Kayle Build Guide by Kamisshake
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Season 7 Kayle - Top/Mid Lane
+9% attack speed and +10 ability power or +6 attack damage, adaptive
Threats to Kayle with this build
|Singed||Super easy. You shred his bonus resists from his ult with your passive. He should never be able to get on you and if he does, you just out trade.|
|Illaoi||Really easy. All you have to do is just auto and dodge. If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a tentacle. If you space well she won't ever get on you. If she rips your soul out just hit her as much as you want. She should never get on you and you should never get cursed if you do this right.|
|Gangplank||This matchup is incredibly easy. Make sure you keep your farm up, but harass as much as you can. Kill his barrels as often as you can, if you're fast/good enough you can almost always beat him in blowing them up (only ones you have to watch out for are the ones he hides in brush). When you want to harass, use your Reckoning and just auto him as much as you can, he will cleanse your slow once he sees your damage. His cleanse is a very long cooldown so try to commit harder after he's used it. As you get more attackspeed it becomes much easier to kill his barrels. He can't really kill you 1v1, so watch for ganks and dive when you can. Pretty easy to kill him under tower after you harass him down.|
Who I am
I'm a diamond Kayle main who's been playing since Season 1. Summoner name: HoIy Fervor
I have loved this champion since I first played her way back in the day, and with the new preseason I thought I'd make a guide to help people out.
Please remember to up-vote the guide if you liked it or found it helpful.
(note: I will only update the primary build for new seasons, as that is how I think Kayle should be played. The guide should then be helpful enough to craft your own spin on the other styles of Kayle)
Why build what I build
I'm just a guy who has invested a ton of time into this champion trying to understand her at the best possible level. I have climbed to diamond, mainly playing this champion, so I can say with some confidence that I know this champion very well. You can either believe me and try it out or not, up to you.
Kayle is, without a doubt, my favorite champion in League and I fell in love with this champion in season one. What I love about her, and what you will love about her if you play her is that she is so versatile. That and her ultimate, Intervention. You can play her anywhere, top, jungle, mid, support and even adc. I have played her in every single one of these roles and done well on multiple occasions and in ranked queue. Her ultimate, Intervention, very well may be the best spell in the game, as it can single-handedly change the course of a game if used correctly and at the right moment. You can use it to save an ally who makes a mistake, deny a kill, give your ally the confidence to dive, give your ally the confidence to commit in a teamfight, save your ally from a hardcore dive. A well placed Intervention can win you the game.
This style only applies to the main build, so please keep that in mind if you are using another build.
When you build the way I suggest, you place a heavier focus on sustained damage. You can also build more burst focused; by building heavier AP items and Lich Bane you can attempt to erase someones health bar in one shot. I feel that, in this current iteration of League, that style is not as powerful as building for sustained damage. With the buffs to Guinsoo's Rageblade and the new keystone masteries, over the course of a game you will do far more damage if you play according to how you build.
In lane, what I have found to be very effective is to embrace your AOE kit and to play aggressively and push up the wave aggressively, since you have very good early waveclear. This gives you control of your lane and gives you and your jungler freedom to make more plays across the map before the enemy can respond. This does leave you vulnerable to ganks; however, with the new warding trinket having multiple charges and pink wards being 75 gold, this is easy to counter if you are vigilant.
Alternatively, you can also play a lane very passively and sometimes you may have to. You will always push a lane if you use your E, Righteous Fury, to last hit but that's OK. Just make sure to push the lane faster when you feel like you are in a vulnerable position so that it will push back to you. Kayle is one of the champions who can do this very easily and quickly.
When you build for sustained damage, you need to be very mindful of your positioning. You can position aggressively in teamfights because you are Kayle and your ultimate allows you to do so, but you still need to be cautious. Your primary objective is to hit the highest value target that you can safely hit. If you know you can finish a high priority kill by committing and using your ultimate, that is usually worth it. Every situation is different so these are just guidelines.
An important note to remember is that when you play Kayle, you will do more damage the longer a fight drags on as your passive shreds resistances and Fervor of Battle adds damage. This can allow you to make dives and other aggressive moves that other champions may not be able to do.
