Build Guide by Leibovits
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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.
This is typically how i build Kassadin when there are no champs on the opposite side who are incredibly game changing(you may need to replace Archangels with Banshees if the opposite team is caster based, but if you're fed that won't typically matter). It's focused on getting as much AP as possible while maintaining mp5 early game and getting your CDs reduced for quick escapes using your ult. Kassadin is without a doubt one of the best nukes in the game, and also one of the hardest to kill if played right.
Passive: Weapon Mastery - Honestly, somewhat useless as far as this build goes
Q: Null Sphere - Good for last hits early game but little else. However, Mid-late to Late game it turns into a crucial part of "Where did my health go" combo. Oh yeah, did i forget to mention IT SILENCES! That little detail makes Kass something of a Mage killer.
W: Nether Blade - It adds a bit of extra melee damage, but you will never be whacking anything after level 6, so just save it for towers and minions late game. P.S. If you seem to have mana troubles, put a point into this at level 2-4 (wherever you feel comfortable) and that should help, but i don't recommend it as it will hurt your mid game ganking ability.
E: Force Pulse - This is the spell that wins games. It's an AOE cone skill shot that represents a sub-atomic nuclear bomb AND it slows. Early game it's really great for clearing out minions and the only way you'll be able to get a kill. It is incredibly mana efficient considering that it retains the same amount of mana cost throughout it's leveling process. The reason for that is, you need to wait for 6 Spells to be cast in Kassadins vicinity or by Kassadin himself for you to be able to use it.
In the laning phase this can be obnoxious waiting for it but once you're level 6 you only need to wait for it to hit 4 stacks before you can effectively use it. The trick is to Null sphere~rift walk>force pulse. Obviously, you casting the opener and the port will put it up for you to slip under the enemies nose and blow their face off. Don't forget it can slow as well so use it to escape or keep enemies from escaping as well.
R: Rift Walk - Kassadins defining property, his low cooldown flash. This spell wins games or feeds enemies depending on how you use it. First thing you need to know about this spell is, the more you use it consecutively, the more mana it costs, for more damage done. So let me explain when to, and when not to use this consecutively.
First off, if you're running away, use this as soon as it becomes available, always, it'll get you out of there safe and sound, and mana conservation shouldn't be your concern if you're HP is at stake.
Secondly, never let it hit more then 3 stacks while your chasing or tower diving, you can't port out of a gank if the next walk costs to much mana or you've already ported yourself dry.
And for the professionals sitting in the bushes, waiting for a straggler for a quick kill? Heck yes, stack this up a few times for the damage, then blow their face off, you might make them rage quit.
When you go to nuke somebody open with null sphere if they're close enough, otherwise port on top of them, then null sphere, then force pulse, then port away. Standing on top of them hitting them isn't going to kill them unless they have like 22 hp left after you did your full rotation, a few hits wont hurt of course. Before you do this, make sure you have force pulse at at least four stacks. There is nothing more frustrating then landing on somebody and not being able to blow your full nuke on them.
Exhaust, cleanse, and teleport are the only ones you should really consider when playing Kass. I usually use Exhaust and teleport or Cleanse and teleport, both can be used to catch runners or save your blue butt. Exhaust is typically for the more aggressive players, but cleanse can really save you if you get hit by a crystal arrow. Cleanse, rift walk, delicious frost princess tears of rage.
Kassadin is. . .just awful early game. You can't do any REAL damage, you die easily, you have mana problems, all you can really do is stay in your lane and harass or last hit mobs with null sphere. Try and catch enemy champs in force pulse when its up, and if you play your cards right it may get you a kill pretty early on. Remember to get Tear and Mejai's asap, it'll help your mana problems and you wanna start getting stacks as fast as you can.
By around level 7 or 8 towers will start crumbling and people will start leaving their lanes, now is when you should start looking for champs below half health. Nearly any non tank below half health will die right off the bat from your Void Combo, making it very easy to start getting stacks. Just be careful with that rift walk, you still have relatively limited mana, and I promise you will ALWAYS run out at the worst possible time.
Team fights are constantly being initiated, multiple towers are down, you have 12+ stacks of Mejais. It's Late game. This is where you shine. Lurk in bushes and in the jungle out of sight and wait for enemies, when they take damage, port in and blow them to dust. If you did everything right, nobody can stop you.
Update: 11/9/10 Changed Exhaust to Cleanse in summoners spells b/c i tried it again and i do much better with it, but summoner spells are always a matter of the summoners prefrence.
Some questions have been brought up on the reasoning of Lich Bane.
Lich bane is a great item for Kass b/c it gives him even more burst if you actually get a hit in when you port in on your foe. Also the movement speed is nice to have.