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Kassadin Build Guide by Lasoor


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Lasoor

Lasoor's Guide to Kassadin the Farm Walker - 7.17

Lasoor Last updated on September 14, 2017
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Ability Sequence

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Ability Key R

Masteries

12 Ferocity

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18 Cunning

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0 Resolve

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Threats to Kassadin with this build

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Threat Champion Notes
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Karthus



Table of Contents
Introduction Runes Items
Pros and Cons Masteries Gameplay
Summoner Spells Abilities Conclusion




.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-Lasoor-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Hello Summoners, Lasoor here with a fully thought out guide for one of the first champions I've played, Kassadin.

I started playing Kassadin in Season 5 as my mid laner pick. I chose him purely because how awesome he looked. Season 5 is also the time I started playing League of Legends and I remember thinking Kassadin was severely under powered because how hard it was to do just about anything with him. I remember looking up guides and videos on how to play him and seeing people recommend roaming after level 6. Doing that normally resulted in just falling behind instead of feeding my laner. To this day I am unsure whether Kassadin was directly or indirectly buffed, or if I just was really bad with him. Probably both because now he is insanely strong in my opinion and I will teach you how to play him my way in this guide.

The focus play style of this guide is more farm oriented early game. You will for the most part remain in your lane and get as many kills and CS as you can within your lane. Keeping constant pressure in your lane will gain you enough gold to scale fast into late game where you'll be bursting most champions like they're nothing and snowballing kills. I've noticed that even when my team is losing this strategy allows me to continue fighting the enemy. The reason for this is as long as you can stay in your lane without badly losing then you'll gain all the XP you need and hopefully the gold you need in order to stay relevant in the game. Once you get your second main item you start doing a lot of damage. The guide will explain how all this works and what you need to do in far greater detail. So if you are confused by what I said in this section just ignore it and read the rest of the guide.

If you disagree with anything I say in this guide or if I made any mistakes in this guide please let me know in the comments and I will address the issues. If you have any questions, again, let me know in the comments so that I may answer them for you.










Pros

+ Null Sphere protects you from AP mid laners
+ Strong burst power
+ Strong slow ability
+ Built in spammable Flash with AoE damage on it
+ Strong team fight potential
+ Decent CS last hitting
+ Strong early game damage to tower ( Nether Blade)
+ Great mana sustain with Nether Blade

Cons

- Very mana thirsty
- Weak wave clear
- Weak early game
- Weak against AD


Flash is still good for Kassadin despite it being built into his kit. There are two main reasons for this. First reason is it gives you an escape early game before level 6 if someone tries to gank you or if you make a wrong move. The second reason is because you can combo it with your ultimate to both escape or unexpectedly burst an opponent. Unless Riot decides to make Flash no longer work on Kassadin it will always be a valid choice and in my opinion the best choice for most situations.
Ignite is ideal as a second Summoner Spell for Kassadin. The reason is to help you snowball early game. You won't normally be able to kill people with just your abilities until level 6 and even then you normally require items to secure your kills. That's where Ignite comes in, if they try to get away with low health you can pop Ignite for the kill. It also helps on enemies who you know have a Heal spell, item, or ability because it reduces the effects of healing.
Teleport is a good choice to get instead of Ignite if you're more focused on global map control and team fighting. Ignite is most useful for early game snowballing and for weakening healing on enemies during team fights. I prefer Ignite, but Teleport is always an option and probably best if you are playing with friends so you can coordinate its use better.





Kassadin makes good use of magic penetration because he is primarily AP focused and his goal is to be an AP burst assassin which works best when he can penetrate his enemy's magic resist. Alternatively you can choose Greater Mark of Precision to give both lethality and magic penetration. However, that is more useful when you plan on building AP and AD which isn't as good on Kassadin as full AP.

Mid lane is generally AP champions. Because of this you will have little need for Armor against your opponent. We also plan on staying in mid lane for much of the early-mid game with this guide so grabbing health will help you more than armor. You don't grab magic resist because it isn't rune efficient. You don't get enough of it to justify it. If you know your enemy is AD then you should take Greater Seal of Armor. An alternative to Greater Seal of Health is Greater Seal of Scaling Health.

You're generally fighting AP champions in mid lane so it is pretty obvious that you'll want magic resist. The only other glyphs you could consider are Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction however this will make you easier to kill. If you want need the CDR and prefer Sorcerer's Shoes over Ionian Boots of Lucidity then you take 6 Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction and 3 Greater Glyph of Ability Power.

Gives you a boost of AP early game so you can deal more damage to your opponent and last hit with your abilities easier.





