Build Guide by Drakkith
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
So there I was...staring the wicked and unjust in the face...and I felt no fear.
Welcome to Drakkith's guide for the champion Kayle, The Judicator. (Pronounce like Shell, not Kaylee according to Riot) The build provided focuses on Ability power, Cooldown Reduction, and a bit of Attack Speed to mix things up a bit. As every build should be altered to fit your playstyle and match conditions, nothing in this guide is 100% set in stone. Adapt as needed! This particular build allows you to have a powerful nuke, good heal, and good ranged attacks through Righteous Fury. Before we dive into the details of Kayle, lets take a look at what exactly she is supposed to do.
Kayle is a hybrid support/dps champion. No matter what build you go or what team you are with, never forget that you are always at least partly support. You aren't playing a Jax or an Olaf, you are playing a champion that can have an enormous impact on their teams ability to fight effectively. With a heal, a slow, a speed boost, and an invulnerability, you can make or break team/solo fights easily. If you prefer to focus on enemy champions and ignore your team, then Kayle is not the champion for you. So, what does Kayle have to offer exactly? Lets take a look.
Pros / Cons
First, lets look at what Kayle is good and not so good at.
Powerful abilities to support your team.
Benefits from almost every item in the game.
Can easily vary her build to counter the enemy team.
Much easier to be offensive than other support champions.
Absolutely destroys creep waves from mid game and on.
The bane of focus fire burst teams thanks to her ult.
VERY Item dependent.
Very mana intensive early - mid game.
Until geared, cannot take on most competent champions 1v1.
Less killing power than pure DPS, less support than pure support champions. Especially early game. (Though this can be mitigated mostly through gear throughout the game)
Overall Kayle is a good champion that can be very enjoyable if you like her play style. Lets look at her abilities next!
Next up are Abilities, the bread and butter of all champions. First up on the list is Kayle's passive, Holy Fervor.
Holy Fervor: This is one of the things that makes Kayle such a good hybrid. Even if you go all AP or all AD, you will still have some of the opposite. This makes Kayle unique in that she is actually getting more AP and AD out of items than they say. According to the League of Legends wiki, Holy Fervor bonuses to not stack with themselves. (IE 100 AP gives you 15 AD, but that extra 15 AD from it does NOT give you another 5 AP.)
Reckoning: A nuke and a slow all in one. This is a great spell. It has good range, decent AP coefficient, a low cooldown, and has a 25% slow. And guess what, while they are slowed by Reckoning, you deal increased damage to them! While not the end all be all of nukes, this one fits well into her play style.
Divine Blessing: A heal and a speed boost in the same spell. Could anything be better for chasing/running? While a 12% increase in movement speed may not sound like much, this actually gives you around 40-50 extra speed once you have any boots. The coefficient for the heal is kind of low at 0.5, but the movement speed makes up for it. Use the earlier ranks while laning to greatly extend the time you can stay in the lane while under harassment.
Righteous Fury: This is what truly brings out Kayle's killing power. This turns those melee attacks into ranged attacks for 10 seconds, allowing you to last hit creeps and avoid harassment in early game, and hang in the back during team fights and still do good damage. Did I mention that it also adds 30% of your AP as magic damage on your target? AND that it splashes and hits nearby targets for almost as much? You will annihilate creep waves with this skill, allowing you to farm extremely fast with just a few pieces of gear. With max CR you will be able to cast it again less than a second after it falls off. Amazing skill!
Intervention: Makes people invincible to damage. NOTE: THIS ONLY WORKS VS DAMAGE! NOT DEBUFFS! If someone throws exhaust on you while you are under Intervention, IT STILL HITS!!! Still, it's a very good ability that can absolutely make or break games. Having your carry survive an extra 2-3 seconds can easily mean the death of 1-2 enemies. (Sometimes more) It's cooldown is very short at 60 seconds for rank 3, and can easily be brought down to 36 seconds, making this ability almost always available for a fight. Unfortunently, the ability doesn't scale at all whatsoever with anything.
Alright, those are Kayle's abilities in a moderately sized nutshell. As you can see above in the ability order, I don't max out one skill first. Like everything, the order is subject to change depending on the conditions of your match. Find yourself not getting harassed at all during the laning phase? Don't worry about upgrading your Heal until last. On the flip side, if you are constantly under attack from someone like Lux, then getting your heal up first may save your life. So, enough of that, lets take a look at Runes and Masteries now.
