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Kalista Build Guide by TheBlightcaller

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League of Legends Build Guide Author TheBlightcaller

[S5] Kalista, The Spear of Vengeance

TheBlightcaller Last updated on January 22, 2015
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
ADC Role
Ranked #15 in
ADC Role
Win 49%
Get More Stats

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Threats to Kalista with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Ashe I don't see her as much of a threat. She can still deal some damage but she can't kite you with Frost Shot.
Vayne She's hardly a threat. Yes, she's Vayne, but you're Vayne 2.0. Have fun, Summoner. ;)
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Blight here, A.K.A Blightballer on the North American server, and welcome to my first guide on Mobafire! I don't claim to be a pro player and I'm currently unranked. Everything in this guide is my personal preference. I'm still new to item experimentation but I enjoy trying new things. I know this probably won't be the cleanest guide but I'm going to be working hard at tidying up this guide and making it as detailed as possible. If you have any questions, concerns, or constructive feedback feel free to leave a comment or send me a message! If you have any suggestions or ideas or even want me to add a build that you'd like to be shown feel free to let me know. I'll cover other roles like eventually and I will soon cover all of the items individually and organize the chapters so they're less cluttered.

Reminder: This is a work in progress, please bear with me.

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Why Kalista?

I fell in love with Kalista for a number of reasons. She has an amazing balance of seriousness and hilarity in her personality. Her kit allows her to be so versatile and she offers so much to the table, especially with her ability to kite. She can use it to chase somebody or get away from a fight depending on the situation. I think she was also an incredibly well designed character overall. She looks absolutely fantastic and her Blood Moon skin is phenomenal. I see so much potential with her and I saw a champion that allows so much creativity with item builds and I find her to be a fairly difficult champion to play. She can really discipline you as an ADC and playing her will definitely teach you a lot, whether you're new to League, new to being an ADC, or you're a veteran. Kalista invokes a lot of creativity and that's what is so great about her.

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Who is she? (Lore)

Kalista is an eternal spirit of retribution, who possesses a cold-burning hatred for all betrayers, deceivers, and traitors. In life, she was a legendary warrior, but while trying to avert tragedy she was betrayed and slain by those she trusted most. Now, she is an undying entity that can be invoked to exact vengeance, but only at great cost: the supplicant's soul becomes forfeit, bound to her for eternity.

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Invocation (A Short Story)

Spoiler: Click to view

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Summoner Spells


These are the spells that I'd be most comfortable. Flash is definitely a must in my opinion. The reason why I wouldn't put Ghost in the pick as a good alternative to Flash is because you should be taking advantage of your Martial Poise with your auto attacks and Pierce instead. I personally like to go with Teleport because I believe in Objectives>Kills. I'd rather get to lane faster, save another lane, or get to an unexpected team fight rather than get first blood.

As for the other spells, I don't think they would be beneficial choices simply because these would do more in terms of securing a kill or saving yourself. Perhaps Smite will become a spell that more roles other than a Jungler may use thanks to these amazing champion smites, so don't pick that up unless you're Jungling. If you're doing that I would definitely say to go with Flash and Smite.

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Pros & Cons


+ Very mobile
+ Hits hard
+ Great initiation from Fate's Call
+ Great lane pusher
+ She has a slow in her kit
+ Has mobile wards
Kalista is a hard hitting ADC that has so much potential to chase her opponents down with Martial Poise and the slows from Rend. She's capable of pushing a lane no problem once she has enough damage to just use Pierce to clear a wave no problem Her skill [[Sentinel allows her to scout ahead without putting herself in danger.

- Very squishy
- Crowd control destroys her
- Fairly difficult for new players
- Heavily relies on synergizing with her Oathsworn
Like all ADCs, Kalista is extremely squishy and crowd control completely destroys her. If her Oathsworn disconnects or doesn't synergize with you you're f*cked.

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Base Stats

This is for any of you that like getting down to the details. These are her base stats from levels 1-18.
Health 518 – 1929
Attack Damage 53 – 109
Health Regeneration 6.0 – 15.4
Attack Speed [*] 0.648 (+0% – 56.1%)
Mana 232 – 827
Armor 19.0 – 78.5
Mana Regeneration 6.3 – 13.1
Magic Resistance 30.0
Range 550 (Ranged)
Movement Speed 325

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Champion Spotlight

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Ability Sequence

Ability Sequence Order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >
As I stated at the top of my guide I prefer to max out Rend first and Pierce second is because I prefer to get the extra damage on Rend to use it like Zed's Death Mark to pop the champion if they're out of reach. Sentinel is maxed last because it's pretty effective on its own at level 1. You should be fine with the high cool down and still have plenty of Sentinels roaming around.