When you go into a fight you use a combo of Null Sphere + Riftwalk + Nether Blade + Force Pulse. This all easily happens fast enough to proc Thunderlord's Decree which is why you take that. It gives you even more burst when you decide to go in. You're not an auto attack focus champion so Fervor of Battle and Warlord's Bloodlust won't even be considered choices. Deathfire Touch is a viable choice, but it isn't optimal for mid-late game in my opinion. Thunderlord's Decree fits your burst kit perfectly while Deathfire Touch would mostly help you win trades early game.

The reason I don't take Double Edged Sword is a preference thing. I'd rather earn a safe 7.5% damage increase with Bounty Hunter instead of getting a 5% damage increase and dealing 2.5% damage to myself.

The focus of your masteries should be doing as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. Knowing that will help you understand why I kept this section short, because there isn't much more to explain.







Allows you to walk through those annoying path blocking minions and makes you take 15% reduced magic damage. Ignoring unit collision helps you chase enemies with the shortest path possible and taking reduced magic damage means your enemy laner can't hurt you as much as you can hurt him. You are generally strong against AP champions.


You shoot a magic ball at enemy from a distance that deals up to 185 magic damage + 70% of your AP as magic damage. This awesome magic ball also gives you a shield that protects you from magic damage. More reason that Kassadin is the mid lane god. Your enemy's petty attacks cause you no harm. This is useful for poking your enemy laner and protecting yourself from enemy AP if you plan on going all in. This ability also cancels enemy channeling. Example: Malzahar ultimate

You max this ability first because it provides you a ranged poke ability that protects you from enemy AP. Getting damage on this early is very useful to you.


This ability costs no mana and makes your basic attacks deal more damage. Your basic attacks will do up to 140 magic damage + 70% of your AP in magic damage. It will also restore up to 8% of your mana on minions/monsters and up to 40% of your mana on champions. This ability also procs the magic damage on enemy buildings which means you can deal a lot damage to turrets early game. The ability stays on you until you hit a non building enemy or until it times out. So you can normally hit a turret 3 or 4 times with it. This ability is great for bursting your enemies and last hitting minions. You can use it for basically any melee attacking to restore your mana. You can also use this ability while roaming or returning to your lane so you can make Force Pulse useable.

You max this second for that burst damage when you go all in. This ability helps you deal a lot of damage. Alternatively you can max Force Pulse second for the higher slow, but I prefer Nether Blade.


This spell is how Kassadin keeps his food from getting away. Every time a spell is used by him he gains one charge. Once at 6 charges he can use this ability to deal up to 180 magic damage + 70% of your AP as magic damage in an aimed cone attack to all enemies it hits. This will also slow enemies for up to 90% of their movement speed for 1 second. Whenever you go all in you use this ability to keep enemies from escaping. You also use this ability to help your teammates stick to targets. Even if you can't get anything else off you should use whatever you can to get in range of an enemy and use this on them if it would result in your teammate getting a kill. I often use Riftwalk to get in range of escaping enemies and slow them so either me or my teammate can finish them.

I say to max this last because I prioritize the damage from Null Sphere and Nether Blade over this, but you can max this second if you want.


This ability allows you to continuously Flash around dealing up to 120 magic damage + 20 of your AP as magic damage to all enemies near you. Your cool down is only 6/4/2 seconds so you can use this often. The only drawback is that it increases how much mana it takes to use it after each use. Give it time and the mana cost will reset back to 50. However the more mana it costs, the more damage it does as well. Its max mana cost is 800. This ability is great for chasing, going all in, and escaping. You can use it for pretty much anything you see fit. Be careful not to overuse it though, as you may need it in the future and its high mana cost can prevent you from using it effectively. Takes 15 seconds for the mana cost to reset.

And of course put points in this whenever it lets you.





The purpose of these is for the CDR. Our build is CDR starved without them. This also helps with summoner spell cooldowns, but we really only care about the CDR. It will allow you to use your abilities more which means you'll be doing a lot more damage throughout the game.
If you predict the enemy will be having a lot of magic resist then grab these to help counter it. Don't get these unless you need them or unless you are building enough CDR in your other items. If you can get 40% CDR without your boots then you should always grab these or Boots of Mobility depending on what you want.
Only time you get these is if you got 40% or more CDR with your other items and want more roaming speed to get around the map quicker.

