last-hitting when tower-hugging :)
Basic Combo + Utilizing Sheen and Lich Bane
OK so in this topic I will try as much as I can to make you a better Kassadin player. My build doesn't excel at AP, nor does it excel at CDR. The key of this build is abusing your Sheen early-mid game and Lich Bane late game. If you do not use those items good, you will fail, I guarantee you.
Sheen and Lich bane have a 2 second CD. Which basically means every time you use a spell you proc them. Make sure you proc them as much as you can when harassing. When you use your combo, it will proc once. The basic thing is, your Tear of the Goddess gives you enough mana with which you can spam Riftwalk thus procing sheen or lich bane every time you use it. When chasing someone, make sure you hit them with your sword at least once. Even if that guy is slowed and he can't do **** and you are right up his nose, Riftwalk again! That way you can proc the mentioned items thus dealing more damage.
The most important usage of your Nether Blade is procing again. When you enter a fight (not a 5v5 fight, just a fight), use your combo, hit once, wait 2 seconds, press W, hit again, wait 2 seconds, riftwalk, hit again, and there you have it- a nice pretty little annie down on the ground. This can also be used for when you fight 5v5 and the enemy lines start to crack. This is the perfect opportunity for you, as the enemy team will start to scatter around which means they won't flush you down the toilet with their cc's and damage.
Remember two things- use your spells in such a way with which:
1. You proc more with sheen or lich bane
2. You dont sacrifice your nuking quickness for the clutch moments (dont riftwalk, hit, then silence, hit, and so on... cause if you do that imma personally uninstall the game from your PC)
Now for the basic combo. Its very simple- you Riftwalk into the target's nose, you use Null Sphere to silence them, and then make sure you Riftwalked in such a way that when you use Force Pulse you hit as many enemies as you can. That's it.
Of course, you can use the combo in another way (that's the way I use it except for team fights). First, get in range to cast your Null Sphere. Then, cast it. The ball travels at a slow speed, which is good actually. As it travels, you Riftwalk to the target and quickly Force Pulse him. He won't have a chance to react, as just when you riftwalk to him your ball should hit him and silence him, rendering him useless. This way of using your combo also makes your nuke even faster. How nice, huh?
OK, so that's basically it. Play a few games and you will soon combo like a pro :)
Well I decided to write a new section to this guide, related to using Mejai's Soulstealer. Now this item is great only for those who can keep up the stacks. Remember- having more than 5 stacks makes this item cost-efficient. FIVE STACKS. Oh, and just to mention- having 6 stacks @ 45 minutes means automatically selling it for a better item. As the time passes, the amount of stacks you should have in order to be efficient is rising. Which means late-late game you either got 10+ stacks or you sell it. End of discussion.
Now I don't really like snowballing items, because snowball=small ball. It even has a rhyme, which is even better. In order to keep your stacks you must play a little more defensive and there is a thin line between being inefficient in your job (being overly defensive) and being a god in what you do (being just the perfect amount of defensive). There is absolutely no room for error. And if you don't cross this line, you will be ok. Now in order to see this line, you have to play a lot of games so you know exactly in which position you must strike, and in which position you must wait. Because the difference between going in and losing a third of your stacks OR gaining 4 more, is half a second. And making a decision in less than half a second ain't easy, my friend.
Now if you think you will be able to keep your stacks without sacrificing your efficiency, I managed to bring you a different build (no Sheen or Lich Bane here, just forget about it). So here it is:
Start with a Meki Pendant and 2x Health Potion
Now proceed with your Mejai's Soulstealer directly. The tear can wait.
On the meantime, when you think it is good for you, buy yourself boots. Now dont turn them into Ionian Boots of Lucidity yet, you need to finish your tear.
Once you get the Mejai's, turn your Meki Pendant into a Tear of the Goddess, which will provide you with a steady supply of mana regen + mana. Then go upgrade your boots.
On the next trip back, buy Rod of Ages, starting with Catalyst the Protector. I dont care if you buy it @ 25 mins, 30 mins or whatever, just buy it. You need that survivability and I mean fast. You must keep your mejai stacks!
