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Cassiopeia Build Guide by xLessThanThree

Middle [S12] Ultimate MASTERS+ Cassiopeia || Build Exodia and 1v9

Middle [S12] Ultimate MASTERS+ Cassiopeia || Build Exodia and 1v9

Updated on November 30, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author xLessThanThree Build Guide By xLessThanThree 47 4 27,569 Views 4 Comments
47 4 27,569 Views 4 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author xLessThanThree Cassiopeia Build Guide By xLessThanThree Updated on November 30, 2021
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Runes: Key to Immortality

Presence of Mind
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand


+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
Standard Summoners
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite



Fifth Item
If Not Snowball / Itemized Against
Enemy has a Fed Carry
Enemy is Heavy AP (Rare)

Ability Order Standard Leveling Up

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[S12] Ultimate MASTERS+ Cassiopeia || Build Exodia and 1v9

By xLessThanThree
Who I Am
Who Am I, really?

I am a Masters aspiring Challenger Cass/Zed main and midlane coach. But do you care about my life story? It is unlikely you came here to listen to some pissrandom rant about himself. Chances are you're in champ select and locked first time Cassiopeia, now frantically trying to figure out what to even take on her while the timer counts down and the portrait of enemy Yasuo inspires more dread into your soul with each passing second.

If that's the case, I'm going to go ahead and use my Master tier foresight to predict you take the L on this one. However, if this is not the case, and you have the time to go through and read this guide, be you a beginner Cass or an experienced Cass one trick - you will find tremendous value that could change the way you see and play this champion forever.

Enjoy the guide, my friends.
Cassiopeia's Identity
Know yourself, and you will win all battles.

There are many things about Cassiopeia's identity that need to be discussed up before we proceed.

1. Cassiopeia is NOT a control mage
Control mages are defined by their ability to control/manage waves and control areas of the map, but generally are weak in 1v1s, weak in early skirmishes, rely heavily on items to get going, and not strong sidelaners/duelists. Cassiopeia does not fall into this category.

She suffers counters in almost all control mage mirrors due to her lack of wave control, but on the contrary to mages has a very strong early game, strong skirmishing, excellent 1v1s throughout the game and good sidelaning.

2. Cassiopeia is NOT a "scaling" pick
The concept of "play safe and farm for items" simply does NOT exist anymore. Champions that can accomplish this playstyle are Vladimir, Kassadin, and Kayle. Cassiopeia is NOT one of these champions. If Cassiopeia does not play aggressively, taking advantage of how strong she is early game, then she's wasting insane potential and the champion is being played incorrectly.

3. Cassiopeia is an early game lane bully, duelist, and sidelaner, with strong teamfighting and excellent objective control
Cassiopeia is stronger the closer her enemies are to her, winning almost any 1v1 in the game with ease given proper ability usage. Her sidelaning, especially with this build, is unmatched. Her ability to 1v2, or 1v3 her opponents, is also difficult to match. Playing her to get an early lead, then transition that lead into objectives, abusing the enemy jungler, forcing 3v3s and the like, pressuring sidelanes post lane, pushing the pace of the game and forcing enemies into objective fights, is how you play this champ.
Resolve Secondary
Mountains defy the consuming sea.

Resolve secondary is the key to making Cassiopeia and this build truly shine, everything in this build is crafted and optimized with each item and rune working in tandem with one another. Conditioning/Overgrowth are a vital part of making it work.

To understand why Resolve, we must understand Cassiopeia's weaknesses.

1. Cassiopeia has relatively low range for a ranged champion
2. Cassiopeia is squishy due to low base resistances and lack of HP items
3. Cassiopeia is immobile
4. Cassiopeia has "global taunt" and is a prime target in teamfights

Rather than try to amplify her strengths, this build was made to target her weaknesses and cover them - and it does so to great effect.

Making Cassiopeia more DURABLE is the most important thing she needs, and it covers her weaknesses. If Cassio cannot be bursted, she can counterattack once tanking all enemy damage. It does not matter if she is immobile, if enemies come to her. The fact that she has global taunt but is incredibly difficult to take down, means she can soak a ton of pressure in fights and drain enemy resources, opening up opportunities for your team!

Addressing alternative options:

Cassiopeia is already very strong in lane, and as such, does not need Taste of Blood, though it is a "nice to have in some matchups", it does nothing past 10 minutes.

Cassiopeia struggles most past laning phase, which is when she becomes vulnerable to being bursted and one shot before she can get her damage off.

Ravenous Hunter's healing does not do much if you are dead before you can cast your abilities.

Manaflow Band is a "beginner trap" and a crutch. It offers zero value to a player who knows how to masterfully manage their mana pool. Learn to manage your mana rather than rely on this rune to help you.

Gathering Storm takes too long to come online.

Scorch is not needed as Cass is already a dominating force in lane and her trading style is heavy/all-in trading, not poke.

Transcendence is nice, but 10AH alone does nothing to cover your weaknesses.
The value of Resolve vs Sorcery is incomparable.