This is your core item. You must always rush this item first. It gives you all the stats you need early on to both stay alive and deal damage to your enemies. It also has a passive that gains stacks as time goes on, so sooner you get this the better. Each stack gives you more Health, Mana, and AP. This also gives you mana when you take damage and heals you when you use mana. So basically taking damage has the ability to indirectly heal you. Fun right?
You normally want to rush this second. This is your burst item that works off your auto attacks. You get more AP, more movement speed, and most importantly if you use an ability your next basic attack does a burst of damage scaling off of your AD and AP. This item is great and also a first step to anyone who wants to go for a more hybrid build But you still almost always will find a use for this while going full AP. I usually take this second so I can make use of the burst early on as well as the 10% CDR on my abilities while they aren't leveled up.
Gives you a lot of AP and even more AP when you have AP from other sources. Basically this item is just so you can try and get as much AP as possible. I recommend this on any full AP build as at least an option. I usually grab it as my third or fourth item depending on what I need.
Makes 35% of all your magic damage ignore enemy magic resist, applying before magic penetration. You get this item whenever the enemy is building magic resist. Allows you to still burst them down despite their efforts.
This item makes all nearby enemies take 10% more magic damage when attacked. It also gives you magic resist. I'd normally consider this item best on AoE champions like Amumu but in our case we consider it for its magic resist. We're still getting more AP with it, but also getting something defensive. You get this if the enemy has strong AP. So if they're mostly AP or if they're being carried by an AP champion that is preventing you from doing your job. Get this to help fight that.
This item is great because how much AP and CDR it gives you. 100 AP and 20% CDT makes this a great item to choose to help cap your CDR. This item also has a great passive for assassins that prevents your enemy from healing effectively causing them to die easily. This item is a great counter to champions that rely on healing. You can use this to prevent supports from saving their teammates or to counter champions that have built in sustain.
This is for more of a hybrid between AP and AD. If you get this you should grab it after Lich Bane. This also gives you a second slow ability and life steal on any damaging you do. So this item works great on Kassadin, but if you're prioritizing AP that it isn't item efficient to get it. This item also makes you a better duelist because you can use basic attacks to hurt your enemy too instead of having to back off while you wait for your abilities to be back up.
Gives you AP, Health, Magic Penetration, over time damage on enemy, and doubt that overtime damage if enemy is impaired by your slow ability. What's not to love? This item makes Kassadin deadly, but if you want to go for 1-shot burst then this item isn't for you. This item is best for prolonged fights and team fighting, not assassinating. However, that doesn't mean it isn't going to work for assassinating, it just means it isn't meant for it. It goes great with your slow and gives you great stats.
Moving builds up stacks and once at 100 you discharge those stacks to do a burst of damage on your enemy. Good item, but not always efficient. I'd only get this if I'm ahead so that I can stay ahead. Otherwise you should build smarter to try and counter what your enemy has. This item is great because the movement speed boost, high AP boost, and the burst damage. So it works great on Kassadin. I'd recommend trying to use its burst with your Force Pulse if you are able to hit multiple enemies with it.
Gives you a slow on all your abilities so you can keep your enemy from moving at all. That's really the only reason you should get this. It will really annoy your enemies.
The active on this item makes you invulnerable for 2.5 seconds but prevents you from moving. That is the entire reason to take this item. It is useful for diving into the enemy to burst them down and then staying alive in the process. Best to use when you have a team around you to follow up with it.
This item gives you 300 Health, 70 Magic Resist, 100% more Health regeneration, and a passive that automatically blocks the next incoming enemy ability. This item is great for dealing with enemy burst mages or assassins and that is why you would take it.
If you know you are being targeted then you can get this to allow you to make riskier moves without dying that could cause your enemy to win a team fight. It is a second chance item.





Before Game


When playing Draft Pick you are given an opportunity to guess who your opponent in mid lane will be based on who the enemy team is picking. So this section will help you determine when Kassadin is a viable pick and how to deal with more difficult match ups.




These 4 champions all have two important things in common that will destroy you in lane if you're not careful. The first thing they have in common is that they are all normally building AD and your kit specializes in counting AP. So this means the point of you going mid is now nullified. You are now a whole lot less useful as a result if you choose to play Kassadin against match ups like this. The second thing they have in common is strong gap closing. They are able to easily jump on you to deal a lot of damage in a short amount of time and while they are doing that there isn't much you can do back to them. If you attempt to out trade them then you will likely die in the process because you have nothing that hurts them early in the game.

If you still want to play Kassadin against match ups like these there is an important thing to understand first. You won't be able to lane against them normally. An important change you'll have to make is taking Corrupting Potion instead of Doran's Ring. (Important) I will say right now that I have far more experience beating a Yasuo in lane than beating any of these other champions in lane. So I will have a lot of information on how to do it. The information for him can also be applied to the other champions, but note that Talon is a lot more difficult to lane against than Yasuo as Kassadin. Xin Zhao is easy since he can't turret dive you.