Runes and Masteries
Since Kayle is a hybrid, she benefits from almost every rune there is. However, certain runes greatly help with her weaknesses, especially early game. In my opinion, early game can have such a lasting impacts on late game that I like to rune for it at least partially. A bad death early game can mean an enemy gets that Warmogs or that Bloodrazor one fight too early, setting things sour for the rest of the match. Here are my rune choices and why.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Face it, well over half of Kayle's damage is magic based. Unless the enemy team is heavily stacking MR and ignoring Armor completely, there is no reason to go Armor Pen. I prefer to get magic pen out of runes in order to avoid having to grab it in an item slot unless the enemy team is geting MR.
Greater Seal of Replenishment: While these do get out leveled by Clarity sealsat level 5, I find that once I get an item or two I mostly stop having mana issues. The extra mana regen from levels 1-4 greatly helps with my staying power in my lane, allowing me to get extra harassment and last hits early on. If you find yourself running OOM after level 5-6 alot, then feel free to go with Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: Getting these will help max out Kayle's cooldown reduction. Combined with masteries you will start the game with 15% cooldown reduction. If you don't want the CR from this glyph, I would suggest AP, Magic Pen, or Mana regen instead.
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration: More Magic Pen? Hell yes! Between these and your marks you should have around 14 magic pen. Not bad, especially early game when that is usually 50% of someones MR. With the 15% penetration from masteries, that brings you to about 17-20 Magic Pen at the start of the game. I feel that Magic Pen is one of the best stats you can go for in runes, as there are very few items other than boots that have Magic Pen on them that fit with my builds. If you prefer to get your Magic Pen from items, or that you need something else early game, feel free to go with those.
There isn't one mastery tree in particular that is the best for Kayle. All work equally as well and depend on your play style and build along with personal preference.
For this particular build, I go 21 into Utility. For a more offensive Kayle, go into Offensive instead. Unlike most other support champions, Kayle still gets very good benefit from almost all Offensive masteries. While the crit and crit damage masteries aren't as good for her as someone like Tryndamere, they are perfectly alright to get should you want the 5% damage at the end of the tree. If you find that you don't go offensive as much and that you keep getting targeted, or if you would like just a little better survivability, the Defensive tree is for you.
Now, let's look at Summoner spells and how they effect Kayle.
There are many choices of Summoner spells, and just like Masteries and Runes, Kayle benefits from all of them very well, meaning that you will have to take your own play style and build into account. Lets look at my choices and why and you can decide for yourself.
Exhaust: Hampers melee damage output AND caster damage output AND puts a slow on someone. Very useful in combination with Reckoning to keep someone slowed until they are dead. A good use is to Reckoning someone, then apply exaust right before your slow is up, and by the time exhaust is gone your Reckoning will be off Cooldown and ready to use again. One of my favorite summoner spells. (Exhaust was changed to 70% reduction on attacks, 35% reduction in ability/item damage, and a 40% slow, so the pop up tooltip may be incorrect)
Teleport: Allows you to be a highly mobile force that can save towers and gank in different lanes whenever needed. (Or just port back to your tower if you are laning and want an item). One of my favorites as well. Saving towers mid-late game usually means theres 15+ creeps all piling up on your tower, along with another 6-7 on the way soon, letting you farm huge groups of minions for more cash very quickly. A favorite use of mine is to teleport to a lane that has already been pushed to their base tower and kill it while your team "Distracts" the enemy team. Either the enemy team has 1-2 people come for you which causes their push to lose momentum, or they ignore you and you get a tower and possibly an inhibitor. (Be careful, as 4v5 late game can be very bad for your team if they get trapped by an Amumu ultimate or other initiator.
Flash: Just as good for Kayle as it is for everyone else. Avoids ganks, lets you gank, all sorts of stuff. Get it if you want it.
Ghost This spell I find to be mostly unnecessary for Kayle. Her heal gives you a 12% speed boost which you will have on you a lot of the time, allowing you to run at least 1 boot tier higher. I do NOT recommend this spell for Kayle unless you're a die hard fan of it and can't stand to not have it.