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Abilities And Tips

Martial Poise: INNATE: Kalista cannot cancel her basic attacks and they will miss if she loses sight of her target before they hit.
If Kalista enters a movement command while winding her basic attack or Pierce, she will drive through that direction when she launches her attack, dashing a short distance. Martial Poise distance scales with Enhanced Movement, and is increased by 25% when dashing backwards.
Additionally, Kalista begins the game with a unique item, The Black Spear.

The Black Spear - ACTIVE: Kalista hurls The Black Spear at an allied champion, beginning a ritual that takes a short duration. During the ritual, both Both Kalista and her target are unable to act and the target will perform their death animation. Upon finishing the ritual, the target becomes Oathsworn for the remainder of the game. Kalista requires an Oathsworn ally to utilize Sentinel's Soul-Marked and Fate's Call.

Pierce(Q): ACTIVE: Kalista hurls a fast and narrow spear, dealing physical damage to the first enemy struck.
If Pierce scores a kill, the spear will continue onward, passing all Rend stacks from the dead victim to the next enemy it hits

Max this skill out first before all of the other skills.

Tips and Tricks
    • Use it to last hit if you can pass the stacks through the target and into the enemy champion
    • Use it for an extra hop for chasing or hopping walls
    • Amazing wave clearing tool once you have some damage

Sentinel(W): Soul-Marked - PASSIVE: If Kalista and her Oathsworn ally attack the same target within 1.5 seconds of each other, the target will take additional magic damage equal to a percentage of their maximum health. This effect cannot occur on the same target for 8 seconds. Damage is capped against minions and monsters.

ACTIVE: Kalista commands a soul Sentinel to the target location within range, gaining sight in a ~450-length cone in front of it. The Sentinel's sight is obstructed by terrain and brush. Upon reaching the target location, it will return to a point within ~1400 units of cast location. The Sentinel will perform a total of 7 laps, including the first two lengths. The Sentinel is vulnerable from behind and will die if attacked twice by an enemy champion or once by a tower. If the Sentinel spots an enemy champion it will scream and stalk them for the next 4 seconds - revealing them for the duration.
Kalista stores a charge of Sentinel every few seconds, and can store up to 2 charges.

This skill will be maxed out after Pierce and Rend.

Tips and Tricks
    • Always make sure you have Sentinels out and roaming
    • Use them to scout high priority areas like Dragon or Baron
    • Take advantage of your passive with your support

Rend(E): PASSIVE: Kalista's basic attacks and Pierce leaving a spear lodged in her target for 4 seconds. There is no cap on the number of spears Kalista can lodge in her target. This passive is unavailable while Rend is on cooldown.
ACTIVE: Kalista rips all spears from nearby enemies, dealing physical damage and slowing them for 2 seconds. Rend's damage is increased by a percentage for every spear beyond the first that Kalista ripped from them.
If Rend scores a kill, the cooldown is refreshed.

You'll be maxing this skill out second, right after Pierce

Tips and Tricks
    • Try to reset the cooldown as much as possible when you're harassing.
    • Use it to slow your enemy just enough to re-engage and kite them.
    • Use it as your own personal smite for buffs, Dragon, or Baron!

Fate's Call(R): ACTIVE: Kalista draws her Oathsworn ally next to her, making them untargetable and disabling their spells for 4 seconds. Kalista's Oathsworn ally must be within 1400-range to cast Fate's Call.
During Fate's Call, Kalista's Oathsworn can right-click a target location to dash there, stopping at the first enemy hit, knocking up all surrounding enemies and landing themselves at their maximum attack range from the target.

Just make sure you allocate a point into this every chance that you can.

Tips and Tricks
    * Use it to initiate team fights
    * Great for chasing/closing gaps
    * It's a nice tool for saving your Oathsworn

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Some Unique Tips

Wall Hopping

What's nice about Kalista is that her passive Martial Poise allow her to hop over small walls. It can be very difficult to do and is slightly harder than Graves' Quickdraw but it is possible. Experiment and find out some locations that you can actually jump with. Don't forget to take advantage of this against Jarvan IV and his ultimate!

Here is a small guide to wall hopping:


There's one thing that I didn't mention about Sentinel. If you position yourself correctly and use sentinels to scout things on the other side of walls like the Baron or Dragon pits it'll force the Sentinel to go all of the way around to scout, making them last slightly longer. Since they aren't timed and travel 7 laps, it'll last slightly longer. Don't forget that you may be limited to two sentinels available to you to send out at a time, you can have more than two deployed. I've had three out at one point. I'm not sure if there's a limit to how many can be out at once and it's worth looking into.


I learned something really cool with Rend! Before I get into that there's one thing I want to make clear with you; Rend is literally like a second Smite. You can easily do 1k damage on things like buffs, Dragon, or even Baron! Take advantage of that.
Now, to my favorite trick with Rend. Are you worried about champions like Vayne, Kha'Zix, Rengar, Shaco, or maybe even Twitch getting away or possibly switching positions to catch you? Well, I have the trick for you! Try not to use your Rend if you don't think you can kill them with it just yet. Let them turn invisible, once you rip your spears out with Rend you can actually see where they are because the particles for Rend are actually visible and guess what, you now know where they're trying to escape(or re-position) from! Not only that, but now you've slowed them down, making their escape(or possibly re-positioning) even more difficult!