Also keep in mind that your goal is to only recall after your opponent does, not before. You always want to outlast your opponent so that you can push the lane out to their turret and cause them to lose gold and experience.


Here's a video on how to deal with Zed(Profanity Warning):
With Yasuo your entire job will be keeping him from getting any kills. You will stay by your tower and farm under turret. You will only attack him if your jungler wants to gank and you are confident it will work. If that happens you do not go in first because you are too squishy and will likely die before Yasuo if he knows what he's doing. Especially if you aren't level 6 yet, if you are then you should still go in second and use your Riftwalk to engage and your Force Pulse to slow him down.

If Yasuo tries to hit you under turret then you should orb-walk while moving behind your turret. What I mean is you hit him with abilities as you're moving to a new position, behind the turret. What this will do is cause him to die faster and make him escaping your tower radius much more difficult. If you have Ignite and he goes all in then you should definitely use it. When Yasuo tower dives you he is likely going to die unless he has someone tanking tower for him, in which case your only hope is getting to your second tower which may only be possible if you have Riftwalk or Flash available.

With Yasuo one of the most important things for you to do is pay attention to him at all times and dodge every ability he tries to use on you. I personally play Kassadin against Yasuo on purpose because it is a champion I know I can survive lane with against Yasuo no matter what happens. But to do this it literally takes dodging just about everything he throws at you which to be honest isn't that hard. You can guess when he'll do an ability. If there is wind around his character that means he will be getting ready to throw a tornado at you. You have two choices, wait out of range until it's gone or bait it out of him and be ready to dodge it. When he goes in your direction he will often try to use his Steel Tempest on you. All you have to do is a little bit of a stutter step. You wait for his character to get to edge of your turret's radius then you back off completely which will cause him to miss you. Your goal isn't just to stay alive, it is to annoy him to point where he roams for kills.

Once Yasuo starts roaming for kills you don't follow him. That is how some Yasuo players bait their laner to kill them, often with help of a jungler hiding in the jungle. What you do instead is if you have your Riftwalk available then you ward the side he left from and then keep pushing his turret. You also must ping Danger! and Enemy Missing? on the lane you think he's heading toward. Also ping Enemy Missing? on your own lane so no one gets mad at you if Yasuo ended up being somewhere else. You can also type "yasuo mia" in the chat, which means missing in action but you don't have to. If you notice the lane Yasuo is heading toward didn't react at all then you might want to ping them 2 more times in a row RIGHT ON TOP OF THEM because otherwise some less aware people don't normally notice. If they get mad, either don't respond or say sorry. You're trying to help them out, not tilt them.

The reason you just push your lane is because this forces Yasuo to stop roaming unless his jungler covers his lane for him. He can't roam if you're taking his turret, that would cause him to lose his lane. Your whole team would gain gold for his screw up.

Here is a video on how to deal with Yasuo from a Diamond player's perspective(Profanity warning):
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However that video is more focused on facing Yasuo top. You won't be roaming like a top laner should. You need to stay mid, but this video gives you an idea on how Yasuo fights and how to overcome him. Skip to 5:40 if you just want information on laning in mid against him


What these 4 champions have in common is massive damage and a lot of range for their abilities. Ziggs and Xerath are long range champions. Syndra has quite a bit of range as well. Heimerdinger just spams turrets all over the lane and prevents you from doing anything or else you risk being shot.

The way you deal with Ziggs and Xerath is you hold out dodging whatever they throw at you until level 6 and then you wait until they are overextended and all in them. While doing this you could lose unless you dodge their abilities. Kassadin takes a lot of skill to use so don't play him if you can't dodge. With Syndra and Heimerdinger the most you can do unless the player messes up is just farm safely.

Generally it is best not to choose Kassadin against Ziggs, Syndra, or Heimerdinger. Xerath is usually easy for you to beat because he's weak against strong gap closing plus burst damage. But if he is really good then you'll have to be better, so don't get mad at me if you lose to a skilled Xerath. Kassadin isn't really a hard counter to anything in mid lane. He is an outplay champion, if you got skill with him you can win most match ups and dominate a game.



Early Game



In the early game you must prioritize farming. You max Null Sphere first so you can poke the enemy while you farm for gold and exp. The most important thing to have in the game is exp. Because of this you will never leave lane before your opponent unless you feel the opponent should kill you easily even under your turret. Meaning if you have really low health you should probably recall unless you have potions.

If your opponent recalls then you need to push out the lane, warding the side bushes first, and recall quickly after. Goal here is punishing your opponent for recalling, losing him cs.