At level 1, I usually use Righteous Fury to kill the ranged minions on the first wave as soon as I can to establish lane control. This is not always possible and in some cases not optimal, as some players will try to trade with you; but it helps to get that early push so you can follow up on jungle invades/early skirmishes first. It takes 6 empowered autos ( Righteous Fury) to kill the ranged minions at level one with this setup (depending on how you use your splash damage).
Kayle has a pretty powerful level 2 spike. Depending on the matchup, you can occasionally take an all-in and win at level 2 (this is much easier with ignite). Going for an early kill contrasts to the pushing the lane so you have to choose one or the other. I would recommend against it, and to just get good wave control but that is how I prefer to play. If you can take the kill, go for it. If you feel you can kill your opponent around level 4-5 make sure you put 2-3 points in your Q ( Reckoning) instead of your E ( Righteous Fury) as it gives you more burst and a more powerful slow.
The biggest problem with this style of play is early game junglers like Lee Sin, Elise, etc. Make sure you ward up around 3 min 30 sec in an attempt to deny the early gank. If your jungler is good though, you can very easily bait out a counter gank and score a double kill.
Runaan's vs. Wit's End
Runaan's Hurricane has been an interesting item since its inception. It has an AD scaling AOE passive and it only functions for ranged champions (so it will only work when you have Righteous Fury up which won't be a problem later in the game). I see this item argued about all the time so I will add this section to share my thoughts about it.
With the rework to the item, the stats were redistributed and it became a crit item (mainly for the ADC role). It still gives attack speed, (new) movement speed, on-hit physical damage, and the defining AD based aoe, all of which Kayle can use effectively. With the rework though, it now also gives 30% crit, which is the one stat on the item that has little value on Kayle. She can use it but it is not optimal because you do not build crit anywhere else, nor do you build much AD. You are paying 1200 gold for a stat you don't want just to get the AD scaling AOE passive, when you don't build AD. (If you do build Kayle AD, which you can do, Runaan's Hurricane will be very good.)
Wit's End, in my opinion, is a better item than Runaan's Hurricane for Kayle. Wit's End has an extremely good stat distribution for Kayle as it gives the same attack speed, better on-hit magic damage, flat magic pen, and increasing magic resist. All of these stats Kayle can take advantage of and they synergize better with her because it is all magic damage focused. After the rework to Guinsoo's Rageblade in patch 6.9, this becomes even more valuable as once you buy the item, it will apply the on hit effects twice on every other hit. Your magic pen masteries and passive shred will stack with the Wit's End shred and increase all your on-hit magic damage from all sources, i.e. Nashor's Tooth, your Righteous Fury, Guinsoo's Rageblade and Wit's End. You pay 200 more gold (little more than one minion wave) for better stats.
Runaan's Hurricane can be a good item on Kayle, provided the enemy team stacks up often and you can take full advantage of the passive AOE. In MOST situations, Wit's End will be a better item as it gives more single target damage AND more defenses (the magic resist is pretty big because you don't really run MR runes on Kayle).
Not much to say as far as runes go, as they are pretty straight forward these days. What I have listed is often the best setup; the only thing I would ever change is the third tier run in Precision, Cut Down. The others can be just as good yet, as usual, it depends on team comp, i.e. if you are playing against many assassins or tanks.
---Obsolete portion but will not delete---
Please look at the notes for each build, the runes differ from the main build and it is important so you can fill your role.
Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
You have these runes for one purpose, that is so that you can have minimal downtime on your Righteous Fury while still staying relevant in all stages of the game. These runes will allow you to have, once you complete Nashor's Tooth, around 37.50% cooldown reduction. With that amount it is possible to have a 95-99% uptime on your Righteous Fury. If you don't have your Righteous Fury you are pretty much useless since you cannot safely auto attack. The AP quints supplement your early damage and the armor is always good. You should swap the armor seals for scaling health per level seals if you are against a team with little physical damage.
---Obsolete, as masteries are no longer in the game but will not delete---
Please read the notes, I put a lot of useful information there and each build has different masteries and reasons for said masteries.