We need not discuss inspiration secondary, I hope.

It should be common knowledge that the less resistances you have, the more value each individual point of resistance grants. Cassiopeia has quite low base resistances, and as such, having the resists from Conditioning + Gargoyle + the % stacking passive from both Gargoyle and Conditioning, make an ocean of difference on her survivability.

Overgrowth is the difference between life and death in countless situations, where you tank the full brunt of enemy damage, then counterattack with a volley of your own. It is not your objective to do more damage with Cassio, it is your objective to survive in order to be able to get your damage off. Bonus HP also scales on Gargoyle Stoneplate's active shield in a 1:1 ratio, making this truly the "mathematically correct" Cassiopeia build!

For further evidence behind why Resolve, the "math" is below:
Snowball Potential
Nothing stands in the path of an avalanche.

Why did I name the 4 item core of Riftmaker, Archangel, Gargoyle, Mejais as "Exodia" build? It is because if Cassiopeia has a lead or a snowball by the point in the game where she reaches this 4 item core, the game very quickly slips out of the enemy team's control given a single good fight.

With the amount of survivability this build and rune setup offers, getting Mejai's stacks is easy and keeping them is easier. Quickly stacking up from 10 stacks to 25, Cassiopeia with this build can force any objective, take any teamfight, and close out the game.

There are countless situations where simply getting to these 4 items, allows me to go from sidelaning and getting objectives to breaking down enemy nexus towers while killing enemies on repeat under their fountain in a matter of minutes, tanking towers and healing through all enemy damage.

This is the optimal way to snowball on Cassiopeia, with little enemies can do to stop you once you get there.

However, just because this build has the opportunity to be an extreme snowball build, does not mean it HAS to.
Flexibility is the operative principle in the art of war.

While this build has the potential to become an unstoppable snowball, it is not the only path you can take.

Another benefit of this build is it's ability to adapt to nearly any and all situations in the game.

If you are behind: Going Void Staff instead of Mejais, will give you the damage needed to come back into the game.

If the enemy is any breed of damage composition: You can itemize against them using diverse set of options - Randuins against critical strike users, Anathema's Chains for major carries, Frozen Heart against auto attackers, Spirit Visage into heavy AP.

If the game is truly, utterly difficult at 6 items, you can get Rabadons, Rylais, or Cosmic drive 6th item instead of Mejais, if you can't keep the stacks.

If you're hard snowballing out of control early on, you can get Mejai's immediately after getting Aegis of the Legion, were you to feel that you are relatively safe.

After Mejai's you can choose to either go a second defensive or to go Void Staff for more damage.

You are not locked into any build path beyond Riftmaker -> Cosmic, making this build one of the most flexible.

It also allows you to alternate what kind of playstyle you need to have from game to game.

If you are on a team with massive frontline, then perhaps going more into damage items will be the play.

In a situation where your team is full damage, and you have no frontline, become the frontline, build double defensive, positioning forward, making plays, and soaking enemy damage.

Just look at how much damage you can soak and tank if need be.

You can fight teamfights and reliably sidelane with this build. You can play a slow and calculated objective focused game or a fast paced game, taking scrappy fights, tower diving, and forcing objectives.

Beyond my core start and 2 items, I rarely have games back to back where I go all the same items by 5 items, in the same order. Adapt to each individual game as you see fit.
Extend Your Limits
I have found my limit a thousand times, and still I press further.

The next advantage of this build is that it's limits far surpass that of the Liandry/Mage item build.

The amount of things you can pull off and do with this build far outmatch what can be done with any other Cassiopeia build. You gain agency over your games, that cannot be dreamed of by Liandry Cassio build.

Just look at this.

Or this!

These examples should speak for themselves.

But here's more, just in case.

The best way to learn the limits of this build is to play it, and try as much aggression as you possibly can. You will be surprised by what you can get accomplish. This is a build that requires a very different playstyle to be optimal from Liandry cassio, but ultimately one that is far more rewarding.

With this build, you do not need to rely on peel and frontline. You are your own frontline while also dealing out massive damage and making aggressively, proactive plays. Learning this build will let you take control of your ranked journey.
Every journey has an end.

This build does not cover basic ability usage, and if there is demand, I can update the guide to include more in-depth analysis of the abilities.

The main purpose of this guide was to focus on the runes and items, and how they interact together and what the playstyle difference is.

As mentioned before, I do comprehensive midlane coaching and specialize in Cassiopeia/Zed.

Please add me on discord if you are interested in affordable coaching or have questions (questions are always free!) LessThanThree#9520

All of my clients who have received coaching from me and are using this build are seeing tremendous success with 64% winrate average!

My OP.GG is:

And my is:

Best of luck my friends, may we meet again.
League of Legends Build Guide Author xLessThanThree
xLessThanThree Cassiopeia Guide
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[S12] Ultimate MASTERS+ Cassiopeia || Build Exodia and 1v9

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