Ignite: Always a good choice. Helps kill off runners and keep healing heroes like Mundo under control. Not nearly as required on Kayle as it is on someone like Mordekaiser, but not a bad spell at all. Get it if you prefer to go full offensive with Kayle.
Clarity: Useful if you have major mana issues, but usually unnecessary with my build. If you constantly lane with a buddy who's a mana hog feel free to grab this to help him out, otherwise I would skip this as a few pieces of gear greatly solves your mana troubles.
Heal: Since Kayle already has a heal which is far more spammable, I don't like to take this spell. I have seen it save lives before however, so if you like it or it fits your team comp to take it then feel free. Otherwise leave it out.
Clairvoyance: Got no one to scout around? Grab this spell. Never a bad choice.
Rally: While I almost never see anyone take this skill, it can be useful, especially with the mastery for it. Take it if you don't want any of the other spells or if your strategy includes this for your team.
Cleanse: Excellent spell if you find yourself getting chased down alot and killed even though you use your Intervention on yourself. Intervention keeps you alive, and cleanse gets rid of those nasty slows. I don't usually find this necessary, but it can be useful.
Fortify: A mediocre spell in my opinion. The 6 seconds of invulnerability for your turrets CAN save them sometimes, but the opportunity to use it is far less than something like Exhaust or Teleport.
Revive: Please don't take this. I find it similar to Kog'Maw's passive in that you have to DIE before you can use it. And who wants to die? Not Kayle, that's for sure. Please avoid this unless you have some crazy obscure awesomely good reason to have it.
Smite: Along with revive, probably one of the worst spells for Kayle. You won't be jungling until you have the gear to do it, even with this spell. Don't ever take it unless you just REALLY like jungling early on. (In which case you should go play Warwick)
Ok, I think I've beaten Summoner Spells into the ground, so it's time to move on to items.
Items!! Everyone's favorite thing! Except when you have a Master Yi on your team that likes to go tank for some reason...but that's enough of that. Lets take a look at some items!! Keep in mind that no list is set in stone and this one should be adjusted depending on how your match is going. Need defensive items? Feel free to grab them before some of your offensive items.
Meki Pendant: Kayle lives off of mana. Without it you can't do ANYTHING. Unless you have trouble surviving in the laning phase, grab this and you can skip Dorans Ring. That way you can work to a Tear of the Goddess sooner, which gives you more mana and eventually more AP.
Mana Potion: Once you grab your heal you are going to need mana. Grab one of these suckers.
Boots of Speed: Yep. Boots. Of course. Grab them next.
Tear of the Goddess: Grab this asap. The earlier you have it, the more mana you can get from it. Once you have this you will notice a huge difference in your available mana. Excellent item, no matter what your Kayle build is.
Stinger: At this point, I find it very useful to start upping your damage. A very quick and cheap way is to grab a Stinger. The attack speed lets your farm MUCH quicker and the cooldown reduction is nice too.
Sorcerer's Shoes: Boots of choice for any AP user! Grab these when you can.
Blasting Wand: After you get your attack speed, it's time to buff up your abilities. Grab one after your Boots.
Sheen: Excellent item for Kayle, as you should be constantly spamming some sort of ability every few seconds during a fight. Also gives you more mana, never a bad thing.
Nashor's Tooth: Time to finish off that Nashor's Tooth and max out your cooldown reduction. Now you have a reckoning every 5 seconds, a heal every 6, your Righteous Fury is up almost constantly, and your ultimate is a very very short 36 second cooldown.
Archangel's Staff: Alright, time to start working your way up to some serious AP. Grab an Archangel's Staff and watch your AP start to climb.
Lich Bane: Remember how Holy Fervor causes 15% of your AP to go to AD? Well guess what...every time you use an ability you get an extra 100% AP to AD for that next attack!
Rabadon's Deathcap: Even more AP?! Yes please!! Just this one item gives you at LEAST 201 AP, and through your passive another 30 AD. With the items before it, your getting more like 250-300 AP out of it and 37-45 AD.
Zhonya's Hourglass: Need armor and another invulnerability? Go for this item. Gets it's best use if you are being focus fired 1st or 2nd on your team. If you are routinely the last one alive, this probably wont help that much.