For Offense tree, you start with attack speed in tier one, you are an attack based ap carry. Tier two, you can take either Double Edged Sword or Feast keystones, I opt for Double-Edged Sword as its just raw damage and you don't really need sustain since you have a heal. The rest is pretty basic, Kayle is good with both ad and ap so in Tier 3 you can realistically take either node. I have tested both out and found that they are really quite interchangeable, but for most matchups I prefer Natural Talent as it boots both of your schools of damage. Tier 4 and 5 are simple, you are ap focused and have a slow so you take Oppressor and Magic Pen. Tier 6, Fervor is a no-brainer; auto attack based champion. You will get much more out of Fervor (especially with the buffs) in just about any trade. I did mess around with Deathfire Touch and it really wasn't worth it even for a burst build.
There are two options for sub-speccing, as I will call it. One is you can go into Resolve tree for more utility and team-oriented play, or you can go into Cunning for more lane dominence/1v1 potential.
For the Cunning tree, in tier one you can choose either the movespeed or minion damage. Both have value, but I prefer the movespeed as it helps you move around the map just that much faster. The minion damage will help you push harder, but its not super noticeable as Kayle. In tier two, I opt for the Assassin node. I was messing around with it before the buffs, and I really find it helps you dominate your opponent, especially if they don't have the node. You can take biscuits if you want, but I don't value them much. You will rarely get buffs so that node is not worth it unless you are mid or jungling. For tier three, again you can take either. I find that the execute damage is more useful but if you really like to spam your spells, the extra mana wont be bad. Lastly, you take Dangerous Game as you won't benefit from the Bandit node.
For the Resolve tree it is pretty basic, you don't really need either in the first tier so you mix for lane sustain and for when you build wits end or other def items. Tier 2, If you roam a lot Explorer can be good, but you have movespeed on your heal and it only applies to a small portion of the map (brush and river). Tier 3, 8% more on your heal? Yes please. Tier 4, Flash is good and so is tp/ignite so you take Insight.
Please scroll over notes for when to swap items, unable to embed stuff so easier to look there. They also have a lot of useful information in them and they differ in each build.
My usual build consists of, in this order, Doran's Ring, Nashor's Tooth, Berserker's Greaves, Wit's End, Guinsoo's Rageblade, Void Staff, and either Guardian Angel or Quicksilver Sash (selling Doran's for it, or earlier to complete another item).
I will often change the order I buy Wit's End and Guinsoo's Rageblade, but with the rework to Guinsoo's Rageblade, it is more valuable to get after you have your on-hit items already. Wit's End also provides you with much needed magic resist, as this build takes none on runes, relying on game knowledge and mechanics when fighting AP champions.
I believe this is the highest consistent damage build for Kayle at the moment (though I have no math to back it up), and I highly recommend it. Jungle Kayle is also very strong with the rework to the Devourer enchant (now Bloodrazor), Kayle is much stronger much earlier in the game making it easier to run over any given game.
I do not recommend building things like Runaan's Hurricane and Rylai's Crystal Scepter as many other builds suggest. The combination of those items only serve to provide an aoe slow, provided the enemies are close enough together for the Hurricane passive, and it will do far less damage with the changes to Guinsoo's Rageblade. I feel that this combination of items is a trap, because you feel extremely oppressive when you can slow with every auto attack, but you will be doing much less damage than if you built differently. The combination of Hurricane and Rylai's, I feel, is a crutch for those who cannot manage their spacing well, and while it may work well against lesser opponets, sooner or later you will need more damage.
I stated earlier I think Runaan's Hurricane is a large investment for wasted stats, and Wit's End is the far better option, especially with the rework to Rageblade as it will add the MR shred and the on-hit damage twice on every other auto. That combined with your passive shred does immense damage to all characters in a sustained battle environment.
Skills differ in each build, so please read the notes. The information will help you for each build.
Righteous Fury is your main source of damage and waveclear so you max it first. If you think you can get an early kill because your lane opponent is really low, put another early point in your Reckoning around level four for the extra burst damage to try for the kill. You want all your abilities at level three because Divine Blessing can save your life from an early gank, or speed you up for an early kill. Your ultimate, Intervention, might be the best ability in the game so you level it whenever you can. Use it liberally because the cooldown is very short.
Kayle is probably the most versatile champion in the game; a well played Kayle can single-handedly win a game, by either becoming the primary carry on her team or empowering an ally with her support abilities and allowing them to carry the team to victory. This guide focuses on top lane Kayle, teaching you how to become the monster in lane and turn into carry that can support her team and carry you to victory. I hope this guide helps somewhat, and I hope you have as much fun playing this champions as I do.