The only way you're going to lose lane is if you incorrectly evaluate the situation. If the enemy is out trading you then as soon as you notice that you stop trying to win trade offs and start playing safe. To play safe you stay out of range of enemy and if you have to then farm under turret. Most people you lane against will win until you're level 6 because your only ranged ability is Null Sphere. When you get better at the game you'll be able to use your Flash as an engage and get a kill, but that isn't normally an option if the enemy has Flash up. Your jungler can help get rid of your opponent's Flash.

If you are winning trade offs you'll want to keep your opponent at around half health so he doesn't recall. Once you are level 6 you go all in with Riftwalk and Force Pulse to secure a kill. You should probably also use Ignite to be safe. As soon as you kill the enemy you run back to your side of lane so enemy's jungler doesn't get you. You then should push lane out and either recall for items or hit the tower with Nether Blade 3 or 4 times and then recall..

Below are some videos that will give you an even greater understanding of the game. You don't have to watch them to play Kassadin, it is just more information on how things work.


Here is a video to help you understand just how important farming is(Profanity warning):


And here is a video on minion wave control(Profanity warning):


Mid - Late Game



This point of game tends to start around 12:00 minutes. At this point if no mid towers are gone on either side then your goal is to take down the enemy tower as quickly as possible. You should even ask your team to help you do this. Once you kill that tower you begin roaming and helping your team kill AND push their lanes. When you are helping them push lanes you hit minions, but try to let them last hit it. The reason for this is you are there to help them push faster, not take their gold. You will be getting exp for being there so you aren't losing a whole lot.

You will have to consistently go back to your lane to clear the minions and prevent enemy from pushing your tower. So watch your lane constantly so you can correctly judge when to head back. Otherwise you should be with your team. You are a team fighter, especially with this guide's play style.

Your goal on objectives should be taking Dragons and Barons as quickly as possible and taking turrets in a somewhat random pattern based on where the enemy is. For turrets you should try to help your team take an even amount of turrets in each lane until you get baron. Once you get baron you should attempt to push 1 or 2 lanes to the inhibitor and take as much as the enemy team lets you. Normally people all group up and push 1 lane together. In some cases it will be smarter to have a split pusher pushing another lane at the same time, normally only when you can't safely team fight consistently because this will cause your team to split up to stop your split pusher. The split pusher should be a very strong duelist with great escape. Kassadin can't normally split push that well and the only time I do it is when I'm behind and doing it for the gold. I then back off before enemy gets to me and begin farming jungle creatures near the lane. Once enemy backs off I go right back to pushing it. That is the safe way to split push as Kassadin. Be sure to ward the jungle area around the lane as well and only do this to top or bottom lane.

Remember to consistently go for kills AND cs. You need CS to remain strong. Whenever you aren't fighting you should be farming, always do something and you'll remain strong and relevant in the match. People who just roam around aimlessly end up falling behind and losing games.

You are strongest when you are getting kills and when you have a lot of kills can often destroy enemies in 1 combo easily even in late game. To get the kills you stay by your team and allow them to engage before you. You then burst the enemies with your abilities and back out before they can focus you. You're an assassin so prolonged fights are not ideal for you. You are strongest when you hit the enemy, back off, and repeat.

Here is a video on split pushing and counting split pushing(Profanity Warning):



Team Fighting



When you are team fighting as Kassadin you must understand that you are very easy for the enemy to kill if they target you. So your strategy in a team fight is mostly reliant on your team. When you're ahead you can normally completely destroy the enemy team when you engage first and get out alive, but if you're not ahead then you must play how this section tells you.

When your team goes in to fight you focus on the enemy that is closest to you and currently targeting your team, even if it's a tank. Kassadin plays similar to an ADC in this aspect. He targets the enemy closest as long as he isn't in immediate danger. You can help your team burst down basically any opponent, but you need to be alive to do that. If you dive the enemy back line you will often die because your escape isn't good enough.

When you are going in there is an important combo to keep in mind. You use Null Sphere then Riftwalk then Nether Blade then Force Pulse. Once you do that the enemy should take massive damage from you and be slowed to a crawl. At this point you must judge your next move based on the area round you. If you can stay in the fight and continue bursting the enemy and auto attacking without dying then you do that. If your team is losing the fight or even, then you often walk back out and use Riftwalk to escape if needed. If you feel you can go in again then you repeat the process.

Here is a team fighting guide:





That is all I have for now for my Kassadin guide. I hope you found it educational.

If you liked anything about my guide or even had any questions about it please leave a comment. Feedback is always appreciated. If you liked this guide you might also like my other guides which have similar layouts. You can find those guides by clicking here