Banshee's Veil: Got a whole team of CC or AP users? Grab this item and watch as Karthus's ultimate does nothing to you! (As Long as the effect is up when you get hit). This also has another effect not in the item description...it makes spellcasters NOT want to target you. Yep.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Got enemy runners that keep getting away even with your slow? Grab this sucker and go to town on them. I'm not sure, but the slow may also work on your Righteous Fury splash. Also a good health item.
Haunting Guise: A fairly cheap item if you need some Magic Pen. No reason to grab this if you plan on getting a Void Staff.
Void Staff: Enemy team stacking LOTS of MR? Grab a void staff. Gives you AP and 40% magic pen. Nice item if you need it.
Rod of Ages: A good item that gives you lots of health and mana and some AP. Never a bad choice. (Note: The initial stats on this tooltip INCLUDE the bonuses already. It actually starts with 450 Health, 525 Mana, and 60 AP)
Trinity Force: If you grab Lich Bane, I recomment NOT getting this item, as the passives do not stack. If you feel you need the bonuses from Trinity Force more than Lich Bane then feel free, as it's always a good item. It's usually more useful for an ad/ap/as Kayle build however.
If you manage to complete all of the items at the top of the page and are still playing, AND you don't need any defensive items, I would recommend either going for more Attack Speed or AP. Grab a Wit's End if you would like a bit of MR with your AS, or a Malady if you feel you need more Magic Pen. For more AP, I'd go with another Archangel's Staff and watch your AP climb through the roof.
That's it for items. As always, adjust as needed depending on the match.
So you have that Nashor's Tooth and you're ready to go stab someone in the face...from range...and watch fire fly off their face and hit their friends faces...what do you do?
STAY WITH YOUR TEAM!!!!
I cannot stress this enough. With this build Kayle is highly prone to ganks by 2+ champions or to an eve/twitch gank. Unless you have Cleanse you are very vulnerable to any DPS champion with a stun or a slow. You should always be near a friendly champion unless you are farming in a protected lane near your turret. Help push lanes and if you see the enemy team start to converge on your team, get over there as quick as you can if you aren't already there.
Kayle makes an excellent pusher once you get Righteous Fury up to rank 4 or 5 and get some decent gear. Take any opportunity you can to push lanes (Take a partner if you can) as long as you aren't needed in a teamfight and as long as you're sure the lane is safe. If you're unsure, then it's best not to push for the moment.
In a fight you can use your Intervention in multiple ways. You can preemptively throw it on a carry or someone else who is constantly getting focused first, you can wait till someone is about to die and then throw it on them, or you can save it to help a teammate survive a trip back to your base if your team just got annihilated before you could use it. (Just make sure your team didn't get annihilated because you didn't use it!) It's on a short cooldown so never be afraid of using it.
Use your heal as soon as you can every time. Many fights have a preemptive skirmishing phase where ranged champions use their abilities or attacks to chip at the opposing teams life before someone really initiates. Kayle can greatly mitigate this damage and turn the skirmish in her teams favor with her heal. With this AP/CR build you can be healing for 400-500 every 6 seconds. Nothing to scoff at.
So, we talked about everything I could think of to fit in this guide. So time to wrap this thing up like last nights burrito that you never finished. I'll leave you with a list of pointers I thought were good ideas.
Stay with your team.
Always be awesome. Even if your not.
Use your heal whenever anyone is missing any health at all.
Play it safe and don't do risky things, as Kayle isn't the champion to pull them off.
Always be polite. It's jut good manners!
If you're going to go to the bathroom, go back to base first and don't sit in a bush.
Make sure you have enough time to actually play a full match. (45 min to an hour)
Don't get mad if someone steals you're kill. Better to kill an enemy than to have them somehow pull off a miracle and turn the tables on you.
Wait for your tank to engage.
Never give up, never surrender!
I hope you've enjoyed this guide. Good luck, have fun, and don't let Mordekaiser steal your soul.
Upadates: 08 Jan 11 - Changed from Ionian Boots of Lucidity to Sorcerer's Shoes after i realized I had neglected to account for my CR from masteries. Replaced AP Runes with CR runes to attain max CR.