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Build Explanations

So for my items I'll actually break down in parts based off of the builds. I know people usually recommend building a defense item (and you still can at the cost of an item) but I've developed a strong bond with my support (she plays Braum when I Kalista) and I usually don't build a defense item unless I'm truly relied on to solo carry a team. I use this as a way to become really strict with my decision making. I'm more cautious with my chasing, positioning, etc. I will, at some point, add situational items as well as defensive choices. Also, in case you don't like the blue builds I am making alternatives to appeal to everybody.

Disclaimer: Using Runaan's Hurricane in my build will result in an extremely fast depletion of your mana pool with Muramana active. My builds have a high sustain in mana without Runaan's Hurricane. Until I get some feedback and further play with this item I recommend using the default build. You've been warned.

Blue Build Kalista (No Crit)
So, the reason why I wanted to try out this combination of Muramana and Essence Reaver was because I knew she was a little mana hungry and she is capable of really packing a punch. I knew that with Muramana I could deal more damage at the cost of mana. Now comes the Essence Reaver! Essence Reaver regenerates 2%-8% of my mana based on how much is missing. Not only does it do that but it also gives you 10% CDR and some lifesteal! I know the norm is to go for The Bloodthirster but I figured this was a better option. Blade of the Ruined King is your second attack speed item and is great for the added lifesteal, bonus damage, and chase potential with it's active. This build is designed for those of you that may not like crit-based items and is still highly effective. Ideally, it's oriented towards taking out tanks thanks to the armor penetration but I feel that if you really want to be a tank killer just load spears into them and just pop them with your Rend. If you're willing to sacrifice the armor penetration and reduction and want to try out Runaan's Hurricane I'd replace The Black Cleaver and Berserker's Greaves with Runaan's Hurricane and Ionian Boots of Lucidity. You really don't need all of that attack speed and 15% CDR couldn't hurt. If you're looking to try a different approach and you don't want to use Muramana you could try out Last Whisper or The Bloodthirster.

Blue Build (Crit)
Right now this is my preferred build of the two that I have. This build is designed around dealing a sh*t-load of damage with your Muramana, Sheen proc, and crits. On a neutral monster I've done about 1669 damage from a critical auto attack. I want to say that I've dealt roughly 1400 on a champion. Kalista is designed to be a hard hitting spear thrower and I feel that this build is the build for it. For the items that are listed here that were in the other build I have the same reasoning for their relevance. Trinity Force is for the overall boost to everything, especially the crit, movement speed, and Sheen. It's just a great finishing item to have, you know? I'm not sure what I would replace in this build with Runaan's Hurricane, so I'll leave that to you all to experiment with and I would replace Berserker's Greaves with Ionian Boots of Lucidity. You really don't need all of that attack speed and 15% CDR couldn't hurt. If you wanted to try the build without Muramana I'd replace it with Youmuu's Ghostblade to add some more damage and crit.

This build is very similar to my blue builds and that's what I wanted it to feel like. I do believe that the blue build approach is a very strong way to go. There are some things different and that would be your boots and your jungle item. As I stated in my notes for my items it's recommended that you go with Ranger's Trailblazer - Warrior for the easier camp clears because her early game clearing is very weak. Once you feel comfortable with clearing a camp without that smite you can then sell it for Stalker's Blade - Warrior. This is experimental and I would love your input on this guide if you have any concerns. Aside from that, the build is very standard in comparison to my other builds.

This is a very experimental build and is definitely a work in progress. I'm trying to make a build that can provide the needed damage to be relevant while also keeping up vision and possibly using Frozen Heart, Frozen Mallet, and/or Iceborn Gauntlet to add needed crowd control.

Spoiler: Click to view

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Item Breakdown

Starting Items

Spoiler: Click to view


Spoiler: Click to view

Core Items

Spoiler: Click to view

Defensive Choices

Spoiler: Click to view

Situational Items

Spoiler: Click to view

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Oathsworn Synergy


Spoiler: Click to view


Spoiler: Click to view

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I hope you all enjoyed my guide on Kalista and I really hope you'd take a minute to leave a comment and let me know what you thought of my builds. Feedback is always appreciated and I'll make sure I do what I can to respond to any messages or comments that you leave. I know that my builds will be very different and I'm sure many people will find them to be weird, but I just like to experiment and I encourage you all to at least give this a shot. These builds may not be for everybody but to make sure that I appeal to both audiences I also posted alternative builds for those of you that may not like the blue builds. Make sure to check back every once in a while because I'll be doing what I can to update this as often as possible. Use my guide as a starting foundation for your own style. Thank you all for taking the time to check out my guide, I really do appreciate it!