Right after you build your Rod, its time you turn your Tear of the Goddess into a Archangel's Staff. This gives you a very very nice amount of AP + a big mana regen boost, making you even more efficient.
Right after this time around, the game should have ended. But if it doesnt, go buy yourself a Rabadon's Deathcap and after that a Banshee's Veil. The veil is awesome not only because of the Mres and the health and mana, but for that nice nice shield, protecting you from 1 CC every 30 seconds.
So this is the build, if you feel confident try it, it may work out for you :)
Why Tear of the Goddess is a MUST?
Well a lot of people confront me in taking an early Tear of the Goddess, and in this section I will tell you EXACTLY why you absolutely MUST get that tear.
For starters, don't make the mistake of buying the tear as your 4th or 5th item, because the simple logic behind even thinking about buying this item is that you get A LOT OF MANA. 4 mana per spell is a huge amount. So when you are going Kassadin, make sure you either rush Tear of the Goddess OR rush Mejai's Soulstealer and then build the tear. There are no options allowed, as they will drastically decrease your efficiency.
Now, don't make the most stupid mistake I have ever seen in my life (well 2nd best, the first is Sion with 20 AP and 120AD rushing Lichbane): rushing Archangel's Staff. I BEG YOU DO NOT DO IT!!! What are the ups of it?
UP NUMBER 1: Having a little bit more mp/5. Ok so what? Big deal.
UP NUMBER 2: Having like 40 AP more. But think about it- is it worth it? 1860 gold for 40 AP??? Don't think so. Rushing the staff makes your early-mid game so bad that you will be stunned by the fact that you deal NO dmg. Dealing NO dmg means you are not doing your job dude.
Now, let me give you some advise about what I do:
I get the tear. Now the Archangel's Staff becomes cost-efficient when you reach 2000 mana. So when you go 1800 mana, DO NOT turn around and buy that staff, but finish the item that you have started first (may it be Rod of Ages, may it be Deathcap, whatever) and THEN buy the staff. That way you can be very effective because you don't blow up 1860 gold for 40AP, but you blow up that gold at a later point (while before that buying other great items) for a whooping 70-80AP!!! Doesn't this strategy seem more appealing than the first one? Ofc it does! :)
Now back to the mana pool. Now we all know that the tear can give you some hefty mana pool! And i mean something around 2.5K. Well why does Kassadin need it? Simple, my friend, abusing your ultimate! A lot of people neglect the fact that Riftwalk can do some insane dmg (and it also stacks with 0.5AP which is actually pretty nice ratio), especially when stacking.
Wanna put up 2 examples?
No mana pool Kassadin: Can riftwalk max 3 consecutive times, where when he uses a single combo he can do it only 2 times. Now what escaping mechanisms does he have when the enemy pops ghost? None. He hardly can escape because he has NO mana pool. And even here we neglect that this Kassadin fights with 100% mana. What happens when he is at 60%? 1 combo and away goes the kassadin, with his sword pinned to his head.
Tear of the goddess Kassadin: Can riftwalk up to 8 consecutive times (yep, EIGHT) which is WHOAH so much fun. Can't tell you how many times I'm riftwalking from base to the middle of the map, only to catch up to a karthus. I riftwalk right up to his nose and he dies, only from the damage my ultimate makes.
But let's take a look at another scenario- you wait, pop in the fight, combo the hell out of those enemies, but you get targeted by an ashe with a PD, ghost and flash. That ain't a pretty picture for a Kassadin with no mana pool. But not for us! We can riftwalk 4 times (and you can even turn around and riftwalk a 5th time right up that ashe and like insta-kill her ***) which is WIN!!!
Also, you can riftwalk around while waiting for a teamfight. Now you need to anticipate when the teamfight is going to rage around you. If you can do it, then riftwalk in one place, thus filling up 2-3 stacks. You will have enough mana to riftwalk into the fight a 4th time and use your whole combo. That will drastically increase your damage output, so if u can do this little trick I kinda invented (yeah I know it's stupid, but i have never ever seen a kassadin even think about riftwalking in 1 place), then DO IT!
You get the whole picture, my friend, so ill make a conclusion:
Small mana pool kassadin = EPIC FAIL
Large mana pool Kassadin = EPIC WIN